It is, of course, entirely acceptable for politicians to change their mind. That is particularly true of course if they change their mind to agree with me, for example deciding to vote Remain rather than Leave in next week’s EU referendum.
It is also understandable for a politician to distance his or herself from a campaign that is dishonest or disreputable.
But if a politician is to publicly do a 180 degree swerve in their policy position, they need to explain the policy basis for that change. That is something Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston singularly failed to do last week.
Wollaston has defected from the Leave campaign to the Remain camp. Her reason? The dishonest fibs of the Leave campaign on how Brexit would save £350m a week, that could all go to the NHS, and the wiff of immigrant bashing in much of their output.
But that is a disagreement on tactics. Wollaston’s concern with these would justify her distancing herself from the Leave campaign, but not to change her mind on the substance of the issue.
Wollaston has provided no reason for her Damascene conversion to Remain. What She is no idiot, so she knew full well from the start that Brexit would not save £350m a week.
That makes us all very suspicious, justified or not, that she is not being straight with us on either the reasons for her change of mind or whether she was genuinely a Brexiter at all. Some have indeed suggested that she was a Remain plant all along who would turn her coat to give momentum for In.
So, it is a change of mind that has little credibility and looks like a Remain tactic. She has emerged a diminished politician as a result.