'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

Thursday 10 February 2011

Lib Dems speaking their minds

Oh the perils of blogging. On Tuesday I submitted a piece for Lib Dem Voice on how important it was that Lib Dems made clear where they stood on various government issues and how great it would be if Ministers were a little more free to speak their mind.

They liked it and it's due to be published this weekend...

And then yesterday, we see Lord Oakeshott resign/get sacked/leave by mutual consent - for speaking his mind on the banking deal.

Now, while there's no arguing that his criticism was fairly strident ('If this is robust action on bank bonuses, my name's Bob Diamond') and after attacking a deal in which his own department was the key negotiator, he probably did have to leave.

But how refreshing it was to hear a politician speak his mind, and happily resign to do so, rather than keeping quiet and, in that time honoured phrase' try and repair the damage from the inside.

And if a Minister wants to raise an issue with government policy outside his or her portfolio, shouldn't they be able to do so? isn't that what we pay them for - telling us what they think is right?

Meantime, I see Lib Dem councillors are now uniting against the cuts in local government spending.

My article on LDV is getting more out of date by the hour...

Addendum: Lots of gossip on the blogs and Twitter that Oakeshott was saying publicly what Vince Cable is thinking privately. Could it be true?

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