Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A New Dawn Has Broken, Has It Not?

Well, it's finally happened. Labour has bowed to the inevitable and called off talks with the LibDems. Gordon Brown will apparently resign the office of Prime Minister tonight and David Cameron will travel up the Mall tomorrow morning (or perhaps even tonight) to kiss hands with the Queen.

At last.

That is, barring any unforeseen problems with ratification of the coalition deal by LibDem MPs or their Federal Executive. I think both bodies will realise that if they play silly buggers, the electorate would take a long time to forgive them.

The negotiations have been tortuous, but maybe that was inevitable. The Conservatives have conceded a huge amount to get this far. The LibDems never expected them to offer a referendum on AV.

The rumour going round College Green is that the LibDems will get six Cabinet seats, which is two more than I would have thought they would be entitled to. There is no word on what they will be, but my tip about Nick Clegg being Deputy Prime Minister looks a good bet.

I also suggested that the electorate would love to see a Treasury team of Ken Clarke as Chancellor and Vince Cable as Chief Secretary. Nick Robinson has heard rumours that this might indeed happen, although another senior political journalist I talked to reckoned that Vince wouldn't accept that job. If it happened it would mean George Osborne moving to the Business portfolio.

If there are four more LibDem Cabinet Ministers I suspect they will be Chris Huhne, David Laws, Simon Hughes and Danny Alexander. Alexander is very wet behind the ears and his appointment would put many LibDem noses out of joint, I suspect. I'm also not sure about Simon Hughes, but Clegg may feel the need to reach out to the left of his party. Which jobs will they get? No idea. Or could we see Lord Ashdown in the Cabinet - perhaps as Northern Ireland or Defence Secretary.

There will be several disappointed Conservatives tomorrow, who had expected to get Cabinet jobs, but won't. I won't name the ones I expect to be dropped, but they will be obvious to many. Clearly William Hague will take on the Foreign Office. The Home Office is less clear. Chris Grayling will be devastated if he is dropped, but I'm afraid he may well be. Hot rumour is that a return from David Davis may be on the cards, assuming Nick Clegg doesn't take the job himself. Alternatively, Michael Gove or Theresa May could be in the running.

There are rumourson Twitter that David Laws might take over at Health, which would be a bit off considering David Cameron has guaranteed the job to Andrew Lansley. But I won't indulge in more speculation until I get some clear steers on what may happen.

The best thing about today is that is means that we finally get to see the back of Mandelson and Campbell. Yesterday they attempted to launch a pseudo-coup. Thank God it failed. Labour people were too sensible to be dragged along with it and credit is due to John Reid, David Blunkett and others for pointing out that it couldn't work.

Mandelson and Campbell are both very talented people. But they have presided over a culture of conducting politics in a very underhand manner. I may be naive but I hope things will be very different under the new government.

Well, David Cameron and his negtotiating team seems to have got there in the end. Cameron has done well to take his entire Parliamentary team along with him - with not a single MP appeariing on the media to cause trouble. Long may it continue.

I don't know about you, but I feel very excited by what is happening. And I don't mind admitting to being slightly wistful that I am not part of it. Except, I suppose I am, but in a different way to which I had intended. However, being outside the tent may be even more interesting than being inside it. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Whatever happens, it means a new era for the country and the Conservative Party. It will also spell a new era for this blog. And I will explain what that means at a later date. When I've worked it out myself!

63 comments:

wild said...

If I were you I would prepare now for getting a seat in the next Conservative landslide.

Do not give up after the first few hurdles man!

You should walk it. Personally I would vote for you if there was a vacancy in the constiuency in which I live.

As a Conservative you know full well that success (if it is to be savoured) requires a few setbacks.

J said...

Operation Frequent Wind

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas"

Right Hon. said...

LibDems are the big winners. Much kudos to Clegg and his team.

Finessing extra concessions out of the Tory negotiators with the threat of a Labour/LibDem coalition that would never fly was a masterstroke.

