Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Outta Here

Rob Fenwick is a gentle sort. Not given to extravagent gestures. For those who don't know him he invented LibDem Voice, but then left others to get on and run it. He has his own blog but over recent years hasn't been that involved in frontline LibDem politics, preferring to concentrate on his career.

Today, he very publicly resigned from the LibDems, writing about it HERE on his blog. I find his decision baffling, but that's not the point of this post. It made me wonder what my breaking point would be with the Conservative Party. What would tip me over the edge. Just for a bit of fun I thought I'd list a few things which would drive me out of the Party I support.

1. If David Cameron appointed Peter Mandelson to anything. (I hope I am not tempting fate...)
2. If the Conservative Party voted to join the euro.
3. If a Conservative government failed to defend British sovereign territory.

What would your breaking point be?


Moriarty said...

Not sure Iain. It depends on the precise relationship between the number of toys and the weight of the pram.

Evan Harris anywhere near my policy platform might do it. I have an 8 month old baby son hair..."Dr" Harris might decide that's a basis for...well you know what

Roger Thornhill said...

"failed to defend sovereign territory"

Iain, i'd find that membership card if I were you.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

If today proves anything it is that tribalism has been publicly denounced by Clegameron. Whether they mean it or not is anybody's guess, but it was interesting to see that commenters on previous posts, especially Labour and Lib Dems, just do not get it. We are in the arena of polemical eclecticism and some people will die out like dinosaurs if they continue to act like the lost tribes of the Serengeti.

As for your red lines, they are on the event horizon and Cameron would have to have had a fairly bad drug trip, and a desire to go to be with Elvis in order to even contemplate them.

As for Mandy, he is finished. No more cushy cash rich jobs in Europe, no more protection from delving into his private life, no more pulling the strings at Number Ten. He, along with Balls and Whelan are part of the necrotizing carcass of Blair/Brown, and now, what is left of Labour know better than to have them anywhere near them.

MikeyP said...

Doing a deal with the Lib Dums

Ray said...

unfortunately I think there are many people like Mr Fenwick in all organisations and in life also. We have all met them, they always know how we should do everything, always disagree with the people who have to make the decisions, and are always there in the background muttering "that'll never work. However when the decision makers jobs come up for grabs they are curiously absent, only to reappear after the appointment has been made to point out whats wrong with the chosen candidate.
I am surprised I have not seen anything yet about Lib Dems crossing the floor, when and who will be the first ? I cannot imagine that none of them won't.

Anonymous said...

there is not much british soveregn terretory left. The falklands is being protected, Hong Kong has been givn back. Gibralter?

Turks and cacos -- the US would probably beat us nto it and the currency is the dollar anyway.

You are safe. I can think of a few things mandelson could be appointed to. Truth and Reconciliation Committee?

but great to see the lefty LDs moving on ... A true centre party is emerging. I am a right winger, but the way the tectonic plates are moving is pleasing me for now.

it is pathetic of course to see someone but self before country, because that is what stumping off means.
The real issue is the debt at the moment and lets not forget - its nut just cutting the deficit (168 billion - even saying it quick is no relief) but building up a surplus. Once the debt stops rising (if) it has to be paid back!!!!!

Quite frankly even now there are so many people that do not realise the shit that Brown has dropped us into.

Jimmy said...

Spare a thought for poor Ed McMillan Scott.

thespecialone said...

Spending £bns on wind turbines because the LDs said it should be spent. Meanwhile, troops go without equipment due to cutbacks in the defence budget.

Dark Lords of Spin said...

I am disappointed by the attitude of many of the Lib Dems members, who say the party should never do a deal with us 'evil' Tories.
If they would only ever do deal with with Labour, then what would the incentive for Labour to ever offer them something if there's ever another hung parliament.
People will never trust you as 3rd party if you are constantly on the side lines, you need to cut your teeth and show the voters what you have to offer.
Finally a message for those Lib Dems, that say we would only support Labour only, you really need to stop and think which party you want to be in, is it the Liberals or Labour.

Here's a prediction for you all, this coalition could split the Lib Dems in the end, I predict the Orange Bookers join the Tories, the old SDP's and the more socialist types join Labour and that just leaves the very wierdie beardies to join the Greens

Unknown said...

