Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Change Coalition Is Coming

I've noted with wry amusement that ever since I came out as an enthusiast for the Change Coalition, the media invites have dried up. Believe me, after Friday's marathon I am hardly complaining. I can do with the rest, but note how the news channels are concentrating on using Tory pundits (eg Fraser Nelson and Tim Montgomerie) who could at best be described at sceptical about a coalition, if not downright hostile. That's hardly surprising. New channels and programmes always like to invite on Tory guests who may disagree with the line the party is promulgating. What a pity they don't do this as often with Labour pundits. They can't get enough of Brown enthusiasts like Charlie Whelan or Kevin Maguire.

Anyway, stick with me here thoughout the rest of the day. I'm making the supreme sacrifice and abandoning my plans to go to Upton Park to see West Ham's last game of the season, in favour of following what's unfolding in Westminster.

I am really confident that by the end of the day we will have good news, and that the Change Coalition is forging ahead. We may not have quite reached the endgame, but my sixth sense tells me that we're nearing it.

This is a time when Conservative activists need to invest some trust in the party's leadership. Norman Tebbit's efforts to undermine Cameron's position is nothing new. He's been doing it for the last five years. I wonder what he'd have thought of someone who had tried to do that to Margaret Thatcher in the mid 1980s. I know. he'd have had them neutered. Of course there will be people in the Conservative Party who don't want to do a deal with the LibDems. In normal circumstances I would be one of them. But we are not in normal circumstances and we have to do what is best for the country. It's no good following Norman Tebbit's logic and sticking your head in the ground like an ostrich and ignoring the realpolitik of the situation. You have to deal with the cards you are dealt, and that's what David Cameron and his colleagues are doing now.

They deserve all our support.

69 comments:

Grenville said...

Yes. The bond market will go absolutely nuts tomorrow morning and Sterling will swoon even more unless agreement is made and a government is formed. We are mighty close to having a Greek situation here - hopefully not of course - but any naysayers must appreciate that sticking to one's principals at this hour could easily be calamitous for the country.

Hold one's noses chaps, for the good of the country in a very dark hour.

ian said...

this "change coalition" will not be good for the country , it would be a disaster.

It will be the final grab of power by the establishment and what will follow will be tyranny.

We will become as corrupt as the bloody europeans and will have a socialist coalition for eternity. It will be back room deal after back room deal by the political elite.

Conservatives should go it alone and then have another election, we will not be held ransom by Gordon Browns client state.

Robert said...

Come on then explain how the Conservatives lost a 20 point lead in the opinion polls before Dave reneged on the Lisbon Treaty and ended up polling 36% of the votes on a turnout of 63%.So Heffer and Tebbit were wrong then?

Dave was not made leader to lose elections.

Let me remind you, he has no majority. He has lost to the worst government in living memory after 13 years of sleeze, corruption, lying and total incomptence.

Nigel said...

Fraser and Tim would do well to remember that no one voted for them in the recent election.

norman said...

I listened to you in the Nolan show yesterday where Redwood's view about PR was brought in over and over again, and you were right in saying that he is not in the Tory front bench. I am glad that Hague is leading the negotiating team, and was happy that Gove was so generous. This is time like WWII and Winston Churchill's cabinet. Drastic actions are necesaary to save Britain from sinking like Greece and becoming potential disaster zones like Spain and Portugal. Statesmanship is necessary and hope Cameron succeeds. Mr Tebbit, I remember in 1980s verbally lunged at some one who voted Thatcher earlier and was questioning Tory policy for example about the Polltax. I was critical of Tebbit yesterday in my postings in DT which has becaome a haven for UKIPs who were bragging about Cameron's lost votes hiding their miserable showing in the GE. In our constituencies socialists voted UKIP because they argued Labour poured money for banks bail out and would not countenance voting Tory. They knrew UKIPs won't win. These votes were not going to Tory and if there was no UKIP, they would have gone to BNP.

Nigel said...

Dominic Grieve not yet in government, but already performing well:
http://tinyurl.com/36toyhx

javelin said...

I disagree with you Iain. I'm not a right winger. I'm not anti Cameron, but I think the thing to do is not to validate the Liberal position by going into power with them.

There are bigger issues to sort out and that means making clear decisions. We need to sort out the UK constitution and the debt. The best way to do that is to focus on the constitution and wealth creation. Give the Celtic leaders the Celtic ministry posts and tell them to make their Countries competitive.

