Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left


2:17 pm - May 8th 2010

by DonaldS    


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Some thoughts on why a deal between the Libdems and Conservatives has to be done, despite the obvious risks:

1. Clegg has no choice but to talk with Cameron. “The coalition of the defeated” is a powerful framing narrative, which would be bad enough on its own. But Brown is also widely hated in England, and installing a Labour PM who isn’t Brown couldn’t be sold to an electorate pre-primed with that “unelected PM” line. (And 23% isn’t a mandate for Clegg to head any Lib-Lab coalition.)

Worse: a Clegg/Labour alliance would be 100% reliant on 9 nationalists and plagued by an extreme version of the West Lothian Question. It would fall and Labour and the LibDems would be annihilated at the subsequent election. It’s a non-starter.

2. However, lefties, anti-Tories and “progressives” who voted tactically to keep the Conservatives out needn’t feel betrayed. We succeeded; this is about as well as the strategy could have gone given the state of the parties’ popularities a year ago.

All those hard-right Tories trying to scupper the Cameron/Clegg deal right now would have been calling the shots in government if we hadn’t voted tactically. They can be neutralized to some extent: dare them to bring a deal down.

3. Those shouting from the sidelines about betrayal need to ask themselves: how did we get here? The answer is that Labour got us here. There’s no appetite in this country for a Tory government, clearly; the vote was an anti-Labour/anti-Brown plebiscite. New Labour betrayed the “progressive cause”, and Clegg is left in the unenviable position of salvaging what he can from the wreck. Almost anything he can secure this weekend is more than we could have expected 6 months ago.

4. It pains me to write this, but Clegg has little mandate for brinksmanship on electoral reform. He polled 23%, Cameron got 36%; and the numbers for England are even worse. A parliamentary commission is a dead-end, obviously, but what if he could kick the Tories’ gerrymandering “reforms” into touch and secure fixed parliamentary terms plus a binding, BC-style Citizen’s Assembly for the Commons and Lords reform based on PR?

Again, that’s more than we could have expected 6 month ago, and might be possible *– especially if backed up by popular calls for major change. Of course, the real culprits on Commons reform are Labour. They held power for 13 years and showed no interest until it became their last lifeline.

5. Like it or not, the British pubic is going to form its opinion about coalitions based on what happens now. For the long-term prize, it’s better that Clegg succeeds in building more than a Minority Government deal with Cameron. Such an unstable deal would put him permanently in the position of being able to bring Cameron down, and then taking the blame from the Tories’ media friends.

Alternatively, it would leave Cameron with the power to time a dissolution to suit him. Clegg should agree a stable governing coalition with a fixed lifetime (of, say, 3 years) and a pre-determined program that, among other things, secures tax cuts for the poor rather than the rich, increases education spending on disadvantaged children, and scraps ID cards, alongside political reform and stymying the Tory hard-right’s culture war.

The alternate scenario could be much worse – anyone fancy a quick election with many more seats within Conservative reach, Ashcroft’s cash, and a Labour Party at civil war, for example?

Major political reform, and the end of FPTP, is going to be a long game. Dealing with the Tories can be the first act, and Clegg and his party should play their role. It might not work, Cameron might not even want it to work, but right now there’s no other show in town.

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About the author
Donald is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is a travel journalist, editor, author and copywriter. In the wake of the 2005 General Election, he co-founded and edited The Sharpener for a couple of years. He writes the occasional book or newspaper article for money, as well as sharing his thoughts here for free. Also at: hackneye donaldstrachan.com
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Reader comments


An excellent article!!

Noooooooo! Vast numbers of people will feel totally betrayed if the LD’s do a deal with the Tories – and the LD activists, and not a few MP’s, would never swallow it!

Cameron and the Tories will never agree to electoral reform. It’s a total non-starter.

Exactly. Thank you for posting what I’m thinking, it saves me crossposting my most recent post.

Point 1 is definitely apposite; there’s no way any other option is viable. Much as I’d wish it otherwise, there aren’t enough MPs for a rainbow coalition, it’s a non-starter doomed to fail.

Galen – would you prefer another election precipitated by the Liberal Democrats.

Also, this talk of propping Gordon Brown or any other labour leader whose party lost over 80 seats would a travesty of fairness and democracy. And the fingers would be pointed towards the Lib Dems and they would be called undemocratic

A really well-thought-out piece which has gone some way to easing my concerns. It would seem that all is not lost after all.

You’re right. I’m glad there are people who are realistic about the current position.

7. Marcus Cosgrove

Much as it pains me, this is very much what I have been thinking. This could be the least worst option right now. If we are serious about future coalition governments and PR then we have to make it work right now.

If the LDs form an alliance with Cameron’s gang it will prove that Clegg is nothing more than another career politician out to feather his nest with the trappings of “power”. Accepting the crumbs from the Tory table is pissing on the chips of all the anti-Tory voters who went LD tactically [or otherwise] to keep the Old Etonian coke-imbibing¹ Bullingdon clique out. So much for democracy and “change”. What an absolute farce.

¹ I mean the drink, obviously.

S. Pill, what about the large number of people who voted LD in an anti-Labour vote?

FFS, Labour lost, and no other combination is viable. LDs in Govt stop Tory stupidity, LDs refusing Govt makes them look petty and partisan; Clegg got damn good ratings partially because he wanted to end the bickering in politics.

10. Bill Kristol-Balls

Probably the best analysis in the world.

Well said that man.

anyone who thinks cameron is strong enough within the tory party to deliver pr to the the libdems is delusional. the tories want to buy off libdems with a few ministerial seats and big chauffeur driven cars and a vague promise or talking shop commission for pr. interesting to see how astute or gullible nick is.

@9 MatGB

Everyone lost, not just Labour. LDs should have done much more to capitalise on Cleggmania, Conservatives should have done better in general. I can’t see any coalition surviving more than 6 months – of whatever combination. And I’m not that optimistic that the LDs will be able to ‘stop’ Tory stupidity – after all, they’ve not got a mandate to have they? I fear the LDs will be destroyed in the re-run of this election unless they demand immediate PR as a prerequisite to any deals whatsoever.
I stand by my comment about them pissing on anti-Tory voters’ chips though. Not seen any stats but I reckon the anti-Tories outweigh the anti-Lab vote.

13. pickwick

“Like it or not, the British pubic is going to form its opinion about coalitions based on what happens now.”

Except for the large swathes of the British “pubic” who have been living under coalitions for years, both those in Scotland, Wales and NI, and almost anyone who’s lived in mainland Europe.

Sigh.

Clegg should give Cameron all the rope he needs to hang himself. Dave claims to have changed the tory party, well lets see if he has. Dems will be the brake if the Right goes completely off reservation

Let Osborne set a budget. Let Bill Hauge set his Neo Con agenda at the foreign office. Pointing his nukes at China. And then we can just wait for all the new nutcases to slowly put their heads above the coconut shy. In the mean time Labour can sort themselves out and make up their mind on electoral reform, and in doing so show the public that it is getting rid of the dead wood and neo con nonsense.

I still think there will another Global Banking crises in the next 2 years. Let Call me Dave have to deal with it. If the tories do well the media will give them all the credit and none to Clegg. If it all goes wrong the Lib Dems will be wiped out.

Pickwick; unfortunately for that argument, 85% of British public is English, and while London lives under PR, most power goes to mayor so that doesn’t count.

However, large chunks of England live under coalition councils. I think majority favour reform, but it depends on what question is asked.

Excellent analysis.

17. Yurrzem!

I can see your point but I can’t help but feel that the Lib-Dems would be the fall guys for the consequences of tory policies. I can’t see Cameron being able to agree to the conditions set out in the article. What would Rupert say, after all? This would leave the only options for Clegg as either dealing with Cameron for practically nothing except having to carry the can for the consequences or Clegg looking like he tried but letting Cameron form a minority government.

I don’t share pagar’s view that a minority tory government would be seen as a success. I think the consequences of tory economic policies would be very unpopular and that Cameron would be unlikely to succeed in a subsequent election.

The big question in the long-term is what happens to Labour. Where is the talent to bring the party back into shape, because I haven’t seen evidence of any?

The best option for the Lib Dems is to let Cameron go it alone and promise to abstain on the Queen’s speech. Though take a more robust, pragmatic view on budgets.

Confidence, but not supply and see how long the Tories can hold out.

19. Nick Cohen is a Tory

I actually agree with the article.
1. Morally the Tories have the right to form the next government.
2. It will get rid of Gordon, bless his cotton socks. He is not an election winner. Milliband or Johnston would be better, if they are elected in a fairer way.
3. It will keep in check the hang em, privatise education and the NHS, cut taxes at any cost, anti gay, lets bomb Iran, neo Thatcherites in the Tory party.
4. It will Irritate Nick Cohen and the other neo cons. Who hate the lib dems more than they hate Labour.
5. The lib dems may bring in PR, this one I doubt.
6. A lib lab coalition led by Brown will collapse in months , opening the road for a Tory majority government for 10 years.
Saying that I predict that the coalition will collapse in a year and the winners will be the Tories who will blame the instability on Lib dems and with the support of the rabid press will make further gains in the following election.

