Monday, May 10, 2010

Do You Agree With Marie?

Earlier this evening I posted a comment made by Marie in a previous post. Here it is again.

I don't remember ever having been so angry in all my life.

I do hope that the 10 million Conservative supporters are, like me, prepared to put our money where our mouths are if this travesty of democracy goes ahead.

I am not a Conservative activist, I'm just a plain old fashioned voter who, until today, believed in democracy.

More fool me.

Since then, several commenters have reacted to her words. Here are a couple of other comments...

"I don't remember being so angry in all my life either and I'm Labour!! National interest? As if! This is an outrage. Labour LOST this election. It's OVER." Sarah

"I agree with Marie. I'm a Conservative voter but not an activist. Tomorrow that changes. I'm joining the Conservative Party." Southsea Expact

"Like Marie, I am so angry by today's developments. I voted Conservative at this past election (having voted Labour in '97 and '01, and Lib Dem in '05). My pencil hovered over the ballot paper last week, but I voted Conservative. This is all to say that I'm not a die-hard Conservative (although I am a political junkie). But if the Lib-Dems enter a coalition with Labour, my first act will be join to the Conservative Party in protest and give a substantial (or at least what is substantial for me as I'm not very well paid) donation to the Conservative Party."



I'm a Lib Dem voter and have been for many years. Before the election I was hoping for a strong showing (70-80 seats) to form the basis of an alliance with Labour to keep you guys out. However, the way it turned out there is absolutely no way that is a legitimate option now. The message is clear the electorate wants a Conservative led government - Hopefully the Lib Dems might opt to be involved and temper it but what can't happen is them propping up a discredited Labour government. I don't think I could vote for them in the inevitable election when the coalition collapses when Labour are unable to live up to their promises. So if that's how a committed Lib Dem feels I can imagine the general public will cast the party into oblivion and to be honest they'd be right." Deadly Mittens

"First let me say how much I enjoy your blogs and also your appearances on TV and listening to you on radio. Enjoyed Blind Date today.

I am 61 and last thursday I was a first time Conservative voter (if you listen quietly you may hear my socialist Clydeside father turning in his grave). In some ways I did it with a heavy heart but was so fed up with seeing this Country being systematically destroyed by the Labour Government.

So I am appalled, but not necessarily surprised, by today's events. They really are a bunch of slimeballs. Never a big fan of pretty boy Clegg now whoreing himself to the highest bidder. I hope David Cameron tells him where to get off!!! I am so angry.

I will most certainly be supporting the Conservative Party in the future. It is like sex. A considered decision the first time and not to be taken lightly, but the second time will be a lot easier and I may even enjoy it and not feel guilty. (Sorry dad)." Kate

So come on, what are you waiting for. If you are not a Conservative Party member, join up tomorrow. Phone your local party office or 020 7 222 9000.

Or join online HERE.


John said...

We are where we are. How many Lib Dem voters thought they would vote Nick, get Dave? Those who did will flock back to Labour.

Dark Lords of Spin said...

I have gone on to the Conservatives Party website and joined the party, I am so disgusted at what the Lib Dems are doing, I say let them form a coalition of losers and pick up the pieces in the autumn. We should redraw the offer of AV now.

J said...

2005 General election
Labour Party polled 9,562,162 total votes or 35.3% of the popular vote

Blair won, Labour party rule for 5 years, and Brown stays in No 10 even now.

2010 General Election
Conservatives poll 10,683,787 total votes or 36.1% of the popular vote.

No power, indeed Campbell comes on and says they lost.

This is what Bolton was getting angry about.

I do not understand why you Iain or any of the Tories are not pushing this as something to be very, very angry about.


Kate said...

I have been watching this travrsty all day,week,year,13 years a lifetime whatever and I was totally shocked that the only person that completely nailed how I have been reading it, was a Labour politician, John Ried, he said it how it is, no lies no spin. Steele looked visably shaken, hearing him, Alistair Campbell and others spout forth all day John Ried totally restored my faith in a Labour voice. As they say 'The truth will set you free'sta

J said...

2005 General election
Labour Party polled 9,562,162 total votes or 35.3% of the popular vote

Blair won, Labour party rule for 5 years, and Brown stays in No 10 even now.

2010 General Election
Conservatives poll 10,683,787 total votes or 36.1% of the popular vote.

No power, indeed Campbell comes on and says they lost.

This is what Bolton was getting angry about.

I do not understand why you Iain or any of the Tories are not pushing this as something to be very, very angry about.


jswalker said...

I agree with Marie. I voted Conservative for the first time last week (having voted Labour in 01 and 05). I have been furious all evening and will be joining the Conservative Party even if this ridiculous Lib/Lab coalition doesn't come off.

I am absolutely infuriated at the arrogant behaviour of a defeated government thinking it can do s back room deal to stay in power. It is beyond belief and I can never take the Labour party seriously again.

Anonymous said...

Never mind joining a party I feel like manning the barricades and throwing a few molotov cocktails.

Jimmy said...

Clegg is certainly paying a dangerous game messing with the tories' sense of entitlement,

Tory Tim said...