Giving the LibDems a say in Government is creating another left wing party to fight as well as Labour. It is creating a twin headed dragon of economic mismanagement. Do not do it. It is the easy option, it is the shallow option. It ties us in yet ever deeper knots of constitutional crisis.

mr chas said...

right behind you iain. this could be the start of real change, some sensible compromise. moving forward in tiny steps can get you there. camegg obviously get on with other, and i think they have the guts to tell the minority dissenters in their parties to shut up ( their majority together is quite large ) let's not forget tory lib dem coalitions are succesfully running birmingham and ipswich councils GO CAMEGG ! FULL STABLE COALITION PLS

Ruth@VS said...

I'm with you on this one - we need a workable coalition for the country to start to move forward. Party dogma and the extreme wings in each party have to be subordinate to the needs of the country. Both Clegg and Cameron seem to recognise this and will be supported by the majority of the population, in my opinion.

Nigel said...

I didn't notice Heffer or Tebbit standing for election, either, Robert.

mr chas said...

right behind you iain. this could be the start of real change, some sensible compromise. moving forward in tiny steps can get you there. camegg obviously get on with other, and i think they have the guts to tell the minority dissenters in their parties to shut up ( their majority together is quite large ) let's not forget tory lib dem coalitions are succesfully running birmingham and ipswich councils GO CAMEGG ! FULL STABLE COALITION PLS

miko said...

Iain

Cameron and Clegg MUST announce the agreement by 7pm tonight and then Brown must be forced up to Buckingham Palace to resign.

There has got to be an agreement before tomorrow morning - Barosso and Rompy are going to throw away everything, including Brit money, to try and save the Euro - we must have a govt in place to defend our country.

This rubbish about it taking up to 10 days to get an agreement is crazy.They must agree a "in prinicple" agreement NOW,get Brown and Labour out and then fill i the small print later.

After all,they keep talking about working for the national good,not party good!

norman said...

@Robert. Please explain why UKIPs have not got a single MP and why Farage failed despite his mad acrobatics in the air which landed him on the ground? Please do not peddle your 20 seat untruth as our constituency is there in your 20 seats argument and I have explained in my earlier post who voted for UKIP in our constituency.

GM said...

Robert,

The Conservatves did not fail to gain a majority because of the Lisbon Treaty. It is tiresome to hear that one continually regurgitated as if, somehow, a promise to hold a referendum on a treaty that had already been passed might have rescued the Tory vote. Cameron has already rescued much of the Tory vote from the doldrums it has been in since 1997. He achieved a bigger swing than Thatcher managed in 1979, and a larger gain in seats.

Iain - absolutely right about the need to have this coalition or pact. If nothing else, it is waht the majority of the electorate want (Con + Lib Dem vote = around 58%).

Roger Thornhill said...

Iain, when are you going to realise that the "change" meme is utterly MEANINGLESS.

We need IMPROVEMENT.

Change Coalition? What? for the WORSE?

javelin said...

Iain I just wanted to add this is not about left or right wing. This discussion is about how setting the UK on a straight course. Going with the LibDems is a philosophically shallow route that seeks power like a dog to a post. The constitution and economic siutation in this country must be fixed at a deeper level. Forming a coalition is creating a more tangled web. Cameron will be strung up like a fly and the bond markets will punish him.

The libdems will vote down the changes needed to bring our debt crisis under control. They will not want to become targets of Labour allegations.

Stephen said...

It's still going to be impossible to whip into line all the Liberal Democrats.

Fortunately Mr Cameron only needs half of them at any one so they can all be individually loopy at times without threatening the project.

The interesting one will be implementing Lord Brownes's recommendations about lifting tuition fee caps. You might not get enough Lib Dems through the lobby to implement that.

David Skelton said...

Agreed. Have blogged about it here: http://www.platform10.org/2010/05/time-for-a-coalition-of-the-progressive-centre/

Moriarty said...

I still think Brown could form a coalition. Possibly with the help of the Libs, the celtic nationalists, Caroline Lucas, Uncle Tom Cobley, Data from Star Trek and that guy who used to be in El Dorado (the smarmy one).

If he gets desperate there is always my Aunt Doris who is dead but only died in the last few months (the fact that she was cremated might be a stumbling block here - but a minor one in the scheme of things).

Tory Outcast said...

Your Upton Park sacrifice seems to confirm Michael Frayn's comment:

"Never mind football! Try Parliamentary democracy!"

Sue said...

Norman Tebbit is one of the few Conservatives left who speak for us "grass roots" Tories. We who were driven to vote UKIP rather than for "progressive leftie" Conservatives.

