Oh dear, it would appear Ming has made yet another error of judgment (the biggest one so far being a failure to just throw in the towel and hand over to someone
competent better able to deal with life at the top). Yes in a move completely out of step with large swathes of Lib Dem MPs (particularly the young ones) Ming has decided to back… not having a referendum on the EU Treaty. Why? Because it is [drum roll] “sufficiently different”. Yes, the Treaty that is 96% the same as the failed ‘Constitution’ is sufficiently different – different name, different sales pitch, and so on.
Ah, Ming. Ming, Ming, Ming. Mingy, Mingy moo. I just don’t get it. Just as public opinion is shifting in one direction you sprint in the other direction like you’re on an Olympic track being chased by an angry (Scottish?) bear. Hmm.
But it’s not just public opinion. Within the party the shift is toward a referendum, not away. A recent poll on LibDemVoice for example highlighted that 54% of readers were in favour of the LibDems backing a referendum (and that’s before we get into exactly how many LibDem MPs are now in favour of a referendum).
That said, maybe Neil Bradbury on LibDem voice has the measure of the situation:
“Excellent decision Ming - how representative of public opinion (on the question actually asked) are referenda anyway? Most of my friends who are pro-referendum have never read the constitution and just hate foreigners because thats what the Mail tells them to do. Mings non populist approach is warming on me we want more prinicpled opinions not just people thinking because we are democrats we should have a vote on everything the right wing press want to vote on!”