I am sick of Nick and agree with Marie, how weird and nerdy must those Lib Dems be who believe STV versus AV versus STV + is more important than our impending Greek tragedy. Theirs will be a Geek tragedy and it will occur at the ballot box before Labour have finished arranging the leadership deckchairs.

Robin Horsley said...


How about 'fostering' a demo. I am happy to head to Parliament Square to protest tomorrow night. How many others will go too?


Mirtha Tidville said...

The simple fact is lots of people deserted Liebour for many and varied reasons....Cleggys lot deserted them in droves resulting in only 57 awful lot of people voted for Cameron... But what we are witnessing is a Coup d Etat of Banana Republic proportions but without the soldiers. Cyclops is nakedly clinging to power and bringing his party into worldwide loathing...That idiot reached such a point years ago all on his own..

Its simply the `lefties` saying we lost and dont like it so we`ll fix it for ourselves....The Lums had better start removing the `Democrat` bit from their letterheads..

God knows I have my issues with Cameron and left his party long ago but will rejoin Iain, to show that some of us do beleive in Democracy....pity the lefties dont eh....

Anonymous said...

Iain, I would be interested to learn what you now think about Liberals; how they deal with matters of substance? On one view, they openly lead Campbell up the garden path while at the same time they crawling up Brown's back passage. How do you see it?

Independent England said...

Perhaps the Conservatives need to reconsider their Unionism.
The English voted overwhelmingly for a Conservative majority, a democratic expression denied by the Union.
Now we face the prospect of being ruled with the votes of Scottish and Welsh Nationalists, bought by protecting their countries from the cuts which will fall harder on England as a result.
Angry? Try rebellious! It is disgusting that there is noone pointing this out.

Richard said...

This article in the Telegraph sums up my feelings on the matter

"The truth is that this was an act of quite staggering cynicism based on naked party advantage. With the incomprehensible connivance of Nick Clegg – whose reputation will surely never recover – Mr Brown is effectively seeking to nullify the result of last week’s general election. Blinded by his tribal loathing of the Conservatives, he is ready to risk everything – and we use that term advisedly – to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street."

Logged Off said...

Labour are proposing to change our whole voting system in exchange for power. And they won't ask us, the people. This is not democracy, it is a disgrace.

Clegg must be the grubbiest politician ever drew breath. He is a man without honour. I cannot think of a greater insult.

Well, if they won't listen to the people, then the people may well resort to other means of being heard. They are playing with fire now.

Seafang said...


I feel just like Marie.

But something more immediate and more direct is needed.

A peaceful, dignified mass demonstration in Parliament Square must be organised by the Tories and anyone who believes in English (and I stress English) democracy. And such a demonstration must occur within 48 hours.

I am happy to take a day off work to do this. I think millions of others will.

Jess The Dog said...

Need to threaten more...

Council tax bills....send them back with 'Give Me My Vote Back' scrawled on them.

Census not participate.

Inland Revenue self-assessments and business thank you.

The key is organised person does it, they end up in court, ten thousand do it, then the system breaks.

I'm typing all this in the vain hope I get 'busted' for inciting something or other...screw 'em! People fought, died, and chained themselves to railings so men and women could vote...not for sordid back room deals.

And it might be time to fight again.

(I'm a party member already)

TelBoy said...

For the first time in my life I am now the member of a political party. I look forward to receiving my membership card.

AdamNorth said...

I am outraged, I actually thought the Lib Dems were the gentleman socialists.

Tonight Mr Clegg has gone from hero to zero. He says national interest whilst making voting reform his sticking point at a time of crisis. He says the party with the biggest mandate should have the right to govern whilst holding secret talks with twice disgraced and unelected Peter Mandelson.

Is this the "New politics".

Mr Clegg tonight on this very today has finally had the veneer ripped off to show he is just another shallow politician out to further themsleves.

I am a floating voter who voted Tory this time, though Mr Clegg did begin to pursuade me after the first debate, I am so glad I didn't vote for such a man, he now looks like a worm.

I really don't like Labour, but I accept when they have had a majority the people had spoken.

But I cannot accept an undemocratic coalition of losing parties foistered upon me where that snake Peter Mandelson is prepared to steal my vote impose another unelected prime minister just to cling onto power, and "New Politics" Nick Clegg is prepared to disregard all his promises, national interest and the votes of citizens to puruse his personal holy grail of a new voting system..... that the people rejected.

It is shameless.

I have never been a political activist before, I did march with friends against the Iraq war, but not for political reasons.

Can somebody set up a facebook group against the blatant theft attempts of this rainbow coalition.

Nothing in Politics has made me angry as I feel tonight.

I fell like I now know what it;s like for the opposition parties in countries like Zimbabwe, where the vote is stolen from them.

I am up for direct action and marching if this goes ahead, that much I can promise Mr Clegg.

Anonymous said...


