Matthew Oakeshott profiled in The Guardian

Today’s Guardian has a profile of Lib Dem peer Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott:

Lord Oakeshott is the master of the one-liner. Treasury officials, in his opinion, “couldn’t negotiate themselves out of a paper bag”. Bankers’ pay particularly irks him: “If this is bonus restraint, my name is Bob Diamond,” is one of the most memorable remarks uttered by any politician this year…

Lord Matthew OakeshottA forthright supporter of the Guardian’s tax gap campaign – he read out in the Lords statements that Barclays had enjoined, and which could be revealed only because of parliamentary privilege – he is keeping up the pressure on tax avoidance, non-doms and banks…

Despite his frustration at the Project Merlin deal, Oakeshott still supports the coalition agreement, hammered out for the Lib Dems by Chris Huhne – whom he had backed in the leadership race – and David Laws. “You can see why Chris Huhne and David Laws earned millions in the City. They negotiated a great deal. That’s why we must stick to it.” Even so, Oakeshott admits: “Most of us in the Lib Dems, including me, would rather we did a deal with Labour.”

You can read the full profile of Lord Oakeshott here.

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  • How can he say ” most of us would prefer to be in with Labour’? Where is the evidence for this? I for one would not rather be in with Labour – wrong approach anyway – we should be asking – which other party would be best for Britain working alongside us –

  • David from Ealing 26th Feb '11 - 10:11pm

    It is true that historically Liberals have had much more in common with Labour than with the Tories. The unusual circumstances which existed after the general election – including the tribal attitude of many Labour people and the fact that Gordon Brown had dug his own grave – meant that we were left with little alternative to coalition with the Tories. The fact that some of our leaders seem to be doing all they can to adhere us to the Tories is regrettable.

  • THE most memorable remark uttered by any politician this year…But his name isn’t Bob Diamond

  • @David from Ealing

    You could have done a confidence and supply deal and retained your dignity and principles, got more politically and been a better curb on the Tories – you wouldn’t have had the ministerial mondeos right enough.

    Cameron would never have refused – To say that Huhne and Laws hammered out a great coalition deal really makes me wonder about Oakeshott’s ability.

  • Ecojon,

    I’d give Oakeshott a bit more credit than that. I suspect that the thought police have told him he needs to say something pretty positive pretty quick if he wants any sort of future in our great party. What Oakeshott has done is what others should have done long before now – Show a bit of spirit and speak up for our principles!

  • Simon McGrath 27th Feb '11 - 4:25pm

    @ecojon you are right we could have done a supply and confidence deal. We would have had 6 months of benign Tory government followed by a Tory election victory in October. Then they would have had a free hand to do what they wanted, with thelib dems having shown that they would not ever deal with the Tories even in a time of national crisis.

  • @Simon McGrath

    So what you’re actually saying is that all these attacks on the working class and the poor and the vulnerable being carried out be Tories propped up by the LibDems are purely for LibDem party political advantage.

    The Tories would never have dared be as right-wing on their own – has the penny not dropped yet with you – the LibDems give them legitimacy and I can’t wait for the Tories to drop-you like a sack of you know what once you are no longer needed.

    I think it might be coming sooner than even I thought as Cameron knows that Clegg having destroyed his own party is actually toxic enough to start damaging the Tories. The man is a joke and I hope he brought a cuckoo-clock back from Klosters because he really does need a wake-up call.

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