Ashdown said: "The central proposition of this parliament stands: 'Is George Osborne's economic judgment right?' I believe it is. The whole of British politics now rests on that single proposition. The fortunes of the coalition, the fortunes of the two parties in the coalition and the fortunes of the Labour party rest on that."
This, following a colossal tantrum about the Tories' dishonesty in the No2AV campaign and hints that the coalition would be more of a 'business' arrangement from now on (by which we are to understand that previously it was a honeymoon?), boils it down nicely, wouldn't you say? It certainly explains why the Liberals will hang on through any loss, any humiliation, any ostensible betrayal. Their number one priority is not education, electoral reform, or tax justice. Their number one priority, Cable's fooling-noone histrionics to one side, is to protect and advance neoliberal capitalism through the most savage cuts agenda in living memory. That's all they're hanging in for now.