Ed Miliband finally concurs with me, that LibDem MPs of integrity must cross the floor to Labour.
In today’s Observer he says it is “late, but not too late” for any LibDems of good faith to join him on the Labour benches, the better to resist the grim march of Tory slash and burn degovernance and public service destruction.
This has, as regular readers may know, been my position for several months – for instance, here: LibDems must cross the floor – before it’s all too late , here: Roll on 5 May, Councillor Bradley?, here: A ‘No’ AV outcome could convert LibDem MPs to Labour and here: Tory ‘dictatorship of the moment’ … LibDems, where are you?
And, not content with all this, I have also very reluctantly asked an awkward question (Leading Labour, perhaps laboriously) or two (AV goes; so will Labour now get going?) of the Leader of the group which many of us want the LibDems to cross the floor to join.
Ed Miliband clearly seeks to do the right thing, but somehow it can feel he misses the mark. There is something sadly sixth-former-ish (OK if you’re 17…) about the tedious progress of the various policy reviews currently underway, all of them it seems starting from the immutable position that New Labour got everything ‘wrong’.
Well, actually, whatever those who protect their purity of heart may like to think, New Labour got quite a lot of things sturdily right; and more centered politicians, their eyes firmly on the ball, must surely know this.
Curate’s egg at times the Labour Government just departed may have been; but totally wrong they were not.
LibDem MPs have a choice now; but not, as Ed Miliband correctly says, for long.
Do they want to keep their integrity – and their seats – after the next (possibly not-long-to-go) Election, or do they want to suffer hubris both personally and politically?
Crossing the floor to Labour, now, gives a good chance of achieving the former, whilst staying put on the shrinking scrap of turf which constitutes LibDemLand does not.
Our desperately serious hope must be that the Labour Leader can now step out in front convincingly, and make his invitation to all those unhappy LibDems irresistibly and utterly compelling.
It’s now or maybe never for rescuing both civil society and the values of Labour, as well as for the political scruples of LibDem MPs.