@MatGB Yeah, I wasn’t really arguing against the main principle, I’m just getting annoyed at the England=Britain focus of a lot of the commentators. I think how the question is asked is vital, and the explanation of the different forms of PR, and whether AV on its own is an option, etc, etc.

It’s a powerful argument, and had me swaying, but ultimately I can’t agree.

In either formal or informal coalition with the Tories, Libs will share the blame for either Cameron’s failures (not fixing the economy) or “successes” (making sure that The Poor pay for it). Murdoch will make damn sure everyone knows that whatever they didn’t like, it was #nickcleggsfault.

On the other side, Lib/Lab/Other just doesn’t add up, and we’d face looking anti-democratic.

I say let the Tories have their minority government. They won’t be able to push through any of their nastier stuff, and they can carry the can alone when it all goes mammaries-uppermost. Meanwhile, we can try to woo whatever “progressive” spirit remains in Labour into a viable centre-left challenge if/when that happens; probably within a couple of years.

@20 pickwick
> I’m just getting annoyed at the England=Britain focus of a lot of the commentators

I’m a Scot, and I’ve lived in mainland Europe. Not guilty. But, what Mat says, basically, yes.

@18 Jim
> Confidence, but not supply and see how long the Tories can hold out.

I disagree (see point 5.). But, yes, another option.

@17 Yurzem
> I can see your point but I can’t help but feel that the Lib-Dems would be the fall guys for the consequences of tory policies.

AND

@19 NCiaT
> the coalition will collapse in a year and the winners will be the Tories who will blame the instability on Lib dems

They need to get the whole deal down on paper, just as was done in Scotland. The risk is there, like you both say. But there’s risk whichever way Clegg looks.

@21 Rob

> In either formal or informal coalition with the Tories, Libs will share the blame for either Cameron’s failures (not fixing the economy) or “successes” (making sure that The Poor pay for it). Murdoch will make damn sure everyone knows that whatever they didn’t like, it was #nickcleggsfault.

Yes. But I think voting the government down (which is how it would be portrayed) would provoke an even more toxic reaction.

Agree with the analysis except I doubt it will happen.

Without the offer of PR there is very little upside for Clegg apart from an ornamental role. And as I understand his party’s constitution, such a dalliance is not his to engage in, even if he wanted to.

One possible good outcome of a LibCon (lol) coalition: it might split the Tories down the middle, with a lot of Tory MPs refusing to back PR. Cameron would rely on LibDem votes to get a referendum on PR passed. It would carve the Tories into two: pragmatic if still right-wing scum; and farcical, racist, fucking stupid scum who are characterised by Norman Tebbit (who kicked a little Chinese boy for celebrating Chinese New Year) and Simon Heffer. The former would still be enough, with LD MPs, to govern; the latter will be a rump. The former might actually become more like European Christian Democrats.

The question is, how many Tory MPs are so doggedly racist/rabidly Europhobic/anti-PR? Does Cameron need their support to get laws passed? Or would the LDs make up the gap in numbers, if the Tory nutjobs left Cameron’s whip?

Or are most Tories scum?

I do think that Labour has to get it’s act together now however. What ever the Tories or Lib Dems do it is time for the Labour party to start being honest with it self. You can’t be progressive and Neo con. How the hell did we ever get into a world where a Labour govt is pushing identity cards?

I also think Labour party has got to think hard about a English Parliament. The West Lothian question has come back to haunt it. As long as the UK votes as the UK then having an English or Scottish or Welsh Prime Minister is not a problem, but to set up govts in Scotland and Wales and deny that to England while having a Scottish Prime Minister is not sustainable. It has now got to embrace constitutional change. It had the chance to do so, but Blair was a Christian fundie nut who was only interested in enriching himself and his family.

Although all the points in the article are excellent I am just worried about the state of the economy which hasn’t been mentioned. It is widely agreed that this is the priority. Forming a coalition with the conservatives on their economic terms would be, as most of the progressive left and economists agree, dangerous, irresponsible and risky. From the lessons of history we know that we making cuts too early risks us plunging back into recession. Since the economy is the priority, I believe the lib dems have no choice but to form a coalition with labour so that the best economic choice is made for the greater good of the country.

28. Thersites

One of the best peices I have read on this site if not the best

It looks like the tory civil war is breaking out…..

from the press Ass

“David Cameron should ballot the Conservative membership before entering into any deal with the Liberal Democrats, the website of former party chairman Lord Tebbit said today.

An unsigned article published on the Chain Reaction blog accused the Tory leader of trying to freeze out the membership at a time when Liberal Democrat rules require a formal endorsement mechanism to be activated before any deal is agreed.

And it claimed that Mr Cameron’s “utterly flawed” strategy had landed the Conservatives in a “disastrous” position, and a deal with the Lib Dems would have the sole purpose of “saving his skin as party leader”.

Mr Cameron is due to meet Conservative MPs on Monday evening, but it remains unclear whether he will give them a formal say on any deal reached by his negotiating team of shadow chancellor George Osborne, shadow foreign secretary William Hague, policy supremo Oliver Letwin and chief of staff Ed Llewellyn.

The article published by Lord Tebbit’s website called on Mr Cameron to “show that he can think on his feet and tough-mindedly act – call a ballot of the party membership on any deal cooked up with Clegg”.

The article accused Mr Cameron of “ignoring, slandering and taking advantage” of grassroots Tories in his efforts to modernise the party.

And it described as “sheer effrontery” Mr Cameron’s praise yesterday for members’ efforts in the election campaign.

“Cutting a deal with Clegg is about one thing and one thing only for Cameron – doing whatever it takes to save his skin as party leader,” said the article.

How nice!

26

“but to set up govts in Scotland and Wales and deny that to England while having a Scottish Prime Minister is not sustainable…”

Sally you should be ashamed of yourself! Leaving aside the fact that Pa Broon is a busted flush, and has been complicit in a regime I heartily despise, he does have some good points.. however well hidden. His nationality has sod all to do with anything, unless you fall for the tired old “little Englander” view that it’s all the damn celts fault? Look at the electoral map….. it’s deep, deep blue except in metropolitan areas.. by your logic those areas shouldn’t have to have a city type as PM?

No doubt all you progressive lefties would have been a lot happier without the Scottish and Welsh labour votes counted by weight in past elections? Perhaps you’d prefer a virtually in-built Tory majority for your English parliament? No…? Thought not!

There are ways around the West Lothian question. The fact they haven’t been tried is just another indictment of our flawed system. It’s VERY doubtful the UK would survive as an entity if we went down that road without radical constitutional changes… it’ll be music to the ears of the Nats if you try and do it under the current system.

Try forming your progressive alliance without Scottish and Welsh Labour MP’s. How’s that working for you?

31. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Please god forgive me for this and I promise to scrub myself with bleach after saying it but don’t you think Tebbitt might have a point.
How many Tory voters or tory canvassers actually voted blue for a coalition with the lib dems.
In some ways thay hate them more than they hate Labour

@31

LOL…. walk towards the light… feel the force and fight the dark powers.

You’re probably right about “most” Tories, but as Mill said, it’s only MOST of them that are stupid…. there must be some one-nation Tories out there. It suited the Tebbit-ite ultras to hide behind Dave’s big society (whatever the hell it was meant to be)….but it was and is merely a falg of convenience.

That’s why Clegg would be mad to even tolerate a Tory govt – it would split his party, and you can’t trust a Tory until you’re sure they aren’t breathing anymore.

31

Yes but it is funny to watch.

Everyone thinks that only Clegg is between a rock and a hard place.

Cameron has got the Right wing on his back. They are not happy that he did not win out right.

By the way does anyone know if the Tories try to go it alone who then decides when to hold another election?

@33

If the Tories try to go it alone then the Queen will get involved. The Gov needs to be able to command a maj to get a Queen’s speech through on the 26th May (I think).

Gods help us, I agree with Sally. Will wonders never cease?

Anyway, Sally, “if the Tories try to go it alone who then decides when to hold another election?

Short answer: The Queen.

And despite what various people try to pretend, it’s her choice, she knows it’s her choice, and she’ll take advice before making a decision. In Australia, her representative the Governor General was asked for a dissolution by Whitlam, refused, saked the PM and asked the opposition to forma govt. Exactly the same constitutional arrangements apply here, it’s her choice.

However, in practicality, three options.
1) Cameron governs for at least 6 months, persuades her it’s in the interests of the country for him to get a better majority and mandate, and she agrees

2) The House of Commons passes a motion of no-confidence, and no other option presents itself (in other words, a rainbow coalition won’t work).

3) He manages to keep going, and by elections favour him. He could theoretically govern for 3-4 years on his own, but that’s very unlikely given the arithmetic.

