Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sarah Teather goes rogue

Yesterday's Guardian had an interview with the former Liberal Democrat for children and families minister Sarah Teather in which she was extremely critical of Coalition immigration policy:
"What alarms me is that the immigration proposals feel as if they're hewn from the same rock as welfare earlier in the year, where a lot of that again was about setting up political dividing lines, and trying to create and define an enemy. 
"It’s got to a stage where it's almost unacceptable to say anything else, and it bothers me that there is a consensus among the three party leaders that they are all making, well not quite the same speech – there are differences, significant differences – but there’s a consensus. It's stifling the rest of the debate, making people afraid to speak. If you get to a stage where there is no alternative voice, eventually democracy’s just going to break down."
Good on Sarah Teather, as Stephen Tall says. But this interview will also be of interest to Lib Dem kremlinologists.

Because what struck me when I first me Sarah on the party's federal policy committee was that she was instinctively loyal to the leadership - this was still in Charles Kennedy's days.

And at the first hustings in the 2006 leadership campaign she and Nick Clegg went everywhere together, apparently both unwilling to let Ming Campbell out of their sight - young cardinals bigging up an elderly candidate for pope.

That Nick Clegg has lost the support of someone like Sarah reinforces my fear that Clegg loyalists are a diminishing group in the parliamentary party.

She may also be wondering why sacked male ministers get knighthood and she got nothing.


Manfarang said...

Its good to hear of some liberalism for a change.

crewegwyn said...

hopefully the reason she 'gets nothing' is that she has a bright political future ahead of her ....