Sunday, 25 April 2010


I read in the papers this morning that Labour 'Trotsky to Gordon Brown's Lenin', Ed Balls, has said that the Lib Dems and Labour could work together to keep the Tories out of power.

I am finding the increased speculation from the two old parties on their futures amusing as they are clearly rattled, with Labour moving rapidly into meltdown and the Conservatives consolidating rather than moving forward but the notion that the tribal Ed Balls could be relied upon to keep to the terms of any agreement is quite laughable.

It is a fool's game to make predictions about elections, particularly now this one has been blown so widely open by Nick Clegg's achievement of putting the Lib Dems at the forefront of the debate, allowing voters to find out about us. However I would speculate on one thing regarding both the old parties: their leaders will not last very long after the election.

If Cameron does not manage to win the election outright he is in serious trouble as the Conservatives do not like failure. Should the Tories claw their way to the most seats but not a majority, they are likely to oust Cameron - which would be unfair given that he has made them contenders again - and get a new leader to find some excuse to call an election as soon as possible. Voters won't like that.

As for Labour, unless something truly incredible happens over the coming ten days, Brown is finished. The images of him with an Elvis impersonator were excruciating and gave the impression of an ageing singer belting out standards in drinking clubs across the country. The sound you heard on your TV was Lord Mandelson weeping on the sidelines.

The only question is who replaces him. I have long had an imaginary wager on Harriet Harman, who has demonstrated her ability to cling on to the greasy pole when others are falling off around her, with no demonstrable talent to justify her position there. Having achieved the role of deputy leader she might be in a position to challenge both the Brownites, who will have very little power left, and the Miliband supporters who simply might not have enough support to gain power. Into the void between the two camps might step Harman purely becaue she is neither of the others.

One thing I can be sure of is that Nick Clegg is as secure as our leader as he could possibly be and he's got a united team around him. Now which party do you think would be best placed to weather the budget storm we are still being buffeted by? Would you prefer experience with endless squabbling and a disintegrating party behind him or a new face with a Chancellor, Vince Cable, with a proven ability to identify problems and outline solutions.


  1. According to today's Gruniard it sounds like yer man Clegg would rather get into bed with Cameron than Balls ... errrrr maybe I should rephrase that?

    However, that really does seem to go against your own opinions ...

  2. Well, Ross, Lib Dems are allowed to think for themselves and we will be allowed to vote on any proposed coalition. I think Nick's playing a blinder given that this is all he is being asked about, rather than our policies.

    If it comes to it and I am asked for my vote for a coalition for clapped out Labour or idea-free Conservatives, I will stick to my view, which is that neither old party is fit to govern and neither party will introduce meaningful change, like voting reform, an elected House of Lords, more power to local government, lower taxes...I could go on.

    I want a Lib Dem government and so, it seems to me, does an increasing number of voters.