News that Lib Dem peers will vote against plans for a referendum on the EU Constitution should come as no surprise to anyone since the whole messed up Lib Dem policy to the referendum seems to have come as a result of some pressure from Lib Dem lords in the first place.
What I do find odd though is Shirley Williams response that
" never in Britain has there been an objective attempt to explain the European Union to our people and they have been subjected to the most astonishing propaganda, not least from major influences in the printed press."
The obvious question is then why are Lib Dem lords opposing a referendum when it is the ideal opportunity for the pro EU lobby to make its case. If the EU Constitution/Reform Treaty really does limit the EU's powers and draw lines in the sand it should be easy to sell this to the British public and at the same time educate the country about the benefits of the EU.
You might have imagined, given that Lib Dem MP's were told to abstain that Lib Dem peers would have been given the same advice. But oddly the Lib Dem line in the House of Lords is to back Labour. Isn't this another contradiction ? Surely if Nick Clegg's policy was right for the Commons, why isn't it right in the Lords ?
More importantly isn't this change of tack a sign that actually Nick Clegg got things very wrong when ordering Lib Dem MP's to abstain ? The whole thing is compounding a bad decision in the first place by now making the party inconsistent.