Monday, September 19, 2011

 

Coalition Splits Underlie Lib Dem Conference

Interesting fault lines are opening up in the Coalition after 18 months in power. Danny Alexander, No 2 to Chancellor George Osborne, characterised it as:

" Saving Britain from Labour's irresponsibility while saving it from reactionary Tory policies."

Hmmm. I daresay a fair bit of horse trading has gone on behind the scenes regarding what both sides can say about each pother. For the Lib Dems times are more than hard. With an ST poll rating of 9% and 47% of people who voted for it in 2010 saying they would not repeat their vote, it is not too wide of the mark to foresee total extinction as a more than remote possibility for the party. The party's president Tim Farron, tipped as the person most likely to if Clegg stands down, suggests a "divorce is inevitable in three to four years", presumably as the parties gear up for an election they will fight separately.

Others stepped in to rubbish this prediction- David laws, on PM, said Farron had made the remark with the election in mind. Jackie Ashley suggest that the government will survive as the Lib Dems have learned very quickly to love power, after being for so long on the periphery of it. Maybe, some of them think that, like the German Free Democrats- which has also shifted to the centre-right over the years, they can occupy a regular role as holder of the balance of power at election times.

But, hung parliaments have been highly unlikely in British elections and either Labour or the Tories are likely to win the 2015 election. Furthermore the Tories on the right are hell-bent on using the euro-crisis to lever Britain out of the EU altogether, a policy which will severely strain the alliance. If a double dip recession hits as well, my prediction in May 2010 that the government would fall before the end of this year, might well come true. And in those circumstances how would the Lib Dem future look? Dire indeed is the answer.

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