I hope he will continue to speak up for us!

sinosimon said...

the most important thing is to get brown out of the door. nothing else matters. we should be happy if dave promises anything right now to see this come about. then in the tradition of politicians down the ages he can do a volte face, on princile of course(!), and dare the libs to vote him down, precipitating an election.

the simple fact is if brown carries on much longer our debt position overwhelms(in my opinion this is likely to happen anyway, such is the scale of the disaster the labour lies have wrought). interest rates need only rise by 2.5-3% to make the whole situation an inevitable slide to default, just look at the number if we start having to pay 7% on newly issued gilts......we would be paying £100b plus in INTEREST, and still increasing the debt by £100b every year......

there is no escape if labour survive as they aare so in hock t all of their special interests that even if the intentions were there there is no labour leader who could deliver the change needed.

and our underclass could make Greece look like a mother's union slow handclap when their 'entitlements' are stripped away.

labour .....a future freecforall

WestBrom Blogger said...

Support the change coalition by joining us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702316577#!/group.php?gid=112254705482520&ref=mf

neil craig said...

I like & respect Tebbit but on this one he is wrong. A Tory party which unnecessarily brings on a new election because they want to maintain an electoral system we all know to be corrupt would, rightly, be eviscerated at the polls. The same applies to LudDims if they blew a sensible deal.

He is like those who opposed the 1832 Reform Act on grounds that it would change politics - it did but the change was needed. Cameron's comparison should be with Disraeli who, seeing votes for all were coming lead the charge Y preserved the party.

Robert I agree with you that the Conservatives have not done well & indeed that Cameron's decision to refuse the UKIP offer to stand down if they were willing to hold a referendum has provably been disaterour (there are over 30 seats where the UKIP vote was larger than what the Tories lost by). However we start from where we are now & another refusal of a referendum, this time on PR, which brought about a new election would be even more disasterous.

richard.blogger said...

Iain, what is the point of anyone voting for a political party who will ditch their manifesto pledges at the first opportunity?

Of course, I am talking about the LibDems who will find that they will get very little in coalition with Cameron, but will also find that they will be hammered at the next election.

It is a shrewd move by Cameron to do this, and this coalition will be the apex of LibDem support.

Even if Brown had been in Cameron's position, as a Labour member I am would have been against a Lib-Lab coalition too. Your manifesto is nailing your colours to the mast, if you ditch them so early then how can you expect the voters to trust you?

richard.blogger said...

@ Roger Thornhill said...

the "change" meme is utterly MEANINGLESS. We need IMPROVEMENT. Change Coalition? What? for the WORSE?

You are absolutely right. The Change meme was created because some lazy PPE graduate in CCHQ saw what Obama did and thought "let's do that too".

He/she was lazy because what Obama did was rebuilt his party from the bottom up, and got millions of non-party members to support him. Cameron has not done this. The whole "change" campaign was simply the borrowing of a few signs from Obama. The Tory share of the vote last week is not much more than what is regarded as the Tory core vote.

Nigel said...

>>The libdems will vote down the changes needed to bring our debt crisis under control<<

In which case, there will be no coalition.

It might have escaped your notice, javelin, but the Conservatives have insufficient MPs to govern without dealing with them.
That's not 'philosophically shallow', it's reality.

Morlock said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. Another triumph for 'cast iron' Dave.

Old Holborn said...

Remember, the last 13 years of Labour and all their abuses of power could never have happened under PR

PR NOW

those who oppose it assume their voice is more important than mine. It isn't

Jimmy said...

"abandoning my plans to go to Upton Park"

Some of us will be hoping the blues drop the ball today and let us snatch it at the death.

Des said...

I am not normally a political blogger but having read through these opinions regarding a Con/Lib Dem alliance (note: no other alliance is sustainable) I feel compelled to write the following:

1. If there is no alliance the markets will make up their collective mind. Events will play out and I can easily see that the IMF will need to be summoned. In that case they will call the shots.

2. If there appears to be a workable alliance of some kind then maybe the destiny of this country can remain in the hands of its citizens.

So who wants what?

Autonomous Mind said...

Iain, do you really believe the political class is going to do what is best for the country? The deal they stitch up will be in their own interests. Voters do not have an invite to this private party.

People will describe the outcome as a compromise. The uncomfortable fact is it will be a bonfire of supposed principles and beliefs, where the supposed differences between the parties on the centre ground are exposed as a sham.

It should be easy enough for the political class to achieve a coalition because they don't believe in much beyond achieving power, much less care about what voters think or want.

kasou said...

