On Tuesday Jo’s Jottings had some good advice for Lib Dem bloggers, advice which those who it is aimed at would do well to follow;
“it’s important to remember…….that politics is about gritting your teeth
sometimes, keeping quiet and knowing when to count to ten.”
It is also advice that our parliamentary party would do well to follow. I find the whole nonsense around the vote on the Lisbon Treaty frustrating and depressing in equal measure.
Nick Clegg inherited a very awkward position on Lisbon when he took over the party leadership. The decisions of the previous two leaders on this had left him struggling to find something coherent to say. We should remember that this is against a background of around 10 years or so of the Party showing itself incapable of developing a sensible and sustained approach to European issues. So given the fix he was in, unlike some, I think he did a pretty good job of not making us look like idiots.
That is until yesterday’s rebellion.
I do understand the anxiety of those in marginal seats on this. One of the key priorities of any politician has to be their re-election. No one should be criticised for taking that into account. But how does damaging the authority of a new leader, barely a few months into the job, do anything to help our election prospects?
Yes, the official line on this vote wasn’t particularly consistent with our previous lines on this. But neither was that of the other two main parties. As a wise fluffy elephant says; “it is so much easier to get into a TIZZY about minute details than over major areas of policy” and this vote wasn’t really about policy but political positioning.
If there was any time when the right approach was to grit our teeth and keep our head down then this was it. As Mike Smithson points out, nobody really cares about this stuff anyway.
But now what we have done is given the impression that we are split on Europe. On Europe, for heavens sake! Very, very silly.
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.