'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Downing Street confirms the Tories are plotting policy in secret. That's not good...

Todays' announcement (leak, whatever), that Nick has persuaded David Cameron that it really isn't worth spending £100m on a referendum on Lords Reform when it appeared in all 3 main parties manifestos, is drawing a typical response. Here's Roger Helmer this morning...

And while Helmer is no longer a Tory (having jumped ship to UKIP earlier this year) we all know there are many in the Tory party who feel like this (hence this rather excellent piece in The Telegraph, pointing out to many of them that they need to remember, they didn't win...)

And so Cameron does have a real problem controlling his party - and it's best exemplified by the Michael Gove 'O' level' debacle.

Now the problem for Cameron is not there has been a leak on this policy - but that Nick has said that neither he nor Cameron knew anything about these plans. At which point the Downing Street spin machine found itself in a right old cleft stick. Did they:

1. Agree with Nick - in which case they would have to confirm that Tory Ministers are free to enact major policy changes without any reference to the PM. So that's not an option. Or..

2. Contradict Nick and say that they knew ALL about it. Which means the Tories are about to bring the whole basis of the coalition government down. I mean it's one thing discussing stuff and agreeing to disagree. But carrying on in secret behind your partners back? And what about every Tory MP who's ever bleated about collective responsibility (which, to be fair, I question in a coalition government, but still...).

Of course, it's possible this tweeter actually has it right when he says...

...but I doubt it.

So, the question is what other secret plans don't we know about?

Or is it that David Cameron actually has no idea what's going on?

I don't know which I find more worrying.


Probably worth saying that while I remain a passionate supporter of Lords Reform, like Paddy Ashdown I don't believe a referendum would be wrong - and I also think we'd win it.

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