Monday, December 04, 2006

A couple of thoughts on Trident

First, where did this new Liberal Democrat policy come from? As Linda Jack points out, it has been approved neither by the party's Federal Policy Committee nor by Conference.

The last I heard a working party was drawing up a new policy to bring to FPC. Someone suggested to me that it was not clear from its proceedings whether the party was more worried about the threat from international terrorism or the threat from the Daily Telegraph.

Second, the performance of the Conservative benches in the Commons today showed that the party has learnt nothing from its error over the Iraq war. They seemed outraged that the Liberal Democrats were disagreeing with a Labour government - a strange position for a Conservative to hold.

Deep down the Conservatives still believe that this government is insufficiently pro-American and that one day the people will turn to them as a result. Yet I suspect that the voters who are going to desert Labour next time because Tony Blair has not been close enough to George W. Bush form a very select group.


Anonymous said...

The Trident proposals have come from the Trident working group. So no great surprise or conspiracy there :-)

As to why they've been published now - well imagine if they hadn't, what would the party have been saying this week, "Oh hang on, come back to us next Spring but we've not got anything to say on this topic yet"?

If you look at things like the press release on the party's website they make very clear that these are proposals, due to be decided by party conference in the spring, so there's no bouncing going on that I can see.

David said...

1. The working group was set up to avoid a debate last autumn.
2. The composition of the group was dominated by MPs and Lords.
3. The group was divided and there will be a minority report.
4. Ming said more than was necessary at this point, in an attempt to pre-empt conference.

Anonymous said...

The note about the policy proposals (which look like 'At Last! The 1983 Show....') being subject to agreement is hidden in the small print. They have not been near FPC yet which is a massive discourtesy.

What David says about the working group is absolutely right.

Anonymous said...

You said "Conservatives still believe that this government is insufficiently pro-American".

Surely this is a typo!!

The Tories have positioned themselves as less pro-US than TB. Don't you remember his speech on 11 September this year?