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Showing posts from September, 2010

Was Brown v Blair really a soap opera? It just doesn't wash.

The body language between Ed and David Miliband is very telling. David, narrowly defeated in the Labour leadership election, looks like a man who’s had a burden removed from his shoulders. Ed, on the other hand, seems to be as jittery as a fish on a hook. I’m sure things will calm down as the victorious brother gets into his stride and grows in confidence.

It’s important to realise that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Ed or his politics. I went along to a London hustings meeting in the summer and he was clearly the next best option after David. He’s a personable, competent politician and of course nothing like the dangerous Marxist he’s painted by the hysterical press pack. If Ed replaced David Cameron and managed to see off the Tory Prime Minister’s Liberal lapdog, Nick Clegg, I would be the first to cheer. I just have my doubts that it’s ever going to happen.

The long-running Blair v Brown saga is often presented as a tragic clash of personalities. Actually, it was about d…

An open letter to Liberal Democrat conference delegates

Dear Lib Dem Delegate

When Nick Clegg addresses your conference in Liverpool this afternoon, he’ll be doing his best to convince you that his coalition with the Conservatives is in the best interest of your party and the country. I fully understand why you want to believe him and why, indeed, you need to believe him. I’m also fairly certain that you have grave misgivings – even those of you who supported the birth of the ConDem administration a few months ago. So let’s nail some of Mr Clegg’s specious arguments from the outset.

“We had no alternative...”

This is probably the biggest of the whoppers you’re being told. While it’s perfectly reasonable to say that the Lib Dems shouldn’t have propped up Gordon Brown – a mathematically problematic coalition anyway – there was always a third option. Clegg could have allowed the Tories to form a minority administration and only offered support for their programme on a case-by-case basis. The argument in favour of ‘strong government’ and the…

Pack of cards, sand dunes and the chances of another election

Over the past month, we’ve been getting more and more hints as to just how fragile and precarious the ConDem coalition actually is. The public story is that the shotgun wedding will stand the test of time, but the reality is that a quickie divorce may be on the agenda sooner than most people think. When you build a pack of cards on top of a sand dune, after all, the slightest of chill autumnal winds presages disaster.

Vince Cable has been identified by the press as a weak link in the government, particularly following his public denunciation of the ConDem anti-business immigration policies. Speaking at the K√∂nigswinter 60th anniversary conference, the Business Secretary claimed to be at the ‘limit of collective responsibility’ over a cap on new migrants which he described as ‘doing great damage’.

Poor old Vince, eh? Only a few months in bed with his Tory mates and he’s already been pushed to the limit. I suspect the Twickenham MP suffers more cognitive dissonance than most of his coll…