Thank goodness there will be some competant people in the Cabinet.

trevorsden said...

Why not have a larger cabiner with an inner cabinet comprising severl 'Deputy PMs'. Each would have a wider portfolio to look after?

Lets say Osborne Hague and Clegg??

cherami said...

Charlie Whelan asked on Sky if opposition could be good for labour;

'No. Opposition is not the place to be.'

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I think your last sentence says it all. We are in uncharted territory. Serendipity is in the ascendant, liminality is in flux, but there is still a BOGOF at ASDA on Pino Grigio, so one can keep grounded in reality.

Graybo said...

It'll all end in tears.

Enlightened Despot said...

If this goes through, the Conservatives' durability in power will be enormously dependent on how they can manage public expectations given the fiscal medicine that awaits. Cameron and his Chancellor must ingrain in the understanding of the media and electors
- the massive rise in public expenditure in recent years while acknowledging (but not necessarily agreeing with)the philosophy that drove it
- and at the same time being firm on Brown's failure to provide for bad times and explaining in clear, Thatcher-like terms the fact that the money has to come from somewhere and after years of stealth taxes and debt we have to live closer to our means.
- the consequences of not taking action now: the cost of a downgrade in our credit rating.

What the Tories have done best is PR - they and their LD partners could become unpopular fast unless they can secure grudging understanding of the need for tough love within their first month.

bahraintaxiblog said...

Seeing the back of New Labour at last! Lets hope this is truly a new dawn for politics and the era of dirty dealing a la Mandelson and Campbell is dead and buried. Not surprised the New Labour 'machine' was working flat out in the background for its last chance at gripping onto its unelected power!

sinosimon said...

you have your place Iain.....helping us to keep this lot on the straight and narrow in the no doubt horrendously difficult times to come.

and whilst i am sure not being a representative must leave a small hollow feeling in some ways, you should be consoled that you can put your head on the pillow with a clear conscience at night........not having to make the moral trade-offs that, i'm afraid, all politics requires.

Jah'sSword said...

Hope it doesn't go through, the yellow slime will contaminate and dilute the excellent Tory policies. I wanted a Lib-Lab stitch up followed by a landslide victory for the blue team.
And PR only benefits the small parties, extremists and other navel gazers.
Lets play by the big boys rules. Not feeling chipper here, hope there is another election very soon.
And that the blues don't let much fiscal muck stick to them before the next election. We are not a nasty party, we are a rational party. Sometimes when a doctor saves you he has to cause pain. But all the left ever see is the needle, not the medicine.
Jah love.

Nick said...

As it all hopefully draws to a bit of a close, just wanted to say thanks for all the intesting stuff you've been posting, agree with Andrew Rawnsley's view at the top of the page.
And so right about Campbell and Mandy: good riddance.

Deenzy said...

I am surprised by your optimism Iain but hope you are found to be correct. Sharing the burden of sorting out Labours economic nightmare has to be a good thing that's for sure as it is not going to be popular!

Dick Puddlecote said...

"I think both bodies will realise that if they play silly buggers, the electorate would take a long time to forgive them."

In certain areas, it may be too late for that.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

"Mandelson and Campbell are both very talented people. But they have presided over a culture of conducting politics in a very underhand manner."

That's very polite of you to say Iain, but many of us here would probably add a few more adjectives and nouns to describe both of them:

mendacious, evil, duplicitous and hoons for example.

waymore said...

Simon Hughes, Cabinet Minister? Come on, I know we are lowering a bucket into a shallow well of LibDem talent but at last I am realising just what a coalition entails. We are about to see a Government of some of the talents and up to six (!)of the nonentities.

Robin McConnell said...

A Lib Dem in the Scottish office surely...would be foolish not to

Nigel said...

Simon Hughes ???

If true, I hope that Cameron is dropping one of the really weak members of the Shadow Cabinet, in one of the more irrelevant departments, to make room for him.
Otherwise it's a price too far.

Robin McConnell said...

A Lib DEM in the Scottish office surely...would be foolish not to

Hawkeye said...