The loss of FPTP on our watch, or any move closer towards Europe.

dazmando said...

not very impressed that Rob Fenwick turned his comments off. I would respect him for leaving although as I cant have a say I dont

Lord Palmerston said...

I'd like to say failure to defend traditional Tory values, such as the hereditary principle and the Established Church, but I fear that they have no place in the 'modern Conservative Party'.

A failure to defend the monarchy and the Union would get me angry.

All that said, there is an argument that the Conservative Party stands for only one thing: power. On this view, anything else is up for grabs.

Unknown said...

Forming a coalition with the lib dems when they should have run it in minority for a few months before a further election in October.

Iain - all this is spin , there just aren't. Now, come a snap election the electorate are going to kick these P twats out forever.

We'll be burning effigies of "born to it Dave" by 11th November.

Praguetory said...

As far as I understand Rob has left because Cameron and Clegg are rich and white (not very liberal is he?), he doesn't like Tories and he doesn't think that Lib Dems will be able to serve their constituents if they are in government. Odd bloke.

Hiraeth said...

Ultimately, grown up politics is about compromise. The great question has to be what is a compromise too far. The Conservative Party has already adjusted to devolution in Scotland and Wales, the minimum wage, the welfare state, democracy, the disestablishment and disendowment of the Church in Wales...

Well, you get the idea. By doing so at each of these points, the Conservative Party has ensured that these developments worked for the party's natural constituency. Indeed, of the above developments, only the minumum wage and devolution were not helped on their way by a Conservative Government. Had Thatcher agreed to Scottish devolution, I suspect the party wouldn't be in its current lamentable state north of that particular border.

So, where does the parting of the ways come in? Well, in part if the Conservative Party ever became a sect, rather than a party. Or if it embraced socialism or the blind worship of the free market.

timbone said...

Well I am quite excited today, and I think that Rob Fenwick is still in the last millenium. His article which you linked to made me think of one word, and it begins with T

Trolitburo said...

I'd say a lib-dem/conservative pact pushes the conservatives past the integrity event horizon.

Libertarian said...

Not giving the people a referendum on remaining in a Federal European Union, yet still banging on about democracy

Jabba the Cat said...

"Today, he[Rob Fenwick] very publicly resigned from the LibDems..."


Robert said...

The Conservative Party gifted UK sovereignty to Brussels by letting the Lisbon Treaty stand.

Our regional government has just appointed Dave as our representative on the Council of Ministers.

But then you know all this and do nothing about it.

madbreak said...

What about reversals on gay rights Iain? What if Cons allowed religious organisations to discriminate in employment and provision of services eg. adoption services? They wouldn't be the first party to throw a bone to their right-wing on gay rights.

Anonymous said...

Here in Scotland voters saw through the Lib Dems a long time ago as an unprincipled bunch of chancers who would sell their grannies in order to gain power. Hence why their vote has been in decline in Scotland for many years. The few people I know who voted this time around for the Lib Dems are in a state of shock at what has happened and tell me they will never vote Lib Dem again.

Frugal Dougal said...

I agree with Moriarty at the top 100%.

David said...

1. ID cards
2 Abandonment of the nuclear deterrent (outside of a pie in the sky global agreement) Worthless, dangerous nuclear systems ala Lib Dem policy of last week would be included here
3. Support for the breakup of the UK (though obviously it might be unstoppable and then we'd just have to make it work)
4. Abolition of the Monarchy
5. Abandonment of Churchill's conception of the safety net, either by letting people fall below, or more likely, by thinking it acceptable to let them get tangled in it. We must never forget that we are supposed to be the party of aspiration.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale gaining a seat! Only joking, you'll make a great MP one day Iain.

Caro said...

Having only just joined the party yesterday, I hope they won't do anything to make me leave again in a hurry :-(

I think my breaking point would be a Conservative government sending British troops to fight in someone else's country - unless that country was an ally under attack which had specifically asked for our help.

As the mother of a 25 year old son, my heart breaks every time some other mother's son dies in one of New Labour's pointless wars. I see there is nothing about Afghanistan in the coalition document, but I hope the new government will make it a priority to bring our troops home from there as soon as possible.

