Monday, 10 May 2010

Dangerous rumblings...

Promising news on the Liberal-Conservative coalition, although there are dangerous rumblings on both fronts:

The Daily Mail carries news of the latest manoeuvres by the dry-right of the Conservative party to scupper his deal with the Liberal Democrats. Led by Norman Tebbit, these people appear determined to spearhead the case for coalition by demonstrating to Cameron the disastrous influence they will exert on his government should he attempt to go it alone.

On the other side, and perhaps more worryingly, The Sun and the Daily Mirror both carry news of Gordon Brown attempting to forge a last-minute agreement with the Liberal Democrats. Talk of secret talks between Clegg and Brown carry worrying implications:

1) A Liberal-Labour government is pure fantasy politics. Added together, they have exactly the same number of seats as the Conservatives and the DUP, on 315 seats. If you add the SDLP and APNI seats that could probably be brought on without trouble, you only reach 319. Even the Green, and Independent Unionist Sylvia Hermon, would leave this patchwork government short of the 323 seats that is, discounting Sinn Fein, the number required for an overall majority. So the Celtic Bloc would have to be brought on board as well. This government could scarcely command market confidence, and when the time comes for tough cuts to fight the budget this government's dependence on regionalist MPs would see England hammered - which is electoral suicide for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

2) Clegg is a sensible man, and leans to the Conservatives anyway. This talking with Mr Brown can either be one of two things. Either he is attempting to spook the Conservative negotiating team into further concessions, or his hand has been forced by the PR-Puritans in this own party. If the Liberal Democrat leadership cannot carry it's membership, that casts serious doubts on its suitability for government.

Update: The Spectator has the latest.

Update: And yet more.

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