Given this need to differentiate ourselves from the Conservatives, why oh why did we choose a blue background for the platform at the Spring Conference in Sheffield?
The party high command will tell you that it is "aqua" but it looked like blue on the television news behind Nick Clegg's speech. If you are trying to convince the public that you are not a slightly paler version of the Tories, it does not make much sense to colour yourself that way.
Similarly, Max Atkinson (the man credited with turning Paddy Ashdown into a considerable orator) has questioned Nick's fondness for the apparently unscripted, walkabout style that David Cameron adopted in his early years as Conservative leader:
If you want to assert how different you are from someone else, why on earth would you copy that person’s distinctive (for a British politician) style of delivery? Why would you do it if you aren’t as good at it as him? And why would you do it when even Cameron has increasingly given it up in favour of looking more ‘statesmanlike’ at a lectern?This post was written 18 months ago, but Nick was still using that style in Sheffield.