Saturday, September 18, 2010


Taking the Coalition's Temperature on Eve of Lib dem Conference

With the conference season upon us, it might be an idea to assess how the Coalition is getting on. Hmmm. Mixed bag of signals. One Guardian columnist is not so sanguine:

Barely four months into the coalition, the political landscape has already been transformed, and the honeyed days of May are a fading memory. What should have been a triumphant party conference season for the Tories and their Liberal Democrat allies now looks more like a trial to be endured.

Well, yes, he would say that wouldn't he? But there are genuine grounds for pessimism. The Times Populus survey in The Times last week revealed that as they loom nearer two thirds of voters oppose the speed and depth of the cuts (hate to say 'I told you so' after all those polls showing earlier support for the cuts). The IMF and OECD have both warned against precipitate cuts and the dangers of a double dip recession which would widen the deficit.

Simon Jenkins is by no means a leftwinger, despite his weekly Guardian slot, but has nothing but woe to predict for Nick Clegg. He starts of amusingly by describing Clegg as being 'in love' with Cameron:

You scurry early to the office, practising the phrase that will please him, the gesture he will notice. When you first see him in the corridor … you can't help it. The knees go. He is adorable

Unfortunately there is an angry family at home waiting to call you to account for your philandering behaviour. Jenkins praises the coalition as a 'coup' by Cameron 'worthy of Walpole': inventing a majority via a party which would die in consequence. The key question is:

'How can the Lib Dems fight the Tories at the next election when they will be defending a joint record?

The question is rhetorical of course. Clegg will have to forestall this fear at his conference... but how? Merger of the two parties looms as lip-smackingly anticipated in an article yesterday. Jenkins suggests the coalition was a step too far. He should have agreed to stay indpendent and support what measures his party thought fit; that way he would have kept the party's integrity pure. Instead, he chose the big offfice, the car, the red boxes, the intoxication of power. He'd better enjoy it as it won't last for ever; as Jenkins grimly notes:

As leader of the Liberal Democrats, he has booked a ticket to oblivion.

Lets not get carried away, this is the Liberal party not the Democrats, it now really a party ready to split.

A lot is being said about the Liberal returning to it's Tory Roots the old Whigs.

But those that left Labour to make the democrats are going to have to look for another party.

But Labour knows in five years time if we have another hung Parliament Labour Will be all over Clegg and the liberals
Objective analysis is a thing of the past on this blog it seems. For God's sake don't be so bitter and just accept you lost. This coalition is going to last five years...current comment would appear to be sour grapes and does you no good. Michael Oakeshott
You really do talk some tosh! Anyone reading this blog since 2007 could see I did not expect Labour to win in 2010. Brown was a disaster for us. I have accepted we 'lost' since Brown came to power and, whilst I hoped for something else I expected Cameron to be PM

Great information in this post and I think the IMF and OECD have both warned against precipitate cuts and the dangers of a double dip recession which would widen the deficit.
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