We’ve had to wait a very long time, in 24-hour news media terms, to hear from the parliamentary party as to why they voted for secret courts.
Modern media moves fast, so when you have to use Aldis lamp to signal for the belated stately relaunching of the SS Sir Menzies Campbell to pick out drowning MPs from amongst the seething ocean of activists, then you look a bit flat-footed.
Goodness only knows why there was such a delay. Normally, the party just has to hiccough or fart and you get an email from Nick Clegg explaining what’s happened within a nano second of it happening.
But something big happens, where you have activists up in arms, and not a whimper do we hear for five days – which is an eternity in modern news media terms.
But we shouldn’t have worried. Nick Clegg was there yesterday explaining the decision. Of course, it wouldn’t have been Nick Clegg if he had just bowled a simple ball, simply explained it as per the SS Sir Menzies Campbell. No, he had to put a nasty bit of spin on the ball and whack it back to the activists. It’s all our fault. We’re guilty of the three Ms: misrepresentation, mischief and misleading.
But the priceless classic comes at the end of this report on Clegg’s comments from Andrew Sparrow on the Guardian:
Clegg said that, with the Tories and Labour in favour, it was “arithmetically impossible” for the Lib Dems to block the plans.
So, next week, expect the Tories and Labour to join forces to propose the regular ritual disembowlment of first born babies in local high streets, and for the Lib Dems to vote for this measure based on the high-minded principle that it would be “arithmetically impossible” to block it.