Monday, 9 March 2009

Guardian in a parallel universe?

Today's report in The Guardian about the Lib Dems preparing for a coalition must mean the paper's existing in some sort of alternative universe from me.

At conference in Harrogate, nobody I know was talking about coalitions or deals with other parties. It just wasn't an issue.

It may well be the case that senior people in the party are thinking about how we would react in different scenarios, but planning for how we would react in a given situation is certainly not the same as wanting to achieve that situation. It sounds like prudential planning to me, not coalition-mongering. And I'd be immensely surprised if the scenarios didn't include the possibilities of the Lib Dems opposing a German-style grand coalition, or of some sort of minority government, with or without Lib Dem support.

And there are other reasons for thinking The Guardian's on another planet with this article. It mentions that conference backed £7 billion of spending cuts. Given that the spending plans weren't even discussed, I don't see where Allegra Stratton gets that from.

And she also says that conference backed our current policy on abolishing tuition fees, despite fears from opponents that the £3 billion cost was unaffordable. Really? As I highlighted in one of my reports from Conference, NO amendment seeking to retain tuition fees was discussed and NO speaker made the case that the policy should change. So who were these people that Allegra Stratton refers to?

Allegra Stratton, were you actually in Harrogate?

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