On the other side of the scales, I hope the government will also make it a priority to ensure that the Falkland Islands and their oilfields are so robustly defended that we shall never again need to fight to defend them.

I also hope they will exert maximum pressure on President Obama to acknowledge and support British sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. We are, after all, under increasing pressure to return Diego Garcia to its rightful inhabitants, whilst the sale of the US military bases in the UK would make a welcome contribution to reducing the debt. I'm sure he'll see sense.

Curmy said...

Saying they'd decided to let all the illegal asylum seekers and dependants stay .

awkwardgadgee said...

If a promise to hold a referendum on Lisbon was not kept. That would be me finished.

Jim Baxter said...

Sometimes democracy has to be protected from itself if it is to survive.

Forgetting that would get us all ourta here.

Hughes. said...

I stopped reading Fenwick's diatribe as soon as he got to Thatcher (and pretty quickly he got there too). Labour deciding to fight against the government of 1983 delivered a similar electoral fate to the Labour party of 1983. Any Lib-Dems who'd put partisan hate over the chance to govern have no business being self-righteous.

As I read elsewhere today, if the Lib-Dems genuinely love PR so much, they're going to have to come to terms with what that means in terms of future election results. This is it.

If their dream scenario is to always be the casting vote after the inconclusive general elections PR would guarantee, they must be prepared to deal with whoever has the strongest mandate, not just abuse the position to prop up a perpetual Labour government, regardless of how utterly illiberal it has been.

Today the ID card scheme was scrapped, so was the National Identity Register. Would the Labour party have allowed their decade of assaults on personal liberty to be summarily dumped? I don't believe so for a second.

ID cards are the main reason I didn't vote Conservative in 1997. ID cards, Sharia Law, and joining the Euro would probably be my personal tipping points.

John Babb said...

How about if my government decided to protect itself by introducing a 55% hurdle for any vote of confidence?

What was all this rubbish about it being easier to get rid of MP's who don't do what the electors want?
This from a band of thugs who claimed that 306 seats instead of the 325 majority still gave legitimacy!!!!

wild said...

The Conservatives are (or at least should be) a radical tax reducing government. The balance of power in Leftist Britain needs to be shifted away from the political classes back towards the individuals and communities that make up our Civil Society.

The Liberal Democrats are tax increasers who are happy to maintain, if not augment, the power and wealth of the political classes - on the grounds that they think that it is fairer if they spend other peoples money, both on themselves and on those who they hope will be dependent upon them in a Client State.

I am happy for there to be a coaltion at this time, between those who want to cut the size of the State and those who want to increase taxes, given that both policies have to be pursued to clear the debts racked up by the last Labour government.

If, however, as the economy began to recover, the Conservatives did not seek to gradually reduce the tax burden, by improving rates and thresholds (yes including the Socialist Inheritance Tax!) once they could afford to do so, I would rapidly cease being so supportive of the Lib-Con coalition.

The "once they can afford to do so clause" must be applied in the understanding that LOWER taxes generate HIGHER revenues in the medium to long term.

The timescale I am talking about in other words is this Five Year government, not some vague future aspiration.

If the Conservatives were to become a Leftish party, committed to sustained high rates of taxation, then a red line would have been crossed for me.

There would be no point in voting for any party, because all three parties likely to be in power would be members of (essentially) the same ruling elite with (essentially) the same policies.

Bill Quango MP said...

Starting a war somewhere because Dave rather likes spending time in Obama's company..
Maybe it would take two wars..

Goodwin said...

Mine was Cast Iron Dave renaging on the EU referendum.

Nigel said...

My breaking point was sometime during Mrs. Thatcher's third term. I've never had any desire to be a member of a political party since.

HF said...

Tinkering with the constitution without an all party constitutional convention, a free vote in the HOC and a referendum.

Although I understand the reasoning behind the 55% barrier (it is to ensure the LDs cant suddenly split and bring down the government whenever they want, which if my dealings with them on a local level are anything to go by is quite possible) I dont think it is for the governing party or coalition to unilaterally change the terms by which they can be ejected from office. That way lies Mugabe

I'm very comfortable with an elected senate, provided passed by normal constitutional processes

HF said...

