http://www.libdemvoice.org/nick-clegg-m ... 34302.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;Something is happening on the centre ground of British politics. An exodus. The Conservative leadership is being lured to the right. Ed Miliband is pulling his party to the left. Only the Liberal Democrats are holding firm.
That creates an opportunity for our party. Over the last twenty years the centre has become a crowded place. First New Labour pitched up, determined to demonstrate a new found credibility on the economy. Then followed a detoxified Conservative Party, hugging hoodies and frolicking with huskies. Yet now – in what, in time, may prove to be a highly significant political shift – the land is clearing. Our opponents are heading back to their respective homes. And it is time for the Liberal Democrats to reclaim this space.
The language of centrism can be misleading. It is not – as it can sound – splitting the difference between competing views; nor is it sitting on the fence. On the contrary, the centre ground rests on a radical, liberal view of the world, unencumbered by the traditional ideologies of left and right.
As post-war social democracy and Thatcherism both demonstrated, the centre isn't a fixed position. By anchoring yourself to the 'middle ground', you allow your opponents to drag you this way and that. And whether Clegg admits it or not, his party are enabling the Tories to go places Thatcher wouldn't have dared. There are times when I feel I almost hate dreary liberal technocrats more than I hate the hard right. They just make politics sound so bloodless and limp.