I hope it happens, but a word of caution. The Lib Dem lunatic fringe may yet f**k it up.

Let's wait until the ink dries on Clegg's signature, then it's time for the bubbly...

Nigel said...

>>Thank goodness there will be some competant people in the Cabinet.<<

Right on, Right Hon.

Shame you can't spell competent.

Scary Mary said...

All nice and united from the party until Don Porter, Chairman of CWF pops up to have a moan - Right wing loon.

Alan Douglas said...

A new crepuscule has broken, 19.29, 11 May 2010

Alan Douglas

Jah'sSword said...

The witch is dead! Thank you lord. And I love his tribute to the armed forces, who he loathes and shuns. Damn him.

Vijay said...

Cleeg has just shown why he used to negotiate on behalf of his country. He's played a blinder if he really has got six cabinet seats.

robonly said...

Let's just be thankful that its over.

Mirtha Tidville said...

having to listen to the idiot going on about respect for the armed forces, having starved them of cash ,so many good men died, It was truely one of the joys of my life watching this incompetent buffoon being kicked out of Downing Street where he can no longer damge, wreck and ruin our Country....

Good riddence...a footnote in history

byron9 said...

Are the Tories mad?? What a bunch of wasters to get hooked up to. They'll be sorry..Why couldn't they let LibLab finish off destroying the country then ride to the rescue in a few months time.?

Curmy said...

I'm over the moon to see the back of Nu Labour, 13 years of misery !

I've got no illusions about what lies ahead, but at least we won't have to look at Brown , Mandleson and the rest of that ghastly bunch any more !

trevorsden said...

So Brown finally resigns. He has gone before any ConLib agreement, something which makes his previous speech outside Nr 10 even more pathetic.

I not the quick appearance over the last few days of protesters and well produced banners for PR and we have also seen 'Troops Out' protesters. I wonder if we will see more of these stormtroopers on the streets in the future??

I also note the desperate ploy for sympathy by Brown in using his family as a prop.

Wee Dougie on SKY has just had the nerve to say the country is richer and better than 13 years ago !!!

Richer !!! We have masses of debt. All they have 'achieved' is built on a sea of debt. Brown has run up a structural deficit of some 90 billion. A pathetic self serving lying load of crap. More of the same from Balls.

Good riddence to the bastards ...

Just Wonderful said...

I'm so happy. That horrible horrible man has gone. British politics will be a much better place without him. If only he can take Al Campbell and his Lordship Mandelson with him the place would be even further improved.

Hopefully when historians come to look upon him he will be fully exposed as the ruinous and profligate wastrel of a Chancellor that he most certainly was. As for his premiership, well I really don't think my thoughts would have a hope of being published here.

Jimmy said...

I suspect Hughes will pass. His seat will be a real target now.

trevorsden said...

Boulton points out that balls was in effect responsible for torpedoing the Liblab talks by his attitude. balls has already started spinning ans lying like mad.

Brown greeted with raptures at Labour HQ.

Brilliant !! Absolutely brilliant.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Keep at it, Iain. I'd vote for you if you stood down my way.

You may be a bit gay, but you're decent.

Cynlas said...

Thank you for your lovelyness over the last few days, which has got me through all the stress. Now its time to open a bottle of something fab

Paul Halsall said...

So now a time of trial for the poor, the sick, the unemployed arrives in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats could have ensured a permanent social democratic future for Britain, but now they have been bought like cheap harlots.

NickBull said...

"Amnesty" Clegg in charge of immigration as Home Secretary? If so, big trouble ahead for the party.

Harry said...

I hope that David Cameron can block Mandelson's ambitions to be EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. If it is true that he is trying to undermine Baroness Ashton (no matter how poorly she is supposed to be performing) it just proves how untrustworthy he is. It would also be an appropriate "payback" for all the sh*t he has stirred up over the years and the dodgy dealings he appears to have been involved in.

javelin said...

