Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bad Day to Attempt to Unblur Voice

Now we all knew, at least within Lib Dem circles, that Ross Finnie was away on holiday and that he wasn't going to formally announce his candidacy for the Lib Dem leadership until after the Glasgow East by Election but to do so yesterday with part of his message seemed rather amiss. In fact I myself missed it completely until I looked at this morning's papers, sorry Ross.

However, his launch speech did echo some of my own thoughts over recent days when he said the following:

"Our message somehow has become blurred, lacking a distinctive Liberal Democrat

"The party has made a number of effective attacks on the SNP
Government but we have failed to connect with the voters as to why they should
turn to the Liberal Democrats."
I don't object to those sentiments though Ross, however it is a little Walmington-on-Sea strategy wise to make the statement yesterday. There are days when I want my Scottish leader to seize the initiative, to grab the media by the throat and make them take notice of our message, our agenda and define our edge. Yesterday was not the day for doing this, not while the new honourable member for Glasgow East was being chaperoned everywhere by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Good message to start your campaign but the impact is totally lost by the timing. Although Captain Mainwaring Ross Finnie is now at the blocks to get the next stage of the Scottish Liberal Democrats moving alongside Tavish Scott and Mike Rumbles.


Caron said...

Ross acknowledged himself that yesterday wasn't ideal, but that he couldn't afford to wait over another weekend for the members to find out what he was about.

I think he is right to outline the challenges facing our party - he was stating the bleedin' obvious in many ways. In areas where we have Lib Dem representation at Council or Parliamentary level, there is a clear reason to vote Lib Dem - we tend to work very hard and serve our people well. In those parts of Scotland where we haven't yet broken through, what is it about us that would make people vote for us. We know what we are about, what our core values are, but we haven't been good at getting that message across. Ross is right to acknowledge that. It's an example of his honest, wise, bringing people together style. He outlines the problem but also offers a sensible way forward - creating our distinctive Liberal Democrat narrative with his emphasis on civil liberties, the environment and social justice.

Stephen Glenn said...

As I said in the post Caron I agreed with the narrative, though its impact was lost especially if a party anorak, like myself, didn't pick up on it for nearly 24 hours. I do hope that the narrative is found again during this leadership campaign.


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