Friday, May 07, 2010

Clegg Nails Colours to the Mast

Credit to Nick Clegg. He has stuck to his guns and made clear that he thinks David Cameron should be given the chance to form a government because the Conservatives have most seats and most votes. Paul Waugh has just tweeted...

Clegg's statement seemed like clear warning to Brown not to try to form min govt. and plea for Cam to be given keys to No.10

Kevin Marsh has made a telling point...

Looking like Clegg support Tories on a confidence and supply basis ... while building coalition for referendum on PR amongst opposition.

I think this is a very likely outcome. David Cameron would form a minority administration, with the LibDems not voting down a Queen's Speech or a budget. At the same time, formal coalition tals would begin, with a clear timetable and a clear deadline.


Alan Douglas said...

Just heard on Radio5. We never had an election to get him in, now we can't even get him OUT WITH one.

Alan Douglas

Tim said...

Yes, Nick is straight like that: that is what he meant, that is what he said, and that is what he will do. Nick doesn't care less that some man in tights says that our constitution works differently. The people have spoken.

The only circumstances that Nick will talk to Gordon/Peter/etc is if DC refuses to speak to Nick. It is in DC's hands: he has the "moral right" as leader of the party who has come first to try to form a govt.

Simon Gardner said...

I don’t really care about anything else. A fair voting system is the prize. In 50 years, it always has been the prize.

Chuck said...

I think you mean 'Nails his colours to the blancmange?'

These are politicians you are talking about.

Scan said...

It was an interestingly worded statement; he didn't say they should form the government, but they should have first right.

That leaves it open for him to appear like he's supporting the result of the election; however, if he knows the Tories will point-blank refuse to entertain the electoral reform he'll demand, he's actually saying he doesn't support the Tories and will purposely let them fail and the Lib Dems then join with Neo Labour.

Englishman said...

The unelected unaccountable unwanted Scotch Ayatollah of England doesnt want to go it seems, aka the Last Scottish First Minister of England!.

So the Conservatives "have no majority in the country" do they? they have a HUGE majority in ENGLAND! and England is virtually the only part of the laughably titled "United Kingdom" that the "UK" Government has any say over!.

This simply highlights even more the desperate need of an ENGLISH PARLIAMENT!.

GET OUT BROON! GET OUT McLABOUR! you vile Disgusting Regime!!!!.

robonly said...

I think Cameron will offer the referendum on reforming the system, make it binding and then if the country says No, its not his fault, but still keeping the LibDems on side.

Dungeekin said...


'Nick Clegg Arrested'


Jabba the Cat said...

If Cameron and Clegg can move forward together then Labour will start imploding after Brown steps down. That scenario has great appeal and prospects...

Eoghan said...

As a passionate advocate of electoral reform, I'm torn, but Clegg's approach makes sense. The Tories are so close to a majority that (1) they DO have that mandate, poor as it is thanks to FPTP, that Clegg talked about; (2) that the Lib Dems would put themselves in a furious firing line from the right wing press, and any weakness would be pounced upon by Tories looking for revenge; and (3) that any wrong step and a coalition or deal based no such a weak majority would be short lived anyway.

On the other hand, I would have loved to see a "wrecking" deal - basically LibLab force through a referendum on PR without caring whatever else happens, knowing that everyone can breathe easy when it's sorted. Indeed, that would be the fairest way (unless you are a Tory MP). But that blunt instrument approach would likely win the Lib Dems few fans.

No, going with an olive branch extended is the correct way to go for Clegg. He WILL have influence in this government, albeit presumably on rather more minor issues than electoral reform, and can prove that the Lib Dems are capable of being in power - something which the ignorant use as an excuse not to vote Liberal. Here's that opportunity to put that one to bed once and for all. If, as you would assume, there's another general election in the next 12 months, the Lib Dems could find themselves overcoming the fears that have caused people to dither and finally not put their X in the Lib Dem box.

