Left Watch

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"Boot Vince out of the party - and the SDP lot" - that Lib Dem divide isn't going away

By Mark Wallace
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Clegg BirdI wrote yesterday about the fundamental division within the Lib Dems between the Liberals and the SDP:

"Any political party is a coalition of sorts - we Conservatives certainly have plenty of tribes of our own, who disagree about plenty of issues. But Lib Demmery is a more divided creed than most.

Having been formed from a merger of two parties, it has never succeeded in bringing the left and centre any closer together. The rift extends to the social level as well as just the ideological - you don't see many deficit hawks hanging out over beers with the Keynesian wing of the party."

I didn't expect their conference in Glasgow to provide a more vivid demonstration of this than the economy debate, but an anonymous MP on the Liberal side of the divide has helpfully provided a confirmatory quote to The Sun's Tom Newton Dunn:

“We should boot out Vince Cable from the party. Him, and all the SDP lot. The merger hasn't worked."

Any party has its disagreements, but this of a different order - and it isn't going away.