On this Tebbit is wrong. And furthermore he should back the leader of the Tory party, like he did Thatcher. Sorry Norman I am just to the Right of you most times, but ENGLAND NEEDS HELP, not political posturing.

alison said...

Norman Tebbit isn't sticking his head in the sand - he recognises the Conservatives won and that the electorate deserve what they voted for and what's best for the country is not some grubby back room deals to suit your views Iain.

We need a strong government to deal with the economy. I welcome Lord Tebbit AND Lord Owens wise words on such a move that takes into account the country's best interests and places the economy above PR reform.

But you telling a man whose commitment to the party nearly cost him his life and his wife her health to "fuck off" is downright immature. Is that the future of the Conservative Party? Dictating the shots the way New Labour have without any concern for core voters at all? If it is you will wind up like New Labour.

Yes we may have a coalition or agreement but it depends what is conceded- Tebbit said he would support Camerons talks if Cameron upholds his manifesto pledges. That is the right thing to do to honour votes cast on Thursday. The tail should not wag the dog no matter what you want to concede in a power grab just because you now can.

golden_balls said...

The change coalition iain ?

more like a coalition of Euro nutters and Euro lovers.

How will this coalition work the media honeymoon will be over in afew months. divisions will arise soon after if not before.

I hope Labour stands aside let the Liberals and Tories go to it.

Every policy announcment will be followed by quotes from the Lib Dems from during the election.

Did people truly vote Lib Dem to get Tory policy on europe taxes etc.

cassandra said...

I am sorry to have to inform you that the tories have been outbid for the services of the libdems.

The libdems have been made an offer they cannot refuse in the shape of PR/deputy PM/the keys to No11/ plus a few tasty ministries thrown in and a promise that Clegg can pitch for the leadership when Brown retires.
Cameron cannot match the offer, his party will not let him and Clegg would be a moron to settle for less.
This is their one big chance to put the libdems on the map and playing at the big table will probably not occur again.
Clegg has the chance to turn a small party into an equal player and a deal with Brown is the key, from zero to hero in a few days courtesy of Brownian desperation?

A Brown and Clegg government might be just the thing the UK needs right now, certainly better to have experienced bruisers at the helm rather than blundering inexperienced lightweights!

Opinicus said...

A lib Con coalition will not work and will end in disaster for the Conservatives.
The nation wants electoral reform not PR which is but one example of it.
Referenda
Federal parliament
MP recall
All are electoral reform al might command public support and all are infinitely preferable to PR from a Coservative viewpoint.
By the time a Lib Con coalition has cut the public services and caved in to Liberal demands to join in the Euro bailout, a Lib Con coalition will be as popular as bubonic plague
A minority government could oppose the bailout offer a referendum on an English parliament and the EU, scoop up UKIP's 3% and win in November.
Every time Labour and the Liberals opposed us in the Commons over English health and education matters we could bring up the West Lothian question until there were no Labour or Liberal seats in England after November.

Matt Churchill said...

As a Lib Dem voter, I genuinely believe that a Con/LD coalition would benefit the country in the long term.

I think that both Clegg and Cameron want to shift politics in the correct direction whilst Labour are happy to continue persuing an old format that is past its sell by date.

I can see where the similarities and differences are between both parties and it provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate they really meant 'change' and 'fairness' in their election campaigns.

If the Tories are not willing to consider PR, I do not think this is disastrous. If they are willing to look at amendments to the current system however, this is a step in the right direction that the LD members should be in support of.

I don't think we need radical change in the current economic crisis, but a steady and measured programme of reform that benefits the UK, not individual parties.

Chris said...

Iain is right - there is no choice here. If we don't do a deal with Clegg the Brown government will continue. The Lib Dems can't afford another election now and won't want another under FPTP. So they will have to accept an offer from Brown on a referendum. The nationalists will go along with it in exchange for cash. How hard is it for McDoom to give more money to Scotland? The Welsh nats have named their price at a paltry £300M. That gives him 324 seats which is enough with Sinn Fein MPs not taking their seats. Some think that this is a good outcome and that the Tories will cruise to a majority in a subsequent election. This is an uncertain speculation at best and in any case it's political game playing. If we believe that Conservative policies are needed to sort out the mess the country is in then we must form a government with the Lib Dems. If we leave Brown in office for party based tactical reasons we deserve everything we get.

Jules said...

quite agree with you iain. you either play the hand you're dealt - or you fold. there is only one viable course open and the party must take and it make it work for the greater good.

i'm a party member and i'm totally laid back about a Tory-Lib alliance. and now cameron has the perfect excuse to shuffle out the niggling osborne problem, play to clarke's greatest strengths and get shot of grayling.

may i respectfully suggest:

1. home office: david laws
2. exchequer: ken clarke
3. education: nick clegg
4. business: vince cable
5. work & pensions: george osborne
6. energy: michael gove

Ray said...

Javelin, the difference between the LD's progressive centre left stance and the Labour party is that it wasn't hand crafted from the rump of the marxist 70'.As I said in a blog yesterday the Lib dems may have nothing to win from this situation, handled badly either partner means destruction to them. However, to use a dancing term, a turn around the floor with DC and the conservatives, could signal the complete wipeout of the Labour party. They have to look after themselves, and if they want to get closer to power then being the official opposition is good place to start.

Moriarty said...

Cassandra doesn't seem to be able to add up.

Or is the idea that Brown will introduce a law to redraw the laws of arithmetic?

TheJoffee said...

Faintly amused by all this - take things towards personality politics to trash Brown then discover DC doesn't have enough of a personality to win.

Sean Haffey said...

Well said, Iain.

Mr Jabberwock said...

Cassandra

Brown and a rainbow coalition can't outbid Cameron, at least not in regards to a referendum on PR as Brown cannot deliver the votes of his MPs.

They have all been elected under the current system and if we had PR 70 of them would not have been returned.

Brown would need every one of those 70 MPs to vote for a referendum on PR which if it resulted in PR being preferred would instantly result in them losing their jobs. Not some of them or most of them but each and every one of them!

As a result any promise on PR from Brown is worthless, not because he doesn't mean it but because he can't deliver it. Dave may not promise much but at least he will be able to come up with the goods.

albertmbankment said...

Your reference to Tebbit's behaviour, likening it to that of a large flightless bird, inevitably invites a parallel with George Carman's description of David Mellor who:

'behaved like an ostrich and put his head in the sand, thereby exposing his thinking parts'.

Fausty said...

Well of course Norman Tebbit has tried to undermine Cameron's policies. He did so because he doesn't agree with them and because he's a principled, conviction politician.

Had Lord T been party leader, you'd've had Tarzan and Clarke (and possibly Cameron) undermining Lord T - for much the same reasons. Although I wouldn't call Tarzan "principled"!

I regard consensus politics as being downright poisonous to a democracy. It's what heralded in the despised Lisbon Treaty.

Newmania said...

Yes indeed Iain personally I am thrilled at the prospect of a coalition .The Liberal Party have lots of good ideas and I see no reason why this coaition should not last for ten years

Man in Black said...

I stopped being scared of PR when the Euro election results came through. So much for the 'progressive coalition'!!

Offering a referendum on AV or full PR (a) does not mean such a change will actually happen; and (b) even if it did, could work to our advantage in shattering the old Labour Party.

Moreover, there is no reason why a wet minority Tory Government would be any better at cutting spending than a strong Lib-Con coalition that has decentralisation at its core.

We mustn't let the Trots use PR and 'political reform' against us. We must seize the agenda from them.

Right behind you Iain.

norman said...

@Cassandra. Read your posting here and in Guido. If Clegg and Co is stupid enough to believe that Brown will throw what all you said with Mandy, Milibands and Harman sitting and nodding, it is best for Clegg and Co who have just 57 seats to join Brown another defeated leader. If the ramshackle caolition of Labour +Libdems + nationalists etc.. the tail of nationalists wagging the dog and cuts are taken by England only with nationalists fattening the public services in their lands the PR referendum will not pass. Any PR referendum put forward by discredited Brown while he refused Lisbon Treaty referendum is so believable!! This will not only destroy what is left of Libdems but the cry for English Parliament will become serious. What is laughable is Labour with Mandy and co letting 57 seater Clegg to become the PM!

trevorsden said...

'Ian' --- talk sense man. If the tories sit back and ignore the LDs than they might go into the arms of labour.. it may or may not be good politically, but it would not be good for the country. And its clear its not what the county wants.

Cameron needs to make as reasonable offer as the country can recognise to the LDs. If they then refuse then yes maybe it would be a go it alone and an election later in the year. But this would be bad for the country - but it would not be the Tories who would put us there.

'Robert' --- cameron did not renage on the treaty, it was passed despite the tories. The There was never a real 20 point lead. Election ups and downs were caused by the expenses scandal and subsequent distrust of all politicians. Tories gave their best election performance in 8o years - there has hardly ever been a straight transfer between a govt with a working majority ro a new govt with a working majority. But the chaos we find ourselves now in is entirely the fault of the loonis in UKIP.

'Javelin' - there is a hung parliament ! If we wish to save the nation we need to use the tools that the electorate have given us - for sure that means compromise for the LDs as well. its not academic theory -- all this is not happening in a vacuum - its on the cusp of financial crisis.

trevorsden said...

PS -- 'Robert'
Leaving Tebbit out of it (he was blown up for being a good patriotic conservative - so I will forgive him) but Heffer is an ignorant bar-steward.

BTW --- wv is 'inonesic', which is a fabulous word, if I could think of a meaning.

angry and despondent said...

A couple of days ago I thought a coalition with the LibDems would be in the national interest. I gave Clegg's crew the benefit of any doubts I had and hoped they had matured as a party. I now see they have reverted back to a single issue fringe group if comments by that old shyster, Simon Hughes, are to be believed.

Yes it's that old LibDem obsession of a commitment to Proportional Representation, and that's because it would give them an electoral advantage. Bugger what's happening to the financial stability of the country!

Isn't it time the LibDems grew up and thought about the country for once? Trying to stitch up a deal with Brown to keep him in power when two opinion polls out today show that over two thirds of the country want to see the back of him, would be political suicide for Clegg. The electorate would severely punish the LibDems at the next election. Can the country afford the LibDems obsession with P.R.?

By the way, was anyone else suspicious of the demonstration outside LibDem Headquarters yesterday pressuring Clegg on P.R.? My guess it was Labour inspired and that very few LibDem activists were members of that mob. Did you see that old red Billy Bragg in the crowd? Never known him to be a LibDem supporter.

AProlefrom1984 said...

The problem with the 'progressive alliance' is that Labour actually LOST this election. It scored less votes and less seats. If the Lib Dems are still talking to the Tories then they're just working out details of a deal. Cameron should actually be in Downing St while these talks are going on. While we're at it, Britain should actually get a constitution as the present situation is very dangerous.

Southsea Expat said...

You are absolutely right, Iain. The behaviour of Tebbit, Nelson and Montgomerie is deeply unedifying. What matters is what is best for the country, not the Tory party.

neil craig said...

Angry and - there is no dichotomy between PR & the economy. It is perfectly possible to pass a Bill on PR without it having any negative eoconomic impact (indeed I would argue that since it produces more stability in results it would in itself have a mild beneficial effect on economic confidence). It is therefore in no way more irresponsible for the LDs to absolutely insist on PR, which is a democratic system than it is for any Conservayive to deny it & stick to a system which, whatever possible party advantge we can se from current results is neither democratic nor stable.

If this deal falls apart on whether we should be allowed a referendum on PR the Conservatives will be seen as irresponsible, intransigent & undemocratic. Conservatives lost this election by refusing to make a deal with UKIP over a referendum (UKIP had offered to stand down & as it turns out 20-30 seats were lost by majorities substantially smaller than the UKIP vote). If they refuse this deal they will lose a subsequent election even more disasterously & deserve to.

Roy said...

A Tory-LD coalition is the only sane chance to form a stable and lasting government – Clegg cannot be seen to throw it and his toys out of the pram just because he cannot get a promise on PR.

The Tories are in danger of giving more concessions than they actually need to. However, they are wise to err on the side of caution – if only to show they are being conciliatory and ‘putting the national interest first’.

Robin Horsley said...

Completely agree Iain. You are doing the Country, the Leadership, the Party and the Electorate a service by saying so.

Reality bites. Cameron has to seal the deal. Best R

princesschipchops said...

Angry and ... That demonstration yesterday was nothing to do with Labour. There were five thousand people there who all want PR. There is also a petition that yesterday had 20,000 signatories and today has 40,000! More demonstrations are planned.

I am a Green and nothing to do with Labour and I support PR and I support the takebackparliament movement.

This deal will be good for the Tories and disastrous for the LibDems. If they do not get their vote on PR, which I doubt they will and are seen as selling out for a few cabinet seats and a sniff of power, the party will collapse.

Already more than a third of their MP's have written in opposition to a deal with the Cons and Shirley Williams has come out against.

Just from the unscientific sampling of chatting to my friends - all young professional thirty somethings who voted Lib Dem - every single one says if they do a deal with the Conservatives they will never vote for them again.

So the deal would be good for the Cons but I predict pretty disastrous for the Lib Dems.

