Thursday, May 05, 2011


Clegg set to be Biggest Loser in Coaltion

I have just voted for my Labour council candidate and 'yes' in the referendum. I fully expect Dean Fitzpatrick to be elected to the town hall but fear my 'yes' vote will be overwhelmed in the 2-1 rout predicted by The Guardian. Patrick Wintour's article on the topic reveals that 40% of 18-24 year olds favour reform; 32% 25-34 yr olds; 27% of 35-64 yr olds; and only 20% of over 65 yr olds. And, of course, likelihood to vote is in inverse proportion to the age gradient.

Why precisely the 'no' campaign made such rapid progress is hard to say. Because British voters are essentially small 'c' conservatives? Clearly. Because Nick Clegg is so unpopular he put the hex on the 'yes' campaign? To a degree, possibly. Because the 'no' campaign was well funded and relentlessly negative? Very probably.

Allegra Stratton's analysis today suggests the probable result of the referendum has shortened the odds on the coalition not going the full distance, hence Miliband's concern to be on an election footing. Certainly Lib Dem MPs will be dismayed their possible prize will be dashed from their grip but quite possibly Cameron, urged by his rightwing, will pull the plug himself to rid himself of his meddlesome and whingeing partners.

If this does happen, or even if it doesn't until 2015 at least the referendum campaign will have succeeded in putting lots of distance between the two parties so that Lib Dems can campaign as a separate party and not as a mere adjunct to the Conservatives. Small comfort for them after they have also counted the hundreds of lost council seats.

Fin ally, let me add a quotation from the piece by Timothy Garton-Ash in today's Guardian with which I fully concur:

It is amazing how the anger at the dysfunctional, corrupt old politics of Westminster, which exploded in 2009 over the issue of MPs' expenses, seems to have evaporated. "Our political system is broken," said the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition programme for government, published less than a year ago, and signed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Our system is broken – so don't fix it, says Cameron now, campaigning vigorously against electoral reform, stuffing an unreformed House of Lords with party placelings, and insisting only on a redrawing of constituency boundaries that benefits his party. Joining him to defend the first-past-the-post electoral system, many Labour veterans show themselves to be conservatives under the skin.

Far be it from me to call you a double loser in your voting(s), but it's sad (but how so predictable) your attempt to ally yourself with the "No Show Progressive Majority" last Thursday failed to sweep away FPTP and usher in a new era of politics.

Look at the areas that did say Yes2AV: Oxford, Cambridge, Islington, Camden : all Bastions of the liberal “intelligentsia” that use the word “progressive” with a straight face, but what does it really mean?

Pipple like La Toynbee use the word “progressive” to describe their peers who genuinely think that they are the good guys. Yet "progressive" is a fig leaf that thinly disguises the prejudices of a wannabee rooling elite and their desire to preach,nanny and raise taxes. They wander through the political desert trying to convince the Liebour Party, or once upon a time the Lib Dims to house them.

Those who live in these bastions of liberalism, with their £2.5 million houses, second homes in Tuscany, chums with super-injunctions, double media incomes and brats at private school, think everyone must be as “clever” and “right-on” about everything as they presume to think they are. But if that is the case, why did this “Progressive Majority” not show up anywhere else in the country last Thursday?

The obvious response is that these pipple are totally out of touch. If anything, there is a “common sense majority” in this country favouring lower tax, more freedom from the state, less interference in their private lives and fewer state busybodies: the "Progressives" idea of hell.

The Graun represents a tiny, largely urban, self-appointed “elite” of voters, all talking to themselves on Twitter and at north London dinner parties, deluding themselves that the country agrees with them and that if it wasn't for the Daily Mail or Murdoch or the evil Tor-eees we would all live in a social democratic paradise.

AV didn’t prove that the Progressive Majority was dead. It proved finally, once and for all, that it never existed in the first place. Anthony Bliar knew it, which is why he created his own breed of Conservatism to take over the country. And Cleggo knew it too, which is why he laughed the idea of a rainbow coalition out of the shop in May 2010.
(Much good it will do him)

Kind regards
I do hope you feel better after getting that little lot off your chest.
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