Thursday, June 21, 2007

 

The Wooing of the Lib Dems is now Under Way

The stories being run by The Guardian regarding alleged talks between Brown and Ming Campbell are interesting and possibly significant. Not because any Lib Dems are likely to serve in a Brown Cabinet but for what it suggests about the positioning currently taking place. Lib-Lab cooperation has a chequered history; the ridiculed Pact 1977-79 when Denis Healey supposedly listened to a Liberal Treasury spokesman; and then the still born 'realignment' attempt by Blair to draw the Lib Dems on side and condemn the Tories to indefinite opposition politics. It sounded good in principle but in practice events and personalities always seem to intervene.

But the recent stories have served to tick a box or two:

1. They remind us all that the Lib Dems are likely to hold ther balance of power in 2009 should voting intentions remain roughly split between the two main parties.

2. They make clear that the wooing of the Lib Dems has already started; maybe they don't want to share government right now but come the next election they can expect to. They should begin to work out their priorities in terms of the political price they can reasonably extract for their cooperation.

3. By appearing to make an offer Brown might have set the ball rolling. Lord Lester has already indicated he is interested and many other Lib Dems might also be scenting power and office the air. Maybe Gordon has even managed to make it appear that the Lib Dems are more likely to tesm up with himn rather than Cameron and if this is the case the Tories have a problem to solve.

4. It could even be the case that Brown has decided to readopt the Blaiur strategy to haul the third party on board as a hedge against a poor result in the general election. It could even be that he is prepared to concede PR to them as the price he is prepared to pay; he has, after all, spoken generally about constitutional reform.

Comments:
I think this is less to do with wooing Lib Dems than neutralising them. Now any complaints they make can be rebuffed with a 'well I gave you the chance to be involved in determining policy' response. Also it draws the sting from the Cameron jibe that Gordon doesn't 'get' new politics - it looks a pretty new ploy for a peacetime PM with a sizeable majority.

My random sample of two uncommitted voters suggests that they like it more than the furious partisan bloggers do. "Ooh how nice and refreshingly inclusive, good to see an end to nasty partisan politics" they coo.

I see John McD is complaining that the PLP wasn't consulted but I suspect the members that matter may have been...

It would be a mistake to underestimate Mr Brown's canniness or his political acumen.
 
Prediction: PR will be a Brown manifesto commitment in 2009.
 
Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.
 
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