I'm a Lib Dem voter and have been for many years. Before the election I was hoping for a strong showing (70-80 seats) to form the basis of an alliance with Labour to keep you guys out. However, the way it turned out there is absolutely no way that is a legitimate option now. The message is clear the electorate wants a Conservative led government - Hopefully the Lib Dems might opt to be involved and temper it but what can't happen is them propping up a discredited Labour government. I don't think I could vote for them in the inevitable election when the coalition collapses when Labour are unable to live up to their promises. So if that's how a committed Lib Dem feels I can imagine the general public will cast the party into oblivion and to be honest they'd be right.

Rich said...

No one will forget Nick's duplicitous behaviour and choosing to prop up Labour is bad politik !

This is like a PR-taster session for many and it's really ugly. He may just have cooked his goose too.

He could've earned some spurs as part of a national unity government but his naked greed and misplaced faith in Campbell and Mandelson will see him back at the election box within a year to explain himself......

originalchelseagirl said...

I agree with Marie. I have never felt so angry. But it's not just about joining the Conservatives. If the Lib/Lab deal goes ahead, we need to get out on to the streets to protest. This isn't the time for sitting back. Time for action!

Lauchlan McLean said...

I was a party member and activist for many many years, supporting my family fighting seats in West London and Oxfordshire, however I grew more and more disenchanted with what was happening to this country under the diktact of Europe and the choice of Cameron as the Leader.If a discussion had taken place earlier to plan who would fight which seats then the 10 seats that Tim Mongomery claims were lost by the intervention of UKIP need not have been lost.

Independent England said...

and maybe you'd look here...

somebody predicted all this... he must be a genius ;)

Salmondnet said...

Not really. The problem is that none of the three main parties actually believe in democracy. They all want to rig the ground rules in their favour. The Tories prove this by opposing PR. Labour proves it by opposing PR while FPTP favours them and accepting change only when they start to think it does not. The LibDems prove it by opposing a national parliament for England while advocating same for Scotland and Wales (incidentally I have just heard Shirley Williams suggesting that their might not need to be a referendum on a new voting system - how contradictory and hypocritical is that!).

The truth is that none of the b****rds trust the electorate. They would all happily support any gerrymandering in their favour they thought they could get away with, citing "the national interest" (as defined by them)as their justification

wild said...

Earlier I heard Shirley Williams say she thought it unfair that Gordon Brown would not be leading a new Labour-Liberal Democrat Coalition.

Why does he have to go then?

Oh yes, I remember now, because he and his government were a walking disaster area and so they were decisively rejected by the electorate.

What happened to the party that adovocated PR? Oh yes I remember now it lost seats. No Cleggmania then. No wonder they are keen to completely change the voting system in their favour without having to win a referendum.

How is a Lab-Lib government going to sustain a coalition. Oh yes, by getting English taxpayers to pay for yet more Scottish and Welsh and Irish handouts to obtain the votes of their MP's in a "balanced" parliament.

What about English voters? Oh yes, although they generated a healthy majority of votes for the Conservatives they will be tax farmed and completely ignored.

Just when you think the present Labour government cannot get any lower, they manage it. If the Labour government continues in power via a coalition with the Liberals (a coalition of the defeated as it were) it will mean Civil War.

At least there is no a (Labour induced) financial crisis to worry about otherwise the country would really be on its death bed.

Thank goodness Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians have proved honorable, and to have put the interests of their Country before their Party.

Evensong said...

I have a feeling that the Conservatives having a coalition with the Libdems will be just like making love to a beautiful woman.

Both parties are a bit wary of each other, the positions they adopt will at times be uncomfortable, you're always suspicious they might be talking to a smooth-talking dreamer behind your back and there's the risk of having to deal with a bit of a surprise in about 9 months' time.

Matelot said...

I've said it before in a previous post but from a purely partisan viewpoint the Conservatives would be best to let the Lib-Lab-minor parties coalition happen and then watch the whole edifice fall apart. All David Cameron has to do is to withdraw all cooperation with the government benches so that even seriously ill coalition MPs will be pulled out of hospital for all votes, no foreign fact-finding trips etc.. Even the PM and cabinet will be forced to attend all votes and international diplomacy will become almost impossible. There is no way that LIB-LABs will be able to impose PR before Parliament is inevitably dissolved and the English electorate will never forgive the Lib Dems for putting selfish political interest first.

J Demetriou said...

What are you on about? Labour didn't lose the election. No-one won it. DO you people know how the democratic system works in Britain? You need 326 or above to win. Labour didn't win or lose.

It's very simple really. Sorry if you don't like the fact that the Useless Tories haven't been allowed to steam straight into office, but Labour haven't lost and are entitled to cut a deal.

Osama the Nazarene said...

Can't bring myself to join the Conservative Party but will certainly be contributing financially (as well as voting) to the up coming General Election fighting fund!

Chris Howell said...

Has there been any opinion polls since polling day - how would you vote if there was another general election?

Darsalon said...

I think it's a case of lose the battle win the war with this one. Let this lot form a coalition and see how quickly it'll fall apart. Also a lot of lib dem voters who went with them in the south west and south of england will desert them in their droves. They didn't vote lib dem to get labour back in and it'll be enough to swing the conservatives back in next election.
And as others have pointed out, we in England are feeling increasingly marginilised in a country where we democratically hold the majority. That can't be right

adrian said...

most people who voted libdem were horrified nick could even contemplate propping the tories up. thank god its collapsed.
i'm enjoying reading disgruntled tories contributions.

mark said...

