Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What Have You Done, Dave?

Right of centre government in Britain is on the brink of extinction. The massive swing from Cameron to Clegg, if sustained, will result in a hung parliament in which Labour, coming third with 28% of the vote, would still most likely be the largest party. The Liberals can expect to win seats from both Tories and Labour, whilst losing only a few in Southern England to the Tories.

Clegg, now almost sure to be the next Foreign or Home Secretary, will sell his favour and support very dearly. It is inconceivable that he will not make proportional representation a minimum requirement. This means that, in the least complicated of PR systems, a share of vote of 50% would be required to win a majority in Parliament. But we will get a more complicated version, won’t we? A system that somehow safeguards regional fiefdoms of Labour, such as the North East, Merseyside, the Scottish cities, Manchester and Birmingham.

Now, you may say that Clegg is a moderate and can do business with Cameron’s Conservatives; that Clegg was a contributor to the Orange Book in 2004 (remember that? – “The book - which is edited by the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, David Laws - has just been published, and (among other things) calls on the party to be pro-market, Eurosceptic, and to partially privatise the NHS. It was written by various "reformist" MPs, including Mark Oaten and Vincent Cable.” Independent); that Clegg appears to be a realist. Well, let’s put it this way: does Clegg have more in common with the ‘successful’ era of the Conservatives, ie Thatcherite reforms, common-sense commercial efficiency and customer-orientation imposed upon government services, tough negotiations with Europe, defence of the realm in the Falklands? Or does he have more in common with the ‘successful’ era of the Labour party, ie the first two terms of Blair: tacit acceptance of Thatcher’s reforms, but a clandestine subversion of efficient government by channelling public money in record volume to favoured regions and ministries, whilst dismantling the “establishment” and replacing it with cronies?

Remember, for most of the Blair years, the Liberals had indulged in policies that were seen to be to the Left of Labour. Even if the Orange Book put an end to such nonsense, the party found itself with a support base that actually BELIEVED such drivel. The ascent of Brown has allowed Clegg to regain the ‘Centre’ position, whilst also claiming to be (because of the 90 years it has been out of power) ‘not like the two same-old parties’.

Furthermore, Brown is unlikely to be the recipient of Clegg’s largesse. If he is to share power in a Lib Lab pact, would he wish to report to Brown, vile bully that he is, or a more moderate, flexible and forward-thinking bloke like Miliband? The latter, obviously. Better still, Alan Johnson, who is known to be in favour of PR. Truly, Clegg can be kingmaker next month.

Clegg will go with the socialists unless the Tories are overwhelmingly the largest party in a hung Parliament, which looks unlikely. You may say there would have to be another election within six months, but this seems time enough for the Liberals to exact the ultimate revenge for all those years of slights from the two main parties – electoral reform to ensure that there is never – NEVER – another Conservative government in Britain, nor a Bennite Labour one.

Just a nice, consensual, liberal/social democrat Europhile Big Government, busying itself with the minutiae of our lives and charging us a hefty fee for doing so. Just like those in Western Europe. You know the ones – that have had very high structural unemployment for decades, sclerotic growth, that have porous borders, that appease rather than confront global miscreants, that dislike and distrust the Great Satan America, that are anti-semitic. Hey, they are so alike, they are pursuing political union, the practice of which is evident – an overbearing and only semi-accountable political elite bullying and cajoling bovine electorates into Big Government, Big Regulation, Big Taxation. The sort of thing a ‘Liberal Democrat’ just loves.

Seriously, folks, unless Dave shades it, which he neither threatens nor deserves to do, there will never be another right-of-centre, identifiably Conservative government again in this country. (No, I don't expect Dave to be right-of-centre or identifiably Conservative. But at least he'd keep the door open for someone who is).

UPDATE: Guido is more upbeat, fancying a civil union between the two modern metrosexual achingly with-it centrist parties.


Anonymous said...

I blame the Cameroons. I have been against Cameron and the modernisers from day one. If he does not cut a deal with UKIP, the Tories are toast.

Nick Drew said...

I am more upbeat, not because I like the look of a Con-Lib confection but because my observations from the front are that

(a) Labour is beaten, morale gone (though doubtless Mandy will strap El Cid to his horse one last time)

(b) the main part of any increase in Lib vote will come from Lab

unless Dave shades it ... - seems to me there's a decent chance he can

Blue Eyes said...

I am more upbeat because even under a particularly vicious form of PR eventually the British electorate will be angry enough to turf out the Left Liberal consensus and install something a bit more radical. But it might take a few more years of stubborn unemployment, sclerotic growth, porous borders, etc..

Bill Quango MP said...

The future's bright..and judging from all the Lib diamond posters seen today.. the future's Orange.


circus monkey said...

The Libdems will be up to their old tricks of whoring themselves for a taste of power the first chance they get

Thud said...

I still have some hope,the once die hard Labour supporters I employ are all now either not voting or voting Tory and these are from Huyton,once a labour bastion. If they are not swallowing labour/liberal shite who else truly is?

Elby the Beserk said...

Nota bene - all we are observing is filtered through the MSM. Blogs yes, but they do not affect the mainstream. Witness - the last fortnight, R4 have relentlessly plugged the part that social networking will play in the election. However, my guess is that no-one outside this world gives a monkey about social networking, nor will it make the slightest difference.

I still think Labour will come a cropper. Talk anywhere about them - I waved my first £100 bill for filling the van, both on the forecourt and at the till, saying out loud "I wonder how much of this Brown will piss away", and everyone chimed in. People HATE Labour, whilst huge portions of the MSM love them still regardless.

My projection. Cameron by 20 to 30 seats. Some more for the Lib Dems.

Tuscan Tony said...

I am now thoroughly depressed. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of an idle/Tuscan summit near Florence in the near future. For that I should be thankful.

lilith said...

The local petrol station was last night displaying a sign

"Tax on petrol up 6p per litre since Jan 1st"
The guy at the till said tax is about 87p per litre now. I said it is all down to Goldman Sachs. He said "Absolutely, it is".

So glad the flights have started up again for you :-)

idle said...

There is every chance of an Accord being reached in Tuscany this weekend, with all the attendant press releases and media opportunities. It will concern the creation of a new party - one with impressive European affairs credentials from day one.

As is traditional, the naming of the party will be Item 1 on the agenda. As is also traditional, this will be preceded by lunch. And dinner, if necessary. A three-day over-run is budgeted for.

Philipa said...

I think I might vote Labour.

rvi said...

... the naming of the party...

If you can do a deal with Boris you could call yourselves the Bo'n'idle Party.

Philipa said...

The reason I said I'd vote Labour is; with no burning desire to vote for any party I would be voting for the local candidate and our current Labour MP is good, and I live in a safe seat so it matters not what I vote anyway but I very much want to guard against a hung parliament which I think would not be good for the £.

I do think there is a tension between voting for the party and the person. Some representatives of whatever stripe are just rubbish.

Electro-Kevin said...

Whatever gets the Great Ignored off their DFS sofas and on to the streets the quickest.

A coalition should do it.

Electro-Kevin said...

BTW I don't think 'Dave' has done anything but be Dave.

The right man for the party (if they want to fight a new war with old tactics) but the wrong man for the people. It has nothing to do with class and everything to do with patriotism (or lack of it.)

There is a lot of anti-politics going on at the moment. Partly because of the expenses scandals but mainly because no-one speaks up for the Great Ignored on Europe or is serious about welfare reform.