Monday, 16 September 2013

It woz the party wot won it

It was a toss-up whether today's BBC 1 o'clock news headline was that Nick Clegg had trounced progressive forces in the economic debate this morning, or that he had suffered a demoralising defeat at the hands of the Trotskyite sandal-wearers. Either case was supportable. The motion from the top table was passed. On the other hand, the Glasgow conference accepted an amendment (albeit slightly amended) from the Social Liberal Forum, who have been among Nick's most vigorous critics. In the end, BBC opted for the Clegg victory line but made sure in their report that there was a clip from the end of Vince Cable's later speech which appeared to criticise the coalition.

In truth, a Venn diagram comprising the main motion, the amendment which was won, the amendment which was lost (I can't find a copy of this, but there is a summary on Gareth Epps' contribution to Liberal Democrat Voice), Nick's summation and Vince's speech would show more overlap than outliers. The debate was not a one-man show. There were well-thought contributions from all (because the discussion was not a simple black/white matter) sides. It is worth looking at the full debate when it is shown again on BBC-Parliament (or on the various online sources) and then comparing it with the personalised treatment in the press.

Later: I've now found the text of the amendments at Autumn/Policy/Aut13 CE plaintext.txt

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