In response to these comments I too, for the first time in my life, have joined a political party, the Conservatives. I am unemployed and for me the subscription is a lot. I have written to all my local Lib councilors to say that any attempt to get into bed with the Labour party will turn voters like me, with little history of political tribalism, into fanatical campaigners against both Liberal, Labour politics. If Clegg goes ahead he will consign his party to oblivion the next time we get to vote and that WILL be very soon.

Alan Douglas said...

I've just paid 1/2 my weekly state pension for a Conservative Party membership.

Let's make this into a real campaign.

Alan Douglas

Lynne said...

I'm another first time conservative voter. I voted for the Lib Dems in the past but I won't be doing so again. Their jettisoning of all of their 'principles' for PR irrespective of the national interest is absolutely disgusting.

Cameron and his team have behaved in the way I expect my Government to behave; making compromises for the common good rather than in their own narrow party interest.

The sooner we have a second election the better. I've just joined the Tories and made a donation to the fighting fund. Game on!

JJ said...

I am not an idealogue but a realist, I always vote and I generally vote Lib Dem as I don't like the alternative - as I did this time.

I'm very disappointed given all the rhetoric of Nick Clegg about cleaning up politics that, even though there is a process of negotiation going ahead for a possible stable and serious government, he is happy to abandon the principle of fairness at the very first hurdle for political gain and a rainbow coalition beholden to the nationalists orchestrated by the Dark Lord and the spinmeister General. He is proposing the most undemocratic option available which is not the platform he stood on.

I suggest the Conservatives tell him to get on his bike and form his bankrupt rainbow coalition that the more principled than he are already abandoning and see where it gets him and the country. I see instability and anger followed by calls for independence. Certainly an early election and a complete decimation of any right leaning lib dem votes.

I thought you stood for cleaning up of politics Mr Clegg not a Campbell/Mandleson stitch up of the electorate. Clearly you're just as venal as the rest. I won't be voting Lib Dem again, for that matter I might not vote again at all. Is that the invigoration of democracy you were looking for?

Tom said...

Just seems to me that the Lib Dems are milking this for alll the publicity they can, because as soon as they join a coalition with either side, they will disappear off the radar. I asked a Lib Dem MP why not just stand alone and let Cameron rule with a minority vote. I was told that that would mean another GE and a Tory Government for the next 15 years and we can't have that, apparently. So why wouldn't a 2nd unelected PM entitle the public to a second GE? At least next time, when people vote, they know who they are voting for.

Surely we can't be expected to not only accept the losing party as the winners, but also with a 2nd unelected PM.

The Lib Dems will keep this going as long as they can. Next thing you know they'll be demanding 3000 copies of The Best of Steeleye Span and a years supply of badger flavoured pop tarts before they agree to a coalition.

And TBH, I think the SNP and PC and every other small party are having them on that they will form a coalition with Labour. I think they say they will, then just keep voting against them to make them look like the numpties they are.

Also, Illegal war in Iraq not such a big issue when there is a sniff of power, I notice. Nor ID cards.

So, new Lib Dem manifesto:

IN: Political Whoring. desperate publicity seeking, secret deals, ID cards and Trident

Out: Democracy and public opinion...oh and Liberalism.

That's the last time I vote for Lib Dem style 'change'

alison said...

If there is any interest in a demonstration about this anti democratic coup* I would be happy to organise with police & authorities etc but it would have to be attended - none of this right wing flakiness at such events. Pls friend me on FB alisonfi and lets talk.

* placard the lot - PR over EU ref, Cleggs whoring out politics, Labours lies about winning and their right to form a government etc...the lot. Id like to know what the point of voting was last week.

Goodwin said...

The trouble with the Conservative party is that their leader (y'all remember "Cast Iron" Dave?) is not a Conservative. He's some namby pamby left of centre social christian democrat "thing" who was too prepared to bend over at the first opportunity for Clegg. Had Dave had the balls to go it alone we wouldn't be in this position.

Magnus Taylor said...

What you don't seem to get Iain is that Labour will do everything it can to stay in power because it thinks it can 'do government' better than the Tories. For Labour this is absolutely in the national interest.

Mrs Rigby said...

I think Cameron/Tory team should tell the Lib Dems to get lost now. Clegg has shown he's duplicitous - so much for not being able to work with Brown when he did Brown's bidding and kept details of a meeting secret.

Tories should take over and almost immediately call an election, and should team up with UKIP.

In their manifesto they should include vote-winning things such as a referendum on Europe and also a partial repeal of the smoking ban, allowing places to set aside a smoking area that's separate from everywhere else.

They should forget mentioning anything about hunting, even using the word is a vote-loser because it sets town against rural.

They should mention planning laws - which should apply to everybody - no special cases, none at all. No single groups should be able to move onto green belt and build on it over a weekend and get away with it.

