This is my requested response to the Evening Standard following Tim Montgomery's attack on LibDem influence on coalition social policy.
ConHome's Tim Montgomery is correct to worried about the waning influence of explicitly right-wing ideas within areas of the coalition government - but for the rest of the country and the LibDems this should be cause for celebration!
The delusion which seems to prevail among true-blue ranks that populist headline-grabbing initiatives are sufficient to resolve wide-ranging and deep-seated problems in society and the national economy if they appease enough anxious middle-class supporters in their heartlands of Tunbridge Wells or deepest Wiltshire by assigning ownership to friendly-faced party patriarchs is foundering on the rocks of Whitehall bureaucracy and on the streets of inner cities alike. Rather than complaining that due diligence into the viability of pet political projects is highlighting their specific weaknesses he would be far better advised to embrace coalition dialogue with a more cooperative mindset and understand how his doctrinal approach must be tempered to more practical effect by the reality of demands for consensual decisions with greater input from experts in the field and their partners in government.
Whilst Cameron's growing authority over Parliament continues to fail to transfer into opinion poll ratings tory loyalists are beginning to sense that coalition is damaging their chances of an overall majority at the next general election and an internal showdown at their upcoming annual conference may be beckoning.
For another perspective here's Tom Papworth
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