Do you wonder how Coalition members communicate with each other? It isn’t easy: mobiles can be bugged, emails interfered with and brown envelopes left by accident on corridor benches. The canteen isn’t safe and walks in the open air are not sound proof. The particular meeting I am referring to was held in an empty committee room and, in accordance with Lib Dem practice, a minute was taken. But Simon needed to take the matter a step further and this is what he wrote:
I am very grateful to have opened up a conduit of information exchange with you (no, really, Lib Dems write like this!) Please bring to me anything you wish me to sound out with members and I shall let everyone know that if they have a worry I am there for them and will bring their problems to your attention. I am glad we are to meet weekly – it may become necessary to meet every day! I couldn’t help but think that there was an elephant in the room when we met, a large and very angry beast, and that it was moving quickly towards us. (Frankly, I do not sleep well.) We have had this nasty Budget and members and supporters, judging by my mail, are very angry – and the membership is falling. I must make very, very clear to you that they will not stomach the next batch of remedies: a further attack upon Welfare, savage cuts in public services of up to 30 percent and higher taxes. Let me blunt the Party will not vote for them in the House and you must not assume that they will. What do you do Nick when an elephant lurches toward you? You run. And it is each man for himself. Naturally, as your friend, I do hope that you make it to the corridor and beyond.
Trust me, I’m ….Sorry about this, I could not for a moment remember who I am.