If changing the electoral system is so important, fine, have a referendum for that too.

And also have a referendum for and English-only legislature, with at least the same powers as Scotland - after all, it was a Scottish King who took over the British Crown, not the other way round.

Labour is trying to set the rest of the UK against England. The Tories won the most votes in England, by a mile, and should use this to their advantage - the Scots do, and so do the Welsh and Irish and that's why those groups want to be in on this coalition, because it'll give them powers they've only ever dreamed of, at least they think it will. It it were to go ahead, by the time they realise their mistake they'll have committed political hari kiri.

Geoff said...

Great to see you're all joining the Tories now. Perhaps if you'd thought about it before the election the Tories might actually have WON it rather than failing to get a majority.

For that is where we are now. The Tories FAILED to win despite being up against a massively unpopular Labour government. It staggers me to see that failure, even if as a Labour voter I am utterly delighted.

You didn't win, so you're in no position to tell the LibDems what they can and cannot do.

Simon said...

You people really need to calm down and get some perspective.

The Conservative Party did not do well enough to form a government outright. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

No deal has yet been done. The Lib Dems have an obligation to talk to both the Conservatives and Labour to get the best deal for all the voters that supported their program at the election.

Personally I feel a deal with Labour just isn't a practical proposition for the Lib Dems and could, in the long run, be a political disaster for both 'progressive' parties.

However I can't help but be amused by the irony of the situation. Until this election people on the right and left of politics have been quite happy with an electoral system that effectively disenfranchised the Lib Dems in terms of national politics. And now it throws up the one situation where they actually have a degree of leverage and all of a sudden it's now all so incredibly unfair.

Grow up!

Lady Mudflaps said...

Well I held my nose and voted Conservative, though I really wanted to vote UKIP. If there is another election soon and Cameron is still leader of the party I will be voting UKIP.

perforatedulster said...

I have stayed up late to send an email to my MP, Lady Hermon, to urge her not to support the Lab-Lib coalition. Amongst other things, I put it to her that a UK government should not permanently be dependent on the votes of those who wish to leave the Union. Hopefully she will choose long-term influence against short-term leverage.

It may be in the interests of her neighbour, Naomi Long, not to support it either. She is a charming and capable woman, and with four years faithful service, she may be able to retain the seat. In a six-month election, the DUP will regain it with a scandal-free candidate (especially under AV!).

Liam said...

Dear angry Conservatives,
I would sympathise with how you feel, but since no coalition deal has been made, I don't quite understand why you are so irked.
If anything, Clegg is cleverly playing the Tories and Labour off each other, and if you see how we've moved from a position where prominent Conservative figures such as Fox poo-pooed the suggestion of any electoral reform last week, to the position now where Hague is offering a referendum it as part of a deal (I think a referendum happens to be the right way of approaching the matter.. but that's another post), I think we're slowly coming towards more of a political consensus that reflects the opinions of the electorate at whole, regardless of which way the Lib-Dems swing.

The banks appear to be not behaving too unusually considering the circumstances, I don't think any claim of putting electoral reform before the economy is really justified at this stage. All three parties seem to be most concerned with economic recovery, and, while I think it's granted a rushed Con-Lib coalition would probably not be too bad a think for city traders, I'm not sure it's what 63.9% of the electorate would support. I don't think biding a little more time would hurt us as much as conservative press would like to tell us

Jimmy said...

FWIW and as much as I'm enjoying this, my gut feeling is Clegg will still go with Lightweight.

I think we've both been played. And quite well to give him his due.

Gazza's UsefulTips and Blog said...

Let them flock back to Labour. This whole thing just shows what an utter and seedy farce this coalition government nonsense is all about.

The LibDems have blown it; the Tories should say get abord or forget it. Get on with it. Get Real everyone.

Let the LibDems and Labour limp on; they will both be destroyed.

Terrible, terrible.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm a Labour Party activist so I won't be joining the Tories.However, having lost almost 100 seats I'm slightly embarrassed at the sight of senior Labour figures scrambling around trying stitch up a deal that will in all likelihood fall apart in months. I'm a democrat and I think we should quietly exit the stage while we have some dignity left.It's then up to the Tories to govern as a minority or in coalition. We lost and should accept it, this sordid attempt to hang on is almost as painful as the loss.

Nicola said...

Trident - Who cares?

ID cards - Who Cares?

Illegal wars -Who cares?

Selling off our Gold resereves -who cares

Instilling a culture of bullying which has pervaded all sectors of society - who cares?

No, holding out for PR, a voting system to give THEMSELVES the edge, that is what willl make the Lib Dems compromise their principles. Only something that helps the Lib Dems as a party would make them forget about everything else they stand erm 'Liberalism' for eg or even 'Democracy' if we are made to acccept another unelected PM. And while they behave like Z list celebrities enjoying their 15 minutes of fame before they sink into oblivion...swallowed up by larger parties with 80% at least somewhere near the back of the pecking order. (Dare say they may let Vince sort out the economy, but not as chancellor, and nor will he get the credit,)

I once admired the Lib Dems for being a small party with big ideas for change, not just about the way we vote. Turns out they are as willing as Katie Price to prostitute themselves for any kind of media atttention at the moment.