Tinkering with the constitution without an all party constitutional convention, a free vote in the HOC and a referendum.

Although I understand the reasoning behind the 55% barrier (it is to ensure the LDs cant suddenly split and bring down the government whenever they want, which if my dealings with them on a local level are anything to go by is quite possible) I dont think it is for the governing party or coalition to unilaterally change the terms by which they can be ejected from office. That way lies Mugabe

I'm very comfortable with an elected senate, provided passed by normal constitutional processes

Weygand said...

"Two privately educated white male millionaires.."

Why should they be disqualified from office for that?

Why in any category would being state educated, black, female or poor make them intrinsically better fitted for office?

Racism, sexism etc either work both ways or are intellectually dishonest.

It is such socialist bigotry which helps explain why 13 years of prosperity brought no improvement in social opportunity.

And let's not forget the hypocrisy that not only was the Labour Party also then headed by 'privately educated white male millionaires' but it seems likely that the new Labour leader will also fall into that category.

Unknown said...

I'd probably start to lose my rag if a surprising number of senior activists in a party which I've always supported which has always campaigned on a platform of electoral reform suddenly proclaimed coalition government to be unthinkable.

Oh... wait... I'm right there.

Apparently all this time I thought I was voting for LibDem candidates, LibDem policies and electoral reform I was apparently voting for perpetual impotence, never taking the necessary steps to pass those policies and the kind of tribalism exhibited by Labour which makes cooperative coalition government impossible.

Who knew?

Maybe we could bring back the 'coupon' election idea so I could know whether I was campaigning for a candidate that thought he had an moral obligation to do what he could to ensure the policies in the manifesto were enacted or not. If you're some kind of mad 'catch-all protest candidate' you get nothing.

I leave the coalition process with 100% faith in the LibDem leadership, the federal exec and the parliamentary party and some substantial worries about our voter and activist base.

1. I'm sure Cameron will appoint him to some kind of Lords Committee on somethingorother.
2. Startlingly 'Britain will not join the Euro for the duration of this parliament' is in the coalition agreement; why won't you believe us when we tell you that's what's written in our manifesto? Did your negotiation team never get around to reading it? I have half formed visions of that being the trade for the three-line whip on electoral reform and Laws et all stifling their giggles and saying 'we'll try to bring the party round on the idea'.
3. Not up for what a Republican friend suggested then? Form a minority government with the SNP and then give Scotland independence, dissolve parliament and have fresh elections with the Conservative majority. I explained to him he didn't quite understand unionists.... Not up for it?

Unknown said...

"I am surprised I have not seen anything yet about Lib Dems crossing the floor, when and who will be the first ? I cannot imagine that none of them won't." - Danny, Vince or Simon would have been the most likely, I'd have said of the senior members but in all honesty; why on earth would we leave to join the Labour party? Or do you mean sitting as independents? Don't see it happening. Feel free to start betting though.

Unknown said...

"5. Abandonment of Churchill's conception of the safety net, either by letting people fall below, or more likely, by thinking it acceptable to let them get tangled in it. We must never forget that we are supposed to be the party of aspiration."

Er.... not saying the Labour council didn't help but; Liverpool? During the Thatcher years? Glasgow same time?

Gerry57 said...

If we continue to let down our soldiers and their families as Labour have done. We owe them so much.

Unknown said...

"How about if my government decided to protect itself by introducing a 55% hurdle for any vote of confidence?"

Ha! Yeah! That one was all you. That's your protection clause against us. Our protection clause against you is... er... um....

Woops. You still need a majority to get things passed and you can't dissolve parliament... unless you want to? Which presumably you would if we kept shooting down your budgets.

55% is a pretty stupid number, eh? The only WTF moment in the whole agreement for me, other than the 'will not join the Euro' thing.

Lauchlan McLean said...

My observations on your comments
1) It could never happen, you must have had too much Blue Nun with lunch
2) My main fear, we fought an election under William Hague to save the pound.(Before he was sacked)
3) If they sold out on Gibralter
4) If they bent the knee and grovelled to the LDs plan to grant illegals an amnesty.
5) Did not sack Cathy Ashdon

Anonymous said...

