Friday, 15 March 2013

Do these numbers add up?

Knocking on doors means that I am asked many questions. It's not like being on Question Time and I don't need to know everything about every question. In fact most people are happy simply to be able to ask a political question. On Wednesday one person asked me why the Liberal Democrats went into coalition with the Tories and not Labour. As it happens this came up on Any Questions last Friday when Peter Tatchell made the point that Liberal Democrats should not be working with the Tories. This was answered by Ed Davey for the Liberal Democrats.

I knew the answer without Ed reminding me. Without a coalition, a minority Tory government would have resulted in another general election and a second election may have given the Tories unfettered control. This coalition also allows for Liberal Democrat policies to pass through parliament.

The person who asked me the question may be pleased to see Liberal Democrats and Labour working together in their plans for press regulation. David Cameron was part of the cross-party talks before he decided that he wasn't going to get his way. The difference between the Liberal Democrat / Labour view and the Tories is that the Tories prefer to regulate the press without controls underpinned by law which sounds very much like the status quo. The trouble is that the press has had plenty of opportunities to regulate itself and their failure has been frequent. It's not all bad news - apologies often get printed in the back of the paper somewhere.

It will be interesting to see if the Tories lose the vote on Monday as reports are that it will be close. And that reminds me of another question that I get asked. Why didn't Liberal Democrats form a coalition with Labour? Well the numbers didn't add up. I wonder if they will on Monday.

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