Re 3), all eyes on Thirsk and Malton, notionally a safe-ish Tory seat, but…

35

Thanks for that, and there is nothing wrong with agreeing with me.

Sounds like 1 is the option. I’m sure Cameron will get the Queen to do whatever he wants.

@36

Seeing as he’s a blood relative I’m sure that will be no trouble at all.

38. harry the don

a minority tory government would arguably be better for the left – unpopular from the outset it would come to power in seriously troubled times and no doubt spread more misery and disfranchisement amongst the already resentful and embittered electorate. This would give the left four years to finally get its fucking act together for the first time in my lifetime.

Here’s dreaming of a progressive socially democratic green/lab/lib administration in the foreseeable future.

Heh, you might think that, but his posturing beforehand about how he’d play it after the GE if Brown tried to stay on really didn’t enamour him of the palace types that like the rules as is because it lets them seem above politics.

We’ll see though. IIRC tho, Clegg’s also a relative, indirectly, isn’t he?

There is no guarantee that if there is a minority Cons government that falls apart, and another election is called, that Labour and the Lib Dems between them will win enough MPs to form a majority. In that instance, what will happen (I suspect) is that turnout will be low because people generally don’t like having to vote more than once in quick succession, and the outcome in terms of seats won’t be terrible.

Remember, the Tory press (i.e. most of the press) will be furiously spinning away to blame the collapse of a Tory minority govt on the Lib Dems, who were “too immature” to share power. And until the progressives find a way to destroy the Tory press and replace it with actual objective journalism, this will be an issue.

41. Chris Baldwin

“But Brown is also widely hated in England”

Maybe if by “England”, you mean the south-east and East Anglia.

Actually Chris, it includes the parts of West Yorkshire I campaigned in as well. Including from notional Labour supporters. We found it very hard to persuade people to switch to voting us instead of the Conservative candidate (who got in on 40%, Labour vote collapsed by 10%, half going to us, half Tory).

They were really worried that we’d support Brown if elected, and really wanted him out. I was actually surprised how much visceral dislike to him there was.

My experience about Brown was the same. The public did not like him. That and Lib Dem policy on immigration which was not playing well either.

I don’t know if this was Tabloid driven, because the Tory press went big on this.

This was an American Liberal sites view of Brown……“Gordon Brown, who combines the charisma of Dukakis and the glower of Nixon into one unpopular package”

A Lib-Con deal in my opinion would be the best thing for the country at the moment. The points outlines in the article appear to show that and I for one am happy to see it happening.

As to the so called “progressives” that dismiss this happening, I’d say you are not progressive at all – more tired old has beens that just want a left wing government. If you want a PM of a party that came in 2nd I suggest you go to Zimbabwe if that’s your idea of democracy.

And as for the “Lib Dems” going on about how they should align with Labour, if you wanted a Labour government then you should have voted Labour.

I want what’s best for the country – not the Conservatives, Lib Dems or Labour parties. I am glad Labour lost as I feel that they had become dictatorial and the current bunch were looking after themselves and not the rest of us. They deserved to lose.

I hope that we see a complete clear out of the likes of Brown, Balls, Dromey, Hain and co and get some good people in. I want 3 strong parties fighting for my vote next time and not a “we’re rubbish but they’re worse then us”.

If Clegg and Cameron can sort something out (and I really hope they do) I think we could get the best of both worlds.

45. Clegg's Zionist coalition!

For Clegg to even consider a coalition with the Tories means that Clegg does not understand who the feck voted for him! The LibDems fell flat on the night and should have done better, the negative Tory/Murdoch press didn’t help and neither did FPTP , he should realise that electoral reform also means reform of the media and massive donations from offshore’d Tories like Ashcroft- something he will not get from Cameron who benefits so much! However the whole business of who funds our politicians is the biggest threat to parliamentary democracy and the UK, both Blair and Brown have Zionist backers and Blair has been paid off nicely!
I hate New Labour, but lets get a LIBDEM-Labour coalition with a promise by Brown that as well as electoral reform, that a Labour leadership contest will also be held immediately, Labour will hopefully elect someone not tainted with NLs 3rd Way/Reich Zionist wars – Brown was preaching the threat of Iran, on behalf of his Zionist masters, till the end! see http://www.jnf.co.uk/about_executive.htm Note Camerons presence here as an honary patron from a group involved in the original Zionist colonisation of Palestine and forestation of Arab lands – how green!

46. Hibernica

Can Brown remain PM? No.
Can Clegg be the next PM? Sadly, no.
Should we have a second ‘unelected’ PM? No.
With the largest share of the vote and number of seats, should Cameron be the next PM? Sadly, yes.

At that point, I have no strong opinion between minority Conservative and Libdem/Conservative government. The markets would prefer a majority (yey for sterling), but as mentioned it would likely be a poisoned chalice for the LibDems. Hard to choose.

Of Cameron, Clegg and Brown, no one man could say they have an outright claim to the premiership: however, Cameron’s claim is stronger than Clegg’s or Brown’s, and certainly much stronger than that of a replacement Labour leader.

I think going forward with a hung parliament or a minority Tory government means more Politicians from any of the parties have a chance to impress us. I think this situation might actually favour politicians who break the mould and work together regardless of party.

I think in this media ages Politicians who just drop the party speak shit should do well. Galloways gone. We can party no?

Completely agree with the conclusion, if not the reasoning…

The fastest way to a fair electoral system is to eliminate the Lib Dems from the picture. You can run through every electoral system known to mankind, and none of them can cope with a party that has no distinctive policy other than changing the electoral system so they can win.

Without the Lib Dems, even first past the post works adequately, and you can think about changing it to make it better, rather than just differently wrong.

An attempted coalition with the Tories will split one or the other party, and I’d bet on the one that doesn’t have a 400 year history, a coherent picture of what it is, who it stands for, and why. And didn’t let Lembit Opik stand as a candidate…

It is either a Conservative government with DUP support, or one with Lib Dem support.

I know which one I’d rather have

I disagree with point 4, and I get confused by people that keep wrongly attributing the vote share of a party that wants a referendum on voting reform (while curiously not including the Labour/other’s shares that bump the share to >50%) to a “mandate” for reform.

The ONLY thing that matters is what people want, and the polls and activism on the subject are increasingly saying they want to have a say on changing the system. If that is truly the case it wouldn’t matter if Clegg had 23% of the vote, 5% of the vote or 50% of the vote…his party’s vote share is irrelevant to the wider picture of what people want regardless of the party that they voted for.

This is a bit tinfoil hat, but after some discussion I came up with another Liberal conspiracy.

Basically this all started when Brown became prime minister. The Torys knew that whoever they fronted, they would have a tarnished image with a large part of the population (i.e traditional Labour voters and Scotland & England)

Of couse they have their traditional heatlands where they can be secured a vote, and there are marginal seats in the South of England that a nice shinny new guy (Cameron) could get some votes.

But what about those pesky traditional left Labour voters (especially in Scotland/Wales)? The one where they know they will never vote Tory, but will vote on certain key issues.

In came Nick. All shiny and new he would woo some Labour voters away to the Liberal party, ensuring that Labour could not get enough of the popular vote to secure a government.

If they could do a campaign with the Liberals to get enough key marginal seats in traditional weak Labour areas then when they had a minority government thery could capture enough of the vote to form a “coalition” government.

Makes me think this was a plan from the start for the Tories to be able to form a government when they knew based on traditional numbers they couldn’t

54. Clegg's Zionist coalition!

As long as they keep up the good fight in Afghanistan for Israeli gas (LibDem policy to) who cares, http://iran-thru-open-eyes.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-afghanistan-for-yosef-maiman.html

http://www.bollyn.com/middle-east-crisis#article_10554 read and weep –
The War For Caspian Oil And Gas

What is the difference between a LibDem Con coalition and New Labour – we’re fucked either way because the war on terror (tm Netenyahu) will go on (Iran next) and the international bankers will keep pulling the rug. None of these so called leaders will change anything, although Clegg looked promissing! Welcome to the Murdocracy like the Matrix but uglier!

Euhud Barak sales the war on terror!
http://www.bollyn.com/how-ehud-barak-pulled-off-9-11 with abit of collusion from the CIA and MI5/MI6 and Zionist New Order sales man Blair!

Strikes me that there is no way the Lib Dems could hold the Tories to anything they promise, but wouldn’t have that problem with Labour.

Here is why: http://bit.ly/cIt7yU

Thanks for this article – it is refreshing to read something sober and well thought through today amidst all the knee jerk reactions and shouting.

Although I am less pessimistic about pushing for reform right now. It should certainly be the price of a coalition. The Cons may come round to reform. It saved them for a generation under Disraeli and was against their instincts then.

PS all you nutters, the UK intelligence services are not staffed by hard-right zionist nut-cases. The latter make the job of the former a lot more difficult than it need be.

@Clegg’s Zionist coalition!