And while they mess around, with the voters getting more and more bored of waitiing for them to stop playing TV stars, we have no proper government. By lunchtime tomorrow the £ will be on parity with the $ and who will be to blame for that?

Over to you, Mr Clegg.

delanda-est said...

Dear Iain, I badly need some clarity. Can you or any of your readers oblige?

(i) If there is a lab-lib pact can the lab party vote on ATV reform without a referendum given that they promised an ATV referendum in their manifesto? Is this constitutionally acceptable?

(ii) Also the untold story of the post election is the question of discipline in the three parties. We’ve heard a bit about the disgruntled right in the Tory party. But what are the odds of a ld leader being able to hold his mps together through even a rudimentary coalition with either party? And note Tom Harris’ comments about Labour mps refusing to back some of the points the Lab leadership has put on offer

Thanks in advance to you and yours.


Adrian said...

If we already had PR, and the seats were Con 235, Lab 190, Ld 150, would the reaction be the same? The FPTP system has brainwashed people into the kinds of reactions you've been receiving, Iain. I'd prefer a Tory government to a Labour one, but only 30% of voters voted Tory, so they hardly have a mandate.

Matthew Dear said...

"Labour and the Lib Dems together got more than 50% of the vote!" Er, yeah, but the Tories and Lib Dems together got even more than that. A Tory-Lib deal is the only just outcome and I can't see how anybody - of any political persuasion - could approve of anything else. It's a democracy folks.

WV: Blerr

David said...

Thanks Nick you saved us a few quid

I just want to say a big thank you to Nick Clegg our new Tory activist

In a matter of hours he has gained us millions of votes and it hasn’t cost us a penny

Perfect electioneering in times of austerity

How did he do it you may ask, simple he spent 4 weeks of the election campaign telling us his was the only real party of change and within days of the election he is thinking of propping up the losing party.

Why would he do this?

The economy stupid, It’s not as important as PR

And as for his other campaign colleagues Mandelson and Campbell they’ve won us more votes then Nick, they have even managed to get Diane Abbott and David Blunkett to vote for us.

I know all Tories want David Cameron to be Prime Minister today but surely we should let the Libs and Lab form a government.

It can’t last more then a few months and the next election will bring us a ‘Tony Blair’ landside

Nick Clegg has just won us the next election, don’t be angry with him, what did you expect, he’s a Liberal Democrat, totally unable to make a decision

I live in Norwich South and whilst taking my daughter to Brownies last night had to turn right in to a side street from a very busy road.

Dozens of cars past us but no one let us out until one man eventually flashed his lights. As I put my hand up to thank him I noticed it was Charles Clarke

My daughter asked if I’d vote for him now because he’d let us out

I told her I wouldn’t but that he had gone up in my estimations

It shows that politicians don’t need to do much to make us happy with them, but they do need to be honourable and Nick Clegg last night showed he was the most dishonourable man to the country today.

He lied to the whole of the country as he looked down that camera and if I was a lib dem voter I’d be ashamed

Dave said...

Gordon is truly Mugabe's rightful heir.
First he screwed the economy with his mugabenomics, now he's about to stay in power by screwing the electorate.
Why do I think of Rasputin when Gordon's name is mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Nothing would make me angry enough to join the Tory party, but I think it would be a mistake for Labour to go into a coalition with the Lib Dems this time round.

The parliamentary maths don't stake up and people would see it is as illegitimate in the light of the election results (aside: the phrase 'coalition of losers' is surely meaningless, as coalitions only occur when no-one has won). Both parties would be punished at the next election, whether it is fought with AV or not.

Labour should tell the Lib Dems the only coalition on offer is working together in opposition to keep the Tory government in check. If Clegg wants power it can only be with the Tories.

Labour can get on with electing a new leader and preparing to fight the next election, in 12 to 18 months time.

Gael said...

Yes, I agree completely with Marie, and I will now join the Conservatives, too.

Paul said...

I contributed to the Tory campaign, and I am glad I did. On Saturday I went further and joined the party. Cameron has played a blinder so far. Clegg could have cemented himself in history as a heroic nation-builder. He may still manage that, but he's in danger of losing it all. I hope that what is going on between the LDs and the Losers is a sop to the beardie-weirdies, and that he will sign up amicably with the Tories today. As for Labour - quite simply they disgust me.

LibCync said...

"to keep you guys out"

Yes, that's how a LibDem speaks...

Toodle pip!

Chris said...

How's this for a nightmare scenario...

