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Cameron’s Tories should stay in Opposition

with 3 comments

Purely in the “national interest” of course.

If the current whoring of the Liberal Democratic vote plays out in Labour’s/Mandelsons/Miliband’s interest, the Conservatives would be well advised to desist from any further negotiations with “Calamity Clegg” and be prepared for a further short period in Opposition. The whole scenario being played out in front of us is unseemly and a rotten foretaste of what proportional representation would bring at just about every election.

There are only a few small areas where the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats share common ground, on civil liberties, and smaller taxes, so perhaps it would be better to allow them to form a coalition of the losers and realign Conservative policies a little further away from the centre ground. I had argued for the past three years that standing in the middle of the road was the best place to get knocked over and I’ve been proved right, three parties fighting over a centralist ideal have managed to carve out about a third of the pie each, perhaps if we’d had a better choice with sharper dividing lines we may have got a decisive result.

To a greater extent Cameron and his tight knit circle of lieutenants have been the authors of their own misfortune, they have allowed a 40%+ poll position to be frittered away by clinging on to the hope that the British people were ready for change, a change from Gordon Brown, but perhaps not too great of a change. They are wrong, we don’t need a change of management we need a change of direction, a complete change of options and choices, not more of the same with a better looking wrapper!

Perhaps if the Conservatives had taken a far tougher line over Europe instead of just hoping that the Lisbon question would resolve itself before the election (which it did, but not to our benefit) then perhaps they could have got a pre election agreement from UKIP, that alone might have got them an additional 21 seats and secured the required majority that they were looking for.

Perhaps if they had been more willing to talk with complete frankness about the huge debt crisis and not been afraid to outline in further detail the huge necessity for far greater reductions in public spending, they might have done better. Instead they allowed Gordon Brown to drag them onto his playing field to defend minuscule cuts to Labour’s £1.5 trillion of debt!

Perhaps if they hadn’t agreed to let Clegg take part in the Prime Ministerial Debates we wouldn’t be seeing the leader of the failed Liberal Democrats, who lost five of their seats, prostituting his voters in a purely self interested manner to force a form of proportional representation upon us, a subject which was hardly on our minds last Thursday when we cast our votes.

Perhaps if he’d left individual Conservative Associations alone and allowed them to choose their own candidates autonomously, as in the past, he wouldn’t be in the embarrassing situation of watching 62 of his original 100 “A listers” being defeated at the polls. Another likely source of winnable seats that would help bring a majority.

Perhaps if he’d addressed the fears over immigration a little more succinctly instead of just sneering at Clegg’s amnesty, he wouldn’t be left with so many tight Labour marginals in the north-west.

And so, we find ourselves in a situation where millions of voters thought that they were doing their best by perhaps voting Conservative for the first time, or Liberal Democrat in the hope that they would bring an end to Labour’s dreadful government, and the end result of the poor choices found in the middle of the road is – Gordon Brown staying in Downing Street for a few more months and the prospects of South Shields own MP David Miliband becoming Prime Minister later in the year. A second successive Labour Prime Minister who did not face the daunting scrutiny of the electorate before assuming office – just great! I guess we should be hugely thankful that Miliband wants to face an election by members of the Labour Party – whoopee.

This failure to offer real diverse choice at the election has produced a very bleak day for our democracy, we could indeed see a coalition of the losers as Labour (net losses 91 seats) joins the Lib-Dems (net losses 5 seats) and the six Scottish Nationalists (no gains) and  about six others who will all be wanting their pound of flesh in the form of guaranteed spending in the Celtic fringes; in other words England (with the Tory majority) will have to face the brunt of any cuts!

Quite simply Nick Clegg is not as nice as he appeared on Television, between himself, Gordon Brown, Lord Mandelson, and Ed Balls they will revert to naked party ambition and the “national interest” can go hang.

It is a measure of Gordon Brown’s loose grip on reality that he sought to depict his decision to stand down later this year as a noble act of self-sacrifice made in the national interest. The truth is that this was an act of quite staggering cynicism based on naked party advantage. With the incomprehensible connivance of Nick Clegg – whose reputation will surely never recover – Mr Brown is effectively seeking to nullify the result of last week’s general election. Blinded by his tribal loathing of the Conservatives, he is ready to risk everything – and we use that term advisedly – to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street.

This unelected leader of the Labour Party will remain Prime Minister, even though his party secured two million fewer votes and 48 fewer seats than the Tories. He will then hand over at a time of his choosing to a new Labour leader. At that point, the United Kingdom will find itself governed by a Labour prime minister the country has not elected, succeeding a Labour prime minister neither the country nor his party elected. Even by Labour’s standards, this is self-serving and unscrupulous.

Since last Friday we have lived with the fiction that Mr Brown was simply doing his constitutional duty by staying at the helm until a new government could be formed, acting in the national interest. Now we see that all the time he has been acting in his and his party’s interest, defying the verdict of the electorate by trying to create a coalition of the election losers. This is a bleak day for our democracy.

Because of this political posturing, and because the Conservatives were well ahead, but did not win the election, I’d be happier if they now allowed Labour to continue in office in the sure knowledge that the people would agree with former Labour Home Secretaries David Blunkett who said that the Liberal Democrats are behaving “like every harlot in history”, and John Reid who warned  that a Labour-Lib Dem coalition would result in “mutually assured destruction” for both parties.

Such a coalition will not have stability nor the required numbers to carry major legislation through the Commons, a new Labour leader and Prime Minister would want an early election and a chance to win a majority of his/her own. By then the Conservatives might have learned how to hold on to a poll lead and to get off the centre ground, they don’t belong there and the British people would prefer a more clear cut choice between the major parties. And of course the people will exact their bitter revenge on those who formed the losers’ coalition.


Of course much of what I wrote was written in the heat of the moment this morning at a time when I was convinced that the Liberal Democrats had reneged on a good opportunity and decided to prop up a dead duck Labour government. I’m guessing that to some extent Nick Clegg might have been feeling a bit circumspect as well after the mauling he received from the press today. I have been proved wrong and now is the time to eat humble pie, David Cameron is officially installed as the Prime Minister and it seems that Nick Clegg may be elevated to Deputy PM. Of course if the deal HAD gone the other way I would still favour a short period in opposition as I am convinced that a Lib-Lab pact would prove disastrous for both parties and would have led to a landslide Tory victory within a year. I honestly would have preferred that than seeing the Conservatives struggling to survive as a minority government.

However, we now have a coalition government and it will be very interesting to see (a) who gets the plum positions, (b) it’s programme to be set out in The Queen’s Speech, and (c) how her Majesty’s Opposition react, regroup, and reform after the departure of Gordon Brown.

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3 Responses

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  1. So how does it feel to be in bed with someone who, the people would agree, has been behaving “like every harlot in history”?


    May 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    • Oh well the chase and the wooing were fascinating, it has all of the excitement of chasing after a “scarlet woman”, but somehow, like many affairs, I cannot see it making a great marriage (especially as the bride seemed to fancy another man)! I’ve always felt a little sorry for those forced into a shotgun wedding, but some couples have made it work in the past.
      We’ll just have to see how this relationship pans out.

      I guess I really feel a bit like some of my pals who support Newcastle United – they rejoice that they have returned to the Premiership only to discover that their is no cash to splash around and enjoy the experience. They too aren’t that keen about the relationship that they must endure between a fresh newish manager and a chairman and board members who flip flop around on economic matters.


      May 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

  2. That’s a very good way of putting it, Curly.
    Coincidentally, I feel *exactly* the same way about both Mike Ashley and David Cameron, though Clegg is no Chris Hughton.


    May 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

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