Either you are a highly amusing and entertaining parody of crazed anti-Semites the world over who blame “the Jews” for everything from 9/11 to the volcanic ash cloud, or you are in fact a total an utter scumbag with less subtlety than the Protocals of the Elders of Zion.
Which is it?

I agree with Kimball in post 56 – the “bury your head in the sand” attitude favours nobody at the moment.

Love to see a deal struck between Cons and Lib Dems. And to those LD’s that love Labour, next time VOTE LABOUR then. #JustSaying 😉

Can’t agree with this. Amongst other things, it smacks far too much of “oooh, we’ve got a tiny sniff of power” over-excitement.

I’m with Mr. Bones at #48.

Let dear Mr. Cameron (who, let’s not forget, only received 0.9% more of the UK vote than TB at his least popular – 64% of UK voters didn’t choose his policies, 83% of we Scots said “no thanks”) run a minority administration, building coalitions issue by issue, (as the SNP do up here, in spite of Scottish Labour’s “If we cannae hae the ba’, we’re no’ playing” attitude).

If this results in another general election, well, so be it. By then, internal divisions in the Conservative party may well have kicked-in, and there’s also the tiniest possibility that the electorate could be a little less spineless given a second go…? (although I’ll admit that’s a long shot).

61. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Just a caveat
Matt GB and others.
I do believe, the correct moral thing to do is to form a coalition with the Tories.
BUT
Remember Thatcherite tribalists like cjcjc,get labour out, Matt and the press, they hate you more than they hate Labour.
Also Matt
What about these problems.
1. Foreign policy.
2. Trident
3 Tories and electoral reform
Clegg zionist person
I agree with Dr P and go away please

62. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Another caveat
That lying Tory piece of poo Cohen is endorsing the pact.
Probably to help his mates Gove and Cameron.
Perhaps it can’t be a good idea if that creature is supporting the idea.
My advice
Enter the coalition but Lib dems beware.
Make sure you aren’t the fall guys

63. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Just a spanner in the works but perhaps the biggest problem is the die hard right wing Tories.
These make up the majority of the party.

64. Shatterface

This might be a realistic assessment of the current state of play but I fail to see how any of it could be ‘good for the Left’.

Where the hell did *that* title come from?

I could not agree more with point 1. I just don’t get why so many Labour people seem to think it would be the easiest thing in the world for Clegg to dump the Tories and ally with Labour. Clegg spent the entire campaign insisting the party with the bigger “mandate” should have right to attempt government. The Tories got more votes and more seats. I don’t like it any more than anybody else, but some of the denialism on this point is incredible.

As is the “unprincipled” charge. How can anyone not see that what would be “unprincipled” is if Clegg had suddenly switched to backing Labour, which had neither the most votes nor the most seats? And besides, doing a deal with the Tories (if it happens) is going to wipe the Lib Dems out in the north, in Wales and worst of all Scotland! If you think we got squeezed badly this time round, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I just don’t know what better definition of principled there could be than doing something that’s going to harm you enormously because it’s the right thing to do and you promised in advance to do it. The double-think on this from Labour supporters is ridiculous. Either we’re unprincipled nest-featherers OR we’re suicidally abandoning our own support. Make your minds up. This pretty obviously has the potential to be a kamikaze deal, and the Tories won’t hesitate to throw us to the wolves when it suits them anyway. So I guess, from my point of view, what all that means is the deal (if it happens) had better be worth it.

Point 5 is also vitally important. If Britain’s first coalition experience in recent memory consisted of the two parties with lower voting shares allying against the party with the single biggest share, what do we think that would do to the long-term British appetite for reform? It’s incumbent on Clegg to show that this process can work. There is a much, much bigger picture here than the Labour party’s psychological need to continue to feel they’re at the centre of the progressive movement.

@NCIAT

You’re right about the hate. But I think I’d add Labour tribalists hate us just as much. When everybody hates you and you’re pretty much fucked whatever you do, it does make it somewhat easier to attempt to do the right thing.

65

So what if the Tories got more votes and seats? Surely it is in the very nature of coalition politics that, unless one party has an ABSOLUTE majority, in the end it doesn’t matter if they came first in the % or raw number of votes.

The Tories failed, as did Clegg, as did New Labour. If the Tories don’t like it…. TOUGH!

Clegg shouldn’t touch the Tories with a barge pole. They are toxic, and will bring him and his party down if he tries it. If they won’t agree to a PR referendum, he should let them try and form a minority govt, and await the next election in hopes the UK public wise up!

@67 “So what if the Tories got more votes and seats?”

I thought I said that? Clegg spent the entire election campaign saying that if the Lib Dems held the balance of power in a hung parliament, they would allow the party with the “clearest mandate” to attempt to form a government. Now, we all know why he said “mandate”, because in the worst case scenario the seats would have pointed one way and the votes the other. But fortunately, there was no such complication. Seats and votes pointed the same way. There’s just absolutely no way Clegg could back down from a statement like that without at least trying his genuine best to make a deal work.

Or we could do it your way. By all means, let the Lib Dems remain proud and independent, let’s have a minority Tory government, followed by a very quick second election the first time they lose a vote, an election which only the Tories will be able to afford to fight, and in the process let’s all watch Murdoch successfully turning the public off coalition politics and electoral reform forever. Yeah, I can really see how that’s going to work out well for the progressive left.

Also, I don’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever that the Tories will be toxic to the Lib Dems. It’s just that so would everything else.

70. Richard W

65. Alix

‘ Point 5 is also vitally important. If Britain’s first coalition experience in recent memory consisted of the two parties with lower voting shares allying against the party with the single biggest share, what do we think that would do to the long-term British appetite for reform? ‘

I voted for the Lib Dem candidate in the election but I can’t see any good options for them at the moment. On voting shares the SNP will emphasise that it is the parties who came third and fourth who are in coalition imposing unpopular measures. The Lib Dems will be big losers from that argument unless the coalition is a spectacular success. I have read LD people say a coalition will help to curtail the wilder fringes of the Tories. Surely good politics is not to curtail the the Tory fruitcake wing but to provoke them, in order to emphasise Tory divisions. A split party is not going to poll well in a subsequent election.

The only stable coalition combination is LibCon. Not the rainbow alliance – can you imagine how unstable LibLabNatNIGreen would be? An alliance of six parties. Not going to work.

And a rainbow has a massive problem; Plaid and SNP won’t vote on “English Only” laws. Now, while that’s an incredibly poorly defined concept, the rainbow wouldn’t have enough votes, at all, for English legislation.

Mathematically unviable, people need to stop clutching at straws, only possible outcomes are Lib/Con coalition and Con minority with DUP support. Hate to admit this, but even though it’d hurt my party, the former is the best choice.

The idea that the voters will “punish” the Lib Dems for giving Britain a stable government and getting concessions from the Tories, as opposed to getting nothing, is odd. That assumes the voters are as immature as party hacks and Labour party members. They are more mature than those two misshapen messes.

If the Lib Dems join the Tories, it is possible they will get credit from the electorate for being mature.

MatGB is right: relying on the nationalists for votes is tantamount to being held to ransom by them. Imagine the conditions the nats, particularly the SNP, would demand: more money to their regions, paid for by English taxpayers (who are largely represented by Tory MPs). They could bring it down at any point.

Also, there is no one the rainbow alliance could possibly choose to be a credible PM. Brown is toast, he should get lost and never come back. Clegg is the leader of a party with 23% of the popular vote, he couldn’t possibly be PM. Cameron’s party may have got 36% of the vote, far from a majority, but more than either of the other party leaders. He, I am very very sad to say, has the best claim out of a bunch of bad claims, to be PM.

@Richard W

“The Lib Dems will be big losers from that argument unless the coalition is a spectacular success. ”

There is absolutely no doubt that we will be massive, massive electoral losers from a deal with the Tories, and your vote would presumably be one of those that we lose. But why do people keep making this point as if it’s decisive? If we, as a party, manage to put what we believe to be the long-term advantage of the country and the cause of electoral reform before narrow party advantage then I for one am going to be enormously proud.

“Surely good politics is not to curtail the the Tory fruitcake wing but to provoke them, in order to emphasise Tory divisions.”

I’m not sure I follow this. It’s hard to imagine anything more likely to provoke the fruitcake wing than to attempt to curtail it. As Sally pointed out, the splits are opening up right before our eyes (though I doubt they’ll do serious harm; if the Tories have got through the last thirteen years without splitting, they’re not going to now). But even if you were right about this, I’d still say you’re stuck in exactly the tribal advantage way of thinking that political reform would go some way towards obviating. While you’re busy in opposition “provoking the fruitcake wing”, who is suffering from the fact that it is allowed to govern unchecked? The current system’s politics, with its emphasis on purity and making the other side appear to disadvantage, are not ultimately what any of us want. If the Lib Dems can’t show that their support of the principle of consensual government is real, and demonstrate that it can be made to work, they’ve lost that argument.

To all you scardey cat LD’s out there… whatever happened to putting the country first, and the commitment to electoral reform? Man up for pity’s sake! No wonder so many people found the wishy washy liberals so unappetising!

