I just want to quickly add my voice to that of Stephen Tall, who has said that Liberal Democrats should not accept honours for departing ministers.
However sad I might be to see Nick Harvey, Paul Burstow, Sarah Teather and Andrew Stunell leave government, there’s something unpleasant about that sort of political patronage. Honours are there for exceptional performance, not routine stuff.
Our Nick Harvey is in line for a knighthood and Stunell and Burstow get made Privy Councillors. I can cope with the latter a bit better as there is an advisory role where their experience might be helpful. However, membership of that august body is hardly open to the rest of us – maybe opening it up to ordinary people is something the Lord President of the Council, one Nicholas William Peter Clegg, might like to consider. At the moment it looks like a place for retired gentleministers.
So three of our departees have had stuff – you have to ask why not Sarah Teather. Jobs for the boys? Or maybe she turned them down flat – in which case, well done.
And don’t get me started on Ashcroft getting on. We can’t stop the Tories appointing who we like, but we can be annoyed about it. Surely their obvious honouring of someone who gives them shedloads of cash will make people draw their own conclusions….