Monday, December 06, 2010

LibDem PPS Resigns (UPDATE: Or Not...)

"To govern is to choose. To appear to be unable to choose is to appear to be unable to govern."
Nigel Lawson

Guido is reporting the news that a Liberal Democrat MP, Michael Crockart, has resigned as PPS to Michael Moore, the Secretary of State for Scotland. He intends to vote against the rise in tuition fees. I have to say he is a name that has passed me by and I had to check that he is indeed an MP.

The internal machinations of the LibDems are going to be fascinating to watch this week. Andrew Neil reckons they will split four ways, which has to be some sort of record even for them!

It is said that David Cameron has launched Operation Save Nick. Why? Nick Clegg needs to display some leadership and start herding his cats MP's properly. As Matthew D'Ancona said in yesterday's Telegraph, they're in government now. Government is difficult. It can be ugly. It can be messy. You can't just opt out and abstain, and if you do, it says all that needs to be said.

LibDems should take note of the quote above from Nigel Lawson. In a few days time we'll see how many of them have the stomach for governing and how many will indulge themselves.


UPDATE: According to Torquil Crichton on Twitter, Norman Baker has said he may well resign. If true, he will be making a total fool of himself. How many more to follow, I wonder.

UPDATE 2: A reader emails: "Why exactly should Michael Crockart be voting on tuition fees at all, given that this is an English-only issue that won't affect his constituents in Edinburgh who don't pay the fees? The Conservative manifesto pledge to implement the Ken Clarke task-force recommendations would have avoided this problem, but it didn't make the coalition agreement. Time for the DPM to set up that promised Commission on the West Lothian Question?"

UPDATE 3: Er....

20 comments:

Demontrout said...

Have you caught the C-word tourette's as well?

Oh, it says cats. My bad.

Tom said...

Who?

Simon Lewis said...

It's the beginning of the end

startledcod said...

Oh for the heady days of promising everything to everyone because there was no chance of power.

It is fascintaing to watch how the LDs wring their hands in their self-made quandary. They all want to go and smoke behind the bike sheds but some have been given Prefect's badges. Simon Hughes has always behaved like a student debater.

However, when it comes to behaving with no dignity Charles Kennedy and Menzies Campbell take the biscuit. These two ex-House Captains were both expelled, one for not being able to do their homework and the other for lack of popularity in the school and yet were still allowed to join the Old Boys Association.

Now they are proposing to skin up with the smokers despite not being at the school any more and offering no loyalty to the new house captain Clegg, even though he is a prefect, something neither of them achieved.

They represent Scottish Constituencies, have they no shame.

Brian said...

If the Libdems split, rejoice, rejoice, rejoice.

Blue Eyes said...

Bring on the early election.

Unsworth said...

Completely pointless. Scottish MP resigns on principle? And it's a matter which doesn't affect his contituents in the slightest. So this is just a publicity stunt.

Scan said...

Iain,

Norman Baker IS a fool (nd that's putting it mildly); a man who likes to pontificate about everything yet seems to grasp nothing.

Merseymike said...

They should obey their conscience: the question is why so many of them are willing to remain in the coalition in the first place, other than power.

The LibDems are an uneasy and awkward coalition of moderate social democrats and classical economically conservative liberals. They are united on civil liberties, but in terms of their essential political outlook, this is effectively the left-right divide.

It does raise the question of exactly why they need to be in a third party when Labour and Conservative clearly provide outlets for both of their 'tendencies'

neilreddin said...

Just as it has happened in so many councils when the LDs took power, so it is now in Parliament.

Is there a book open yet on Lord Clegg taking the Conservative whip in 2016 or thereabouts?

All Seeing Eye said...

Bonfire Of The Nonentities

From the shires.... said...

And how about Scottish MPs? I've no doubt that they will vote on tuition fees...

LibCync said...

I await Update 3 Iain!!

http://twitter.com/LibDemPress/statuses/11787155521142785

FF said...

Agree with the lack of respect here for the Lib Dems. Nevertheless, the Coalition as a whole has badly messed up Tuition Fees. As a political issue it threatens to linger on for ever and become another Poll Tax for this administration.

andrewha said...

Thread hijack: It is 5 years ago today that David Cameron became Conservative Party leader.

Ian said...

This is not Radio 4's day.

First at 9.59 this morning, James Naughtie gets Jeremy Hunt's name wrong in a most unfortunate way and then the World at One conducts an interview with some Mancunian claiming to be Michael Crockart. Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West

For heaven's sake BBC, Corstophine would never elect an MP with an accept like that

trevorsden said...

Yes I know Corstophine - its interesting in itself that it has a LibDem MP.

The BBC is a joke; they are hardly in a position to criticise the LDs over competence and confusion.

trevorsden said...

To digres ... a bit.

I feel I should point out the course at Northampton University as discovered by a correspondent over at PB.com

http://www.whatuni.com/degrees/courses/Degree-details/Wastes-Management-and-Dance-BSc-Hons-course-details/52439116/5239/cdetail.html

'Wastes Management and Dance BSc (Hons)'

yep - you read it right.

Is this why everyone goose-stepped in tune into Top Shop?

Cicero said...

Thanks for your loyalty to the government Mr Dale: cuts both ways.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I wonder why a few of the fools who made riciculous comments about the MP in question have not deleted their comments ?