Daily Archives: 9 March 2007

Shooting the messenger

I like Mark Littlewood. I first got to know him when he was setting up NO2ID. Think he’s done a good job in the Lib Dems, and he is a good dining companion.

So, while I think his departure now may be politically expedient, I don’t delight in it. The person most responsible for last Sunday’s debacle was the one who came up with the ‘5 tests’ wheeze and in particular, these lines:

And if he meets these five tests he will have changed direction.

Coalition overtures with Labour

He will have changed direction, and embraced liberal democracy.

Coalition overtures with Labour

Are the Conservatives up to this same challenge?

Coalition overtures with Labour

Of course not.

If, reading between the lines, you can’t see coalition overtures with Labour, you must be blind, or stupid, or both.

I’m also very aware that the knives have been out for Littlewood ever since the Mark Oaten’s leadership candidacy went belly up. Littlewood was widely blamed for Ming’s disastrous ‘head teacher’ intervention at PMQs, widely believed to have been spun by the Oaten camp. In turn, Littlewood was accused of actively undermining Oaten’s campaign, something which was hotly denied at the time and, as we saw quite quickly afterwards, entirely unnecessary due to Oaten’s own limitless capacity for self destruction. There has been a quietly simmering feud going on for the past 12 months between Oatenistas and supporters of Littlewood, which seems to have now ended in a score draw (with the party stuck in the middle like some kind of bird of liberty-shaped pinata).

So, good luck Mark. And Ming: get your act together.