At the same time, it's an opportunity for Cameron to prove that his party are worth it. He does NOT have a mandate to do whatever he wants - it is a cautious offer of a new system of governing. If Cameron plays his cards right, can can achieve much over the next 5 years or more - but that must involve compassionate, sensitive government with allies. Those allies will quickly turn away if the Conservatives try to throw their weight around on sensitive issues. Inevitably, there will be conflict; how that conflict is dealt with will determine what happens in the forthcoming years.

Simon Gardner said...

In over 50 years no single party in Britain has EVER had a mandate.

golden_balls said...

the ideal postion for Labour would be if ministers forced Brown to go. A quick coronation of David Miliband and then let the Tories and Liberals fight over whats in the queens speech.

While i'm a Labour supporter it will be interesting to see a Cameron led government.

Lets see his steel my hunch is he'll show how inexperienced he and his party are.

DespairingLiberal said...

David Cameron and Nick Clegg both need to act in the national interest and reach a workable agreement that will stick for some time. It's particularly important for both that there is no sneaky game-playing or hidden agendas. I respect both leaders enough to think that won't happen - to my mind, it's beginning to look as if the British voter has done exactly what's needed.


If there is anything that preclude Brown from power it is the conduct of the election.
There has been all the stories of postal ballot fraud and now we have the shambles of people not being able to vote.
I post from New Zealand where TVNZ also noted that expats were unable to vote as the ballot forms only arrived today!
I see on google that the voting problems have been reported all over the world.
Gordon Brown has made Britain a global laughing stock.
If Nick Clegg has any sense, he cannot back a party that has brought so much shame onto Britain.

robonly said...

@Golden balls

if its inexperience that you want to talk about, how about the inexperience of the Labour administration of '97.

As I recall, not much of it in the early days of that administration, right?

Unsworth said...

I'd rather an inexperienced Cameron that an 'experienced' Brown any day. After all, what has Brown's decade of power and 'experience' done? Bankrupted the country - in every possible sense.

Time for some integrity, honour and decency for a change.

Sean Haffey said...

It's time to bite the bullet.

Thatsnews said...

Nick Clegg... statesman? Blimey! Fair play to him.

The Grim Reaper said...

Gordon's client state have certainly put up a brave effort to keep the unelected one (and their benefits and/or cushy public sector jobs) in place, haven't they?

Can't blame him for trying...

Tim Ambler said...


When is your Whitehall run scheduled? Will the police be holding back the crowds?


waddell said...

In order to avoid painful concessions and strengthen his hand, David Cameron should consider rejecting Clegg's offer until the PM has failed to strike a deal.

Alfie said...

Iain..... When are the Tories going to get it?

They had a huge majority in England - yet in Scotland - the tory hating heartlands of Gordon Brown, they continue to nod through loads of Scots Labour MPs ready and ever willing to nod through draconian legislation just for the English - but which will not affect their own constituents in any way.

The electoral system really does stink - but forget about PR. The ONLY honourable solution is an English Parliament with an English First Minister..... It's called DEMOCRACY!!!

Iain - when the hell are the tories going to realise that - and actually start to stick up for their core middle English support for a change?

Richard Abbot said...

Careful Dave. Clegg has set you up. The onus is now on you Dave to make it work. If not (and how can you?) then Clegg with have total justification in dealing with Labour. Dave needs to be a master poker player to secure this.

Terry said...

It's time for Labour to get themselves a new leader, but the problem is they have nobody with real leadership ability. Most of them have spent too many years sucking up to Gordon to be stand-out candidates: lots of John Majors, but no real Thatchers to speak of.
And if anybody suggests Harriet Harman as a potential leader I will laugh my cotton socks off.

Scan said...

Just a thought:

When Queenie asks the lunatic Brown if he can form a government, what's to stop him simply saying "yes"?

Enlightened Despot said...

