I was having a twitter conversation with Dr. Evan Harris yesterday. He tweeted ( and I'm paraphrasing here) that he didn't back Liberal Conspiracy's support of Ed Miliband in calling for Ken Clarke's sacking. I tweeted (as I've blogged) that it was a clever piece of political chicanery designed to keep Clarke in post and deliver various other political bonus points. And Evan was good enough to read my post and tweet this back...
'@richard_morris_ Yr analysis is OK only if you can bear this "Ed M ...Positioned himself and Labour to the right of the Tories on crime"
So: I've been asking myself, would I have been happy if we had been in Miliband's position and we'd done the same thing?
My first thought was no. While I can admire the political manouvering, I wouldn't be happy if we made a grand political gesture that moved us to a place we didn't want to sit.
And then I thought again. As the move by Miliband kept Clarke in his post, wouldn't this be a progressive price worth paying? And moving to the right of the Tories probably does play well to Labour's electoral strategy, though not their philosophical one.
So would it have been right for us to do it in the same circumstances? In this case - with the thought of someone from the right of the Tories sitting in the Justice Secretary's office - I think it probably would.
Even if we would have to ask Evan to hand over the smelling salts afterwards...