New crisis for coalition as hippy walks out on Iron Maiden

Another one bites the dust.
Another one bites the dust.

A bitter row at the heart of the coalition government has burst into the open with the sudden resignation of a Lib Dem minister. Norman Baker said he couldn’t work with the Tory Home Secretary any more saying it was like “walking through mud.”

In his resignation letter, Baker said: “it has been particularly challenging being the only Lib Dem in the Home Office, which I see a newspaper the other day likened to being the only hippy at an Iron Maiden concert. I regret that in the Home Office, the goodwill to work collegiately to take forward rational evidence-based policy has been in somewhat short supply.”

Inappropriate rhetoric

A row over drugs policy was the final straw. Baker had criticised the Tories for sitting for three months on a report showing that tougher enforcement of drug laws does not lead to lower levels of drug use. He said the government should ditch what he called the “inappropriate rhetoric of the 1950s” and focus more on treatment.

Reminder to Lib Dems
Reminder to Lib Dems

Baker’s resignation is the latest body blow to the credibility of the Lib Dems, who have failed to rein in their brutally right-wing senior partners in the coalition. As the general election approaches, the Lib Dems are desperate to distance themselves from Cameron, May and Osborne. But voters will surely feel it’s a bit late for that – having propped up a Tory government for four years, the Lib Dems will be judged on that government’s record.

Mediocre rubbish

Norman Baker, meanwhile, is going to be spending more time pursuing one of his other interests – singing. Don’t get excited, though, the Daily Telegraph described his band The Reform Club as “adding to a log jam of mediocre rubbish brought on by the democratisation of the music industry. “

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