Saturday 17 April 2010

Labour rub up to Lib Dems in the hope that shine will rub off on them

The Times reports that the odds on a hung Parliament have shortened after the Lib Dem leader’s success in Thursday’s so called Prime Ministerial debate. A Populus poll for The Times reveals that the number of voters regarding Nick as likeable soared from 52 per cent before the debate to 81 per cent afterwards. David Cameron’s rating fell from 53 per cent to 43 per cent. What a shame they don’t give us the numbers for Gordon Brown but of course it is always possible that their poll wont stretch to negative numbers.

A YouGov opinion poll for today’s Sun puts the Lib Dems on 30 per cent, ahead of Labour on 28 per cent but behind the Tories on 33 per cent. Oh dear what has happened to that two horse race now. The Lib Dems popularity seems to be holding up indicating that the Nick Clegg victory is not going to be a one day wonder.

So what will the Labour party machines response to a third horse interloper be? Initially I thought that they would switch to digging for dirty on the Lib Dems in an effort to discredit them. They may still do this. But I guess a lead has been taken from the second in command himself. Old Cyclops that is and not Lord Petronella Voldermort the big smelly cheese at the top.

The Home Secretary postman Pat (Alan Johnson) speaking to The Times hours before the new poll showed how Mr Clegg’s winning performance had reshaped the election race, at least in the short term, by putting the Liberal Democrats ahead of Labour. Pat said that Labour and Mr Clegg’s party had a lot in common and that it was patronising to try to frighten voters about post-election pacts. “We have to kill this argument that coalition government is dangerous,”.

Pat went on to say that Labour and the Lib Dems were natural allies on key issues. He said that they agreed on voting reform and the dangers of Tory plans to cut £6 billion of government spending this year — although he also said that Mr Clegg’s party was “soft on crime, inept on asylum and bloody dangerous on national security”. So there we are the short term strategy is to cosy up to the Liberals and hope some of that glitter rubs off on old Gordo and his crew. Kind of like they tried to do when Barack Obama was elected. Well that didn’t work as we all know Mr Obama finds the Cyclops rather depressing. Join the club Mr Obama!

I suppose in fairness to this two horse race we ought to have a comment from the minority party. So shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke chipped in by saying that a hung Parliament could trigger “another financial crisis” as credit-rating agencies forced up interest rates on government debt. So the response of the Tories is to wheel out their only remaining ace in the hole now that David has come over as a nice suit and tie and nothing else.


  1. yep! great Idea Labour(and the Libs) will keep those vile stinking scummy(got that quote from a cybernat)Torys out of power at all costs.....ha ha ha

  2. Mr MixedPickle: what are you doing here when we haven't enjoyed one of you whimsical posts for over three days now!

    Labour and the Liberals have a long history of cooperation with the first Lib/Lab pact being in 1903 (I think). Dear old Keir Hardie was responsible for that. But it was Labour that reneged on it when Ramsay MacDonald thought that he could make Labour the natural opposition to the Tories in the 1920s. By then of course Keir was dead. Ramsay was right but he was also a bit too keen on being PM (bit like Gordo) and was eventually drummed out of the Labour party for cooperating with the Tories. Nothing changes eh!

  3. 'hung Parliament could trigger “another financial crisis”'

    We are long way from reaching the bottom of the present crisis, politicians are such selfish people putting party before the facts.

  4. Cynic

    Hung Parliament if the people want it they should jolly well have it........Democracy first Economics afterwards if at all

  5. Muinguin

    You should look at this way its like the British and French working hand in hand as good comrades to keep the Nazis at bay...

    its the way i see if we can achieve a fairer electoral system which keeps the Torys out of power forever........even better

  6. CH: apparently an ICM poll for the Guardian found that 23% of voters who watched the debate said they would change their vote, with most going to the Lib Dems. And it seems that the Tories intend to train their big guns on the Lib Dems, and I guess that Ken Clarke counts as one of those. Also some Conservatives are pressing Cameron to expose Clegg's support for an earned amnesty for illegal immigrants, his willingness to keep anyone given a sentence of less than six months out of jail, and the credibility of the party's claim that it can raise £4.8bn a year from anti-tax avoidance measures. It is pretty repulsive this scrabble to either attack or cosy up to the Lib Dems and they must think that the people of these nations are pretty stupid if they think that we wont see either tactic for what it is. I sincerely hope that Nick Clegg goes on to win the next two as well. It is only a shame that he seems to have taken 1% from the others because that includes the SNP and Plaid.

