Just when you thought the Lib-Dems couldn’t get any stupider…..

by Ray_North on April 26, 2014

Unknown….. up pops Danny Alexander wearing a high visibility vest to declare that Lib-Dems wouldn’t support a ‘minority government’ after the next election.

What does that mean? Why have they said it? And why is it stupid.

Well, it means that, if after the next general election no single party can form a government, then the Lib-Dems will happily step into the frame, pick up the keys to the ministerial car and shore them up.

Why have they said it?

Expediency. Plain and simple. The Lib-Dems are desperate to portray themselves as the party that has ‘got us out this economic mess whilst diluting the awful effects of the Tories.’ By saying that they are vital to the country’s future because only they can take the tough decisions and kerb the excesses of the other parties, they are desperately trying to appear relevant – with the emphasis on desperate. They also hope that it will help prevent them getting squeezed by both Labour in the North and the Cities, and the Tories in the South West.

Why is it stupid?

Well, how long have you got. First, it is one of those statements that presents the possibility of a massive amount of egg on face – imagine, for example, the unlikely event of UKIP being the largest party – would the pro-Eropean Lib-Dems form a government with them? No, of course not. But, if the prospect of UKIP winning that many seats is fanciful, the principle of coalition still remains – what if the party that won the most votes is one that is ideologically opposed to your own? The Tories will fight the next election with the most neo-liberal and anti-state economic policy that this country has ever seen, it will make Thatcher look like John Maynard Keynes, how can the Lib-Dems possibly countenance going into government with an ideologically drive party? It’s whorish self-serving politics and it is the very reason why the public are turning their back on the Lib-Dems in their droves.

The analogy works with Labour – if the Labour party suddenly had an attack of socialism, would the Lib-Dems suddenly go into coalition with a party that wanted to nationalise and introduce an old-fashioned command economy? No.

Now, Lib-Dems will say that I’ve misunderstood the point of coalition, and that the whole point of political alliances is that the centrist party stops their more extreme partners from acting in an ideological way – which, yes, may be the aim, but the reality of the last four years is that the Lib-Dems have stood back and allowed the Tories to do pretty much what they want – in short, if they are the only thing preventing an extreme government, then god help us.

And as for taking the tough decisions – the decisions have all been taken by George Osborne and they haven’t been in the least bit tough for him, by implementing austerity and cutting back the state and public spending he is gleefully filling his Thatcherite boots.

I’ve always thought that the Lib-Dems would be far more effective in Parliament if they operated a policy of supporting a minority government on a policy by policy basis – that doesn’t make for weak government, it makes for stronger government, because every policy would have to be worked out properly with the consent of other parties – it ensures that the Lib-Dems (and all other parties in Parliament) would have an input into policy in a way that would enable them to remain consistent with the things that they campaigned for at the election.

Sadly, the Lib-Dems have got themselves into the mindset that the only way is austerity and that their only reason for existing is to occupy a few seats in cabinet.

As I said, just when you thought they couldn’t get any stupider.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

George_East April 26, 2014 at 9:18 am

The one thing you can bet your mortgage on is that the Lib Dems will go back into coalition with the Tories in 2015 if the numbers stack up, no matter how extreme they are. The truth is that they have acted as a facilitator and not a brake to the uber-Thatcherism of the Tories.

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Mike Killingworth April 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

Questions for canvassers next year (I think you’ve pretty well done the Lib Dems to death already…)

Conservative What policies has being in coalition with the Lib Dems for the last 5 years stopped you from implementing? What will you do with an overall majority that you wouldn’t have done in coalition? (Expect some waffle about how only the Tories have a credible attitude towards the EC.)

Labour When are you going to admit that, owing to the double whammy of clinical development and too many pensioners, the NHS is no longer affordable? (Expect denial and suspension of eye contact.)

***

I now expect the Tories to gain a few seats overall, winning more from the Lib Dems than they lose to Labour. Clegg will then offer “confidence and supply” to Cameron who will propose a suspension of the “5 year Act” – which Miliband will have to agree to, whatever Clegg and his chums think.

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