Your reasons and the first bit of Climate Change scam legislation that panders to the Liberals Church of Climatology belief in the AGW scam

Duncan Borrowman said...

To turn it slightly on its head, what would make me leave the Liberal Democrats? It would be the day we sold out on this - (Lib Dem members have the opening paragraph on the back of our membership cards, our Clause 4 if you like, we haven't done that in forming the coalition. So Rob, while he is entitled to his opinion, is wrong in my opinion.

Newmania said...

Funny you say that Iain it is a more a lack of intelligence and maturity that would infuriate me

If ultra right wing show boaters , for exmaple ,wrecked this coalition I would be very tempted to leave in disgust

Rob said...

I think Mr Fenwick needs to sit back, relax , kick off his socks and sandals, smell the organic fairtrade coffee and...grow up. I read his blogpost and it was pathetic. The libdems will be better off without snide little class warriors like him. It doesn't matter that the two leaders were white male millionaires. Would a black militant one armed lesbian be a better prime minister (Maybe. If her policies were really good I wouldn't have a problem.)?

Libdems want PR. Deals like this are what would happen under PR. Some political activists are so naive.

Tapestry said...

Oh dear. He didn't realise that winning power was the aim. He liked posturing about power, and avoiding the nasty reality of it, preferring to hate those who achieved it.

The Labradoodles might form an electoral pact in five years time if this works out.

But for this guy the future will be cancelled. He likes things as they were. Don't we all.

50 Calibre said...

I've never understood quite what the problem is with the Euro.

Every time I need some Euros the banks and money exchangers screw me for lots on the rate and lots on transfer fees and it takes days. Inter-european bank transfers cost me nothing going on 3€ and they are instant.

It's only money...

Anonymous said...

And just where is this guy going to run to?

Straw in todays Times says ... 'There is too much bad blood between Labour and the Lib Dems for a deal to have stuck'

Hah -- so much for a progressive left coalition. So much for Labour caring about the nation - the truth is they have no stomach for cleaning up their mess. And lets not forget the cuts to come are because Labour spent money it did not have and browns spending spree - on borrowed money he could not hope to pay back - was to prop up his own position in the labour party.

Not a sheep said...

Theresa May as Home Secretary has put me close to the edge, but then I am not a member of the Conservative party.

Anonymous said...

I see one or two are banging on abiout an EU referendum. The Treaty was passed, its in to law.

What earthly point could a referendum do? The Libs and Labour could simply refuse to get involved because the whole thing would be pointless leading to total ridicule all round.
I hate the EU - which is why I despise Brow'sn and Clegg's decision. But I recognise the terrible state of the economy and having the LDs on side as the cuts are made is perfect - and we have to recognise that in this time of crisis (and it IS a crisis - the biggest peacetime crisis we have ever faced in my lifetime) we have to recognise that the Tories do not have a majority.

Sean said...

My breaking point would be if they don't get the deficit and then public debt under control.

Anonymous said...

My breaking point was passed a while back when: commitment to stay in the EU; determination to drive us back to pre-industrial Green Utopia because of the Climate Change scam.

The Toff-ee Coalition of the Dubious Brothers will only make a worse situation more worser!

DespairingLiberal said...

@Wrinkled - you are obviously right about the new eclecticism - Rob Fenwick does not seem to get this and, slightly foolishly, seems to think the new daveandnick system is about a propping up of a new Thatcherism - if anything, this is Blairism a la 1997 by other means. So revealing that Ashdown has given this the seal of approval - all that has happened is that the Blair/Ashdown talks of that year have now come to pass.

Against this background, talk of red lines and ripping up party cards belong to never-never land. In the new paradigm, all things are possible.

Can't agree with you about seeing the Last of Mandy though - I am confident he will return after a suitable gap, perhaps heading a commission or some such. I actually think he is very well suited to Cameroonian-neo-sensibilist-psuedo-Cleggianism.

DespairingLiberal said...

On another point, what has happened to Damian Green? As a backbench hero, I would have expected him to be given a job - I haven't seen the lists of the lower pecking orders, has he been given one?

