It wasn’t long ago that Ed Vaizey appeared to be warming to the idea of Conservative-Orange Book co-operation.  He wrote about "a coalition to renew British politics" including "David Laws, Nick Clegg, Vincent Cable, Jeremy Browne, and others".  Ed appears to have had a change of heart?  Why?  He’s just spent some time campaigning against the LibDems in B&C

On GuardianOnline he lists some of the third party’s "personal and highly misleading attacks on Bob Neill".  "In the present political climate, there is simply no point to the Lib Dems," he concludes.

We all know that the LibDems play dirty.  Charles Kennedy got a taste of that in January when his own party turned on him.  A lot of good it did them!  Ed’s initial instinct to talk about the need for some kind of Tory-LibDem co-operation shouldn’t be junked completely, however.  The polls are looking good for the Tories but we’re on course to be the largest party in parliament.  We’re not yet strong enough to be confident of winning a majority.  We may need the votes of some of the more acceptable LibDems on the other side of the General Election (although the Conservative Party members rightly reject a formal coalition).  Yes, it will be unpalatable to co-operate with the LibDems given their dirty tactics but some Tory MPs do not have the cleanest of hands and they are already part of our coalition.