It will be very interesting to see how the LibDems vote this afternoon. We already know that 20 of their 57 MPs will support the government line. Well, it would be rude not to if you're members of the government, wouldn't it? But what of the rest? I can understand those LibDem MPs who vote in the No lobby. Some will do it out of conviction, others will feel morally obliged to by the pledge that they signed up to. One or two might even do it just to be bloody minded.
The one thing I will never understand is for an MP to abstain on this legislation. What possible rationale can there be for withholding your vote on what has become one of the great issues of the day? You either agree with it you don't. To sit on the fence may be something a LibDem is used to doing but it is a complete copout. What's the point of being an MP if you can't have the balls to vote one way or another? No wonder they paint their logo yellow. For any LibDem MP who abstains this afternoon is a coward. For instance, let's take Stephen Williams, a LibDem MP for Bristol, who in the last Parliament was their Higher Education spokesman. I like him, he's a nice guy. But this morning he has said he will abstain. Er, why? As the party's former higher education spokesman it is impossible to believe he has not view on the issue. As I keep repeating, to govern is to choose. Not to choose gives the impression of not being able to govern.
So come on LibDems, have the courage of your convictions. At least do us the favour of voting one way or the other. If you abstain, you are taking the coward's way out.
PS The same applies to Tory MPs too, as someone will no doubt point out in the comments.