“I just don't believe it's about left or right – the old divisions are breaking down, political loyalties based on class are fading away. The new divisions in British politics are about fairness, about over-centralisation, civil liberties and security, the international rule of law, environmental sustainability, and identity at a time of rapid change. Anyone who wants a fairer, greener Britain in which real change happens to our clapped out political system should vote for the Liberal Democrats. As the Government collapses and David Cameron promises nothing dressed up as everything, we're the only party offering real change.”
The last sentence is a story and Nick sets it up by framing the political choices in a liberal (and slightly wordy) way. As I have argued previously, this is surely the plotline of our story for the next general election.
Nick is asked what the Lib Dems are saying that’s different from the other parties. This question demands a list but he still gets in good effective stories and frames (I’ve put examples of both in bold):
“We're the only party that will cut taxes for low- and middle-income families, scrapping council tax and reducing the basic rate to 16p. We're the only party that will tax polluters. We're the only ones who've stood up to the energy companies about rising prices and fuel poverty, and the only party that will deliver fair pensions for women. We're the only party that will change the NHS so that if you can't get treated on time, the Government will pay for you to get treatment elsewhere. We're the only ones talking about the shameful neglect of mental health patients. We're the only ones committed to civil liberties, pledging to stop storing innocent people's DNA and stop fingerprinting children in school. We're the only party with a clear, rules-based foreign policy, speaking out against dodgy arms deals and human rights abuses in countries like China and Saudi Arabia.”
Addressing the allegation that he’s a Cameron clone, Nick starts with a story.
"We are roughly the same age, but that's where the similarities end. He became a foot soldier for Margaret Thatcher just as I was repelled by her bleak vision of "there's no such thing as society". "
"[Cameron] is wedded to an insular hostility to Europe, I believe we can't make sense of the modern world unless we do so together with our neighbours in Europe. I believe in a fair tax system which helps the needy, His sole firm tax commitment benefits only 6 per cent of the richest in Britain. He talks the talk on the environment, I lead a party that walks the walk . . ."
Now, let’s hear a story of when it came to the crunch on the environment and Cameron talked the talk but Nick and co walked the walk. Like in the last few days, over energy taxes, for instance . . .