13 February 2006

Lib Dems would be mad to choose Ming or Hughes.

Polly Toynbee has (as usual) beaten me to writing about the virtues of Chris Huhne.

"Huhne is the most knowledgeable of the three - an economist, ex-Guardian economics editor, founder of his own economic consultancy - and he was a well-respected MEP. If he can think fast and deliver one-liners, his economic nous would keep him alive on his feet against Big Brown. A Lib Dem leader with economic gravitas could make Cameron's public relations professionalism look like a thinning asset in the years ahead. Huhne came out first with the sharpest array of policies for redistribution of taxes from rich to poor - though no overall tax rise. Biting Labour's ankles with tough green tax proposals is high risk but exactly what a third party should do when no others are serious about climate change."

Her descriptions of Ming and Hughes are equally apt.

Of Ming she says;

"he looks and sounds like a caretaker. Why would any insurgent party choose to tread water until after the next election?"

And of Hughes;

"both Labour and Tory apparats hope the weakest man wins. They are hoping for Hughes, whom they characterise as a bit chaotic, a bit too pious - and he scored lower in public opinion than his own party's ratings as a London mayoral candidate."

The choice seems pretty clear to me, but I'm not a member of the Lib Dems, and god knows what they think on policy. I'm not sure they know themselves!

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