Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are we imminently going into coalition with the Tories?

The BBC is reporting that our negotiations with the Labour Party are on the road to nowhere.

It sounds therefore that some sort of deal, whether it's confidence and supply, or a full coalition, is likely with the Tories. Some might say that we're on the road to hell.

I know that if this actually happens, it's really going to upset a fair few party members. Good people whose feet still bear the battle blisters and who are still suffering the pain of defeat will feel betrayed. Membership cards will be ripped up. Folk will be angry. They will say that they'll never vote for us again and no doubt YouGov will do a poll in a couple of days which will show us tanking. There's no doubt about that. Whatever the outcome, to be honest, though, it would have been the same.

Whatever happens, I'll stick around. Believe me, the reason I know people are going to hurt is because I hurt. I come from Scotland where the Tories are about as welcome as the Bubonic Plague so dealing with them at Westminster is not without its risks to say the least. I lived through the 80s and 90s and I don't want my daughter to spend her formative years under a Tory Government. That said, I still have faith in our people who have been negotiating, though. They are good, principled men and they will have done all that they could to secure the principles on which we fought the election: fair taxes, cleaning up politics, building a green, sustainable economy and ensuring a fair start for every child.

Labour will go into hysterical overdrive, and I'm sure they'll conveniently forget in the process that they run a Council administration with the Tories in East Dunbartonshire. They can also reflect on the fact that by the sounds of it they were not prepared to offer anything other than their manifesto. You don't go into negotiations in that spirit. Their attitude has been all wrong from the start of this, expecting us to meekly fall into line behind them because they weren't the Tories, using the same bullying tactics on the SNP to dare them not to vote with the Conservatives. And don't take any nonsense from the SNP either - they've relied on Tory support more than once to get their measures through Holyrood.

The reason that the Tories were so vile in my teenage years is that they had unchecked power, stonking majorities in both Houses of Parliament. They could do what they wanted. Now, our challenge is to show that we can take the sting out of the Tories. If we can do that, then maybe politics can become healthier at Westminster level in Scotland and maybe people will realise that coalition government is actually a good thing. So, if we can't get STV by negotiation, maybe we can build the case for it by giving a good account of ourselves in Government.

It's important to note as well that we are a democratic party and the deal has to be approved by 75% of the MPs and 75% of the Federal Executive, who are accountable to the Federal Conference.

Of course the negotiations with the Tories could fall apart and no deal reached and we could do what I would prefer, make a deal with nobody and vote issue by issue in the Parliament but that's looking increasingly unlikely.

So, I have chocolate and red wine on standby to help with the pain, but I guess we have to focus on the fact that we may well be about to see the first Government with Liberal Democrats in it ever. Surely that alone is a reason for hope.


subrosa said...

You're in the same boat as the SNP Caron. Some SNP members/voters are furious will Salmond for the offer he made to the labour party.

What should happen of course, is that Scotland should become independent, then we would get the politicians we voted for. Would be a much healthier scenario don't you think? :)

K said...

At least this is a new generation of Tories - dare I hope that they'll be better than the ancient dinosaurs that controlled the party for so long. Even if they're no better I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion about the major transition between generations we are witnessing in the leadership of our country. After years of Baby Boomer Prime Ministers, and a Boomer-dominated Parliament, we now have a new generation in charge: Generation Jones…the previously lost generation between the Boomers and Generation X. We’ll probably have a GenJones PM in Cameron, or ultimately in David Miliband or Jon Crudas and Parliament now as more Jonesers than Boomers. Similar transitions have happened in other Western countries and it provoked a lot of media interest. In fact, it got so much media buzz after Joneser Barack Obama came to power that the associated Press labelled Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.
This commentary about GenJones in The Independent last week has a very interesting take on the meaning of Clegg and Cameron’s identities as GenJonesers: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/jonathan-pontell-cleggs-rise-is-the-sound-of-generation-jones-clearing-its-throat-1961191.html

Hythlodaeus said...

It's going to be a very interesting election next year, anyway.

Subrosa, I don't think the SNP are quite so concerned. We been in that position before and we'll be there again.

Indy said...

I don't know any SNP members who are furious with Salmond.

Like it or not the Scottish people chose Labour on Thursday. That gave Labour a mandate to govern Scotland.

It is therefore right that the SNP supported that very clearly expressed democratic decision even though we didn't much like it. We have to put Scotland first.

The Lib Dems on the other hand have chosen to support a party with just 15% of the Scottish vote and one single MP.

You have ensured that once again Scotland will be governed by a Tory Party with no mandate to rule.

Don't kid yourself that you can take the sting out of the Tories.

You are indeed on the road to hell and you'll pay the price in next year's elections.

subrosa said...

Let's wait and see. I can't see the tories taking any more from pensioners like me. Brown took most of it in his 13 years.

subrosa said...

Indy, I wasn't talking only about SNP members. I was said voters and in this area many SNP voters are ex-tory voters.

I know two SNP members who are furious. In fact one phoned me on Friday and asked if I'd heard Alex Salmond on the media. They didn't understand what he was doing.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I have been sitting in England where Labour have never had a majority. Its nice to get rid of a party that was unpopular, incompetent and vindictive. If you live in the past you will be blind to the future. Mrs Thatcher is as relevant in England as Lloyd George, a historical figure, not a bogyman. Get over it and join the 21st Century.


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