I’ll lightly skip over Clegg’s call for recall today (I’ve said what I have to say on that topic here) – I happen to question the practicalities but as an act of symbolism it is good politics. Instead I will concentrate on these paragraphs:
Clegg said Westminster should expect to see more protests from him – last week he staged a walkout from the Commons after he was denied his “in or out” vote.
“The kind of anger, noise, direct protest that you have seen from us recently – whether it is my stance on saying that I would prefer to go to court than give my data to a compulsory government ID card database or Vince Cable’s protest against the visit of the Saudi king, or our walkout of the Commons last week – far from seeing less of that, I think you will see more.”
Which is fine, but he should think about the purpose of all this is. The most dispiriting thing about Ed Davey’s walkout last week was his insistence it was a spontaneous thing. So does this mean the Lib Dem strategy is to just be spontaneous? And how does this square with insisting on having archaic debates over whether or not to have a debate?
By all means be anti-establishment, but that is not the same thing as the mindless activism that was on display last week. And it means no more lectures from front benchers about being against opportunism in future, thank you.