Brown asks "Who was that biggotted old lady as he left the Palace"

A Suburban Voter said...

good riddance to New Labour. May they never come back. Amen.

Ttony said...

Just a thought - this is the end of the LibDems being able to fight every campaign as a purely local phenomenon, isn't it. They can never again pretend that only drains and stray dogs matter.

Power with responsibility. Ho ho ho!

trevorsden said...

'superb resignation statement' ?? (re your twitter)

It was a load of typical self serving drivel. His words on our servicemen were sickening given how he has treated them.

Thank god Mr Dale you are not a tory MP. You are a good chap but too nice to be in politics. Brown deserves nothing for his miserable efforts, no praise what so ever.

Look we have a 90 billion structural deficit. All Brown has achieved is on the back of spending money he did not have. And more ... he spent all that money to manoeuvre himself into a position of power and influence and to undermine his own Prime Minister.

trevorsden said...

I do not believe it - but there is actually a rainbow over Buckingham Palace as Cameron arrives !!

wild said...

"Lib Dem's are big winners"

Yes they have certainly smashed the lie that they are two timing whores who put party interest above the Country.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Paul Halsall said...

"So now a time of trial for the poor, the sick, the unemployed arrives in the UK."

Gosh, horror of horrors, you'll have to get a real job at last.

wild said...

"So now a time of trial for the poor, the sick, the unemployed arrives in the UK."

It you cared about poverty you would not be on the Left. All that motivates you is hatred. Read a history of the Left sometime, you might learn something about yourself.

Steve H said...

***So now a time of trial for the poor, the sick, the unemployed arrives in the UK.***

Lowest social mobility, MRSA, 2.5m out of work? Must have happened under some other party.

Unsworth said...

Well, let's hope it's a new dawn. I fear that the Labour Party will continue as before, not learning the lessons, continuing to fight an irrelevant class war.

But it's an opportunity to rectify the wrongs and to start rebuilding this battered nation. It's going to be a tough few years and we'll be severely tested.

I'd add a personal comment about you Iain - and that is that you've certainly played a tremendous part in this hard won battle. Very well done.

pol-e-tics said...

Paddy Ashdown in the Cabinet? Inconceivable. It was he pushing Clegg into the arms of Labour. There is a theory about keeping troublemakers close. But the Cabinet is far too close.

Nick said...

killemallletgodsortemout said "You may be a bit gay, but you're decent."

WTF ?!?!

awkwardgadgee said...

Cameron has given way too much ground, way too much, and he will quickly come to regret it.

The Libs will enjoy the kudos this gives them and then back off when the going gets rough.

Tories will carry the can.

Salmondnet said...

Err no, I rather think not. A centre left party in power has been replaced by a centre left coalition in power. The substance of government won't change much, just the personalities.

thehoatzin said...

fantastic!

this is going to be fucking hilarious

Jimmy said...

Charlie Whelan is right. Those in our party who still believe that government is an unwelcome distraction from politics should go off and do PhDs. We had a chance to stop this but we blew it. So good luck to you. I've never rated Cameron and still suspect the changes are cosmetic but only the most naked tribalist would wish him to fail and it would be churlish not to congratulate you. His generous remarks about the outgoing government reflect well on him, but then Thatcher quoted St Francis and look how that turned out. We'll see.

javelin said...

It was amazing to hear the contrast between Brown and Cameron.

Brown used the world "I" and "me" twice in virtually every sentence. It was all about how he helped the UK. Brown came out of that speech looking like a massive ego-maniac who formed a Government in his own image. Controlling, centralised and self-obsessed. Even the timing of his resignation was about him.

Cameron came across as a team player. He used the word "us" and "we" in every sentence. A real team player.

Sometimes you don't realised quite how self obsessed Government has become. When I heard Brown speak I didn't realise it. Once I heard Cameron speak it was obvious.

Evensong said...

I'm relieved the shaningans is over, trying to be optimistic about the future yet wary of how the hard decisions that must be taken will be implemented and managed.

