No, I am not about to cross the floor. I am entirely comfortable in the Conservative party. However …
Every day I listen to Today on Radio4 driving into the office and PM driving home. On several occasions I have heard interviewers score cheap points off LibDem MPs, asking how they can possibly be trusted as they have broken so many of their manifesto promises since they set up the coalition government with the Tories.
Yes, they have. Here’s why.
The unspoken assumption behind any election manifesto is that the party issuing it will win the election, but no party did so this time. For the Liberal Democrats, the choice was either to sit on the outside looking in while the Tories ran a minority government or to form a coalition and get some of their policies implemented, while others would have to be abandoned.
By the way, it was no different for the Conservatives. The coalition government will be doing things that simply wouldn’t have happened if the Tories had won an overall majority.
What’s most important is that this makes good sense for the country. Both parties have put their tribalism to one side, if only for the moment, so they could get on with fixing so much that is broken. By working together the two parties are getting more done than would otherwise have been achieved.
This is something that their supporters must remember, despite the frustration that the coalition sometimes brings.
More important, it’s something that must be made clear to mischievous radio interviewers.