  7. Much is made of economics. We need to remember it is all in people's heads. None of it exists. If we say we are rich we will be.

    As for Johnson, Postman Pratt would be more appropriate.

  8. Mr MixedPickle: the fact is, if I were the Lib Dems I would bear in mind the fact that historically in Lib/Lab coalitions Labour have stabbed the Liberals in the back. So if I were Nick Clegg I would get PR out of the Cyclops right away. Also Nick wants to watch that he does not squander his new found popularity by cooperating with a discredited PM and one that has been rejected by the electorate.

  9. Munguin. I've just listened to a discussion on radio about the debates. They all seem to agree that if it goes the same way next week the main parties will start two factionalize, blaming each other for their plight(in both main parties).

  10. Ah yes Tris its all in the minds of the computers. And if the computer says no?

    Maybe the Tories should trot out a computer instead of Ken Clarke or David Cameron.

    I take it you don't rate Johnson as one of Labour's big guns then?

  11. Apparently both the two horses (Labour and the Tories) in the race up to Thursday stressed how good the other leader would be to the detriment of their own. But they forgot to tell us all how good the one that had no chance would be. Ooops! Bit of a spin failure there. And he came through the middle and made them both look crap. No second, no third, just one winner.

  12. Ha ha ha ha... he's not even a water pistol in my reckoning.

    And Ken Clarke is the Tory's ONLY real big gun. The rest are untried in government. Even Willie Hague only has Foreign experience in that we was posted briefly to Cardiff as Viceroy

  13. The Guardian link is:

  14. Tris: that is very true and of course Willie Hauge was made to look rather like a bit of a tit over the Lord Ashcroft affair. You know the have a peerage if you pay tax, yes Willie ok and then ten years later the two fingered salute to the British taxpayers from the red benches.

  15. What is good for the likes of Mr Ashcroft is not necessarily good for the rest of us....

  16. I haven't managed to bring myself to watch all of the gruelling 90 minutes of Thursday's overhyped talking shop.

    I disagree that the tories don't have many of quality in their ranks. Many have been pushed to the back by Cameron's 'modernisation' or what I prefer to call 'labourising' of the tories.

    How many of those in Blair and Brown's cabinet had any or much experience? For years we've been paying great sums of money for them to be taught 'how to answer questions', 'what body language to use', 'how to use their voice', the list goes on.

    Don't knock the tories too much - rather compare them with what we presently have.

    Let's not also forget, none of the present Scottish government has had experience in government, yet they're doing a reasonable job.

  17. Cameron, Hague and Osbourne are the only Tories that the public recognise and Osbourne seems to have been put in a cupboard until after the election. I think this is for the best as he looks terrified all the time. Hardly gives us hope that he can get us out of our financial mess.

  18. Turds a turd even if you roll it in glitter.

  19. S/R I’m sure there are a lot of very good conservative supporters, back benchers etc. But by and large the consensus seem to be that their front bench team are not up to much and that is not just me saying that. It seems to be a consensus across the UK if not why would the Tories not be streets ahead in the opinion polls in light of the discredited Labour government? I cannot off hand name a single member of their team that I consider to have any potential. Can you?