A Tory government, whether a Con/LD coalition or a minority one tolerated by the LD’s or DUP would be a disaster in the eyes of most people on the centre left of the country. Of course the Tories hate the idea, but they never got a majority, and whether they like it or not there IS a current natural majority on the centre left: it just isn’t reflected in our jerrymandered parliament.

I frankly don’t give a shit if the LD’s Do implode: if they don’t survive, then they probably didn’t deserve to. If you can’t stomach a coalition with the Tories, then leave them to it. If you don’t think a rainbow coalition will work, fair enough..don’t try it. But please, for pity sake stop trying to convince us it’s a matter of principle: it’s simply cowardice, and putting your party’s interests before those of the greater good.

Clegg and his advisers need to be clear. PR or no deal. It’s the only option that will leave them with any credibility at all!

76. Matt Andrews

Despite my instincts saying otherwise, I have to agree with the sentiment of this well-constructed piece by DonaldS. Labour need to regroup and remind themselves what they’re about and there’s possibly no better time to be in (a relatively strong) opposition. But if he chooses to form a coalition with either party, Clegg will probably be the Ramsay MacDonald of the liberal democrats.

@Galen10

I thought it was pretty clear from what I said that I think getting a proper undertaking on electoral is a vital precondition of any deal. That’s the principle I’m talking about.

@Galen10

(What I think you might be finding hard to stomach is the possibility that the Tories might offer a good enough undertaking.)

Deborah Orr pretty much hammers the nails into the coffin of the “progressive alliance”:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/09/general-election-2010-labour

“in the progressive coalition government that is so enthusiastically wished for, 328 MPs would be under permanent obeisance to the whip – even the 93 MPs who would regularly be obliged to vote on legislation that doesn’t affect their own devolved countries at all.”

328 being Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid, SNP, SLDP, and Alliance. That is the killer point. If the Lib Dems had about 20 more MPs, the progressive alliance could work: you wouldn’t need the support of nationalist and Northern Irish parties.

This is the truth, I’m afraid:

“Progressive? It doesn’t even pass for democratic. And I doubt it would last six months.”

Bang.

I agree with Alix. Can’t see the Lib Dems joining the govt without the PR referendum as a condition. So either they do join, and we get PR, or they don’t join, and we don’t get PR. Frankly, I don’t care what else the Lib Dems concede as long as we get PR.

Labourites need to stop jumping up and down to tell the world they’ve suddenly rediscovered the lost left bollock they cut off when they took the country to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, let the bankers run wild, crushed civil liberties, etc etc. They have no legs to stand on in criticising the Lib Dems for being grown up enough to talk to another party. Whose fault is it that Labour aren’t really viable in a coalition?

81. Richard W

I agree with Galen10 that PR referendum or no coalition deal should be a line drawn in the sand. If the Tories said no then let them govern as a minority. The Tories were quick to emphasise the areas where they would not compromise. To then offer crumbs where ‘we already agree’ is offering nothing since they already had common ground in those areas. The LD only gain if the Tories move on areas where they disagreed. I can see no advantage in getting a few crumbs from the Tories when they would have enacted that legislation anyway and being blamed by association with all the unpopular stuff.

78 @ Alix

I don’t see it happening because I don’t believe the Tories will be able to give the LD’s enough to satisfy most LD MP’s and activists.

However, if they cave in and agree a formal coalition with the Tories, or tolerate a minority Tory admin, without a guarantee of a referendum on PR, I suspect it will tear their party apart, and amount to electoral suicide anyway. A huge section of their support are people like me, who have no particular love of the LD’s per se, but little other choice.

I don’t think your sceario in 68 above is convincing at all, and I think a lot of LD’s are in denial is all – tho I accept that you are in favour of insisting on electoral reform (tho what would you regard as a “proper undertaking”?).

The LD’s should have nailed their minimum conditions to the mast months ago. No PR no deal. Dump Trident or no deal. Reform the tax system or no deal. Get rid of Brown or no deal. They would all know where they stood.

Obviously it would be better if they had more seats,but in the end, it doesn’t matter if the Tories are 20 seats short, or 5 seats short… they are still short!

Galen, if you’re convinced that the Tories won’t give enough ground to satisfy the LD membership, why are you worried about a coalition forming?

Lib Dems are a democratic party. Without support of membership, no coalition, simple as.

@Galen

“The LD’s should have nailed their minimum conditions to the mast months ago”

They did. It was called the four fairness tests, or something:

– pupil premium
– raising tax threshold
– break up the banks & have a green economy
– electoral and constitutional reform

Clegg didnt hammer these points home, and instead got sidetracked talking about the Euro and immigration

79

It could last more than six months, and would be infinitely preferable to a Con/LD monstrosity! Deborah Orr usually talks sense… but on this issue she’s talking out of a holeieved in the top of her head.

People need to get past this crap about relying on the Nats… they’re British MP’s, end of! If they don’t vote on English only legislation fair enough, it complicates matters, but the sky isn’t going to fall.

A rainbow coalition only needs to last as long as is needed to ensure PR is achieved.

Above all however, that WOULD be life in a reformed parliament, colaitions, horse trading… it’s the NEW politics the majority of the people want…live with it!!

“The LD’s should have nailed their minimum conditions to the mast months ago

They did. It’s in the manifesto, on the website, and on every fucking leaflet I had printed and delivered in my area.

Go and look, stop tilting at windmills, Clegg was asked about this time and again, and gave the same answer time and again, the LD manifesto is specifically designed as a negotiation document, and sets out the minimums very clearly. Go and read it.

@Galen10

You think my scenario @68 is unconvincing because I am in denial? The scenario in which I envisaged the total squeeze/wipe-out of the Lib Dems? What kind of denial could this possibly be?

83

Are you saying you can see no circumstances the LD’s won’t cave in? I can!

@85

“they’re British MP’s, end of! If they don’t vote on English only legislation fair enough, it complicates matters, but the sky isn’t going to fall”

If you take out the SNP, PC, SDLP and Alliance votes, the progressive alliance not only loses its majority, it can be beaten by the Tories on English only legislation. If that happens more than once, the sky will fall and bring a ton of shit down with it too, all on the heads of progressives.

Sorry Galon. The numbers don’t add up.

“Above all however, that WOULD be life in a reformed parliament, colaitions, horse trading… it’s the NEW politics the majority of the people want…live with it!!”

I agree. But if there are too many deals and too much horse trading, it just leads to instability. This “new” politics is great at the moment, with the Tories and the Lib Dems being amicable, and Brown having the decency to at least not stand in their fucking way (unlike Labour members, who are suddenly taking the moral high ground they bombed with fucking cluster bombs like those that killed kids in Iraq and Afghanistan). But AT SOME POINT, there needs to be a stable government, and that government needs to actually govern.

The concessions the SNP and PC would extract from the progressive alliance in return for their support would be excruciating for English voters to bear, most of whom are represented by Tory MPs. And if they quit, it would bring the whole thing down.

Electoral reform will take at least three years. No UK government reliant on Alex Fucking Salmond will last that long.

90. LEFT NOT LIBERAL

How to survive a Tory Liberal scum coalition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWKScA-meNE

Lib Dem voters and supporters have to get of the fence and finally decide what they stand for ,and what they want. Welcome to the real world of politics. They have been happy to play both sides against the middle for decades. Well now its make your mind up time.

What exactly have you achieved over the last 30 years? You have managed to hand the winning party a huge electoral strength in seats that bears no relation to the percentage of votes cast. First to Thatcher and then to Blair. This has meant we have had huge majorities that do not reflect how people voted. Lib Dems have exaggerated that process.

So what do you actually want? And if by not saying you hold your party together, what’s the fucking point?

You see Sally, this is why I’m surprised when I do agree with you.

What do we want?

It’s in the manifesto, all over the website, and been repeated many many times by Clegg and other candidates and MPs all over the country.

Go read, you might learn something.

The problem is, Mat, Sally wants to be able to fit all of that into one of two small boxes, one with a label “Left” except the label has been covered up by another “Labour”, and the other with a label “Right” except the label has been covered up by another “Tories”.

Liberalism as a creed has some common ground with both social democracy and economic liberalism, the two main creeds of the other two parties.

MArk, I suspect you’re right, except…

You say “economic liberalism” is the creed of the right, that’s not true, capitalism is. Despite attempts to misuse the word, Thatcher’s economic policies were not really liberal; merely slightly more liberal, in a purely economic sense, than what had gone before.

Economic liberalism can be capitalist or socialist, this little liberal socialist has read his JS Mill y’see 😉

It is not as easy as that. Yesterday I spent a long time on Liberal Voice and read what your people are saying. They don’t know what they want. One lot are saying they are old fashioned Liberal who have more in common with the Tory Right on free markets and small state, but tdon’t have all the Christian Talaban crap the tories have.

