Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Shotgun Wedding?

So we have a coalition government of the Tories and the Lib Dems. But how long will it last? They think it will last for five years and that is clearly why they have set an actual date for the next election. I’m not at all convinced that it will last for the five years they want it to. They are hardly natural allies after all, and coalition government and cooperation are not the norm for British politics. That’s thanks to the first past the post voting system and the belligerent, confrontational nature of British politics.

Cameron promised that the union would be a “full and proper” coalition between the two parties. But how can it be when one party is so much larger than the other and hitherto their agendas where so different. They were also up till now political enemies with David Cameron once saying that Nick Clegg was his favourite joke.

The sceptics are already saying that the left of the Lib Dems and the right of the Tories are unhappy with this shotgun marriage and that it won’t last for long. I think it will but not for the entire five years that they would like us to think it will. It is after all an un-natural alliance but I think they will all work hard at it to keep the wheels on. But come mid-term when the euphoria has worn off and the respective leaders have bedded into their limos and got their feet under the cabinet table, then the problems will start to boil to the surface. The Lib Dem conference for example should be a hoot. The Lib Dems normally get a bit of a bump in the polls come conference time. I just wonder if, now they are in government, the bump will be the other way. It might be expedient for the Lib Dems to do what they did in Scotland and sit back and let Labour take the blame for all the unpopular decisions while they claim the credit for the good stuff. This time round the nasty party’s horrible decisions are going to hurt.


  1. I think it will last the course Tris.

    With a referendum on AV, and fixed term parliaments only guaranteed with the Tories cooperation they have too much to lose. Besides, we are natural allies on so much:

    Identity cards and the entire civil liberties agenda we are united as one.

    Together we can both sort out Liebours economic bombshell, defusing it for the future.

  2. Dean a referendum on AV wont take 2 and a half years to deliver though will it.

  3. Tbh I can't imagine it lasting that long, the EU will loom large between the two parties and the new intake is largely EUsceptic too for the Tories.

  4. Don't you guys worry about it, this will last...and we will keep the LibDems waiting for that referendum, it will be last on the they HAVE to hang around.

    But in all honesty, as a TRG type, and pro-EU I am hoping this can challenge some old consensus views within my own Tory Party. Maybe Ken Clarke as a cabinet minister can utlise Liberal support to force a more pro-EU policy on the Cleggaroon government.

    p.s see what I did there? Eh, Cleggaroon--ain't I clever, a real Mirror journalist ;)

  5. I don't think you will keep Clegg and the Lib Dems on board by stalling a referendum on AV Dean. After all that is not the PR that they wanted. If you don't show movement on it within the first year I think that the coalition will fall apart all the quicker as Clegg will not be able to keep his greater party on board without a few crumbs from the table.

  6. QM: how long will you give it then? I'm saying 2 and a half to three years. Less if the Tories try to shaft the Liberals.

  7. Anyone remember what we used to do to class traitors in my day?

    ...LibDem scum better watch out, Scotland now hates them all.


  8. Did you hear David Cameron trumpeting on about the new politics as if he thought it up? Maybe I am wrong and the Tories will try to claim credit for the good things the lib dems do, if this flagrant effort to steal the emperors clothes is anything to go by.

  9. Annon: Scotland ought to hate the Labour party not the Tories or the Lib Dems despite voting as instructed for the Labour Party we still got a Tory government. When will they see that we will always get what England wants?

  10. I said the Toffs would stick together and so they have........

    Will it last only if Cameron betrays the Conservatives or Clegg betrays the Lib/Dems
    My money is on Clegg after all he only went to
    Westminster School.
    and his inheritance is a bit piddly only a few millions££££££

    "Clegg said: "Until today, we have been rivals: now we are colleagues. That says a lot about the scale of the new politics which is now beginning to unfold."

    "This is a new government and a new kind of government."

    (Er! is that new labourish or what?)

    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown said the same thing about each other when Tony was first appointed Prime minister.......

    wonder how that turned out

  11. Niko,

    It worked well for Blair and Brown who never need to work again. It did not turn out so well for the rest of us or the UK but, hey, they're pretty straight kind of guys - unless Gordon loses his air of gloom and becomes the gay gordon.

