When I was selected in 2007 to contest Mongomeryshire at the 2010 General Election, I did not want anyone associated with the Conservative Party in Montgomeryshire to say or do unkind things to the Liberal Democrats. Firstly, I wanted the Lib Dem supporters to feel well disposed towards me. There were a few thousand more of them than us at the time. And I don't believe voters respond well to the childish name-calling that passes for much of modern politics in Britain anyway. Its also why I totally ignore the attempts of my predecessor to rile me, except to feel a sense of sorrow. There's nothing wrong with a 'blast' occasionally, but monotonous rudeness besmirches politics and leaves me bored and cold. So It was not difficult for me to sign up to the Lib Dem/Conservative Coalition in 2010. In fact, I rather approved of it. I also reckon that when you sign up to a deal, you sign up to a deal. And I suspect its what the public thinks too. Which is why the anti-Lib Dem nit-picking that comes from some of my colleagues seems to me to be both disloyal and self-harming.
So what on earth are our Lib Dem coalition partners up to today - putting out a press release announcing that advice is going out to all Lib Dem MPs, peers and staff instructing them to 'rubbish' the Conservatives whenever they have the opportunity. Even more pathetically, they are pretending its a'leaked' memo. Its no more 'leaked' than the Sermon on the Mount. And its inconceivable that the Deputy Prime Minister did not approve it before it was 'leaked' - probably left 'accidentally'on his desk. Its just so incredibly childish - and it may well also be self defeating.
I suppose the Lib Dems are in a bit of a spot, and are not sure what to do about it. Well, my advice for what its worth is the same as that given to them earlier this week by Lord Carlile, the most able Lib Dem in Britain today - "grow up". The Lib Dems made a big sacrifice in 2010, acknowledging that their manifesto promises were 'fairy stories' and setting aside 'party interest' in order to form a coalition with the Consevatives to try to bring order to the UKs public finances. That decision has cost them politically, as they must have known it would. The reward should come later, when the job is done. But to decide part way through the deal that they signed up to that they don't like it, will be the worst of all worlds for them. And I genuinely wish the Lib Dems well. Lets hope that like Darragh and Ffion, our lovely grandchildren, they will have forgotten today's silly plans when they wake up tomorrow.