Gordon did not actually say he was going to resign as Prime Minister. He said he hoped that the new Labour leader would be in place for the conference. But earlier in the speech he said something rather curious. "But I have no desire to stay in my position longer than is needed to ensure the path to economic growth is assured and the process of political reform we have agreed moves forward quickly." It's an odd choice of words which I think keeps the door open for him to stay on as PM after the new Labour leader is elected. There is nothing in the constitution that says the PM must be the leader of the largest or any party. He is simply the person who can command a majority in Parliament. Churchill was not the Conservative leader when he became PM. Remember that Brown remains PM until he resigns or loses a confidence motion in the House. Suppose he says to the new Labour leader "Now is not a good time for me to go - matters X, Y, and Z require my experience and substance" What could the Labour leader or the Lib Dems do? Voting him down would be highly risky and likely to trigger an election which the coalition members would lose badly. Gordon genuinely believes the nation needs HIM and it's his duty to do everything he can to ensure he remains in charge. This is not desperation or scheming - it's a selfless patriotic attempt to save the country from the evil baby eating Tories. Do not open the champagne just yet. His political obituaries are premature.

Chris said...


i. We don't have a written constitution. Parliament is sovereign so there is no need to hold a referendum on AV. However, Labour said last night they would hold a kind of ratification referendum after enacting the legislation.

ii. You are right that in a coalition there is a much greater risk that individual MPs will feel unable to support a measure even if their leaders have agreed to it. This is less of a worry with a Tory/LibDem coalition because with a combined total of 364 MPs there is a margin for dissidents. In a 'rainbow' coalition it will be a big problem.

FF said...

As I understand it, the Conservatives offered the Lib Dems the possibility of the AV (not plus) voting system. When the time comes, Conservatives including David Cameron would campaign against this system. The AV- voting system is essentially a more complicated form of First Past the Post and wouldn't affect the distribution of seats that much.

You have to wonder how serious the Conservatives are about a deal with the Lib Dems.

So, if the Lib Dems decide they're not going to play then what's all the fuss about?

Nigel said...

If the Liberal Democrats refuse to form a coalition with the Conservatives, at a time of national financial emergency, and when the electoral arithmetic is arguably as conducive as it is possible to imagine, then it would not be unreasonable for Tories to conclude that any future negotiation with them is pointless. Rational Tory interest would then mandate absolute opposition to any change on the electoral system.

The alternative coalition, depending as it will on the votes of a handful of Scottish, Welsh and Irish nationalists, not only looks dangerously unstable, but also poses a serious risk to the union itself. That Scottish MPs can vote on English legislation, while England has no say on comparable Scottish domestic policy (but is expected to subsidize the costs of that policy) has for some time been an irritation. For a mere half dozen of such MPs to hold power of veto over national government may prove insufferable.

In addition, the hope of such a shaky coalition being able to push the Lib Dem holy grail of electoral reform through parliament, when a significant number of Labour MPs are resolutely wedded to FPTP, is most probably forlorn.

Given the above, and the absolute necessity of a government with a working majority, if Britain is going to get to grips with its impending fiscal crisis, then the Lib Dems have a tough decision to make. Either govern responsibly, or gamble everything on the chance of a change in the electoral system. And they will rightly be judged on that choice.

As a side note, there is no reason of principle why Clegg should not have had discussions with Labour. But to conduct those discussions in secret, enabling Gordon Brown's coup de theatre last night, is toxic to their reputation (deserved or not) for principled politics.

All in all, it is for now difficult to disagree with former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett that the Lib Dems are behaving "like every harlot in history".

Sarah said...

I voted Labour and now feel uncertain what the best outcome would be - which I think should find the optimum balance between fairness/democracy and stability. I have great sympathy with people who voted Conservative and feel that they essentially 'won'. I thought Clegg probably should incline towards the conservatives - for that reason. BUT I feel he's in a terribly difficult position and simply won't be able to sell the con/lib deal to his party without massive concessions. I also feel that the Lib Dems are closer to Labour and that most Lib Dem voters prefer Labour to Conservative. Ditto voters for most small parties apart from UKIP. BUT I don't like the idea of having to involve so many little parties in a coalition which would give them a disproportionate influence. I do feel AV might have given us a slightly clearer sense of what the electorate really wanted - or could grudgingly put up with. I suppose what I'd like to see is a con/lib deal while Labour sorts itself out.

Simon said...

"(i) If there is a lab-lib pact can the lab party vote on ATV reform without a referendum given that they promised an ATV referendum in their manifesto? Is this constitutionally acceptable?"

Unfortunately the courts have ruled that manifesto promises are only aspirations and not legally binding.

BTW what's that sound?

That will be Dicey, Bagehot and May spinning in their graves!

Paul said...

I'm with Jess the Dog on this, we need to starve the evil beast that has stolen our country. I also wonder how well public services would cope with a sizeable percentage of the Conservative vote taking full advantage of them several times per day.

It takes a bit of effort but I'm sure (for example) that the State Pension forecasting team would struggle if lots of people called for a pension forecast repeatedly ... 0845 3000 168

There is a whole world of telephone numbers waiting for your amusement at and the system could grind quite quickly to a halt if every angry voter decided to call one per day with a spurious request ...

I'm also up for the march if one is organised.

David Jones said...

It's difficult to know where to start, I've been staring at the blank screen for a few minutes. To cut a very long story short I find I've gone beyond anger, to utter disgust and now disregard. Many here have talked about how they are joining the Tory party for the first time, I'm doing the opposite, I'm turning my back on politics for good.