On the other you have people who are to the left of New Labour and hate the Tories and want no part of it. What I concuded was that Clegg can’t do anything that won’t split the party in two. Some where saying it would have been better if they wern’t in this position where they have to declare their hand. What is the point of being in politics if your main object is to avoid making a decision?

96. Mike Killingworth

Robert Peel was a great – some even say the greatest – leader the Tories ever had. Gladstone was for sure the greatest leader the Liberals ever had. Both proposed legislation (free trade, Home Rule for Ireland) which was undoubtedly (this side of a socialist millenium) what the country needed at the time. And it split their party, keeping it out of office for a generation.

Both Cameron and Clegg will claim to be acting in the national interest. If that is true, they must be prepared to do the same.

@95: “What is the point of being in politics if your main object is to avoid making a decision?”

LOL! How’s this for decisive politics, as quoted on the BBC website?

“Former Home Secretary David Blunkett says he’s ‘bewildered’ by Nick Clegg’s fascination with bringing in proportional representation which, he says, would result in the current horse-trading being repeated after every election. He tells Sunday Live he believes the Conservatives and Lib Dems will ‘cobble together’ an agreement but that stable government is ‘much, much more important than some squabble over the voting system.'”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/liveevent/

Evidently, Blunkett thinks there is nothing at all peculiar about a voting system where a party attracts 23% of the votes casts and gets 8% of the seats in Parliament.

@96: “Robert Peel was a great – some even say the greatest – leader the Tories ever had.”

Peel was certainly bright and intellectually honest but he split the Tory party over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 and the party was out of power for a generation.

Yes Bob, that’s exactly what Mike just said. Well done for repeating his point while trying to disagree with it.

FWIW, STV will, medium term, split all the existing parties.

@99: “Yes Bob, that’s exactly what Mike just said. Well done for repeating his point while trying to disagree with it.”

Years ago, by chance, I met on a train journey a previous academic colleague, a historian. Apropos nothing I said in a discussion about politics, he ventured that people with first class honours degrees don’t make good political leaders.

Peel had a first class degree, as did Asquith and Harold Wilson. Gordon Brown, William Hague, David Cameron and David Miliband have first class degrees.

The really interesting question is whether the judgement of my historian colleague was correct or doesn’t it matter?

101. Mike Killingworth

[100] IIRC Gladstone also got a First in Greats. For some reason he then entered himself for the Maths Tripos but only got a second.

“Gladstone also got a First in Greats. For some reason he then entered himself for the Maths Tripos but only got a second.”

Thanks – I overlooked that. It’s an interesting question about whether outstanding academic ability is an aid or a hindrance in a political career.

Peter Clarke (Cambridge historian) has a collection of political essays on political leadership. His essay on Attlee (who taught law at the LSE but didn’t have a first class degree) recalls a reported interview of Attlee in retirement when he was asked about whom he regarded as the outstanding PM of the 20th century.

Astonishingly, Attlee replied, Lord Salisbury, the last PM to serve in the House of Lords:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cecil,_3rd_Marquess_of_Salisbury

The thing is that Lord Salisbury, as I recall, got a third class degree in maths at Oxford. Another is that historians mostly agree that the Attlee government is one of the few in Britain where the government made real fundamental changes in establishing a welfare state and taking into public ownership swathes of the economy. The argument continues about how beneficial that was.

103. Galen10

There is nothing intrinsically worse with a rainbow coalition than a Con/LD one! In fact for any non-Tory, the latter is infinitely preferable….. it’s a total no brainer. If the LD’s do a deal with the Tories, they are condemning themselves, and the rest of us, to more generation of politcal sclerosis.

Any LD or supporter who thinks otherwise is deluded.

104. Galen10

@103

Oops.. I meant the former obviously 🙂

The latter makes me shudder!

@103: ” If the LD’s do a deal with the Tories, they are condemning themselves, and the rest of us, to more generation of politcal sclerosis.”

Compare the prediction of the Governor of the Bank of England as reported on 29 April:

“Mervyn King is warning that the victor in next week’s election will be forced into austerity measures that will keep the party out of power for a generation, according to the US economist David Hale.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/29/mervyn-king-warns-election-victor

106. Galen10

105

Possibly.. tho how far should we trust those in the finance sector given their track record? Where were they when we needed them to inject some sense into the markets..? Yes, that’s right, they were encouraging New Labour to use light touch regulation… that worked sooooooo well huh?

Anyone is going to have to make cute… but if we have PR before the next election King’s prediction doesn’t hold, except perhaps for the Tories!

107. Galen10

@ 89 Mark

The scenario about English only legislation is a red herring. So what? Let the Tories have their way on English only legislation…. we might not have to hear the continual moaning about the west Lothian question then! If they can construct a rainbow coalition secure enough, it can still force thru PR, dictate macro economic policy, foreign and defence policy. That’s good enough for me! It just takes some judgement, discipline… it’s what a reformed system SHOULD be about.

Your point about most English voters being represented by Tory MP’s just emphasises the bankruptcy of the current system m8… it doesn’t support your case! They got 36% of the vote FFS!

108. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Bob
I think King is wrong, the crisis will not be that bad for the UK.
Lib dems
I think your are doing the moral thing
BUT
It looks likely you won’t get PR.
What do you want ?
Mike and Bob
Wasn’t Gladstone’s first speech to the commons a defence of slavery. Very liberal.

109. Yurrzem!

I think the notion that the class of degree a person has correlates with their leadership ability is nonsense. There is no obvious reason why it should be the case as there are different, probably unrelated skill sets involved.

Basing judgement about politicians on a fatuous conversation starter is a bit thin.

Beware Labour’s soft words and dirty fumbles under the dinner table, Lib Dems: they have shown the SNP what they think of the idea of a “progressive alliance”. In reality, whilst the Labour high command want to cling to power, most Labourites will want you to go into coalition with the Tories, become tarnished by association with their big cuts, and lose your support. All the while, Labour will regroup in opposition, choose a new leader, breathe some life back into themselves, and use opposition to Tory/LD cuts as a rallying call for building their support anew.

“They serve you only to serve their turn upon you…” (Iago, in Othello)

111. Mike Killingworth

[108] Gladstone entered Parliament as a right-wing Tory and remained one for some years. His leftward transit began over a dozen years later when he stood by Peel when the latter split his party.

112. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Mike
He was still a believer in neo liberal economics, who quite happily let millions starve in Ireland and India because of his total belief in laissez faire economics. He also secretly supported the Confederates in the civil war when he was a liberal, a little like Thatcher and apartheid.

Nick Cohen is a Tory

At the time of his maiden speech W.E. Gladstone was a Tory

114. Richard W

112. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Mike
‘ He was still a believer in neo liberal economics, who quite happily let millions starve in Ireland and India because of his total belief in laissez faire economics. He also secretly supported the Confederates in the civil war when he was a liberal, a little like Thatcher and apartheid. ‘

He could hardly be a believer in Neoliberal economics in the nineteenth century when the concept did not exist until the 1970s. As a nineteenth century Liberal he would obviously be a believer in classically liberal economics which supported free trade and fiercely opposed to the Tory protectionists. To contemporary eyes it might seem clear that the US Civil War was over slavery. In the nineteenth century from this side of the pond that distinction would not have been as clear cut as it seems now. The US South were in favour of free trade and the Northern industrial states were protectionist because they feared competition from superior British and German industry. That distinction would have shaped British Liberal thinking more than the morality of the Confederates. It is quite wrong to apply contemporary views of ethics and morality on historical events.

What Richard said; on every issue except slavery I’d have supported the Confederates. Hobsbawm (historian from the marxist school) makes it clear the civil war was as much, if not more, about free trade than it was about slavery; it only officially became a war to free slaves after Antietam, over a year into the war.

Worth also noting that the northern abolitionists were in many cases more racist than southerners; they specifically wanted to solve the problem in the south to stop more escape slaves coming north.

Regardless, an irrelevence; the positions of historic figures on historic events in a completely different age with a completely different mindset and cultural outlook is always hard to relate to, I find the Whig attitude to religious tolerance in the 17thC extremely confusing, for example.

116. Nick cohen is a Tory

Matt GB and Richard
While I agree with you about historical perspectives but take views at the time
To say for instance that the central issue of the US civil war was not slavery is ridiculous. Session was due to the threat of abolition of slavery.
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens said that slavery was the chief cause of secession in his Cornerstone Speech shortly before the war.

