The coalition has made poor leaders of the three political parties.
Clegg is reported today as saying 'he will not ask Lib Dem MPs and Peers to support health reforms unless they are substantially changed.
I would suggest the ineffectiveness of the Whips office in Lib Dem Land indicates it wouldn't matter when Clegg said, his MPs would disregard it. And this is not because it is Clegg, but more indicative of the inertia of MPs and ineffective leadership across all parties.
Cameron is marginally more effective as leader of his party, at least in controlling his ministers. However, backbenchers with delusions of grandeur and the petulance of not being promoted to the cabinet are another story.
Not even Milliband has his house in order with the ongoing reconciliation of blue and white collar worker mentalities in the Labour party.
Is it the coalition that has led MPs to deviate from the party line? Has the idea that parties from different ideologies allowed MPs to feel the need to express their own ideologies to recreate these lines?
I'm divided on the issue of whips in any case. Should a political party be the be-all and end-all of an MP's thoughts and conjectures. Well no. But such defection in the ranks cannot be good for morale at all levels.
Were Clegg. Cameron or Milliband strong leaders, inspiring and captivating, they would not need the whips in theory.
There will always be rebels, but the leader should inspire and team-play with his party, and there is little evidence of this in current politics.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device