If I've learnt one thing over the past few days it is that the political leaders in this country care for nothing but their own greedy little egos. They have no thought for the electorate or the country, and more than ever it's simply a silly little Westminster game of who has the best toys.

After much thought I won't bother to vote again, I'm very sad to say it but I genuinely don't see the point.

And if they've managed to piss of a middle aged businessman from the home counties, I dread to think how the rest of the population feels.

I used to be proud of living in this democracy....

chrishtech said...

The smug grin on Ed Balls face this morning says it all - the tantalising chance to stay in power is cheering Labour no end. Excellent timing by Mandelson.
Stable government can only be with the Conservatives - everyone knows that. A LibDem/Labour grubby agreement would expose the "new politics" and "national interest" waffle and the electorate will remember it.

Chalcedon said...

I read your blog virtually every day. I'm very angry about Clegg. first he says that because the Conservatives won the greatest share of the votes and seats (there does seem to be a mismatch regarding this)he would ally with the Conservatives. Now we have a potential volte face. There must be compromise in any deal. So now he is flirting with the econony and society wrecking party! if he does form a Lib-Lab coalition it will be a slap in the face for democracy and I will join the Conservative party.

neil craig said...

If 10 million Conservative voters are annoyed nearly 35 million who did not vote Conservative are unlikely to be so. Even beyond the 20 million voting for the various parties who support PR there are another 15 million who didn't vote & are more likely to in a system under which their vote will actually count towards them getting an MP of the party that is their first choice.

FF said...

I basically agree with Sarah and the general consensus: it just isn't the Lib Dems' short term interest to hitch up with Labour. If they can't do a deal with the Conservatives then at least be neutral towards them.

But in the medium term it is in the Lib Dems interest to work with other parties to advance their reform agenda. If not the Conservatives then Labour.

The problem is that the Conservatives just aren't used to dealing with other parties at the national level, unlike all the others, who have been doing this for a couple of decades. They're also not very good negotiators.

I think this is a pity because majority rule is going to be rarer with the fragmentation of British politics, even under FPTP. It would be a shame if the Conservatives were always left behind. They really to raise their game.

Anonymous said...

Just been listening to my old CDs of The Goon Show and a short exchange from that has stuck in my mind. Now considering it was written in 1955...

Seagoon: If the two of you are members of Parliament, why are you begging in the gutter?

Grytpype-Thynne: (sadly) Liberals!

(loud, long laughter)

Seagoon: I understand!

Well I found it funny, anyway!

steve said...

Al Campbell is an oink.

But Kevin Maguire of the Mirror is worse. Kev can't get his around us voting on electoral reform. He can't understand that the Tories have every right to campaign for the current system. He seems to think it underhand. Why?????????

I am getting really annoyed at Labour politicos telling me I voted for a Hung Parliament. I didn't, I voted Tory. If it weren't for our UKIP friends we would have won.

Their spin and double talk is now making me feel sick.

It comes to something when the only person sticking up for the public and visibly getting angry is a TV pundit.

Southsea Expat said...

Iain - just to let you know that I went to my local constituency office this afternoon and joined the Conservative Party, as promised.

princesschipchops said...

Look you guys didn't WIN!! I cannot believe these commnts.

And before we go any further I think a Lib/Con pact would be better - BUT - Nick Clegg has to get agreement from his party. The whole reason d'etre for the Libs is electoral reform. So if the Cons cannot offer Nick enough to get his party on board his hands are tied - that is the system the Lib Dems put in place in the seventies.

There is not point whingeing that you didn't win with x amount of votes - that is the first past the post system that you so love. What is funny is you would still be as well off in this election under PR - why the fear of changing the system.

It should be one man one vote in a democracy and a vote that counts. My constituency is staunch Labour yet my cousin is a ardent Tory - his vote doesn't count - under PR it would.

And to all of you slating Clegg - you could still have him on the front benches with your lot soon enough. A deal may well be done - I expect you will love him again then!

The reaction of some Tories and the right wing media has been horrifying. And undignified. JOhn Major had it spot on when he told conservatives on the Today show to remember they have not won this.

THere is no degree of winning under FPTP you either win or you dont. And in FACT under the constition Brown has first chance to form a government - but Clegg came to you guys first.

If you think the Tories are so popular why are you scared of PR? You can only be scared of it because you think your party will never get into power again?

I think that is a mistaken belief and I think the Tories could do quite well under PR.

Anyway this absolute spittle flecked outrage looks bad - really bad. If you want to rule in the national interest give the libdems their referendum on full PR. Let it go to the public. After all we should decide - the people should be allowed to vote for what they want. It is not as if you wont have at least seventy percent of the print media joining you in your no campaign!

Furriskey said...

Evening all. Clegg for Deputy PM? Wasn't J Prescott Deputy PM?
Always been the bed nearest the door, that particular chalice.

FF said...

I take back my previous comment about Conservatives being lousy negotiators. Actually this was a superb deal for them: they gave the Lib Dems a deal that they seem very happy with, without conceding anything that's important for the Conservatives.

Politics is usually zero-sum, but this could be a win-win.