Sunday, July 31, 2011

Danny Alexander interviewed in the Guardian

Today it was Vince Cable in the Observer: tomorrow it will be Danny Alexander in the Guardian. Substantial interviews with Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are the flavour of the month.

The silly season? A new Lib Dem media strategy? Or a recognition by the press that their Liberal Democrats face electoral oblivion narrative no longer rings true?

Danny defends the Coalition's policies on tuition fees and makes the usual attacks on Labour's economic credibility. But the political lessons he draws with his own Hebridean and Highland background are more interesting:
Alexander hymns the rootedness of Highland life, and that commitment to community may explain why he sits so easily in a government led by a liberal Conservative wedded to the notion of the big society. 
"I'm very keen on community engagement and voluntary action. It's a liberal concept. Go to some of these islands where they've taken ownership of the land. Gigha is often cited – a tiny island with a population of 150. The community now owns the island, they've set up their own shops and businesses, the economy's thriving, the school is growing, all because of community action. There is nowhere in the country where what David Cameron would call the big society is more in evidence than in these island communities."


David said...

I have been to Gigha and seen the cairn by the beach which says Jim Wallace landed here. The people of Gigha were able to buy and develop their island because the Scottish Government (Lib/Lab coalition)gave or lent them the money to do it. The Big Society sometimes needs a hand from government.

Jonathan Calder said...

Which is pretty much what I say here.