This week at Brighton I was asked two interesting questions by friends. The first was easier to unravel than the second.
1. “I thought you ripped up your membership card didn’t you?”
No. I said I was “done defending this” government. The rest of the post made this extremely clear. My beef is very firmly with Nick Clegg andthe Coalition as our part in it is being managed, not the Liberal Democrats.
2. “You’ve really got in for the party haven’t you?”
No. I disapprove of a number of Nick Clegg’s judgments. I have actually never said anything negative about the party in the last several years. In fact, I am not sure I have ever said anything negative about the party.
I first donned orange to support the Liberal Party in 1970 when Nick Clegg was 3 years old. (I am extremely proud that my Grandmother campaigned for the Liberal MP for Liskeard, Isaac Foot in the early 20th century.) I joined the Liberal Party in 1986. Both those actions were inspired by Cornish MPs, John Pardoe and David Penhaligon. I joined the Liberal Democrats shortly after its inception. God willing, I will be in the party when Nick Clegg has taken up a highly paid job elsewhere for a much deserved breather. I am damned if I am going to be riled into leaving the party by someone who was three years old when I started supporting it.
Is that unequivocal enough for everybody?
Nick Clegg’s speech had some very good passages on:
-Announcement of £500 for pupils who struggle at Maths/English on leaving Primary school.
-Announcement of Paddy Ashdown as 2015 campaign chair. The bones in my hands almost fractured – I was clapping so hard at that one.
But his speech contained a passage with a fundamentally ridiculous, nonsensical false choice: Between being in the coalition and not being in it. No, Nick. There is a third choice, we could stay in the coalition and you could stop cocking up so many judgments!