Clegg is doing the right thing, and I hope he agrees to support the Conservatives on a case by case basis. For Cameron's part, if he is serious in talking of "the New Politics", he should seek to involve the LibDems and even Labour in policy consultation. It would give him the upper hand in delivering a message that petty tribalism must be curbed and allow the other parties to act as a more effective check on Government decisions made for party benefit.

Duggers said...

Brown should resign and allow Tories to get on with sorting out the Economy. Of course he won't as it is all about clinging on to his dream.

RJF said...

A viewpoint:

(1) This is actually a great result for the Conservatives.

(2) This is also an incredible result for the Labour Party - much as it pains me to say so.

(3) It is a complete disaster for the LibDems.

Reasons as follows:

Clegg goes with the Tories (they can probably offer fixed-term parliaments, HoL reform etc). This means that the emergency budget must be signed by both the Tories and the LibDems. It will be horrible and it will leave a great many LibDem supporters slack jawed at its full consequences. In short, a Con/LibDem pact means that the latter have to get their hands dirty as well. "Savage Tory Cuts" become "Savage Coalition Cuts".

If they refuse to support an emergency budget to keep themselves nice and clean, then they will be blamed for the unthinkable loss of confidence that would follow.

Alternatively, the LibDems can prop up Labour with a new shiny and unelected leader or Gordon Brown. Ultimately, they will have to tie themselves to Labour and their brutal cuts in that emergency budget.

If the Conservatives had won a majority they would have had to take full individual responsibility for the unfolding fiscal crisis.

Either way, the LibDems are stuffed.

Everyone is only looking at this in purely short-term political terms. Economics is going to decide the outcome.

BTW, speaking as a Scot, I'd offer my home country full fiscal autonomy. Salmond and the Scottish Labour mafia would have a heart attack.

BTW, the other major winners - Northern Ireland's DUP. Another perfect result for those subsidy junkies.

Paradoxically, Cameron is stronger without a working majority.

Cynic said...

Jane Kennedy on BBC said that Labour need to realise they have lost and to try to from a Government would be ridiculous and 'shady'. She called on Brown to go - the policies were popular the problem was Browns inability to communicate

Bardirect said...

Brown will not go - he will not resign. Remember what he told Jane Garvey in March

"Q: Will you resign if you don't get a majority?

"Brown: I'll keep going

"Q: You will not quit?

"Brown: No, I'll keep going because I want a majority. I'll keep going."

javelin said...

I completely disagree Cameron must form a Government with the DUP, SNP and PC.

He should tell Labour and LibDems to sling their hooks.

With these 4 parties there would be a Goverent of National Unity.

With an English Parliament toes would not be trodden on. This coalition would have a genuine mandate.

All the parties want each others countries to be financially independent. All parties could work towards this.

Working with these parties would naturally resolve a lot of the issues to do with devolution.

Cameron is not thinking strategically. He will fail the marshmellow test if he jumps into bed with Clegg today.

robonly said...

I see that the Labour party are prostituting themselves to the Lib Dems, just to stay in power, like a dog rolling over to have its tummy rubbed. That's how they seemed to be over electoral reform.


Gordon, go now, and finally do the country some good.

Cynic said...

Time for the men in the white coats to visit.

Cynic said...

Just heard Browns statement. Apparently the election vindicated Labours policies on economy (!) and results weren't 'ordinary' so he's still PM and will carry on while Clegg and Cameron have a chat.

Brown offers immediate PR referendum. Aside from the fact that even with Clegg he cant form a majority Government this is barking mad and a two fingered gesture to the elecorate

A political coup d'etat?

neil craig said...

It is obvious Labour would now be willing to support PR. This is bound to be a deal breaker for LibDems. The Conservatives must decide whether they are willing to go for that or walk away. I do not think the electorate would forgive a Conservative party who refused an offer on that basis & brought about an early new election.

I have just seen the Scottish deputy leader complaining, correctly, that the FPTP system has unfairly given them only 1 seat for 400,000 votes. The only problem is that so long as they are promoting that corrupt system it seems dubiuos to object to it working.

