A week or so ago, Jonathan Calder wrote that the Liberal Democrats should vote with to call for an investigation into whether Jeremy Hunt broke the ministerial code. I agreed with him, and wrote in the comments:
sadly I’m sure the Parliamentary party will find some reason not to vote with Labour on this. Then we’ll get lots of bluster about how Labour did bad things when they were in government which we’ll be expected to accept as a valid reason for it.
And lo and behold, we discover that the Lib Dem MPs will be taking the bold and brave step of…not showing up for the vote. According to the Guardian:
The Lib Dems said they would not be backing the Labour motion because it was for Cameron alone to decide whether to refer someone to Allan. They did not want to be seen to side with a Labour party that had used special advisers such as Damian McBride, who worked with former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown.
That’s not a reason, it’s a cheap excuse. I keep seeing Lib Dems talking about ‘grown up politics’ (usually in snidely passive-aggressive blog posts) and this is the very antithesis of being a grown-up. It’s the petulant whining of someone who’s been caught out and is trying to deflect attention. We all know the last Labour Government did some horrendous things, but they’re not the Government now and haven’t been for two years. When you get caught doing something bad, whining ‘but Labour did X, Y, and Z’ in an attempt to deflect attention isn’t being grown-up, it’s making excuses and pointing at someone else who did a bad thing because you can’t justify your own position. The Liberal Democrats are meant to be better than that.