Reading today’s Independent
report on Nick Clegg’s town hall meetings
, I thought they sounded like a copy of Cameron Direct
, the Tory leader’s QandA sessions across the country. But it turns out Clegg held his first town hall on the 10th January, 2008 and Cameron didn’t launch
Cameron Direct until the third of June. So if anyone is copying anybody else, it is Cameron. But in a way, this highlights the problem facing Clegg: even when he pioneers something, he doesn’t get the credit.
The Lib Dems are at their best when they are distinctive from the two main parties. But Clegg, in manner and style, is just too similar to Cameron to gain traction. (This is why I thought the Lib Dems should have gone for Chris Huhne not Clegg in their leadership election.) Clegg, fairly or unfairly, does appear to be Cameron-lite.