Also if there was no moral arguments about slavery at the time is wrong.
Read wilberforce and the anti slavery materials written at the time and they would not be out of place now.
Frederick Douglas visited the UK in 1845
Starting in August 1845, Douglass spent two years in the United Kingdom, where he gave many lectures, mainly in Protestant churches or chapels. His draw was such that some facilities were “crowded to suffocation”; an example was his hugely popular London Reception Speech, which Douglass delivered at Alexander Fletcher’s Finsbury Chapel in May 1846. Douglass remarked that in England he was treated not “as a color, but as a man.” He met and befriended the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell.It was during this trip that Douglass became officially free, when British supporters arranged to purchase his freedom from his owner. British sympathizers led by Ellen Richardson of Newcastle upon Tyne collected the money needed to purchase his freedom. Douglass roused tumultuous crowds with his speeches about slavery and his experiences, and he met with acclaim. In 1846 Douglass was able to meet with Thomas Clarkson, one of the last survivors of the abolitionists who persuaded Parliament to abolish slavery in Great Britain and its colonies.
So many at the time had modern liberal attitudes towards race. Gladstone believed that institution of slavery was correct, many at the TIME did not. Their arguments were based on mans inhumanity to man, not trade

I’m fed up with this naive statement that the Tories have the the moral right to attempt to form a Government and that Labour doesn’t simply because they got a greater share of the vote and/or more seats.

Imagine a fictitious country with three parties, two left-wing getting 30% each, and one right-wing getting 40%. That’s a clear 60% majority wanting a left-wing Government which should, in this fictitious scenario, be formed by the two left-wing parties.

Now I can accept the numbers are somewhat more grey than my scenario… but there’s certainly no clear mandate for the Tories.

Hawkeye, the problem with that is you’re assigning the Lib Dems to be a party of “the left” and assuming that they agree with LAbour more than the Tories.

After 13 years of power, Labour have done some bloody awful things, and the Tories have moved their position, policy wise, on a lot of things to be more liberal and thus closer to the Lib Dems. New Labour was on the liberalish leftish position, but has moved to be in the authoritarian centre.

Tories were authoritarian right, are now liberalish right. Lib Dems are liberal leftish, with some in the centre and some even on the notional right.

There’s a lot of common ground, now, between the LDs and Labour, just as there always has been. But there’s a lot of common ground, now, between Tories and LDs as well, and that’s almost exclusively as a result of joing opposition to Labour govt proposals.

You can add up the vote shares as much as you want, but in areas like Redcar and Bradford East, the Lib Dem vote is anti-Labour.

Failing to acknowledge that Labour messed up and broke the coalition they offered in ’97 is the biggest mistake a lot opposing these negotiations are making.

119. Mike Killingworth

[117][118] There’s another issue with Hawkeye’s scenario which applies equally well to the one we’ve got.

Everyone here – I suppose – thinks that you win an election when you win half the seats and one over. But to the extent that it’s seen as a race (where do we get “First Past the Post” from?) for many people the Party who comes first has “won” and should form a government. This is what the Tories think, they also feel morally entitled by having won seats (and indeed won so many, as Cameron keeps stressing) when the other two parties lost them – to say nothing of the fact that they have indeed won a majority of seats in England.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Emma Just Emma

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  2. James Hargrave

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  3. J Chilton McConnell

    @step_right_up @Kath_McMahon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left « Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/aqNx4r

  4. vinnivee

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  5. Alice Sheppard

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  6. simon.mills

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  7. DanH

    Silver linings on LDCON: http://bit.ly/aakbVc LD votes would also be a buffer for Cam against rightwing Tories. If only he weren't one!

  8. Charonqc

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  9. Chris Campbell

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  10. Rachel Gooch

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  11. JF

    Why the LibDems should strike a deal with Cameron: http://bit.ly/cvbg9S /via @hackneye >> Why Con-lib is good for the left.

  12. Ben Kolb

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  13. Robert Rothenburg

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH (via @twodoctors)

  14. Robin Kelly

    I think I want this now. RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/bWvwsE (via @sirdigbychicken)

  15. Robin Dalton

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  16. Tim Moore

    RT @mattwardman: Thought provoking: Good analysis of Lib-Con coalition prospects by @hackneye http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  17. screechin

    Interesting pieces on the possible advantags of a Lib-Con alliance http://is.gd/c09kr and http://is.gd/c09ma

  18. Cathy Gellis

    @katebevan RT @jackofkent RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  19. Harriet Gooch

    RT @PlaceFarm: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  20. Harriet Gooch

    RT @PlaceFarm: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  21. Adele Taylor

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  22. Steve Jones

    @LadyChatterley worth reading this http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/08/why-a-con-lib-coalition-might-be-good-for-the-left/

  23. scott sherrard

    Interesting contribution RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  24. Jasper Sharpe

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  25. Arin Baboumian

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/08/why-a-con-lib-coalition-might-be-good-for-the-left/ #dontdoitnick Or maybe he should?

  26. Dave Boyle

    RT @ellieprice: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH << some of this is pretty convincing

  27. John Philip Carter

    RT @mattwardman: Thought provoking: Good analysis of Lib-Con coalition prospects by @hackneye http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  28. andrew

    Liberal Conspiracy » Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the …: About the author: Donald is a regular cont… http://bit.ly/cS5Y0G

  29. Molly Moggs

    @stephencon think that Clegg is between a rock and a hard place. http://bit.ly/aakbVc I think they will agree to a minority Tory government.

  30. Dominic Feargrieve

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  31. Aisling Furey

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  32. Stephen Connolly

    "A deal would put Clegg permanently in the position of being able to bring Cameron down." http://bit.ly/bPAMbV (via @molly_moggs)

  33. Greg Dillon

    RT @MJDodd: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  34. Chris Terry

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left: http://is.gd/c0nJW

  35. Get Labour Out

    @amerimatryoshka Looks like am not the only one: http://bit.ly/9EnYa5

  36. Matt Harwood

    RT @tweetmeme Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  37. Tab

    Agree with this! @GetLabourOut Looks like am not the only one: http://bit.ly/9EnYa5

  38. mark datko

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  39. andrew dalby

    This is an excellent article about why we need the Con-Lib coalition and how it stops a lurch to the right http://bit.ly/9RXYuu #ge2010

  40. Julia Ault

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  41. andrew dalby

    @uwitness I know you hate it and it makes me queasy too but there is a good article about why it mght work in the end http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  42. Dawn Sanders

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/bWvwsE

  43. Liberal Conspiracy

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  44. Thomas O Smith

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  45. Jonathan Butterworth

    … and this… RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  46. House Of Twits

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  47. Leon Green

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  48. Max

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  49. Get Labour Out

    A great article on @LibCon and I'd add one that could benefit the country http://ow.ly/1IxVn

  50. Ellie Price ??

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH << some of this is pretty convincing

  51. Campbell

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH #nickclegg #ge2010

  52. Andy Lloyd

    A couple of blogs on why a Con-Lib deal might be good thing (even 4 Left) http://bit.ly/cmDCvH & http://bit.ly/b4VDAl (via @jonmbutterworth)

  53. Mark Henderson

    Agree with almost everything in this from @libcon. Do hope PR can be pressed more though. http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  54. Max

    @libcon Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH > big caveat: Clegg won't necessarily get elect reform from Tories

  55. Richard Lowe

    RT @GetLabourOut: A great article on @LibCon and I'd add one that could benefit the country http://ow.ly/1IxVn

  56. Carl L. Williams

    Wow this is excellent >>> Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left: http://bit.ly/cmDCvH #dontdoitnick #ge2010 #ukelection

  57. Mat Bowles

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  58. DonaldS

    This might not be popular. but…. me @libcon on why Clegg and the LibDems should strike a deal with Cameron: http://bit.ly/cvbg9S

  59. kieron_mccann

    RT @GetLabourOut: A great article on @LibCon and I'd add one that could benefit the country http://ow.ly/1IxVn

  60. Alex Wilcock

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  61. Milton Lumky

    "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left" via Liberalconspiracy http://bit.ly/bRo7LI An excellent article – worth a read

  62. Mat Bowles

    Combine my Clegg's Dilemma post http://bit.ly/9efM4g post with @hackneye's @libcon post http://bit.ly/cmDCvH for my full opinion.

  63. Frank Wales

    RT @markgfh: Agree with almost everything in this from @libcon. Do hope PR can be pressed more though. http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  64. Tweets that mention Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Campbell, DonaldS, Liberal Conspiracy, House Of Twits, Leon Green and others. Leon Green said: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH […]

  65. mjrobbins

    Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  66. mjrobbins

    Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  67. Mark Lowe

    Here is some sense >>> RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  68. Mark Lowe

    Here is some sense >>> RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  69. Hywel Owen

    Worth reading, about right. RT @jonmbutterworth RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  70. Hywel Owen

    Worth reading, about right. RT @jonmbutterworth RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  71. vinnivee

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  72. kieron_mccann

    @andy_s_64 a good article on why Con/lib is the best way http://bit.ly/aakbVc

  73. Alexander Hayman

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  74. DonaldS

    RT @matgb: Combine my Clegg's Dilemma post http://bit.ly/9efM4g post with @hackneye's @libcon post http://bit.ly/cmDCvH for my full opinion.

