Monday, 15 September 2008

When is a Rebellion Not a Rebellion?

The Independent has the headline this morning Clegg faces grassroots rebellion over his £20bn tax cutting plan.

Now I'm assuming that the Indy is using the word in linmes with the following definition:

"organized opposition to authority; a conflict in which one faction tries to
wrest control from another"

As opposed to the sense of:

"organized opposition to a government or other authority involving the use of

As I don't expect my fellow Lib Dems to be brandishing pick axes, sickles or pitchforks as they apporach the platform later this afternoon. Although such activity may well shift the coverage off BBC Parliament and unto BBC1 or BBC2.

Indeed as Paul Holmes MP points out in his article in Lib Dem Voice at the end of last week.

"It would appear that Liberal Democrat policy has changed to one of cutting
public expenditure to fund tax cuts rather than switching wasteful or less
desirable New Labour expenditure to fund needed investment in accord with
Liberal Democrat policies. "

So indeed rather than being a rebellion it is a case of sticking to what has gone before that may be what may happen in Bournemouth later. It is as Paul also puts it the vagueness that is the issue the as "yet unidentified spending cuts in order to fund as yet unspecified tax cuts".

So should the amendment from Paul, Evan Harris et al pass it is not rebellion but clarification. Indeed if anything it can't be a rebellion as the authority on setting policy within our party is the democracy of conference which has yet to say one way or the other which way we are going on this policy paper laid before them by the policy committee.

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