Friday, March 16, 2007

Naughty Stephen Tall

In a very amusing attempt to deflect attention away from the LibDem coalition woes, my favourite LibDem blogger Stephen Tall has a good old go at promoting the prospect of a so-called Grand Coalition between Labour and the Conservatives HERE. I realise it's the only chance the LibDems would have of becoming the Real Opposition, but it has about as much chance of happening as I have of playing centre forward for West Ham. And if by some mischance it ever did happen, cover your ears as the sound of Tory Party and Labour Party membership cards being ripped up deafens you. Mine included! Anyway, Stephen, I'm sure the hallucinating drugs will have worn off by the morning...

16 comments:

Chris Paul said...

WH only need to tumble a few divisions before your skills will be recognized. And it will happen.

Manfarang said...

Does Labour still have much of a membership?

The Cat said...

Seriously, though, why not? There's no philosophical differences between Cameron's Conservatives and Nu Lab anymore. It would make a lot of sense to work together and isolate headbangers at the extreme of both parties, wouldn't it?

BobLoco said...

I'm pretty sure there are some severe philosophical differences between "New" Labour and the Conservatives still. For example, basic freedoms (or rather the demolition of) and the disastrous prospects of ID cards...

chad said...

The only difference is tribalism, as New and Blue Labour do seem to agree in all policy areas.

(don't give me ID cards, as David Davis is refusing to comment on black boxes in cars and the NIR).

You're effectively one party anyway, instead of fighting over whose snouts are in the trough, perhaps sharing will be the way forward for you both.

Still, at least it is great to see the principled Tories like Lord Tebbit, breaking away from the LibLabCon-sensus and publicy backing BetterOffOut! Well done to Norman.

dynamite said...

You seem very quick to dismiss Iain, tetchy even. I think Mr Tall might be on to something.

Newmania said...

I `m not sure I agree Iain rthere are quite afew Labour MPs both of the Old, and New variety who i coud happillty swap for our ineffectula Nic Boles style insider elite.

Some of them just fell in with the wrong crowd , not that , in reality ,this could ever happen though

Tristan said...

I'm sure that it was impossible that the Tories would be looking to Polly Toynbee for ideas...

It is the logical step in Cameron's headlong rush into the statist middle ground.

Jonny Wright said...

It happened in Germany; it must have seemed just as impossible there as it seems here. You're a Germanist aren't you Iain?

Iain Dale said...

Jonny, yes it did, but they have a different political history to us. I'm not sure anyone would describe the 1960s Grand Coalition or the current one as a great success though. Their electoral system requires coalitions, even of this nature. Ours does not.

Jonny Wright said...

I understand that. And I'm not saying the current German coalition is a great success - I'm just saying that it exists, however unlikely it might seem.

Look at it like this. Up till the last Bundestag election, there were two ready-made coalitions, SPD/Greens, and CDU/CSU/FDP. For electoral purposes, they functioned like two rival political parties - I know they're separate parties, but they were effectively two rival coalitions, in the public mind at least. (You can see this from the FDP boost - the theory is that CDU/CSU voters were giving their 2nd vote to the FDP to help their favoured coalition.)

But you then ended up, because of the "new" Linke party's strong performance, in a situation where neither potential coalition had a majority. I know there's always a hung Parliament in Germany, but this was a hung Parliament even by their standards!

My point is that, rather than the main coalitions allying with minor parties (the so-called Jamaica coalition, or a coalition with the Linke), the two biggest parties decided to work with each other. And I doubt anyone would have bet on that before the election.

Strange things can happen in extreme situations. If we had our own hung Parliament, don't write off a grand coalition. It's not as barmy as you think.

Glass House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glass House said...

jonny wright - but Die Linkspartei were/are a radical leftist party. They used to be the German Communist Party and have links with the Stasi.

Neither of the mainstream German 'coalitions' wanted to join with them. This is especially true due to Germany's economic crisis and the recognition by both 'coalitions' that the economy needs to be moved rightwards - something that Die Linkspartei were against.

Lets face the facts - whatever you think of the Lib Dems, they're not some radical leftist sect.

Jonny Wright said...

Glass House - I'm quite glad the Lib Dems aren't a "radical leftist sect" - if they were, I probably wouldn't be a member!!

I suppose you've hit on a decent counter-argument, though, which is that even though the German grand coalition was a bit unlikely, it was less unlikely than the alternatives. However much the SPD disagree with the CDU/CSU politically, they're less hostile than they are towards the party of the former East German regime.

But that brings us straight back to the original question: are the Tories and Labour closer to each other than they are to the Lib Dems? I think the answer is yes.

David Lindsay said...

The ripping up to which you refer has already happened: most members of both parties have died, or quit, or stopped turning up to anything; most are now over 50, many are over 60, quite a lot are over 70. Both parties are demographically doomed.

And as for the grand coalition, we saw it in action, not for the first or last time, on Wednesday night. It is how this country has now been run for a good few years, and it is how this country will continue to be run until the barely-still-existing parties, incuding the Lib Dems, are replaced, as can only happen from the bottom up. What are you waiting for?

hatfield girl said...

The political, even ideological, split in British politics lies inside the Labour party, not between Labour and Conservative;it always has. But for the last ten years it has been dressed up as personality clashes and resentment and silly stories about divvying up office in restaurants.

A way must be found to form the coalition that represents the majority of the electorate, and it's not being made any easier by the Brownite faction of the Labour party laying claim to power at any cost, including forming a minority-view administration with another's majority.

It's not just Germany either but Italy too that has formed coalitions from centre-right to democratic-left; and France's presidential elections are showing that a centre-ground candidate with virtually no major party support is level-pegging with a socialist statist candidate.