Beyond party issues the fact is that FPTP enhances regional differences (only a minority of Scots vote Labour & soutyhern English vote Conservative but you wouldn't know it from the results). This obviously encourages the destruction of the UK.

Englishman said...

Will the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond bow to England's Scottish First Minister Gordon Broon and do a deal?.

Broon refusing to leave, ive long said you would have to drag the Jock out of McDooning Street by the ankles while hes holing onto the letterbox, welcome to a Tartan Dictatorship, get that freak OUT!!!!!

James said...

Credit to Clegg for sticking to his guns on this. Offers from Downing Street must have been tempting but he said he would allow the largest party in votes and seats to attempt to form a government and that's what he's done. The ball is now in Dave's court and I hope he lays it wisely.

longrun2 said...

Clegg has simultaneously "done the right thing" and ducked out of the winner's curse - Mervyn King has been quoted as saying that the winner of the election will be out of power for a generation because the pain of cleaning up the mess left by Brown will be so painful that the 2010-15 government will be hated by those who associate the pain with the cure of the £160bn fiscal deficit and the £100bn+ trade deficit rather than the fiscal diarrhoea that caused it.
By standing on the sidelines to a minority Conservative government, instead of joining a LibLab coalition Clegg avoids being blamed for either the problem or painful cure while NuLabour deserves the blame for the problem and the Tories get blamed for the cure, which is very good politics from the LibDem viewpoint.
Coincidentally, it is also the morally correct thing to do.
@ javelin - has hell frozen over yet - there is no way that the (more left-wing than Labour) Scottish National Party would ally themselves with the Conservative and Unionist Party - "Unionist" refer to the 1603/1707 union.
@ simon gardner - the 1959-64 Conservative government had received 49.6% of the vote excluding those cast for the Speaker, who held the safest Conservative seat in the country but was deemed non-party, and more than 0.6% were cast for local candidates not affiliated to any of the national parties (including at least one "independent conservative") so SuperMac DID have a mandate.

trevorsden said...

There is nothing unusual about the situation we find ourselves in. The BBc for once made a good point as they showed how rarely have we had a direct swing from a govt with a majority to another new changed government.

Most changes go through a period where there is a minority govt. This was exactly the situation in 1979 Callaghan was leading a minority administration.

I see some tories are complaining, yet we have won more seats in an election than ever before in modern times.

The long shadow of the expenses scandal hovers over this election. An anti politics mood.k We have seem some terrible LD results but only just now we have seen some really good LD wins. There is just no consistency anywher.

We have seen a huge increase in Tory seats some massive swings but also some smaller ones which pulled them short of a majority.

A totally weird election.

Richard Baron said...

I agree that LibDem confidence and supply support for the Conservatives, followed by talks on a proper coalition, would be a sensible outcome.

If that happens, the biggest confidence-booster in the short term would be a quick, specific and public deal on a referendum on electoral reform. How about: a fixed date within a year for the referendum, two options, no change and one other chosen by the LibDems, no government view on the matter but all parties free to campaign as they wish, then if there is to be a change, six months after the referendum for the new boundaries to be fixed, so that any election after that period is under the new system. If I were a LibDem (which I am not), I would sign up to that.

If there were to be a change, I think there would also be a change in the landscape of parties, because the current system attaches high value to maintaining the unity of any existing large party and that value would reduce. So the effects of any change are rather unpredictable.

Stephen said...

Isn't this all about south v north now?

Brown has been rejected totally by Middle England and Cameron has just one seat in Scotland.

How can either man lead the other country?

It seems we really do need something more imaginative.

Englishman said...

McChauchescu will have to be dragged out of McDooning Street by his ankles...with him holding onto the letterbox!!

Goodwin said...

Looks like "Cast Iron" Dave has sold out to the Libs before he even got his foot in the door. Any one for the Euro?

William said...

Some of the Scotch and FPTP haters don't realise that it's FPTP that gives Labour the large number of seats in Scotland.
Under the (kind of ) PR system in place for elections to the Scottish Parliament there is a much fairer reward of seats for votes-----even the Tories are reasonably represented.

tapestry said...

The Lib Dems don't want PR. They would be wiped out by it and the Greens would surge.

Their balance of power role in the FPTP would be over and UKIP would be able to ally with the Conservatives.

Clegg's MPs will not want PR. Ask them if you're not sure.

Mirtha Tidville said...

You really do despair at the British public....result today..shares down, pound has collapsed and international confidence drains away ever faster. Just what we needed..

Still keep first thursday in October free for round 2....Greece without the sun looms..

Peter said...

Lets turn a negative into a positive.
A government of national unity between the Conservatives and Lib Dems would carry the votes of 60% of those who voted.
Just what we need in times of crisis.

Paddy Briggs said...

There is no modern precedent in Britain for the process that is about to begin. In Holland (where I lived for three years and two general elections) it is always the case that there are inter-party discussions/negotiations after an election. It's called a "formatie" (formation of an agreed policy platform for government). Clegg is playing it straight down the line and so is Cameron. If they can agree then that's the end of it and Brown must resign. If they don't agree then it's fine for Clegg and Brown to have discussions to see if they an agree something.

For what it's worth my order of preference would be this:

1. Lab/Lib coalition under a new Labour Prime Minister (one of the Millibands would do). Cable as Chancellor. At least 20% of the cabinet to be LibDems.

2. Con/Lib coalition under Cameron with anyone but Osbourne as Chancellor (not necessarily Cable), Clegg as Home Secretary. 15% of cabinet seats for the LibDems.

3. Con minority government with no LibDem members but a tacit understanding that the LibDems would not torpedo Cameron in return for real progress towards electoral reform.

4. National Government under Cameron. All 3 main parties have members in cabinet. Fixed parliamentary term of three years. Sort out the mess together and then have another General Election.

kasou said...


"So the Conservatives "have no majority in the country" do they? they have a HUGE majority in ENGLAND! and England is virtually the only part of the laughably titled "United Kingdom" that the "UK" Government has any say over!."

quote from post above.

Gordon is so well loved in Scotland let him go govern Scotland. Good riddance.

Time we had an ENGLISH parliament.

golden_balls said...

interesting times

The Lib Dems have to be very cautious when it comes to entering any kind of pact. Everything thats in the queens speech both good and bad would have to be voted through by them.

DC could be genuine with his offer to Clegg or maybe he'll use the Lib Dems and spit them out once the tories could get an outright majority.

what do Labour do ? obviously change Leader and and i'd suggest leave DC and Clegg to it. I'd give it afew months the honeymoon won't last long.

Acacia Avenue said...

Clegg can't possibly join Labour in 'The government of all the losers'.

He has to prop up Cameron allowing him to take all the flak for the massive cuts and tax rises leaving Labour to tear itself to pieces while they select a new leader. At the appropriate moment he simply pulls the carpet out from under the Tories. Job Done.

wild said...

"I don’t really care about anything else. A fair [sic] voting system is the prize."

"I would have loved to see a "wrecking" deal - basically Lib-Lab force through a referendum on PR without caring whatever else happens"


"David Cameron and Nick Clegg both need to act in the national interest and reach a workable agreement that will stick for some time. It's particularly important for both that there is no sneaky game-playing or hidden agendas."

I find myself agreeing with Despairing Liberal. It must be lack of sleep! The Liberal Democrats have a chance to prove themselves fit for government (game changing in a good way) or reveal themselves as pathetic opportunists (see above) - we shall see in the next few days.

wild said...

"Bankrupted the country - in every possible sense."

They deserve to be out of power for a generation.

Opinicus said...

So when is the streak down Whitehall?

javelin said...

