Monday, May 10, 2010

When National Interest Transcends Party

The BBC politics website has just quoted me saying this...
Iain Dale, Conservative blogger, says some within both the Lib Dems and the Tories will "rip up their membership cards" if a deal is agreed. He tells the BBC that if party interest was paramount, coalition would be out of the question, but now both sides are putting national interest first so the rules of the game have changed.

I said this on the News Channel earlier as a statement of reality. Of course there will be party members in both parties who cannot see beyond narrow party interest and resign their memberships. I hope there won't be many of them, but it would be ridiculous to pretend that there won't be some refusniks. Everyone needs to concentrate ont he bigger picture here.

In normal circumstances I'd be arguing vociferously against entering a coalition, but we are not in normal circumstances. A stable government is an absoluet pre-requisite to bringing about a stable economy and tackling the deficit.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree

My own view Shouting From The Centre:

Richard said...

Totally agree with this, and both sides also have to agree they won't both get to implement their entire manifesto, it's simply not possible

Suburbian said...

Iain, I thought your comment was more a statement of reality than an opinion really; the fact is that when you start talking coalitions, it necessitates a movement by parties toward one another. That movement, lead inevitably by the leaderships, means some in each party feel uncomfortable enough to leave. Lets not forget that parties are coalitions themselves.
Perhaps it's inevitable in this information vacuum that some commentators seem to be hanging on any comment as a tool to create a sub-story.

The key thing from your interview was Charlie Whelan's bizarre analysis from some parallel universe! "More smiling faces on Labour side on election night" indeed. Not at the counts I was watching!

Angry Walrus said...


I've just finished my quick view on what's happening. I conclude that the only way that a coalition will work is if both the Lib-Dems and the Tories put their interest a long way below that of the country. Otherwise, we'd rapidly head into a Lab-Lib deal leading to (even more of) an economic nightmare.

My post here


P.S. Cheers for the link a few days back. Something about that piece seemed to chime with a lot of people. Pity it didn't change enough minds!

Anonymous said...

Party interests should ALWAYS come secondary to National Interests, irrespective of difficult times.

When will you professional political types realise that is why WE employ you.

Dilettante said...

I'm all for a coalition too. Proper liberal conservative government and market stability - there really isn't another viable option in this parliament anyway.

My own liberal-conservative blog was founded yesterday when I realised quite how dominant the dry-right were in the Blue Blogosphere.

Desperate Dan said...

I just want them to just get on with it. I want the happy smiling pictures of Cameron and Clegg shaking hands and telling us everything's going to be alright. I want to see the back of Brown, Mandelson, Blair, Adonis, Balls, Campbell (Labour are the only party whose negotiations are being carried out by peers). I'd like the news to move on to the sunny uplands of the future. I'm looking forward to civilised grown-ups running the country.

Anonymous said...

If the Tories just point out how bad Liebour have been, then it will be ignored as 'they would say that, wouldn't they'. If both point it out it may get through the the public just what Liebour have been doing in their name. For instance, a FOI the other week, showed that the communities ministry (The 'Keep the country passive' ministry) had issued a Secret order that Travellers planning transgressions were not to be penalised. How many other Secret directives have they issued.

Ruth@VS said...

I agree - the major thing I learned in the corporate business world is that in order to make progress towards your long term goal, you have to be prepared to compromise on some things for the sake of short term progress towards that goal.

Those who don't understand this don't live in the real world, and I am sure that there are slightly delusional idealists in both parties who fall into this category. I'm with the pragmatists on this one - national interest comes first.

David said...

You said it Iain. Especially the bit about tackling our bankrupsy problem.
Personally I do not believe Labour would even try to be good to their word (what a joke) and try halving it in 5 years, the possible result being of course that we lose our hard-won (after previous Labour bankrupcy) AAA-status and watch a massive interest rate hike foisted on the UK.

Roger Thornhill said...

What about National Interest before and on May 6th, such as supporting policies, no, ONE policy, allowing UKIP to disband gracefully?

So please, don't talk to me about National Interest.

jailhouselawyer said...

