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Anorak | Election Round-Up: Tarty Nick Clegg And The Politics Of Vanity Sold To A Dumb Public

Election Round-Up: Tarty Nick Clegg And The Politics Of Vanity Sold To A Dumb Public

by | 10th, May 2010

GORDON Brown stands aside for pragmatic reasons – Clegg will not work with him. Nick Clegg talks to the Labour Party. The ITV news calls him a kingmaker. He isn’t. He just wants to look important. This is vanity, people. Nothing less.

David Cameron would do well to look principled and tell everyone else to sod off. If all the rest – the Labour losers, the LibDem big losers, the nationalists of Ireland, Wales and Scotland and a Green – are lumped together to form a Government of desperation, the Tories will look solid and the only viable option.

Who wants yet another unelected Prime Minister? Why, Nick Clegg and the Labour Party do. Tarts. This is how PR works, so say they who are against it.

You hear a constant dribble of how much the jobbing, entitled politicos are doing it for the country’s stability. If you snorted any harder you’d puke:

A round-up of views and news:

Iain Murray, National Review:

Incidentally, a well-placed source in the Tory party sent me this just before the election:

David Cameron’s approach has been to appease the ultra-liberal Guardian newspaper and the monopolistic monster that is the BBC. He hoped that by doing so, they wouldn’t attack him the campaign. Cameron would be the media’s favourite Tory (just as John McCain, who spent 20 years doing the same, was the media’s favourite Republican). But as the starting pistol is fired, the Tories’ enemies revert to type. Lady Thatcher warned us that appeasement never works. Neville Chamberlain found that out to his cost. Why is it so hard to learn the lessons of history?

How prescient that looks now!

Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home:

Some members of Team Cameron wanted a formal coalition – ‘the change coalition’ as it has been described by Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale. That is unlikely.  Too many Liberal Democrats regard a formal coalition as electoral suicide. It would see them lose all prospect of victory in Lib/Lab marginal seats.  The only way they could be persuaded into a coalition was a very strong commitment on proportional representation. Team Cameron has toyed with the idea of offering a PR referendum for the Commons and PR for the Lords but they are aware that the party in the Commons, Lords and in the country would be very unhappy with any such concessions.

Aides to David Cameron are nonetheless pleased with the negotiations. The conversations between Cameron and Clegg have been “warm”. Britain is likely to have a second election within a year but the good personal relations between senior Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and a range of concessions (including some cross-party working groups) should be enough to give Britain a stable government in the forthcoming months.

Guido:

LibDemVoice has just released a poll of LibDem members – 80% say that without significant progress on electoral reform the deal is off.  So that is one part of the triple-lock that the key may not be in in.  The Federal Executive is the other part of the lock – some 35 strong, which means that if 9 liberal-lefties or PR purists say nay, it will have less than 75% support and the deal is off.

Massie, Spectator

It’s not unreasonable for Clegg to think of his party’s future electoral fortunes, even at a time like this. But he may be damned if he does and damned anyway if he doesn’t. A formal arrangement, complete with seats in the cabinet and a Programme for Government, ties him to the fortunes of a government that is going to have to make many unpopular decisions. In return, of course, he can advance liberal aims across a range of government departments and this is no small bauble. No Liberal leader in decades has had such an opportunity.

But clearly such an arrangement means he is likely to stand or fall with Cameron. Their fates will be bound together and it’s not impossible to see how, some years down the line, this could – only could mind – lead to a slow but irrevocable split in his party as the left drifts off to Labour and the right is slowly absorbed by the Conservatives. This could happen even if, at some point, the Liberal Democrats achieve their much-cherished voting reform. Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his party for his country and a seat at the top table.

It’s not unreasonable for Clegg to think of his party’s future electoral fortunes, even at a time like this. But he may be damned if he does and damned anyway if he doesn’t. A formal arrangement, complete with seats in the cabinet and a Programme for Government, ties him to the fortunes of a government that is going to have to make many unpopular decisions. In return, of course, he can advance liberal aims across a range of government departments and this is no small bauble. No Liberal leader in decades has had such an opportunity.

But clearly such an arrangement means he is likely to stand or fall with Cameron. Their fates will be bound together and it’s not impossible to see how, some years down the line, this could – only could mind – lead to a slow but irrevocable split in his party as the left drifts off to Labour and the right is slowly absorbed by the Conservatives. This could happen even if, at some point, the Liberal Democrats achieve their much-cherished voting reform. Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his party for his country and a seat at the top table.

Anne Perkins – option 3:

The Lib Dems decide to flout their promise to the electorate and do a multi-party deal with Labour and some of the nationalist parties, immediately branded by a hostile press as a coalition of losers. History is kinder, and sees it as a brave but flawed attempt to capture the social democratic moment and drive through the one reform that could change the face of British politics. Unfortunately at the time, the voters see a discredited government clinging to power supported by the party that promised to do the reverse. Once again, a referendum on electoral reform is defeated and the Lib Dems are reduced to a rump. Two-party politics is resumed. And yes, this is the “Labour ate my Lib Dem party” story.

Hendrik Hertzberg, New Yorker:

As the returns came in Thursday night, the U.K.’s general election felt like a huge disappointment for the Liberal Democrats, and therefore for proportional representation anoraks the world over, including in my apartment.

It was going to be so glorious! The Liberal Democrats would make their strongest showing ever! They’d win upwards of a hundred seats! There’d be a hung parliament, with no party having a majority! Neither of the two big parties could rule without the support of the Lib Dems! Nick Clegg would have the whip hand! He’d be the one with the big swinging swingometer! He’d dictate the Lib Dems’ terms to the Tories or (better and more likely) Labour! And their terms would be:

Proportional representation o muerte!

Er, oops.

Still, maybe the disappointment isn’t as disappointing as it looked on election night.

This isn’t politics. This isn’t caring about the elctorate and looking out for the country. This is vanity and desperation by an elite who will do anything to get power and fame…



Posted: 10th, May 2010 | In: Reviews Comments (8) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink