The General Election: 98 Days To Go

by Charlie_East_West on January 29, 2015

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One of the many unknown unanswerable questions surrounding the General Election is which party will end up controlling the balance of power. UKIP? SNP? Or once again, the yellow peril – the Lib Dems?

In the spirit of liberal generosity, say the Lib Dems end up with between 25-30 MPs (a vastly reduced number from 2010), they may well find themselves in a position to cut a Coalition Mark II deal with either the Tories or Labour. My advice to the Lib Dems in 2015 is to stay well out of it.

The Lib Dems should ignore the allure of power at the dispatch box and instead adopt either the role of diligent and belligerent opposition or on the ticket of confidence and supply. The Lib Dems need time to regroup away from Government and time to ideologically reboot and spend five years trying to rebrand themselves with the electorate.

The Lib Dems role in coalition between 2010-2015 has been an absolute disaster. They consistently claim that they had no choice but to form a coalition with the Tories under the auspices of “in the national interest” and to “clean up Labour’s mess”. This is absoulte bunkum. It is vain glorious. It is completely delusional. They have broken any number of key manifesto pledges such as their party defining free tuition fees, and have propped up Tory-led misplaced austerity. How the hell is that “in the national interest”?

As such, the Lib Dems have become the most laughably toxic brand in UK politics. Throughout the land they are seen as ideological turncoats. They have betrayed many social liberals. They have lost voter trust. The only solution for the Lib Dems is to swallow a bitter pill of marginalisation in 2015, retreat to the back benches and prepare for the long haul back towards credibility.

The alternative is too grizzly to contemplate. If the Lib Dems decide to walk into another five year period of Government, they may find that they are pretty much shot to bits by 2020. In coalition, they would end up as the minor party once again, and have to accept the inevitable policy compromises and yet more voter distrust.

Sadly, I suspect that given half a chance after the General Election, the Lib Dems will drop their knickers with whoever is willing to offer them a few scraps of power. Sod ideological and party regrouping. Power and political prostitution win in the end.

Welcome to the difficult world of the yellow peril in 2015.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth January 31, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Let us say that the Labour and Conservative parties, between them, take 60% of the vote or a little more, on a poll of less than 70%. To make the sums easy let’s say this would mean that a single-party government would have the consent of 1/3 x 2/3 of the electorate (plus 1-2%). That’s less than a quarter: and in the lifetime of the next Parliament their poll ratings would fall off a cliff.

And the Tories have a problem, too: they can say that they’ve rescued the economy and they can say that much, much more austerity is needed. Saying both of those things together without sounding foolish may be a little harder. So it’s not surprising that there are cool heads in both big Parties who think that maybe a Grand Coalition is the answer. It works for Frau Merkel, after all.

So my advice to the Yellow Peril is the same as yours: go into opposition and wait for the votes of the disaffected to return to you.

Mind you, I do have £50 with William Hill on a blue majority – £40 at 6-1 on 326-350 seats and £10 at 8-1 on 351 or more. I expect the price to come in, so it’s all yours for a mere £70…

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