The news reported yesterday that apparently Ed Miliband is indicating he does not want to share a platform with Nick Clegg in the AV referendum campaign, despite the fact that they will be campaigning for the same side has caused a bit of a stir. Some of my fellow Lib Dems seem a bit put out.
Monday, 7 February 2011
As far as I am concerned though this is fair enough. The Lib Dems are below 10% in some polls. Miliband's suggestion that Nick Clegg is politically "toxic" is taking it a bit far but equally he is hardly flavour of the month either. I suspect there is a fair bit of truth in the concern that sharing a platform with Clegg would make some wavering Labour supporters tip into the no camp.
At the same time part of Miliband's motivation could be to try and damage Clegg a bit more. I would be surprised if that had not formed part of the behind the scenes strategy. That's politics though and it was ever thus. It doesn't mean he is wrong to distance himself from Clegg if he wants to maximise the Labour "Yes" vote.
What I want to see is a "Yes" vote on AV in May. If Miliband's actions help with this cause, which I suspect they will then we should let him get on with it, his own way.