Robert said...

You can push your change agenda all you like, but the fact remains that Cameron despite (or because)all the changes he made to Conservative policy lost an election he should have won.

He lost at least 20 seats because of UKIP's vote.UKIP polled 914,154 votes or 3.08% of the total cast compared to total Tory votes of 10,808.749 ie just short of 10%.

The UKIP reaction is important as their vote has doubled since 2005 and with PR will increase as voters know from the Euro elections when UKIP came 2nd.

By reneging on the referendum Dave showed he was untrustwothy. His promise of being in Europe but not run by Europe is nonsense and he knows it.

Dave was made leader to win this election and he has failed. The Tory Party and Ashworth's millions did not support Dave to form a pact with the Libdims.Micheal Howard would have made a better job than Dave.

Dave is now a lame duck. If he is lucky the party may let him have another shot at the forthcoming election.

Cameron lost an election he should have won by a mile. Tebbit and Heffer and others warned of Dave's dodgy agenda. Dave lost this election. There is no Tory majority. If you don't like my analysis, do your own. Same result though.

Nigel said...

>>...us "grass roots" Tories. We who were driven to vote UKIP<<

Sue, you' can't be much of a Tory if you voted UKIP.

As one of those who helped to deny the Conservatives a majority, it seems a bit unreasonable of you to expect them not to be making deals.

Lily said...

princesschipchops, that's misleading, Shirley Williams has not said she is against a deal, she has said better a confidence and supply deal rather than a coalition. I have 100% support for the deal (and full disclosure I am a LibDem supporter) but I also think that confidence and supply may be the best thing from a LibDem party perspective. But at the moment, we have to put parties aside.

My friends like yours are professional thirty somethings and the voting choices they were considered were Conservative and Liberal Democrat. I am sure that grassroots activists of both parties are going to disagree with elements of the deals, but the fact remains is that most of the electorate are not members of either party, and perhaps if these politicians can prove they can act in a grown up manner and reach a consensus as we do in the business world, they will bring on new members.

Actually, fuller disclosure, am delighted as this is exactly the election result I wanted. I am a longtime LibDem supporter not that it matters as where I live, my vote doesn't count.

I did not want Labour to get in and ruin the economy more, I did not want the Conservatives to get in and do cuts without a heart. And I did want the Liberal Democrats to get enough power to get electoral reform in. Also, I believe in some ways their economic policy better (mostly as they don't have Mr Osbourne whose closest qualification to chancellors appears to be a saturday job at Selfridge's), though some elements frankly silly.

There is a lot of consensus between the two parties. Electoral reform has obviously got to be a dealbreaker for the Libdems, and IMHO the Tory press carping on about the Libdems will be seen to be holding the press to ransom are misguided, the general public would be much more disappointed if the deal fell apart only because the Tories did not agree to a referendum, what possible objection could a reasonable person have to allowing the general public to be given the pros and cons and be allowed a choice in how they vote.

princesschipchops said...

Lily - You will not get your referendum or even any big movement from the Conservatives on electoral reform and that is why most people I know are hopping mad. You are living in cloud cuckoo land.

If you go to Lib Dem home you will find you are very much in the minority - I would say that 80% of the comments are extremely angry and dead against any formal coalition with the Conservatives.

My friends were all Labour voters in 97 many of us first time voters and earning good money in finance - a lot of them deserted them after the Iraq war (I deserted them when they too reneged upon PR.)

I passionately believe in PR and I don't think the Tories should fear it. Look at the Euro election results they did well out of PR. But for whatever reason the majority of them do - with their very bones.

Mark my words no matter what happens I do not believe you will get your deal on electoral reform and Clegg will hide the fact in a lot of bluff about national interest - the scoundrels last refuge!

He will swap his principals for thirty pieces of gold or rather a not too important ministerial post.

As for why the Conservatives lost - I don't think it was necessarily Dave I reckon it was a lot more to do with Osbourne.

Why in the name of all that is holy did the Tories not have Ken Clarke or someone as chancellor - but Osbourne! whilst I do not agree with the Conservative position I don't fear for the very fabric of our economy under someone like Clarke but with Osbourne I do.

angry and despondent said...

Neil Craig said "there is no dichotomy between P.R. and the economy". Which is the priority at this present time - preventing the country's economy going into meltdown or changing the voting system? I think the financial markets could give you the answer to that one. Please don't say it doesn't matter what the financial markets think and we shouldn't be pressured into making decisions to suit them. Any downgrading of Britain's credit rating could add billions to the interest being paid on Brown's addiction to borrowed money. That's billions of pounds we haven't got! It could mean the difference between economic stability and bankruptcy.Arguing how to choose the cabin crew while the plane is about to fly into a mountain doesn't make any sense. Only those who are irresponsible and an inflated sense of entitlement would do it.

