'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

Monday, 7 February 2011

Is it just Revenge?

I think the forthcoming AV referendum is - together with the Freedom Bill and the Pupil Premium - likely to be the centrepiece of this governments legislative programme, and I'm proud that they all stem from Lib Dem inspired policies.

But of the three, the one with the most fundamental effect on the long term future of the country is likely to be the chance to change our voting system from FPTP to AV, because of its constitutional ramifications and the way it will change the balance of government - and hopefully the way we are governed - going forward. It's not as good as full PR - but it's better than where we are.

So its terrific that we get supporters from all parties backing the YES campaign , and I'm delighted that Ed Miliband is backing the YES campign - even if I'm not his greatest fan (click the link to see my latest article on Lib Dem Voice and the kicking I'm getting from the Labour Party supporters who read it...)

Which is why it's a bit disappointing to read yesterday that Ed Miliband won't share a platform supporting AV with Nick Clegg. He claims it's because Nick is too toxic an individual with potential Labour backers of AV. But I don't believe him.

I think it's revenge because Nick refused to countenance forming a coalition with Labour post the General Election, with Gordon Brown at the helm - and Ed Miliband was of course, an avowed Brownite.

We all know Ed is neither a fan of the Lib Dems, nor a fan of Nick and recent reports of a thaw in relations seem very wide of the mark.

But isn't the YES referendum too big an issue to be dealing with petty revenge? Come on Ed, get on that stage!


  1. But Nick is toxic... Sorry to say it, but he is. I've voted Lib Dem all my adult life, and I regret it with all my heart right now...

    Miliband wouldn't get my vote either, but he's just another politician. Unlike Clegg - who I actually thought (feel free to laugh) was telling the truth before the election.

    Keep Clegg off the frontlines of AV. Give us a chance to do the right thing and vote YES. Don't try to make Clegg own this vote, or many people will vote 'No' out of sheer spite.

  2. Well, if Miliband really believes Nick is toxic AND he really cares about AV he would want to 'dilute' that effect by standing next to him. That's why I suspect it's really all about revenge, not AV.