I wrote back on June 1 about the lobbyists and other power-brokers suddenly courting the Liberal Democrats since they entered government. There has been a surge of applications to attend the Lib Dem conference this autumn from people who have never been before.
Only yesterday I was told that the Daily Mail has just upped its posse attending the autumn conference from, er, one person to 12. Expect this pattern to be repeated elsewhere; including the FT.
Bingle, chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, is as a fan of opera and fine dining, perhaps not a natural bedfellow for the more “beardy” left-wing end of the Liberal Democrat party. That appears to be no obstacle to courtship, however.
Last night Bingle paid for a reception for Lib Dem researchers and Spads in London, as he says in his regular update.
Last night I attended a very enjoyable evening with Lib Dem researchers and special advisers. It was their summer reception at the National Liberal Club and I was the sponsor. If these are the next generation of Lib Dem MPs and councillors the omens for the coalition are good. They are a friendly and impressive bunch. We have a new group of friends.
I’ve also been reminded of this Bingle homily from earlier this month to Lib Dem Jonny Oates, now working in a senior position in 10 Downing Street. Don’t hold back Mr Bingle!
A musing in praise of Jonny Oates
One of the best things about the coalition is that it has brought Lib Dems into government who otherwise would never had the opportunity to dazzle. Take the case of Jonny Oates who is now working alongside Andy Coulson in Number 10. We are all very fortunate to have somebody so skilled and so nice working at the heart of government.
I have known Jonny for many years….Jonny was one of the great consultants. Clients and staff adored him. His advice was always of the highest quality and he was equally at home with both politicians and journalists which is very rare in our business.
Jonny was also one of the toughest managers that I have ever worked with. He expected the best at all times from his colleagues and would accept nothing less than perfection and dedication….
His career in local government was outstanding…his liberalism has always shone through him like a flashing beacon. Jonny was a tough but fair political opponent….it is impossible to dislike Jonny Oates.
There is also a deep morality about Jonny…Jonny is one of the stars at Number 10. He is above all the consummate professionalism…..those of us who know Jonny as a friend are privileged. We have always known how special he is. Thanks to the coalition he now has the opportunity to play a major role within the government. The body politic will be the winner.