by Kevin Meagher
Making a diagnosis for multiple personality disorder (MPD) requires the presence of two or more distinct identities which recurrently take control of a person’s behaviour.
Two competing, contradictory personalities vying for supremacy? Now I am no psychiatrist, but if organisations could develop the condition, then the Liberal Democrats are surely a classic case?
Take Simon Hughes. He is the personality who dominates the airwaves when the Lib Dems have done something bad. Every time they sell their soul to the Conservatives up pops Simon, combining earnestness and convoluted circumlocutions to explain away why they have not done what the dogs in the street can see they have done.
He is like a bank robber pleading in mitigation that the gang were only interested in notes and at least had the decency to leave the loose change alone. They may have waved the sawn-off shotgun in the bank teller’s face, but they didn’t actually pull the trigger. He is a splitter of hairs so fine that it would require the Hubble telescope to be trained on his logic in order to make out the nuances.
He was out there on Wednesday and Thursday, distancing himself from the decision to scrap the 50p top tax rate – the signature proposal in the budget – and one to which the entire cabinet is actively signed-up. “The chancellor took a view that he wanted to do things that mattered a lot to Conservatives” the deputy leader of the Lib Dems told Radio Five Live. “What mattered to us [the Lib Dems] was not that at all.”