Saturday, 21 August 2010

Was it worth it all for 15 minutes of fame Nick?

Nick Clegg has said that he won’t walk away from the coalition if the Liberals lose their referendum next year on the AV voting system. He also says that the Liberals are more than a glorified Electoral Reform Society. Well, we knew that anyway. They are the junior partners to the junior partners too, aren’t they Nick?

I think it may have become pretty obvious to him that with a well funded Tory opposition to the change in voting systems and the Labour Party voting with the Tories, because ...erm... erm, well, just because. Oh yeah, isn’t it something to do with the Liberals trying to reverse some of the gerrymandering Labour did, presumably gerrymandering it their own way for a change? Well they are going down big time with it. Most Liberals won’t even vote for it. And I will do what I’ve never done before. I will spoil the paper!

Clegg admitted that the Liberals would probably take a dive too, in the local elections in which will take place at the same time as the Government elections in Scotland, Wales and NI... and of course his referendum on staying with exactly the same electoral system, or going with pretty much the same electoral system.... a bit of a waste of money.

"I think it is one of the oldest rules in politics that parties in government tend to get a dip in their popularity. Do I think we are going to be able to defy those rules of gravity at a time we are taking very difficult decisions on deficit reduction? No, I think that is unlikely." That’s right Nick. Delude yourself into believing that that’s the reason you will take a dive!

The policies that are coming out of Westminster at the moment can hardly be to the taste of the average Liberal voter.. nor indeed of the average Liberal MP, AM or MSP facing doorstep tests in the near future.

The possibility of messing with Housing Benefits, pensioners’, students’ and under 25s’ concessions for travel (they’ll all be in the car now), winter fuel payments, not to mention the nuclear building agenda and the coal fired power stations must fill them with dread. Simon Hughes seems to be taking on the mantle of the leader of the Liberal awkward squad as David Davies is leading the Tory’s dissenters. I expect they will be doing some hard talking with their respective whips and leaders over the next few months and I expect some spectacular reverses.

Obviously, I’m interested on what effect this will have on our own parliament in Edinburgh. Will the Liberals and indeed the Tories suffer at the hands of the electors because of what is happening in London, and if so, who will be the beneficiaries? There are potentially 30+ seats at stake there.

How will the Liberals campaign? Will it be on Liberal policies or will they be required to stick to policies that will fit with the coalition’s programme. Will Tavish Scott have the bottle to stand up for Scotland and its needs? Or will he fold his tent. Will Annabel survive or will she go... and how will she go? Oh and one last question. Will the Liberals join forces with Labour in Scotland now that Iain Gray has said he will work closely with David Cameron... and we can have one big happy rainbow coalition? Well at least for the first week anyway.

I wonder if in the dark of the night Nick Clegg lies awake and wonders if it was all worth it for a referendum on a non proportional type of PR that he won’t even win...


  1. Tris,

    You make it sound like this coalition is hostile to Scotland. Could you clarify if this is what you meant?

  2. “Hostile to Scotland”? What a laugh! Haven’t they been over in the US lambasting the duly elected Government of Scotland for short term political gain.

    Oh and the reason that the International Aid budget is ring-fenced is nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with forwarding the agenda mentioned above. It has all to do with being a member of the G8 apparently rich countries like, erherm, us, are expected to give to the poorer ones. Well we wouldn’t want David Cameron at any table but the top one now would we?

    So that’s the sucking up to the US to keep DC in the Security Council and ring fenced aid to nuclear Pakistan (despite them being two faced over terrorism, David is sticking to that) to keep him in the G8. No amount of money is a waste when it comes to keeping UKplc at the top tables, even if we look like ridiculous toadying lapdogs and are the laughing stock of the world!

    Tris you don’t mention the fate of the SNP. Will Alex survive as leader if the SNP lose the election? I hope we do lose the election, the SNP do better in opposition and I don’t want us to have to implement the Trory cuts (when I say Tories can you all please read Tory/Lib Dem Coalition, it’s just too much to write). So Iain Gray for FM I say, should be a hilarious laugh especially if they need the Lib thingys as Poodles. Alex should stay on for a year or so to make maximum fun out of that, then move over and let Nicola have a go.

