"support for 'rational evidence-based policy' was in short supply at the top of her department."
And that it was like "walking through mud".
It probably came to a head with the report on drug use and punishment last week and comes ahead of the vote that could criminalise paying for sex later this week. Yet it has probably been stoked my the whole immigration debate and the jumping at ill-judged, knee-jerk, UKIP-appeasing policy announcements based on emotive exaggeration and not evidence in any shape or form.
So let me repeat that:
If you want evidence-based policy, not knee-jerk, emotive reactionary nonsense to appease party self interests you have to vote Lib Dem.
That is the lesson. Now you can look at the various policies that the coalition have brought in over the past four years you can see the origins of policy. Those that largely based on evidence such as free school meals increase educational success come from Liberal Democrats looking at the evidence. Things like the snooper's charter apart from being illiberal are largely unachievable because of the depths of the dark web.
Why would this be so? Well the way that policy is decided by the parties help. Conference decides Lib Dem policy so no matter what we debate there is some expert able to speak with authority, or even better they have been working on drafting the policy in the first place. As to who comes up with Conservative policy, there are probably a number of envelops floating around Whitehall have that been used for late night discussions to come up with something. But they just get announced, rarely get peer reviewed (if they do not in public before announcement), and if they are peer reviewed are in the words of a former leader "not for turning".
This is the mud into which Norman Baker has found himself. This is the mud that has snared up some of the Liberal Democrats liberalism, because most of all liberalism is often common sense. Why? Because it is evidence-based as to what is the right thing to do for everyone's individual best interests.