Mr Clegg may be youthful and, in my opinion, would benefit from a period as Chancellor before seeking the highest mantle of state. I am advised he musters considerable support from the ranks of our great party.
It is therefore welcome that he has staked out the high ground of moral principle in opposing further restrictions on the liberty of our citizens. We spent much of my century seeking to turn back the tide of arbitrary justice which had been vested in local squirearchies, leading to considerable oppression of the common people.
Now the power of oppression appears to be vested in uniformed militia. It is outrageous that a person should have to account to the state for going about their lawful business.
So Mr Clegg proposes to resist the imposition of electronic identity papers on the population. And quite right too although I would prefer that, as a legislator, he would prevent the imposition rather than waiting until the legislation is enacted to offer resistance. It is disturbing indeed if the population has become so terrified of the unknown that it should vote for such measures.
Now I should mention Mr Clegg's opponent, Mr Huhne. A gentleman of some wisdom has suggested that Mr Clegg is a man of few words or indeed is reticent in ideas. The same does not need to be said of Mr Huhne, who has honoured us with words that are indeed worthy of a Liberal Prime Minister. A brief perusal suggests there are many worthy notions here although I do propose a longer period of study before commenting in detail. Mr Huhne has spoken in particular on defence and foreign policy. He favours a policy independent of our Atlantic cousins and a restriction of spending on wasteful devices of destruction. There is indeed much that remains admirable in the modern Liberal party when its leaders continue to hold the high ground. I fear they are yet to face the challenge of maintaining such an elevated position whilst conducting the affairs of state, although, as I frequently reminded our young sovereign, such a stance is entirely possible.