Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The One That Thinks He's Playing The Long Game. . .

So perhaps Brown's 'I agree with Nick' mantra hasn't had quite the effect that he thought it would.

It would seem that in the (likely) event of a hung parliament that Clegg has no intention of doing business with Gordon. Assuming that is, that Clegg is telling the truth, never a given when you consider the big three.

Clegg has good reason to distance himself from Brown and Labour. He may be flying high in the polls at the moment, but you can be sure that support will melt away pretty smartish if the media continue to show graphics of the number of Tory seats expected on May 7th against those of Labour when combined with the Lib Dems. Few floating voters are going to vote Lib Dem if they think that vote is going to default to Labour.

So what is a poor Lib Dem boy to do? What is obvious is that the Lib Dems really want power, a prospect that I find slightly more scary than another five years of Labour, to be honest. Many Lib Dems would be bouncing around with anticipation at the idea of one of their's being Home Sec in a coalition, but it's not the same as actually having power. It's like being sat in the front of the car with your dad when he lets you change gear. You're sort of contributing, but your dad still has control of the throttle, brake, clutch and the steering. It's exciting for a little while, but you really want to drive.

In a coalition, the chances of Vince getting the keys to number 11 are slim to none. Blinky Balls bagsied that role a long time ago. Lib Dem Foreign Sec? Unlikely. Home Sec? That's a poisoned chalice, you can bet that Nick would be thrown that particular bone, and it would eventually cause him to choke.

Brown would make grand promises of involvement and electoral reform and this and that, but none of it would come to pass and the Lib Dems would be left looking rather silly and marginalised. When the coalition came apart at the seams (and it would) you can bet that the blame would be dumped squarely in front of the Lib Dem's door. Then there would be the inevitable scrapping between Labour's traditionalists and their Social Democrats, and the scrapping between the Lib Dem's Social Democrats and the traditional Liberals, oh Jeez that would be messy.

If Clegg went in to a coalition with Labour he'd be damaged beyond repair and the Lib Dems wouldn't be much better, endangering their chances of ever picking up a comparitive share of the percentage of the vote they seem to this time, again. The Lib Dems have now only really started to recover from the Jeremy Thorpe affair and a stint as a junior partner in a coalition could set them back another thirty years. Is it really worth five minutes in the sun for that?

This still remains a good election to lose, and I believe a hung parliament really is the best option for the country, and I say this honestly with the best interests of all three main parties in mind. It's best for Labour (if they finish 2nd) because they can then have the civil war that party desperately needs to decide what they are, and where they want to go. It's best for the Conservatives (if they finish 2nd) as they can then dispense with Cameron who simply cannot connect with the public and, if I read the situation right, is at best dischordant with the views of the party membership. It's best for the Lib Dems (if they stay out of any coalition) as they can then use this as a platform for the next election and not be damaged by a collapsing coalition, although their civil war is moving up the agenda as well.

The problem with both Labour and the Lib Dems is that they both have a large section of Social Democrats who are at odds with the rest of their respective parties. This could lead to some very interesting rows, bust-ups, power struggles and general arseing about in the next few years, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a party, like ooooooh, perhaps the SDP emerging from the wreckage of Labour and Lib Dem civil wars. There's also a high probability of a night of the long knives in the Tory party between the top table and the membership, I fully expect Boris to be at the helm before long.

I just get the impression that everyone is on their best behaviour, but struggling to keep it together, like an alcoholic parent at a school play. Win, lose or draw, the fall out from this election could prove to be spectacular, I'm looking forward to fireworks after the election more than I'm looking forward to polling day itself.

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