Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ming and Paddy come out of all this very well

The Telegraph reports some comments from Paddy Ashdown on the BBC which are impressive:
In a statement to the BBC, Lord Ashdown said: "I told him that I could not conceivably consider such a position unless my leader told me that he thought it was a good idea and even if he did, I didn't."..."You do not build partnership government by seeking to add the Liberal Democrats as a bungalow annexe to a Labour Government."

I know the first sentence has been quoted a lot, but the Telegraph was the first place where I saw the bungalow quote reported. I think it sums up the situation brilliantly and shows that Paddy was remarkably loyal and clear headed during this episode (but see note below).

Nick Robinson has an excellent timeline of the whole thing and I like the way he reports that Ashdown told Brown "that as an old soldier he always follows the orders of his commanding officer".

So, I think Paddy and Ming have both behaved faultlessly and honourably in this whole episode.

Footnote: The only puzzling thing is whether or not Paddy told Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor, about the offer on Tuesday evening as reported by Iain Dale. If he did do this, I would put it down to the old Nancy Seear adage of "cock-up rather than conspiracy". In other words, I would tend to label it as good-natured bumbling rather than as a conspiratorial or ego-driven act.

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