  12. brownlie

    At least Clegg and Cameron walk into Downing street already multi-millionaires so might not need to make a few more bob.

    I'm sure they will put everything to rights ..Oops that should of been put everything to the right(Thatcher style).

    And of course The Lib/dem conservative Labour axis will seek out and destroy the snp by any means necessary.

    every cloud has a silver lining

  13. Mr whatever,

    Typical leftwing bias from you then eh? What bile, to criticise someone for the school they went to. One of the few remaining societal prejudices left which people tolerate.

    Why I reckon you and Peter must get on like a right little socialist commune eh?

  14. See if ye look at that photie up there an' squint yer een, ye cannae really tell which yin's which.

  15. Mr MixedPickle- at least we got to see Gordon have a real weep. Once we had new labour and now we have new politics!

    You on our side now?

  16. Brownlie: I'm wondering if new politics will end up meaning that the Lib Dems will start having Tory policies just like new Labour did. At least I was not conned into thinking that anything would change this time round like a lot of people were in 1997.

  17. Sophia: it's like Animal Farm

  18. Did ye clock by-the-way the lock on the Coalition? The next elction is set, slap-bang oan top o' the next-but-yin general election in Scotland, and it'll take 55% o' MPs tae go afore then? Seein' as the Blue Tories (tae distinguish them fae the Yellae Tories) haw 47% o' MPs, even if the deal splits, we've still got young Mr Cameron till 2015.

    Thanks Nick!

  19. The really worryin' part o' this 55% early-election hurdle is that it's gaun tae be enshrined in legislation, even tho it's an obvious consequence o' the parliamentary arithmatic as it stauns oan 12/05/2010.

    Tae keep the Yellae Tories oan board, the Blue Tories are gaun tae pass a law that's as cynical as it's transparent. They'll say onythin', an' dae onythin', tae get that power they crave. If this 'historic' deal is worth the paper it's written oan, then it's a testament tae political expediency afore the ink's even dry.

  20. Sophia,

    Could I ask what you think this coalition government will have on Scottish tactical voting aimed at 'keeping the Tories out'?

    Will this start to break down, given that we now have a LibDem SoS for Scotland ?

  21. Mmm... Dean, ah'm no awfy sure ah'm hearin' ye right, but correct me if ma answer's no whit ye're askin'.

    This current Tory-LibDem government has precisely 3.3% Scottish members. No an awfy big number. The only other time ah can mind o' a government wi' sae little o' a mandate in Scotland was that nice Mr Major's fag-end, if ye can pardon ma french.

    Whit happened tae them? We sent them their cairds. 11 o' them if ah mind right, aw oan the same night.

    If we can dae that tae the blue Tories in '97, ah dinnae see why we cannae dae it tae the yellae Tories in '15.

  22. Dean... Cleggaroon.... I bet the Record or the Scotsman or maybe even the BBC will be after you pretty soon....

    Cleggaroon... lol, lol, lol

    Actually, I wish them luck for all our sakes. I don't want to be stuck in their union, but if I have to be I wish well to the government that has to tackle old End of Boom and Bust's mess.

    Now let's have independence as soon as possible.

    Oh and what the hell is it with Brown who gets elected one Thursday with an increased majority and less than a week later announces his intention to stand down as an MP..
    So he thought a lot of the people who voted for him: "If I can't be in charge I'm not going to do the stinking job of looking after your concerns. Bugger off.

    "I'm off to do something I care about and it sure as hell isn't you little people and your problems."

    Nice one Gordon.

  23. I'm hoping that the Lib Dems will get hammered in a years time for jumping into bed with the Tories and that their scottish votes and MSPs will come the SNPs way. But for all I know it might benefit the SSP or the greens. But the Tories are poison in Scotland and it looks like they always will be.

    Clearly the English Lib Dems don't give a fig for their Scottish associates in much the same way as Labour and the Conservatives don't.

