Monday, May 10, 2010

Take a deep breath and count slowly to ten: Media Mumbo-jumbo and Labour Lacuna

The Labour party seem to have a gap in their common sense and decency and I've heard more media mumbo-jumbo in the last couple of days than even by the normal standards. So here's 10 thoughts I need to get off my not especially hairy chest:

  1. Gordon Brown was not squatting. He's the Primeminister until we get a new one. I'm pleased that we have constitutional arrangements in place that keep the country running until negotiations are completed.
  2. Labour lost the election - 91 of their 349 seats to be precise. Some senior Labour figures don't seem to have noticed this. Not mentioning any names Mr. AJ, Mr.AC, Mr.CW. Lord PM
  3. There's no such thing as an 'anti-Tory majority' or a 'progressive majority' . There is still an anti Tory vote, but not since the 1990s has it been anything like a majority. and what about the 'Anti-Brown' majority? The Lib Dems have always taken seats from both the Tories and Labour. Some Lib Dems are closer to Labour, some to the Tories. That's why the 2 big parties have always complained about the 'Fib Dems' saying one thing in one part of the country and another elsewhere.
  4. Nick Clegg is not exercising more power than befits his party's size. The Tories didn't get a majority so it's right that they can't implement their entire programme unbridled. Clegg has only enough political capital to push a few key issues of his / his party's choice. Overstep the mark and Conservatives will look elsewhere or they'll be a new election and the Lib Dems will get punished.See this where the New Zealand third party got their fingers burned.
  5. Ashcroft and other Tory snipers don't get it.  It's not David Cameron's fault that he didn't get a majority. After all these years, voters still weren't quite convinced that the Tory nasty party isn't still lurking beneath the surface. There's some pretty big planks laying around in people's eyes.
  6. The grassroots of both Tories and the Lib Dems need to accept the current reality. Yes there are going to be policies implemented that you don't like, but neither party won the election. It doesn't mean to say that your party doesn't believe in them, but you haven't won the argument in the country. If you feel that strongly don't blame your leadership, go and make the case to the electorate next time.
  7. The way that Cameron and Senior Tories have handled themselves has been impressive. Cameron has taken risks to make progress and been surprisingly flexible in his approach. So far, it's not an idle boast  to say that they've acted in the national interest.
  8. A Conservative/Lib Dem agreement is the only option in town... Labour plus Lib Dem still doesn't command a majority and Labour couldn't guarantee getting a referendum on PR through parliament.
  9. ..Apart for a Conservative / Labour grand coalition. Why isn't this being discussed? There wouldn't be the sticking point on PR, it would be a unity government in times of economy crisis. Cameron gets to be PM, it would give Labour time to get a new leader whilst staying in office and Clegg gets increased exposure as leader of the opposition. Maybe they're worried that it would be a bit of a squash on the government benches. The opposition would be able to sunbathe on them.
  10. The longer the Lib Dems go without making a decision the worse it will look for them. More than anyone else they need to show that coalition government and hung parliaments work. They should be jumping at the Tory offer of a referendum on AV now. It's even guaranteed by whipping the Tory party through the lobbies. They're not going to get anything better than that.


  1. Can I disagree on a couple of things? I think it really is Cameron's fault that he didn't get a majority - or at very least he has to shoulder a significant amount of the blame. He blew a fifteen point lead from last year and couldn't gain a majority against a hugely unpopular prime minister and Labour party. His 'big society' was horrific and he should have easily won this. I don't think it's the party that the public didn't take to - but Cameron as PM.

    And - a con-lib coalition isn't the only option. Labour+Lib+SNP+Plaid etc can get a majority. Unlikely (although more likely now Brown has gone) but definitely on the table. More likely still is a Con minority government.

  2. Thanks Jimmy, you're absolutely right re: Tory minority administration - should have said 'only pact /coalition deal in town'. But Lab/Lib deal never realistic.

    Obviously Cameron bares some responsibility, especially on not sticking to his guns on talking about deficit, but just making the point that Cameron is a lot more popular than his party and that he'd have got a massive majority if his party had followed him to (relatively speaking) greener and more socially aware middle ground.