  3. I rather think Cameron has doen a heck of a lot for Scotland.

    He has, through tax imagination, encouraging business to locate away from the South of England and 'up north' instead.

    He was the only major part leader to pledge to construct high speed rail all the way to Scotland...

    Oh, and he has stood by his promise to meet Salmond within a fortnight of taking power...and is devolving more powers to the Nationalists...

    He has been very good to a region that voted Labour out of a sense of fear and classism.

  4. I don't think I do Dean. I’m certainly saying that it was not what they voted for. The Coalition is delivering Conservative policies and as Scotland elected 1/59th of its members of parliament from that party, I’m assuming that most Scots weren’t much wanting Tory policies. Oh I know that’s not a fair representation of the number of people that voted Tory, or of their general support. There were Conservative voters up and down the country in constituencies like your own, and I know you expected to take 10-12 seats, but FPTP is a hard task master if you are a minority party. None-the-less, even if there had been proper PR, the Tories would never have been in the majority in Scotland.

    I’m looking at it from the point of view of people who may not be overwhelmingly interested in politics, but who are, nonetheless, interested in the outcome of politics, as it affects their lives....if you see what I mean.

    The Conservatives in Scotland's General Election may find that they are reduced in number because of the impact of the cuts which they are about to visit upon us. Labour and the SNP may not agree on much, but they will be able to point out that what is happening over finance for Scotland is down to the Tories, and what they will be able to promise in the future may well be very limited... and that this can be attributed to the Tories in London.

    It will be interesting to see how Labour fight this. They have hitherto been on the same “side” as London. Now they are not, and the fact that London will constrain their activities by its funding will be a reality that they can use. (It was ever thus but they weren’t allowed to use it by Tony or Gordon).

    Anyway, use it, I imagine, they almost certainly will.

    I reckon that the Liberals, who don’t have a massive vote in Scotland, apart from in their key constituencies in the far north and far south, will take a lot of stick for teaming up with the Tories. Liberals co-operating in cuts on pensioners’ services, Liberals making public transport more expensive and pushing rich pensioners into their cars and poor ones back into their homes, where, in winter they will be cold.... Liberals siding with building nuclear power stations, coal fired stations, etc.... There are many Liberals who will feel Clegg has betrayed them for a Cabinet seat and a ministerial car.

    I think the Liberals will do badly. Even Nick thinks that they will, all over England too in council elections. He can’t mention the traitor thing, but if he isn’t aware of it then I’ll be very very surprised.
    The coalition may care more about Scotland because of the 12 Liberals from Scotland, but even at that 13/59 ths of the MPs are coalition. That means 46/59th are opposition. And they are not likely to do much winning over, are they?

    Cameron’s only reason to be nice to us is if there is a strong shift towards Nationalism. He wouldn’t want to be the PM who lost the northern colony...and the oil income. In reality, much though I would like that, I don’t have any reason to anticipate it. Rather, I imagine, Scotland will go on voting Labour, being a pain to the Tories, but not a threat. Why waste time on money on them then?

    I’m sure Cameron wants rid of Goldie though. She represents old Tory...solid, respectable, comfortable rather than terribly rich, kind, caring, spinsterish, comforting..... not his style at all.

  5. You're right about the international things Munguin.

    I don't actually know one single person who thinks that we should be top tabling at the expense of doing out own thing.

    Maybe we could manage one top table, but we seem to want to be at them all. And it costs us dearly. More and more money... It really is a fur coat and no knickers job.

    Why is it we are far down the scale when it comes to railways, roads, hospitals, pensions, and in satisfaction of way of life... but we are at the top in the UN and the G8. Well, it’s not to keep the likes of you and me in any comfort, that’s for sure.