@longrun2 you miss the point the SNP, DUP and PC would not have to align themselves on issues like education and health because they would be decided nationally. It would allow the parties to move into closer discussion on devolution under a national Government.

Cameron getting into bed with Clegg will not last the year. Marry in haste repent in leisure.

Betapolitics said...

Lets not forget there is no moral imperative to introduce PR. The Lib Dems got 23% of yesterdays vote. Conservatives and Labour, both of whose manifestos did NOT propose PR, got a combined total of 65%.

But the democratic system needs to be looked at. Cameron agrees with this. Voting reform, thus PR is an important aspect of this. In my opinion Parliament should have a vote on PR, among other reforms. We cant be dogmatic about this.

M said...

Labour supporters need to take a reality check for what really happened was that when Scots voters were faced with the certainty that Middle England was going to vote overwhelmingly for the Tories in a two-horse Labour/Tory fight, the Scots chose to tactically vote for Labour in Scotland in the hope that somehow it would blunt the Tories from succeeding in forming the next Westminster government and it may be that they have actually succeeded in their aims.

This scenario was always predictable in the circumstances and is a one-off reaction to reflect the visceral hatred that most Scots have against the Tories.

The scenario does not arise within the Scots parliament where Labour will be engaged in a straight fight for power with the SNP in 2011 and where both parties will be judged on their record and policies for the devolved government of Scotland.

cyberboris said...

Ever on hand with a colourful metaphor, Boris compared the Hung Parliament to a Walls sausage in his interview with Paxo today. As Boris carefully explained, sausages are made with ground meat, bread, herbs, spices etc. and he believes that all the meat n the sausage of the Hung Parl. should be Conservative.

Sadly Paxo then dragged the conversation to a seamy and sordid level, so our Mayor brought it to a dignified conclusion, see the video link above.

peterreynolds said...

Earlier today I wrote that this was a terrible result. I'm not so sure now. With Clegg and Cameron both behaving like grown ups this might just work!

Jimmy said...

I'm feeling surprisingly cheerful today. 40-50 more seats than the polls were giving us and we'll either stay in power or end up with a thoroughly dysfunctional LibCon govt that will be like shooting fish in a barrel. It's really up to Lightweight to decide whether he gives them PR. If he doesn't, we will. Truth is we both lost, but only one of us has realised this yet.

Jake Ellett said...


neil craig said...

Tapestry I very much doubt if the Greens wouldcsurge. Despite massive propagindizing by the BBC & other state organs the Greens got 279,000 votes, 1/3rd of UKIP's 905,000 & half the BNP's. The BBC nonethless list the Greens ahead of these larger parties.

I think you are right that PR will not be such an advantage to the LDs, indeed that it will through UKIP, revitalise the free market "right" but they cannot fail to push heavily for it or at least half their members would feel betrayed.

oldmortality said...

Coalition price:

1. Ken Clarke as Chancellor
2. House of Commons elected on first past the post basis, Upper House with powers to scrutinise finance bills wholly elected but by STV.

Paul Halsall said...

Conservatives do not have a "huge majority in England". They have a huge Majority in the Midlands and South-East outside London. NW England, NE England, Yorks/Humberside, and London are all Labour.

The boring people voted Tory.

dannyp said...

Clegg wouldn't need to vote in favour of a Queens speech or savage spending controls. He would just need to agree to abstein.
The Cons can do it if Lib Dems abstein, and I am certain that's what they will do.

They will not block it, but will try and disassocite themselves from it.

norman said...

@Jimmy. Evryknow knows that Brown has lost. That is as simple. The clunking fist should clear his butt off no 10.

rob's uncle said...

For an example of what a 'Confidence and Supply' agreement looks like, go to:
this is the 'Agreement . . between the Labour/Progressive Government and the United Future Parliamentary Caucus' of August 2002.

norman said...