Paddy Briggs said...


In that case you will be "Outta here" well within ten years. The Conservatives will join the Euro - or acquiesce when a non-Conservative government does so. Why? Because Britain has eventually joined every European institution - generally after years of thinking we could go it alone. From the Common Market through to signing the most recent EU treaty we eventually do the right thing. I wish that we were leaders not followers - but at least we do get there in the end!

Man in a Shed said...

I've just read Rob Fenwick article. It strikes me ho self indulgent and adolescent it is.

What did he think the responsibilities of power would be like ?

Desperate Dan said...

Failure to defend the monarch as head of state.

Grand_Inquisitor said...

Iain, the proposal by the EU Commission for the EU to vet national budgets may bring you closer to that decision sooner than you may have thought.

Desperate Dan said...

They're already trying to put me off by announcing a load of loony unnecessary PR stunts instead of getting on with the job of sorting out the mess so that we can judge them on results. Giving press conferences every five minutes to pander to a childish press and having expensive travelling cabinets doesn't suggest that sorting out the country is their prime aim.
We all know the press and media are utter crap. It doesn't matter what bile they print/broadcast. Their opinions should be ignored by the new government same as they are ignored by the public.

The Huntsman said...

As far as formal membership of the Conservative party is concerned, I reached the tipping point on 22 November 1990. Since then my support for the Conservative Party has had to be earned on a case-by-case basis.

That too has ceased with effect from the moment after the 2009 European Elections when it became clear that Cameron was going to welsh on his cast-iron guarantee to allow the British People to decide for themselves about Lisbon.

had that not been so, the present stitch up would have sufficed.

Salmondnet said...

Abandoning right wing conservative values under the leadership of a MacMillanesque patrrician crypto-liberal ........oh hang on.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I might ask why Fenwick did not leave the LibDems earlier since Nick Clegg is a posh millionaire but I will pass that by.

Both leaders knew full well that there would be attrition from the extreme left and right of their respective parties - do not think of them as fools. Their own advisors would have prepped them on those consequences. However, those who leave the park cannot take the ball with them and their impact will not be felt for 5 years, the time they have in which to sulk.

We have already seen the intransigence of the UKippers who preferred to be lemmings than to be saved from the cliff edge.They are not coming back and if another few thousand join them the impact will be small. The Left of the LibDems has always been a wavering sector of the electorate, largely remains of the SDP.

Nothing succeeds like success and the moans and bleats will diminish if the coalition makes a good fist of it.

What would make me leave the Conservatives? Death for sure. Further concession of sovereignty is another. Failure to control non-EU immigration another. Apart from those? Nothing.

Steve Tierney said...

Further integration with the EU.

Unknown said...

My breaking point was passed a while back when: commitment to stay in the EU; determination to drive us back to pre-industrial Green Utopia because of the Climate Change scam.

As econyonium said: I resigned my membership on exactly those grounds - and the fact I couldn't extract a commitment to lowering tax across the board (before the recession that was).

Anonymous said...

The other point Mr Dale should realise lies in his opening sentence 'Rob Fenwick is a gentle sort. Not given to extravagant gestures' -- clearly he is NOT and poor Mr Dale once again underestimate those opponents who hate his guts.

Mr Fenwick and all the other LDs who say things like 'I did not vote/ campaign to put the tories in Downing St' should realise what they have done is put Clegg and the LDs in Downing St.

In 2015 I look forward to voting for the One Nation Party - and there is me a right winger !

Anonymous said...

My breaking point is Mandy joining this govt. UKIPs are in a tail spin after having failed to secure a single success. The only achievement for them is discovering a beaten Farage in a plane wreck. As for Libdem loony brigade they will take a walk in the dark jungle to a never never land. Libdems hitherto were like Palestinians about whom Abba Eban said " they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". It is best the bulk of Libdems stick with this govt, for they will never get their hands on the levers of power for another 90 years. Bill Cash ( who played with cash in flipping homes) and fellow travellers should shut up or be thrown out by the voters. Voters have no stomach for Euroscepticism now when the enemy is the debt mountain. They should rally behind Cameron which is what voters like me who has been voting Tory for 30 years expect. As for Tebbit, he needs a break and should try a Caribbean Island for 56 months.