    As for your suggestion. I think that it is likely that Labour will form the next administration. Our majority was 1. In honesty, despite some good things done in government, Labours continual “vote against the SNP regardless” policy has scuppered much of what was good, and now the cuts will make running Scotland along the lines that it voted for pretty impossible.

    I see no reason to stop iain Gray getting on with co-operating with David Cameron.... The trouble is that it will doubtless mean that Cammy will run rings round him... and we will be even worse off. At least Alex is his equal and more. Iain Gray would make a poor councillor, never mind first minister.

  6. Dean:

    Can you name one company that has relocated to Scotland because of that policy? Can you site me one job that has been created?

    The high speed rail link is a pledge? I thought it was an aspiration. Even if it were a plege it wouldn’t happen till you are an old man.

    Well. He met his pledge to come to Scotland? Bravo. He met the FM? Bravo Then he got changed into his good suit, went to America and ran down our legal system to a foreign government in order not to be at odds with an electioneering president.

    He has talked about doing what the Calman Commission recommended. The Calman Commission was a Wendy Alexander job if I’m not mistaken.

    Do me a favour mate. You’ve just reminded me that he has peed on us from a great height!

  7. Dean: is this one of these circular arguments you are so fond of? You were hard pressed to find anything at all about the Tories so called pledge on high speed rail links and as it turned out that was actually a hope. Dean there is a huge difference between a hope and a pledge. Please do not dress that hope up as a pledge again! We have discussed that and it was accepted that it was not a pledge to build a high speed rail link to Scotland at all, we do remember these things you know. Not just your average voters on here that will fall for that flannel.

  8. Dean Calman was a Labour inspired initiative so please that does not count as Tory either. As Tris says please list all the jobs that have come here from London and the south east and all the companies that have re-located- a pretty small list so it should be easy to source. So lets see that leaves us with he came to Scotland as promised, well stop the world! Then off he went to the good old US of A where he tore that same countries elected Government to shreds so that he could get a bone or two off the top table. If that is respect Tory style you can keep it and I will go back to good old New Labour dis-respect.

  9. If Charles Kennedy defects as the rumours say it could alter the wavering Lib Dems off the cliff.

    If one is inclined listen to this 36 mins in and see if there is an instance of respect, courtesy of the BBC.

  10. CH quite disgraceful I am amazed that Radio 4 would have on such ill informed people. I'm also amazed that, that is what English people think of us and that people in Sutton Coldfield would sit and laugh and clap at those racist opinions and sheer bigotry of the worst order. Sutton Coldfield I understand is quite nice and a safe Tory constituency with Andrew Mitchell getting a whopping 54% of the vote. So that is English Tory respect in action?

  11. I thinks it all of what you say Munguin and a lot more and Dean can't understand why his party is so despised up here. I would like to make a recording of that section, but don't know how, as it needs to reach a wider audience.

  12. I think it merits a post all of its own, so thanks for the heads up on that CH- please watch this space. I have also taken the liberty of updating Mr Murray's wikipedia page so please go and look at that and enjoy @

    So with a little bit of luck the bumptious toad will come to regret his ill thought out bid for cheap laughs from fellow English Tories.

  13. I regret that someone got to the Baroness Deech's page before I did but its good for a laugh as well:,_Baroness_Deech

  14. "He has been very good to a region"

    Says Dean.

    Thanks Dean, but no thanks.

    Do Tories stop thinking when they are in power?

  15. I give up. You all simply love hating Conservatism too much to listen to reasoned arguments.

  16. Do you mean the reasoned arguements on Radio4 Dean!

  17. Give us a reasoned argument Dean. One that isn't patronising.

    Woops, you're a Tory.

  18. LOL.

    I take my hat off to Dean for sticking this out. It's not easy to fend off everyone in support of your party when it is doing incredibly stupid things.

    He deserves credit for that.

    But Dean, I've listened to your arguments and I've come back with points against them in all teh discussions we've had. I don't see how you can reply to points without listening to them.

    I still think I'm right and you probably still thing you are.