  20. Annon: Osbourne must be one of if not the worst. I just can't see him being the next chancellor.

  21. QM, true enough,you can't polish a turd. But which one of them is the turd?

  22. For those that can't remember who are in the shadow cabinet they are:

    David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party; William Hague, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet; George Osborne,Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and General Election Campaign Coordinator; Greg Clark, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; Kenneth Clarke, Shadow Secretary of State for Business; Liam Fox, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence; Mark Francois, Shadow Minister for Europe; Cheryl Gillan, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales; Michael Gove, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families; Chris Grayling, Shadow Home Secretary; Dominic Grieve, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice; Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Nick Herbert, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; Andrew Lansley, Shadow Secretary of State for Health; Oliver Letwin, Chairman of the Policy Review and of the Conservative Research Department; Francis Maude, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Theresa May, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Minister for Women; Patrick McLoughlin, Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons; Andrew Mitchell, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development; David Mundell, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland; Pauline Neville-Jones, Shadow Security Minister and National Security Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition; Owen Paterson, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Eric Pickles, Chairman of the Conservative Party; Grant Shapps,Shadow Housing Minister; Caroline Spelman, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; Thomas Strathclyde, Leader of the Opposition in the Lords; Theresa Villiers, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport; Sayeeda Warsi, Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action; David Willetts, Shadow Minister for Universities and Skills, with special responsibility for family policy; Sir George Young, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons; Joyce Anelay, Opposition Chief Whip in the Lords (Attending Shadow Cabinet).

  23. I'm trying to think of any of the Tories that are any use besides Ken . George Young might be alright, and IDS is a sensible and clever man but no leader. But I can't think of anyone else.

    I imagine the ones that Cameron has pushed to the back are old reactionaries, unless I'm missing something. Of course a large number of them have been on the fiddle and have now left parliament with a big fat pay cheque.

    Osbourn seems vapid to me. Not a clue. I don't think much of Darling, the house flipper who had to get us to pay for a financial tax advice, but at least he seems to have some idea of what he's talking about.

    Gove is a muppet; Fox is a bigot... Grayling doesn't know his arse from his elbow, or who has said what about policy, a complete numpty, David Mundell is so hopeless even Cameron doesn't want him as Viceroy of Scotland.

    The rest of them are unremarkable and forgettable and some I wouldn't leave alone in a room with my dog. The only one with any gravitas is Mrs Thatcher and she's a loopy, drink sodden octogenarian. There are some others with experience but they are mainly associated with Thatcher...

    God help us if they get power.

    As for the Scottish government, yes, they have no experience, but they have intellect. They didn't get where they are by going to posh schools on daddy's money.

    Of course some of the Tories may, given the opportunity come out of obscurity and be wonderful and inspired leaders, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I don’t say of course that the Tories don’t have some good people, what I was saying was they don’t have any big least any that are credible. Oh for some people like Dean McKinnon-Thomson in the Tories; people who actually care about anyone except themselves and their likes.

  24. Thanks for the list o' top Tories Mr Munguin. Noo here's a question.

    If the Tories dinnae win, then who leads them next?

    Ah cannae see a natural successor in that list.

  25. Sophia I have really no idea. Ask Dean, in fact maybe Dean would consider taking the job.

  26. It would probably be David Davis, he's not in the shadow cabinet.

  27. "As for the Scottish government, yes, they have no experience, but they have intellect. They didn't get where they are by going to posh schools on daddy's money."

    Nor did the Conservative shadow cabinet!

  28. Gordon Brown in Hastings 16th April.

    ""Over the next 15 years the world economy will double in size so there'll be twice as many businesses, twice as many opportunities for jobs, twice as many opportunities to sell products or services to every part of the world...there's going to be a huge number of new opportunities around the world for everybody and I want Britain and I want you to get the advantage of that.""

    Are Lds or Cons challenging no because they are all wrapped up in the same banknote.

  29. N. Dean, but they all seem to come from the same place and it is a place noted for wealth rather than intellect, you will agree.

    (Once upon a time it probably produced the leaders, but that was in the good old days before any of us were allowed to know about all their monumental cock ups.)

    If they all came from Eton, or other top schools and were clever, I'd not mind a bit, but every one of the main ones seems to be accident prone when it comes to their mouth.........

    There probably are some good people, I just haven't heard of them... half Munguin's list don't ring any bells with me.

    Out of interest what would you do if they lost and decided to get rid of Cameron?

    I didn't think Davis was that right wing any more. I thought he had started out that way but moved to the left... Did I get that wrong?

  30. Watching in rapt attention from across the water, (your prime ministerial debate was much more lively.....with more actual give and take on the issues....than any presidential debate that I've ever seen here), I was surely taken with Nick's personal performance and command of the issues (as far as I understood them.) But I didn't really imagine that this was likely to change how people might vote for the MP from their constituency. Since you don't vote for a Prime Minister, he has no actual political "coat tails" with which it is always said that a successful president brings members of his party into Congress from marginal state congressional districts.

