To file under why Labour recovered/Lib Dems lost

ThoughCowardsFlinch – Sheer class, people cheering Gordon Brown.  Solidarity

The Times: Liberal policies, including ‘amnesty’; failure of Lib Dem activists to congregate Rennard-style in lower hanging fruit; Cornish county council;

Alex commenting here: “The difference in Lib Dem vote (high 20s down to 23%) was mostly due to a gain in those voting “Other” (i.e. not the main three parties). Perhaps those who were voting “anti-establishment” decided that the Lib Dems weren’t anti- enough or something?”

To file under ‘We’re not Greece’

The Economist: “Greek politics still includes a Communist Party that is rigorously Stalinist (it damns Khrushchev as a liberal backslider) and commands some 8% of the vote”

File under ‘Cross Tories shouting at Cameron and trying to drive him right’

Heffer.  Cameron is not a conservative, and should maybe try to be PM of England.

The Observer: Cameron faces Tory Party Anger

The Observer again: Hague memo exposing massive Conservative-LibDem gaps on European policy.  Deliberate leak?

Under “Personality differences matter”

The Telegraph: Brown shouting at Clegg. “It was claimed Mr Brown’s approach was to begin “a diatribe” and “a rant” and the source said the Labour leader was “threatening in his approach to Nick Clegg”.”

Under Good election to Win

Hamish McRae: we are heading for strong growth(could also be under ‘we are not Greece’

David Smith: this need not be a poisoned chalice.  Our floating exchange rate will make rebalancing much easier than in Europe

Under Janet Daley failing to read the mood on PR: Half of voters support PR.  Maybe she couldn’t hear this massive protest going on.

Under Left wing thinkers still hoping for a Rainbow something

Observer editorial: A lib lab pact, if Brown stands aside.  Tories have no right to pre-suppose that Greece shows that a Right Wing government is needed – in fact, quite the opposite.  There is nothing unconstitutional about Clegg dealing with Labour.

Will Hutton: Only Lib-Lab can deliver banking reform, electoral reform, and appropriately timed fiscal cuts.

Whereas Andrew Rawnsley is involved in commentary, not advocacy (like your author), and is keenly aware of the snares in Conservative offers:

Cameron very publicly dangles the opportunity to shoulder the burdens of power. One of his motives for offering cabinet seats is to try to turn this into a pitiless test of whether the Lib Dems are willing to step up to the plate in what the Tory leader calls “the national interest thing”. The two parties do have overlapping policies on education, the environment, ID cards and tax. They can probably paper over their disagreements over Trident, immigration and even Europe. They could split the difference on the timing of spending cuts. The two leaders get on well enough at a personal level. They certainly like each other more than either does Gordon Brown.

Could file under ‘personality differences matter’?


What do I conclude from this?  Maybe LibLab is a few % points more credible, policy-wise, than I appreciated with my ‘tied to a half dead shark’ analogy.  Still don’t understand why Labour are so scared of being in opposition for so long. Loss of discipline in the wilderness? GB himself becoming a major factor.  Solidity of Labour’s activist/class base also, for longer term calculations.

Now I need to prepare a chicken for the mother-in-law*

*insert own jokes about pagan sacrifices


7 thoughts on “No idea what this all adds up to

  1. I think coalitions are always doomed in the UK because of the electoral system. The major party in the coalition, in this case the Conservatives know that a small swing in the public vote towards them will give them a majority on their own. So it seems to me that they will never be that committed to making it work.

  2. We’re not *scared*. Politically, we think being in oppn would probably be better for Labour than tying our selves to LibDems in deal. But it’s only probably, and that’s in policy terms not a risk worth taking if the Tories in power wld do lots of dangerous things, even if restrained by Clegg and cable.

    Truthfully, we think we would annihilate you if there was a GE after a LibDem-Tory deal, esp if run on FPTP. But nothing is certain, and would risk of silly economic policy and couple hundred thousand more umeployed be worth that? No.

    1. If that is so, it’s astonishingly selfless: a possibility of a Tory landslide in 2012, risked because 2 more years of Darling as Chancellor is worth it?

      I am in no position to make confident pronouncements about what would happen in the next election. I was not a lib dem in 2005 but things looked pretty grim then as well. But I reckon an awful lot depends on the leader that Labour pick.

  3. So long as we have an FPTP system there is great incentive for Labour (& others( to hang together for fear of hanging separately. This doesn’t stop a heresy hunt & the left/right/feminists/Blairites/Brownites/working class/middle class trying to scapegoat each other but the brand name “Labour” will be the prize they fight over. With PR they will simply split, conceivably amicably.

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