Elby the Beserk said...

Commuting the death penalties passed on Blair and Brown for treason against the nation.

Unknown said...

"Both leaders knew full well that there would be attrition from the extreme left and right of their respective parties - do not think of them as fools.

I don't think that quite captures it. After all, I'm someone who's on the left wing of the Liberal Democrats (in terms of goals and values, if not quite economic policy) yet I approve of the deal. There are two basic reasons for this a) it's a less conservative and more liberal government we're going to have than if we hadn't joined the coalition and b) we got a lot of our policy passed and that is, or at least I thought it was, the goal of a political party.

It turns out some people believe the goal of political parties, or the LibDems at any rate (Blunkett feels the same way about Labour, apparently), is to sit impotently on the opposition benches when they fail to get a majority in some sort of impotent-but-ideologically-pure haze. The attrition is of people who decided the Conservative party were, not folks with different opinions to us (and a slight disposition towards corruption) but the personification of evil in British politics; therefore a coalition to them is kind of like if at the end of Star Wars Luke Skywalker had gotten together with Darth Vader to 'pursue common purposes in politics'. Similarly I suspect the Conservative hemorrhage will be from those who associate Conservative rule and policy with all things good and right.

Is it good for a party to lose its members who are politically retarded? It might be, but on the other hand some of these people deliver leaflets and donate money and so it; it might be harmful.

Again: there's plenty on the 'left wing' of the LibDems who feel that Nick took the only respectable left wing decision.

Roland Deschain said...

Requiring a 55% vote to pass a no confidence motion. Admit it Iain, if Labour tried that you'd be apoplectic. It's just as unacceptable under the Tories.

However, since I've never been in the Conservative party (but usually voted for them) perhaps it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Is it good for a party to lose its members who are politically retarded? It might be, but on the other hand some of these people deliver leaflets and donate money and so it; it might be harmful.

Leaflets won't matter so much going forwards, as TV will increasingly become the media of communication.

Donations won't matter so much going forwards, as state funding for parties will no doubt appear sometime soon.

Bottom line: members won't matter very much in the near future. All that will matter is being a centrist socdem party, who understands that it is subservient to the financial markets and big business interests. Which they all do already...

Caro said...

@Roland Deschain

The requirement for a no confidence motion to bring down the Government will remain 50% +1. The new 55% requirement is for a vote to bring about the dissolution of Parliament - a completely separate thing. It is standard practice in other countries which have fixed term parliaments - to prevent the party in power from getting round the fixed term by voting against itself and thus bringing about an election at an advantageous time of its own choosing. So it is a necessary part of the move to a fixed term parliament. Under the proposed new system the government could lose a confidence vote if 50% +1 voted against them. The Prime Minister would then have to resign and the Queen could invite the leader of another party to form a government. What the Prime Minister could not do would be to use a no confidence vote to trigger a general election. The actual disssolution of Parliament would require a 55% vote. This paper from the Constitution Unit at University College London explains the issue: . You will see that the Liberal Democrat Manifesto pledged to “introduce fixed-term parliaments to ensure that
the Prime Minister of the day cannot change the date of an election to suit themselves” whilst the Conservative manifesto pledged to make
“the Royal Prerogative subject to greater democratic control so that Parliament is properly
involved.” Since the Labour manifesto also contained a pledge to bring in fixed term parliaments, I am not sure why any of the parties are getting so upset about this.

Caro said...

PS In Scotland and Wales the Assemblies have fixed terms and the vote required for earlier dissolution is two thirds.

Unknown said...

What would make ME vote for any party?

Anyone who had Bliar and Alistair Campbell arrested and dragged off in handcuffs to the Hague for war crimes trials or better still handed over to the people of Iraq for justice.

That would be worth my vote.

Unknown said...

I am very much a temporary tory ... but a state funeral for Maggie Thatcher would do it for me!

Dilettante said...

1) A compromise on the Union.
2) Failing to defend, or worse actively campaigning for the independence of, BOTs.
3) Pulling out of the European Union.
4) Slashing our defence capability.
5) Attacking the remaining Grammar Schools.