I'm also astonished that anyone thinks the events of today mean we have rid ourselves of the disgrace to politics that is Mandleson, Campbell, Whelan and Balls. They are in opposition. They still have their contacts, their media lackeys and their narks in the LibDems. They will already be discussing how to wreck every decision, call in favours and set up leaks. Cameron and Clegg will be fighting from within to make any headway and Labour will be back to peddling their lies and their spin within hours, starting with the LibDem meeting this evening.

DespairingLiberal said...

Evensong, I don't think you understand the concept of "coalition", judging from what you believe LibDems are up to. Some of the comments here are sadly indicative of Backwoods Toryism, therefore giving some indication of troubles to come. Luckily, the new coalition government will be used by Cameron to by-pass the headbangers and rule with a centrist agenda. Many of you are going to be disappointed!

wild said...

"Brown used the world "I" and "me" twice in virtually every sentence...[he] came out of that speech looking like a massive ego-maniac...Controlling, centralised and self-obsessed. Even the timing of his resignation was about him."

He is a malignant narcissist, which is why those who see themselves on the Left instinctively saw him as "one of us".

madbreak said...

And a Minister for the Interwebs? Perhaps you could take the ermine Iain.

Liberal democat said...

This is a very exciting time for British politics. This will change the political landscape and hopefully bring about a time of cooperation and agreement rather than mindless bickering.

I hope one of the side effects of a coalition government will be an increased use of referenda. The purest form of democracy that has been sadly lacking from British politics for far too long. The only way to settle fundamental polar differences for the Lib Dems and Tories will be to put it to a vote of the people. There are signs of this already in the areas of the EU and electoral reform.

Hopefully, gone are the days of broken Labour promises on referenda where they promise us a say until they become worried it contradicts their position.

Hopefully Clegg's influence and the loss of Mandleson and Campbell involvement will clean up British politics and end the era of spin and lies.


Will be interesting to see the reaction of the pro-Tory press who spent so much time hammering Clegg.

Liberal democat said...

I think this development is great news for British politics and its knock-on effects for the political landscape.

I think a coalition government could prove to be much more democratic, where there are fundamental differences in opinion the only resolution is often to promise a referenda, the most direct form of democracy that has been completely absent from Britain for far too long. There are already hints of this with Europe and the electoral system.

Gone are the days of broken promises by Labour who promise referenda only to go back on them when the results are likely to go against what they want.

I can see the Labour party making the mistake of moving to the left in desperation and they will fall flat on their face just as they did in the 1980s and just as the Tories did in the 90s and 00s.

Evensong said...

Despairing Liberal, if you had bothered to read my post properly then you will realise my concern is how Labour's bruised egos will plot and spread poison now they have been cast out of power. They have lied, cheated and used people in the past, and they will carry on their disgusting games. People like Mandleson have their useful idiots in all parties; if you think he or others in the Labour machinery won't use their resources to fight the coalition then you are unbelievably naive. They won't care about the 'national interest' in policies; they will want to point to even the tiniest chink in the coalition and exaggerate it to the hilt until something gives and they can build a surge of support.

If the union was basking in the glow of a budget surplus, over-achieving education, positive pensions and fair tax system then the job would be challenging enough. But it isn't - and that makes the task ahead for Both Cameron and Clegg an awful lot more difficult and the opportunities for Labour to capitalise on potentially unpopular decisions manifold.

As much as I was minded the arrangement would be better for the Conservatives for the LibDems to hook up with Labour, now that it is likely to become reality I for one hope the coalition does succeed and be a real move forwards for this country. But how Cameron deals with the fringes of the Conservatives - and Clegg in turn the LibDems - will be interesting to see; they exist and the coalition will be a battle on two fronts, inside as well as out against the opposition. Don't even try to pretend this will not be the case.

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Evensong

"...Labour's bruised egos will plot and spread poison now they have been cast out of power."

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over that as ZaNuLab are going to have enough on their plates dodging the flying shit when their cooking of the national books over the last thirteen years is exposed.