It is as predictable as the changing of the seasons. Last week Labour used an Opposition Day Motion to bring forward another motion against the bedroom tax. The proposal was simple and broad – immediate abolition.
As with previous instances of using this strategy, a key aim was to make the Liberal Democrats look either stupidly inconsistent or cravenly unwilling to vote against the Conservatives. And Labour, presumably, hoped they’d get both. The run up to the vote was accompanied by high profile articles in the Mirror pointing to the distress caused by the policy and calling for the Labour motion to be supported.
When Liberal Democrat support for the motion, rather predictably, failed to materialise it opened up space for further negative headlines in certain parts of the press. The Liberal Democrats’ inconsistency was highlighted – after all it wasn’t that long ago that Nick Clegg publicly withdrew the party’s support from the policy – as was their complicity in supporting the Conservative party – sorry, “Government” – amendment which took an overtly tribal position on the issue.
Over at Liberal Democrat Voice on Thursday Caron offered a three part defence of the Liberal Democrat voting strategy on the Labour motion. It has generated a fairly extensive comment thread, including some incisive comments highlighting the key criticisms. Most of these criticisms are not new, but they are worth revisiting. [Read more…]