    Also odd is that Scottish Labour like FPTP because it benefits them whereas English Labour now want PR as that would benefit them. The Scottish Tories benefit from the PR that we have in Scotland in as much as they only have 3 constituency MSPs (I think) whereas there English associates hate it for the reverse reason.

  24. Ye've got tae congratulate the Liberals tho fer gettin' the Tories tae agree tae haud a referendum, which they're then free tae campaign against agreein' tae a system which disnae guarantee ony measure o' proportionality, but wid, whitever the result, kill ony serious discussion o' real proportionality fer a generation!

    Oh, an' ye've got tae thank them fer giein' us a Tory government.

  25. We have four constituency MSPs ;)

    But yes, the LibDems may suffer, however ironically it could help us in many seats we would get in 'by default' if anti-tory voters stopped voting LibDem to 'keep us out'

    Either way, we're the winners ;)

  26. I think and hope the coalition does last. I'm no Tory but I think with the Lib/Dems on board then the Tories might be a little more appealing to those who really have no time for them.

    Both parties won 62% of the UK vote and have a majority of about 80 in parliament and in Scotland both parties combined won 12 seats and around 35% of the vote which is far better than the 15% and 1 MP which the Tories won.

    I know Cameron is being very diplomatic about having the Libs on board but he must be a little annoyed that he can't get everything he wanted.

    As for the Lib/Dems in Scotland, I honestly don't know how it will affect them for the Scottish elections next year? Salmond and Grey will go after them for letting the Tories in but what was the alternative? 4 or 5 more years of Labour and negativity and eroding civil liberties? No thank you, Cameron and Clegg are for off the mark when it comes to my ideal political aspirations but I would take both men over Labour any day.

    And it appears David Millaband could be the next leader of Labour, a right Blair thing so no change in Labour.

  27. And before Mr Mixed Pickled onion starts on the Libs, can I remind him that it was mostly Scottish and North England Labour MPs who were against PR. Something to do with thumping 5 figure majorities and guaranteed jobs for life.

    It was also Scottish and North England MPs who were mostly against going into coalition with the Libs because of the threat of PR. Brian Donahue (Who I thought died 20 years ago) said PR would cause the sort of upheaval which we saw in 2007, funny he never mentioned the two previous elections in which Labour were in power.

    So when Iain Grey Nat bashes and Lib bashes both parties for letting the Tories in he would do well to look towards his own Scottish MPs who sold their own party out for the sake of keeping PR out and 5 figure majorities in.

  28. Good summation Allan

  29. Yes Dean but I was not counting Alex Fergusson as he is the presiding officer.

  30. Tris

    I think Mrs Cameron will be a little nervous now that her husband has got himself a new best friend, or partner lol. Relashionships normally consist of only two cohabiting people, not 3.

  31. This coalition should make for a very interesting FMQ. Will the Cons/Lib.dems be consulting before-hand to adopt a common policy? Will Labour be so hurt by their former fiancee wedding, and bedding, another to the extent that Gray will come out singing a country and western song?

    Will Salmond and Gray kiss and make up so that Salmond will be kinder to the poor soul? Tune in tomorrow where all will be revealed - no, not you, Jackie!

  32. Allan: Maybe she could consult with Duchess Parker Bowels. She has some experience of three in a marriage situations.

  33. These things do create interesting possibilities. Of course at the level of local councils, all over England there are Tory-Lib administrations, so it's not soooo wierd for them, but here it's something we hae never thought of.

    However, it's true that Old Tavish and Auntie Annabel will be a bit embarrassed if, while it's still fresh in everyone's moins they go off on one at each other...

    The thoughts that you suggestions engender are actually quite painful on the brain.... Salmond and Gray kissing; Gray giving us a rendition of "Stand by Your Meianne" in his best Southern Accent (well actually the thought of Grey doing anything is painful).

    Maybe there will be a new alliance between labour and SNP.

    Tout change.....


    First Lib Dum shaft from Lord Snooty and his gang

  35. Bugger: it may be the begining of the cracks or it may just be the press looking for them finding them in every little thing and flagging it up.

  36. Bugger all else to do, now that Broon has buggered off.