What Brown is doing bunkering at No 10 and refusing to maccept that he lost and his reluctance to do the gracious and moral thing to resign and move out of No 10. This reminds me of the shenanighans of the Afghan President who sat tight in his position in elections earlier this year, saying that he won and is above politics! I was talking to my Indian relatives (in India) and they were all saying that it is not uncommon in India for a defeated leader to stay put, arguing that he is the guardian of the constitution and stitching a deal that makes mockery of the election result which resulted in his defeat. One of the above Indian relatives is a teacher and she was saying that she often cited Britain as the democratic model where politicians rise above petty personal gains unlike in India and work for the interest of the country. She says that what Brown is doing is Indian-style dirty politiking and powermongering. I had to agree with her.

norman said...

What Brown is doing bunkering at No 10 and refusing to maccept that he lost and his reluctance to do the gracious and moral thing to resign and move out of No 10. This reminds me of the shenanighans of the Afghan President who sat tight in his position in elections earlier this year, saying that he won and is above politics! I was talking to my Indian relatives (in India) and they were all saying that it is not uncommon in India for a defeated leader to stay put, arguing that he is the guardian of the constitution and stitching a deal that makes mockery of the election result which resulted in his defeat. One of the above Indian relatives is a teacher and she was saying that she often cited Britain as the democratic model where politicians rise above petty personal gains unlike in India and work for the interest of the country. She says that what Brown is doing is Indian-style dirty politiking and powermongering. I had to agree with her.

Straight with you Nick? said...

Call me cynical, but cynicism is a natural bi-product of living long enough! When I looked at Nick Clegg’s face as he was responding to David Cameron's invitation to join the Conservatives in running the country in the national interest, his response wasn't sincere and has no intention of taking up David Cameron's offer. The truth is, that the LibDems are anti-Tory to the core. The reason why the LibDems failed to make any impression on last night's poll was that their supporters are so conditioned to anti-Tory tactical voting that they failed to rise above their ingrained petty prejudices and recognise the once in a lifetime opportunity Nick Clegg had presented them with to kill off the Labour Party once and for all. They are all such political pygmies that the majority of them failed to see the wide open goal right in front of their eyes. Glegg will do as the LibDem rank and file instruct him and collaborate with Labour, after insisting that they drop Gordon Brown as a condition of their agreement. Mandelson will run rings around the lot of them and prepare the ground for their own demise at his own convenience. Jokers!

Jimmy said...


I agree. I'm just pointing out he's not the only one. The country was offered Brown or Cameron and passed on both.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Absolutely credit to Cleggy. He mentioned this position well before the election much to the chagrin of some of his own party members!

norman said...

@Jimmy. What a spin! Brown lost 80+ seats and Cameron gained 90+ seats. Only Labour can stoop this nonsensical argument. But this party has Alastair Campbell the swine. What can we expect from Labour which makes the the third world corrupt parties the scrupulously clean ones!!

longrun2 said...

@ javelin
I am not sure what point I have missed. Firstly the SNP manifesto states categorically "We will not enter into any form of coalition agreement with the London parties"
Second the SNP disagrees with the Conservatives on almost everything apart from a common objection to a handful of New Labour's follies (ID cards, the rise in NI contributions aka job tax, and the excess of quangos). The raison d'etre of the SNP is to disagree with Conservative policy on devolution and it is difficult to think of an issue where SNP support would be simultaneously needed and forthcoming.
Thirdly The Conservatives plus DUP, SNP and Plaid Cymru would not have a majority in the House of Commons

neil craig said...

Norman I think Brown is right to stay in place for the yime being. Though he probably will Cameron has not yet demonstrated the capacity to get a Parliamentary majority & thus cannot be PM. There has to be a PM in place even if only a caretaker so he must be it.

Note that if the LDs & Conservatives cannot reach agreement the only possibile government is a Lab/Lib one where the small parties either vote confidence or abstain. I am sure that they would abstain since the alternative would be another instant election. We have constitutional precedents for a good reason & they are not to be overthrown for a momentary convenience.