Tuesday 11 May 2010

Has Clegg ever had more than one option

Poor Nick Clegg. He has everything and nothing. And he foolishly fell for the wily old master of obfuscation's overtures. The subtle Mandelson exploiting the novice.
Actually it wasn't that subtle. Throwing a brick into a duck pond to see what happens.

Mr Clegg needs to think about not just what he can get today, but what he can get tomorrow. The Liberal Democrats seem to have the most to lose if a deal does not go through. But a quick look at the others first.

The Tories have the strongest hand. They have the most votes and most seats. They have not talked about doing deals with greens and nats. They want help from the Libs in exchange for coalition. It looks reasonable. Better, it looks fair. The Tories don't even need the Lib Dems, {but they do really}. There is a great level of anger being felt by many in England at the bizarre loser coalition gaining traction.
UKIP had nearly 1,000,000 votes. Add just 20% of those tactically and Dave is in with a majority, Probably at the Lib Dems MPs expense. You can add in those who switched to the Liberals on the back of Cleggmania {Ms Q for one..she is seething..well I told her...}. For extra punch, ensure an English Parliament goes into the manifesto as a priority. Claim that it will permanently prevent England being run by a Plaid/ SNP/Green coalition.
Labour have bust. They did about as well as anyone who supports them could have hoped and they still failed massively. However, they have sort of, dumped their biggest liability. A new Leader, a more media friendly leader and one with cabinet experience, will be chosen before the next election. That should help improve their lot. Activists, who did better than expected, can surely find a few more votes. They can point to plenty of doomed seats that they retained, and many more safe seats that could have been saved if only a few extra voters turned out. They can talk about the great voter lockout as the reason for their defeat and ignore everything else.

Liberals. Oh dear. The Liberals had a great campaign and a poor election. That should be a warning in itself. OK, the possibility of true PR beckons. Labs and Cons are offering something on voting that neither thought they would ever have to give. But can they deliver? Many Labour MPs will not vote it through. They don't need to follow the leader anymore. There is no leader. They don't fear another election either. To many, if they won in May 2010, they will win bigger in October 2010. Tories can be whipped. They are more likely, but not guaranteed, to vote now as the Leader wishes, in the hope of achieving an outright majority soon.

The Rainbow coalition is a bad idea. Nick Clegg must know it is. The arithmatic is against it. All of Labour's and Liberals MPs and all the odds and sods must agree on every vote. The majority is so slim that the whips will have fleets of private cars to whisk MPs from around the Isles for every vote in case they are defeated. A few sick..a few disgruntled..a few bribed.?
And even if it does work, as already said, the English backlash could be catastrophic for the Liberals.
The party who campaigned on fairness and helped to keep the majority party from government.
They lost MPs in May. They could lose many more next time.

Clegg must try to have appeared to do a deal with Labour. Otherwise he loses his Lib/Lab supporters which are many. They will go back to Labour from whence they came.
He should have done it far more openly for both his potential suitors and his own members to see, but lets hope that is what he is doing. Appearing to have tried his best for a 'progressive' government and gaining significant concessions from the Tories, before recognising the impossibility of it working and leaving it to be a 'what if' question in the political history books.


Nick Drew said...

boy oh boy the next election will be Fun !

roym said...

excellent post.

i must say i have appreciated much of what you lot have put up on here this past week. much better than some of the filth and nonsense in the MSM.

IMHO, this election has been 2 years in the coming, i dont mind cleggy taking a couple more days.

interesting what you say about an english parliament, though i might suggest that the celts may have felt under the yoke for decades prior to 1997

Botogol said...

I don't understand Cameron : as you say, the LibDems only ever had one option. So why did Cameron give away so much?

Is it the case that Cameron was simply spooked by sight of the Lib/Labs cuddling up on Monday, and he blinked first? - ie outwitted by Clegg, Campbell and Mandelsohn