In the real world we have already seen what happens when speculators on the money markets sense weak currencies - they strike without any thought of the consequences to their victims.

Like I said in my previous posting, it's time the LibDems grew up and behaved responsibly and thought of the whole country and not just LibDem activists and supporters.

princesschipchops said...

Angry and...

This last sentence ''Its time lib dems grew up and stopped thinking just about libdem activists and supporters'' shows a lot of the hubris in certain Conservative voters attitudes.

You guys could grow up too? I mean if the countrys fate is all important just give 'em PR why don't you? See you could be the ones to make the sacrifice right?

No you want the lib dems to make the sacrifice all in the 'national interest' as I have said before the scoundrels last refuge.

This is why I think this deal will be the death knell for the lib dems. Interesting times.

And the indicators are that the bond markets are not going too mad at the moment. And my bins even got taken out this morning!

Moriarty said...

princesschipchops: "You guys could grow up too? I mean if the countrys fate is all important just give 'em PR why don't you? See you could be the ones to make the sacrifice right?"

So to summarise: you think that the party with the most votes should make the biggest sacrifice in order to establish a system which will reward the party with the most votes?

Logic not your strong point?

neil craig said...

To repeat Angry and - putting a Bill through Parliament for a referendum on PR would in no way prevent government dealing with the economy & indeed might improve confidence.

All you say about the mess we are in is correct & if the Conservatives refuse the chance to do something about it simply because they are afraid of the result of a referendum on PR they will, deservedly, be seen as putting party before country, to a far greater extent than the LDs could be accused of. If so they would be punished by the electorate in the new ensuing election.

angry and despondent said...

Neil, it's typical of LibDem (and socialist) reasoning to try and turn the argument. Can't you see YOU are showing just as much intransigence as you accuse me of having.

The fact is the LibDems LOST seats in the election, the "big breakthrough" for the party NEVER happened. That shows to me the public don't have an appetite foe the LibDems totemic obsession with proportional reprsentation. If the elctorate had wanted this they would have voted for Clegg in greater numbers. That outcome I could have accepted.

To push for this obsession now shows that the LibDems ARE pushing for their own party advantage. Now we see they are secretly having meetings with Labour which looks to me playing both ends against the middle while the public are being held to ransom. It certainly doesn't look like a very honourable thing to do.

princesschipchops said...

Angry and... First things first - Nick Clegg is not being dishonest. He negotiated with you guys first - if he doesn't get what he can sell to his party he has to go elsewhere.

Nick clegg alone cannot decide this - the Lib Dems have the triple lock system and he probably does prefer to deal with Cameron - he knows him personally and quite a few Cons and he is known to dislike Brown but he has to be able to sell it to the party. If the Cons either wont or cant give him something he can sell his hands are tied.
People like Rifkin calling him a liar and two faced on the news is pathetic.
Secondly the Lib Dem members and voters are pretty leftie - seventy percent identify themselves as left wing - only nine percent as right wing and the rest as central so you have to see how this is a hard sell for him. If you read the Lib Dem forums people are furious - the Lib Dems on the ground see their party as left wing and progressive - wrongly in my opinion but those are the facts. Many are threatening with cancelling party memberships and many are threatening never to vote for him or the party again. If he had something he could sell to them - a worthwhile prize if you will for jumping into bed with a party the majority of his supporters cannot stand - he might be able to sell it.

The other fact is that you did NOT win this election. You lost a little less badly. Even John Major (a much better prime minister than he was ever given credit for in my book) has been warning about this level of self righteousness amongst the right wing press and conservatives. Under the system your party supports YOU DID NOT WIN. Acting as if you did looks bad.

And as for the press - I think that Portillo was right weeks ago when he said the right wing press were actually working against the Conservatives in their aggression and hysteria.

On the ground there is a real anti-Murdoch mood. My in-laws are true Blue and they even hate Murdoch. I think this is actually going against the Cons not for them.

The right wing press ought to be less aggressive and less triumphalist it would go a long way to dampening down some of the anger building around this. Anger that as others have pointed out could just as easily backfire on your party.

As for PR - in a recent Times poll seventy percent supported it and in a recent Mail poll nearly sixty did. It is not going to go away.