It's not the economy, stupid, it's the power. Cameron sought absolute power but was rejected by the electorate who felt he could not be trusted.

javelin said...

I still believe a Celtic coalition would create a more stable UK Government in the short, medium and long term. It would also be democratically stronger, philosophically clearer. And economically more purposeful.

Let's just call the Change coalition the Heath-Robinson coalition and get the consituency boundries sorted out before the next election in October.

Jonforest said...

Can't really argue, Iain, but it doesn't alter the fact that Cameron would not now have to be grubbing around for coalitions with left-of-centre parties had he not flagrantly and deliberately neglected the traditional centre-right coalition which he has had the privilege to "lead" over the past five years.
Memo to Dave: all great parties are, in themselves, coalitions and the Conservative Party is a coalition of the centre-RIGHT.
Do you think Dave still believes in the strategy of "losing 25% to gain 50%"? For sure, he achieved half his goal and lost the 25% (to UKIP or abstentions).
Perhaps he can now "gain the 50%" through a coalition with the Dim Dums - but I'm not sure that was the way it was supposed to work.

Andrew said...

The economy is not the only issue though Iain.

You keep saying that we have to solve the economy and I agree, but constitutional reform is more dangerous as it cannot be reversed. Any concessions made on it for the sake of the economy could back fire, as permament coalition government as under PR will weaken our chances of strong government and thus a strong economy in the future.

You cannot just ditch the constitution in order to save the economy, both have to be protected...equally.

troymolloy said...

I agree emphatically that country should come before party, but cannot remember that last time this was so.

I am habitually cynical these days, but is there not a sense here that Dave and Nick, and their various cohorts, are saying this is all about putting the country first, but in actual fact the likely coalition is more about a triumph of personal ambition over party loyalty, with the country's interests being relegated to third in their minds? If the country's interests do turn out to be best served, it can only be in spite of the desperation for 'power' shared by the two parties.

John East said...

If this deal goes through I will shave my beard off and never wear sandals again. I hope Nick Clegg reads this and realises the consequences of his actions.

neil craig said...

Not being in power may well help parties keep the appeal of political virginity however refusing power is differesnt & more like sleeping around while refusing marriage.

Right Hon. said...

Judging by the vicious and unscrupulous way the election campaigns were run I can't see anyone putting the 'National Interest' first.

The plan will be gain as much advantage for your own party and make sure your opponents get the blame when it all goes tits-up.

Or am I getting cynical in my old age?

Rush-is-Right said...

Iain... utter bollocks. All you need is to wear a flower in your hair and say "Why can't we all just get along?"

And where does Clegg get the idea that it is his job to decide the make-up of the next government? He lost seats and voter share.

We all know what needs to be done. There is an enormous deficit. Costs must be cut, and revenue must be raised. An axe has to be taken to the government. That means root and branch cuts to departments, to quangos, and to the bloated salaries and pension rights of all those currently and formerly working in the public sector. Will the Liberals help with this?

You need to reclaim powers that have been passed to Brussels, starting with the power to decide the way our agriculture and fisheries are administered, and then moving on to control of the borders, finance and industry. Will the Liberals help with this?

You need to encourage and reward free enterprise. That means cuts to the employment red-tape, and the removal of all the H&S nonsense and the equality agenda. Will the Liberals help with this?

There need to be tax cuts. What is it about the Laffer Curve that you do not understand?

There must be an immediate and total ban on all non-EU immigration. Will the Liberals help with this?

The Defence forces need to be properly equipped, and that includes renewing Trident. Will the Liberals help with this?

The Lib-Dims can be of no assistance in enacting any of this agenda. They are and have been as much of the problem as the labour scum have been.

To go along with any part of the Lib-Dumb agenda would not be to temper Conservative principles. It would be to reverse them. And to justify doing so along the lines that it was putting the nation's interest first is simply meretricious. With the Libs on board, nothing of any importance can or will be achieved.

What the country needs can only be provided by a conservative government. And if that cannot happen, then let the other parties keep b*ggering on until the cat-fight starts and the IMF have to rescue you. It wouldn't take long.

I think that would be better than any alternative on offer. At least it contains some sort of hope for the future.