Well thanks to Liberal England for drawing attention to Ming's comments this morning:
"Maybe it's the shape of the missiles but every time Trident is mentioned there is an outbreak of priapism on the Tory backbenchers. There is a real risk that the whole strategic defence review will be skewed because of the obsession with Trident. It makes no sense whatsoever to exclude Trident, the strategic deterrent, from a proper strategic review."
and to Linda Jack's report from the Liberal International (LI) meeting last night where Simon Hughes spoke:
So imagine how thrilled I was last night at the AGM of Liberal International British Group (and if you are not a member why not?) to hear newly elected President, Simon Hughes call for LI to reassert our party policy to scrap Trident. He made it clear that the coalition agreement gave us as a party licence to argue for scrapping – so that's surely what we have to do. With over 70% of the population against renewal and a massive budget deficit, it is incredulous that all but those who stand to gain financially or politically by carrying on supporting this nonsense, should continue to prop up a dead duck.
On any other morning these contributions would have been enough cheer us on our way with increased hope that this important issue was now properly 'in play'. Sadly news from the Disgruntled Radical would appear to dash those hopes. He reports:
As we know, the government has excluded Trident from the Strategic Defence Review. Now the Liberal Democrats' Conference Committee has excluded a motion on Trident challenging that decision. Surprisingly perhaps, Ming Campbell has challenged the government's decision*. Ming is emerging as the strongest independent Liberal voice in parliament. Liberal Democrat voters and members have to be mature about the coalition in which we are the minority and understand that the leadership cannot deliver everything we want. In return the leadership has to understand that we can go on saying what we want even it's embarrassing for the government.
I am sure that it is not lost on party members that there are other ways of ensuring that their voice is heard than having a formal motion on the conference floor...