    But now there is talk about coalition government....the Lib Dems even leading Labour in the polls. I do recall that I lost count of the number of times Gordon looked to his far right (geographically, not politically) and said "I agree with Nick." I don't recall that Cameron did that very much.

    Our presidential debates are frequently derided as mere "beauty contests." But they do sometimes matter in a system where a president is actually elected. But who could have imagined that a prime ministerial beauty contest....even as good a one as you had....might be a game changer in any actual political sense, in your parliamentary system.

  31. PS: And I do wonder about those polls which purport to show percentage shifts among the political parties. I wonder what this actually means in term of the ultimate makeup of the Commons. People might actually respond with their overall view of the positions of the parties. But they might feel differently in terms of the actual people standing for office in their own constituencies.

    In the states, the popularity of Congress always gets low marks in the national polls. And people commonly tell the pollsters that we need a change, and that the incumbents should be booted out of office. Then they go to the polls on election day and more often than not vote to return the incumbent from their state congressional district (their own guy) back to the Congress.

    So those national polls assigning percentages to the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems might mean one thing, but constituency-by-constituency polling might show something different. At least it seems to work that way here in the states.

  32. I don't think it will change the game Danny. It will probably be a bit of a flash in the pan. The big parties are already doing their best to pull it back.

    The Tories have warned that a coalition government will be bad for the markets. Someone somewhere has taken a leaf out of Americans' book, by accusing Clegg of being only 1/4 English, yes "English", 1/4 Russian, and 1/2 Dutch.

    They may have forgotten that the Queen could be said to be only partly English, with a Scottish mother and a half German Dad (or thereby; it gets a bit complicated when you take into consideration all the heritage...)

    I wonder if it matters anyway.

    They may be out to get him next week... Lord help us there is another one next week. Again it will be held in England, with only English questioners. It seems we don't count. It will also go out on Sky TV, which many people can't receive.

    I bet they wish they hadn't invited young Nick along though.

  33. Tris,

    No, I reject any suggestion that the shadow cabinet is remarkable more for wealth than intellect. I see them all as very capable people- Hague, Letwin, Green...Clarke, their wealthy true, but they are more remarkable for their ability.

    In answer to your question, what would I do?

    If Cameron was replaced by David Davis? I would do my level best to bring him down as leader. Beyond that continue to stand up for the One Nationism which this; our United Kingdom BADLY needs.

  34. Yes Danny I suspect that although there may be more Liberal voters (although many will lose nerve and vote Labour or Tory because they always have) they'll still be the third party in terms of seats. FPTP is a very unfair system.

    Like most of the so called democracy of the London government.

    1. Unelected head of state
    2. Unelected senate chamber
    3. FPTP lower chamber which does not reflect in any way, the number of votes cast by the population. We might as well not bother having the bloody elections. They have it sown up neatly.

    And the irony is we run around the world letting off at the mouth and sometimes the bullet, telling people they MUST have democracy...

    How they must laugh their arses off at us hypocrital twerps. No wonder we are roundly hated.

  35. Dean: I note you do not mention any of the others. I agree Willie Hague (who was a bit of a twerp when he was leader, has matured into a sensible man, his collusion in the Ashcroft affair apart. You know I think that Clarke has a towering intellect, but as he isn't a Europe hater he's sidelined. If only they'd made him leader years ago we would not be in this bloody mess.

    I don't know who Green is... No idea.

    I have a vague recollection of Letwin from the past. I thought he was a bit of a drip.

    I note no mention of Gove and Grayling, Mundell and the ghastly Fox, or that guy at Health whose name escapes me.

    What you think of them Dean?

  36. Tris....As regards your comments on the democracy of the London government, was it a change in the FPTP system in Commons that Brown was talking about when he proposed in the debate a "greater than 50%" election system for the Commons...(and BTW direct election of the Lords)?

    Of course this is seldom an issue here in the states with (generally) a solid two-party system. But the rules do vary state by state, since each state makes its own election laws.

    On the national level, the federal constitution requires an absolute majority (greater than 50%) of the electoral votes cast in order to elect a president. But the states usually choose their individual state electors on a FPTP system. (This mattered in the Bill Clinton elections, where there was a serious third party presidential candidate.)

    But there was a runoff election for a Senate seat in Georgia in 2008, because there was a third party challenger, and Georgia requires an absolute majority for election.