  75. Vijay odedra

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  76. Alastair Brown

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh #ge2010 #ukpolitics

  77. Chris Stoneman

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  78. Roisin

    Feeling much better about a Con-Lib coalition after reading this. http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  79. jimbobthomas

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/bWvwsE

  80. Richard Wilson

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  81. Anna Williams

    RT @markgfh: Agree with almost everything in this from @libcon. Do hope PR can be pressed more though. http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  82. James Mackenzie

    RT @ellieprice: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH << some of this is pretty convincing

  83. Greg Eden

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  84. JackofKent.com

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  85. Melissa Shales

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  86. Ben

    Interesting article on Liberal Conspiracy about Con-LD coalition http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  87. Martin Day

    I'm still in the 'betrayal' camp, but food for thought -> RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/bWvwsE

  88. Mark Tibbetts

    Agree with this. RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  89. Refik Gökmen

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  90. FAKE Richard Herring

    A reason for #doitnick? – "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  91. Carol Roper

    RT @BritainVotes: This is a top article on the current situation for the #LibDems. From @LibCon: http://bit.ly/a1FGgx #GE2010 <<virus alert

  92. Danny Pugsley

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  93. MartinSFP

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  94. Joe Halliwell

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH (via @twodoctors)

  95. Chris Hunter-Brown

    Well judged piece RT @leongreen: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  96. Kevin Blanchard

    Maybe they have a point: RT @sunny_handal – Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH #hungparliament #ge2010

  97. HolyHaddock

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  98. Richard Honey

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  99. dan probert

    Hers a good article on the LibCon prospect. http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  100. Paul Bellerby

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – Good analysis, pretty much what I was thinking

  101. Philippa Willitts

    @libcon Hate to be the 1 to point it out in an otherwise interesting post, but #5 you've put 'the British pubic'. Sorry! http://is.gd/c08R6

  102. Tom Green

    "Like it or not, the British pubic is going to form its opinion about coalitions based on what happens now" http://bit.ly/cQrWi3 < key point

  103. Samuel Tarry

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me. » Interesting stuff…

  104. Cathy Gellis

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  105. bitoclass

    Finding this article and comment discussion more interesting than most on the possibility of a Lib/Con coalition: http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  106. Gavin Duley

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  107. Gavin Duley

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  108. Holly Prins

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  109. Holly Prins

    RT @mjrobbins: Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left" – http://bit.ly/9RXYuu via @markgfh

  110. Tom Miller

    RT @leejamesbrown: RT @SamTarry: RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH < and drea …

  111. Neil

    RT @kieron_mccann: @andy_s_64 a good article on why Con/lib is the best way http://bit.ly/aakbVc

  112. Paula Bailey

    RT @iscarbro: RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  113. Matt Dodd

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  114. Maureen

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  115. emma beckett

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  116. Grzegorz Wapi?ski

    RT @jackofkent: RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  117. MUSTARD SEED

    RT @tweetmeme Why a #Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  118. CSY

    This sort of confirms what Ihad been thinking- ReTweet Good piece "Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the left"- http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  119. Arin Baboumian

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/08/why-a-con-lib-coalition-might-be-good-for-the-left/ #dontdoitnick – #ormaybenickshoulddoit?

  120. Arfy

    Interesting RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  121. Helen Lambert

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left – @libcon http://j.mp/bWeivP

  122. rick

    RT @screechin: Interesting pieces on the possible advantags of a Lib-Con alliance http://is.gd/c09kr and http://is.gd/c09ma

  123. Kerry

    RT @helenic: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left – @libcon http://j.mp/bWeivP

  124. Want Electoral Reform Mr. Clegg? : Lawyers, Guns & Money

    […] If, however, you’re not really keen to seize this moment to introduce electoral reform (which would have prevented the humiliating irony of increasing your vote share yet decreasing your seats), but would rather prop up a minority Tory government until they feel confident enough to call a snap election and secure their own majority in Parliament, thus pissing all over you twice, have at it. […]

  125. Oh, how existential risks focus the mind « Freethinking Economist

    […] half dead shark strapped to your back, does not mean that Labour is doomed if it is in opposition. Donald on LibCon argues that a LibCon alliance could be good for Labour, and joins people like Polly Toynbee in suggesting that a Labour failure is not such a terrible thing […]

  126. SomeBeans

    This looks spot-on to me RT @sunny_hundal Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  127. Ian WhittleworthMCMI

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  128. rachel shabi

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  129. Britain-Votes

    This is a top article on the current situation for the #LibDems. From @LibCon: http://bit.ly/a1FGgx #GE2010

  130. sunny hundal

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  131. Divyesh Ruparelia

    RT: @sunny_hundal Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  132. Ross Stalker

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  133. Small Green Bear

    @PompeyGoat In fact, point 1 of this, is all you need: http://bit.ly/c6PCjP

  134. BruceMcLachlan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  135. Thetis

    Yep, excellent piece. RT @sunny_hundal Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  136. Paul Bellerby

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/bWvwsE – Good analysis, pretty much what I was thinking

  137. James Graham

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me. » Food for thought.

  138. Tom Green

    Def well worth reading RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  139. Tom Drinkwater

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  140. Two Seven Two

    I agree with most of this, really http://bit.ly/9RXYuu

  141. lee james brown

    RT @SamTarry: RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH < and dreadful for working people

  142. Carl Hodler

    Strong argument from Liberal Conspiracy on why #libdems need to work out a deal with #tories
    http://bit.ly/bbe1xR (via @sunny_hundal)

  143. Ian Scarbro

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  144. Eugene Spiers

    RT Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left – interesting http://bit.ly/cmDCvH -(via @SamTarry) #yr13soc #sociology #revision #fb

  145. Only Cameron can be PM now « Bear Facts: The UK Election

    […] No other way makes sense, as this article at Liberal Conspiracy explains. Point 1 is the only point that […]

  146. Peter Russell

    Very interesting analysis: RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  147. Conor Keegan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  148. Kirsten Watson

    Between an interesting sermon and http://j.mp/bWeivP I realise I was wrong yesterday. Coalition could be a very important part of our future

  149. Hamish Allan

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH /via @libcon << insightful commentary

  150. Keith Kahn-Harris

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  151. Sam Hogarth

    @SallyBercow have u seen this? http://bit.ly/9RXYuu Makes a lot of sense but would talk epic amounts of effort to make it a strategic move.

  152. Dilwar Hussain

    interesting point: sunny_hundal

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – #fb

  153. The Yellow Tory – Support For A Con-Lib Coalition « Get Labour Out

    […] Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left (Liberal Conspiracy) […]

  154. russell collins

    RT @KeithKahnHarris RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH

  155. KATE BUTLER

    i don't know what to think. really, i don't RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  156. Sali Owen

    RT @Kate_Butler: i don't know what to think. RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  157. dan phillips

    RT @libcon: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH < very interesting analysis on #dontdoitclegg + PR

  158. Sebastian Insua

    Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  159. Dilwar Hussain

    RT @sunny_hundal: Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/cmDCvH – this is swaying me.

  160. Lucy Wade

    RT @libcon Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  161. Tanners1977

    @WelshKates Not totally won over by this article: http://bit.ly/b1rBaH but it does make me feel a little more optimistic about the future!

  162. links for 2010-05-09 « Embololalia

    […] Liberal Conspiracy » Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left Major political reform, and the end of FPTP, is going to be a long game. Dealing with the Tories can be the first act, and Clegg and his party should play their role. It might not work, Cameron might not even want it to work, but right now there’s no other show in town. (tags: libdems tories electoral.reform 2010election) […]

  163. Clegg Agonistes « Hopi Sen

    […] Jump to Comments Reading the commentary over the choice before Nick Clegg, you begin to see how dreadful all of his options are in terms of narrow party […]

  164. DonaldS

    I stand by this… Why a LibDem / Tory deal is the only realistic political game in town: http://bit.ly/cvbg9S

  165. Sarah Dale

    RT @hackneye: I stand by this… Why a LibDem / Tory deal is the only realistic political game in town: http://bit.ly/cvbg9S

  166. Author Sonia P Myers

    RT @tweetmeme Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  167. DonaldS

    @worldofjames Not a supporter, at all, but a realist. Wrote this on ConLib 3 days ago: http://bit.ly/cvbg9S

  168. Trevor Reader

    RT @tweetmeme Why a Con-Lib coalition might be good for the Left http://bit.ly/9oyZG7

  169. That LibDem dilemma in full | Donald's Archive 2.0

    […] left”. I suggest they accept no criticism that begins without unpicking the puzzle above – one that the election result set them. That [?] might include the implosion of the party. […]

  170. THERE ARE NO GOOD OPTIONS | Shoah

    […] I take this to be part of his extended journey to the right. There is a better argument on Liberal Conspiracy, and it proceeds from some premises that I mostly agree with. Yet it is not one I am persuaded by, […]

  171. What if the Coalition succeeds? « Raincoat Optimism

    […] Some people have pointed out that this coalition might be good for the left; that the social democrat vote will no longer be split between MPs of two parties who claim to sometimes wear that badge and that the left therefore can reposition itself and expose a coalition of its cracks while being ready to pounce in time for the next election, which will inevitably be in a year a two. […]





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