    Seems like a 50% rule would definitely change the political game in the UK, with its many viable political parties in play.

  37. I don't know what he was talking about Danny. I missed the show. I know that he has talked about electoral reform referenda but I doubt he means it.

    He knows that at the moment we are all heartily sick of the whole bloody lot of them. I guess he thought it "prudent" to add electoral reform in his programme.

    The Lords, which it appears is even more crime ridden than the commons with hundreds of the useless (I mean there is no use for them) old fools ripping us off on a daily basis, is ripe for abolition, and Brown, or at least his henchmen know that the people are fed up with this constant theft and fiddling and the fact that in most cases no one can do anything about it.

    They don’t want to do anything much about it because it’s a handy place to have, to bung people into if you need a favour or if you need them out of the way and shut up. They can then pass the remainder of their years pulling a brilliant salary for no work whatsoever.

    And when they steel and cheat, the law can’t touch them (recent case of the good baroness uddins).

    I should think there will be no referenda, or if there are then they will be worded in a way which brings the result they want.

    1. Do you want to continue to have strong Government with a FPTP system or would you prefer proportional representation which will cause the pound to collapse and the no legislation ever get through?

    2. Do you wish to retain the thousand yea old British tradition of the House of Lords with its wise counsel as a revising chamber (paid only by expenses) or do you want a divisive elected second chamber with powerful members paid a large salary and expenses working against your government?

    You bet!

    Never believe a single thing they say at election time. It’s highly unlikely to be true.

  38. Tris,

    Damian Green, he is the Tory front bencher that Labour arrested in the House of Commons for daring to highlight government failures on immigration policy. You remember it!

    Grayling, is a capable and decent man. I fully respect him and do not think that his recent 'blunder' was anything of the sort.

    Mundell, he is an honest man doing the best he can under extremely difficult circumstances.

    Michael Gove is a man I hugely admire, being a great fan of most of his education policy changes. His plan to expand city academies is the right thing to do, as a starting point.

    Dr Liam Fox? He may be very right wing, and he may be a little bit of an ... erm ... but he has great expertise regarding his Defence brief. Compared to his Labour counterparts [all of them, I've lost count personally] he is head and shoulders above them.

  39. Thanks Dean.

    I remember Green now. I don;'t remember anythning else about him but I do remember that that old goat Martin did him over.

    I think that Grayling let out how he feels. Added to Cameron's complete mess on the subject it shows just how little has changed. I don;t say that's wrong. He's entitled to think that gays are in the catagory that they can be excluded from boarding houses/guest houses if he wants. It's just a bit backward thinking. He might have been good in the 1940s. In the 2010=> he's neanderthal.

    I'm not disputing that Mundell is honest. I don't recall him being mentioned as a fiddler in teh scandal, but I'm not sure it's a difficult job. Even Murphy doesn't have a difficult job. There's almost nothing to do. But Cameron doesn't ask him to the dinners he has in Scotland.... Well if Cameron thinks he's crap, why would we think different.

    Fox is an old bigot. I can't abide the man.

    But as ever, I'm sure we can differ on these things

  40. Reading some comments on this and the other thread, I would propose (facetiously) that FPTP vs. 50% majority, and other practical political issues, would all be simpler if the UK political parties would simply merge into a solid two-party system.

    From a Scottish republican perspective, I would propose "Scottish Nationalist" as one of the two party labels. For the base of the other party, I would ship you, absolutely free of charge, our American "Tea Party" protesters and their entire political structure. What could possibly be more aptly named for the UK than the "TEA Party"? (More appropriate for England than for Scotland perhaps....but never mind that for now.)

    Some ruffled feathers and the odd legal and constitutional issue to be sorted out I suppose, but sounds like a plan to me. Surely the Labourites, the Tories, and the Lib Dems could manage to find a political home between Scottish Nationalist and the new Tea Party.

  41. Can you NOT send us Sarah, Danny?

  42. I'll keep Sarah here in the states Tris, if you promise me that I can immigrate to Scotland in the event that she becomes president.

  43. You have a deal mate. I'll get a kilt made for you.

  44. President Sarah of Scotland...ARchhhhh.

    There, a good reason for a monarchy!

  45. LOL @ Dean... Even I can agree that....