Tuesday, 11 May 2010

It's all politics

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

For those of you who wish to think of something more edifying, like oh,I don't know, pig husbandry or molecular biology, I apologise. I can't stay off the news today. The latest fascination is a report of rocky splits in the Labour party over a Lib-Lab pact. I thought that David Blunkett calling Nick Clegg 'the worst kind of harlot' might be an outlier. Blunkett can afford to say what he likes. Now it seems that insiders like Jack Straw are not happy. If you are lost in political junkiedom, like me, you can read all about it here.

Tom Harris, one of the most thoughtful of Labour backbenchers, is also expressing his doubts. Like Mr Blunkett, he does not pull his punches: 'Why is Nick Clegg's opinion on who forms a government of any interest to anyone?'. (If you have time, watch his election night video, up on his website. It's very funny.)

The fascinating thing to me of all this is that it punches holes in the increasingly tenacious meme of a progressive alliance forming seamlessly out of the two anti-Tory parties. What people seem to be forgetting is there is a great swell of distrust between Labour and Lib Dems. This is partly due to bruising battles on the ground, in local and general elections, and partly due to genuine ideological differences.

Latest curiosity from the BBC news: leaders in the financial  community are accusing the politicians of 'lack of statesmanship'. The more jaded amongst us might mutter about pots and kettles. In the end, though, the markets have the whip hand, because poor old Blighty has to borrow so much cash just to keep her battered old head above water.

And since I seem to be liveblogging one of the maddest political days in my entire born life, I would like to give an honourable mention to the BBC's Matthew Amroliwala, who is reporting today from College Green, for sheer, unabashed chicness. I never saw a news person so elegantly dressed in my life. When the world is crumbling about you, it is reassuring to see a man who really knows how to tie a Windsor knot. (If you can get the iPlayer, you can witness his full loveliness here.)

As for how it will all end, I can make no predictions. For all I know, we could end up with another election next month. And another hung parliament. And Mr Clegg showing his leg all over Whitehall all over again. I start to understand why the Chinese saying May You Live In Interesting Times was considered a curse, not a blessing.


  1. *pours another large glass of hard liquor*

    The only people I still like are- Vince Cable- oh that's one. William Hague seems okay in a Conservative sort of way- I don't think he is a liar anyway- but he is still a raging Tory. I like Glenda Jackson but she seems pretty sidelined being an actual Labour person which is very out of fashion with the Labour party- no socialists allowed! Millibland seems okay but no one could really be misquoted that often and I don't like that he's obviously biding his time.

    will look up the sartorially fabulous one later- cannot now but in times of trouble there is no need to let standards slip on that front I quite agree.


  2. I like my sister's take on this which is if Brown had to resign because he didn't lead his party to victory then why not Cameron and Clegg (though I think she may have referred to them as the Posh Potato and Teflon Head) as they also effectively failed. Let's get all Roman on their asses, turn our thumbs down and make them select alternative leaders. Talk about blood sport!

    Also as it all seems so fluid these days, maybe they could have a lucky dip for their policies?!

  3. I find myself thinking it might just all be ok, if only because this is the first and only shot for the Lib Dems at some kind of power and if they destabilise the process now, in any way, it'll all come tumbling down around their ears.
    And was somewhat reassured by William Hague's surprise this morning on the wireless at how well they all get on. They may have more common ground than was pre-supposed.
    (And this may be a mean and petty-minded thing to think but was anyone else deeply suspicious of Gordon's rather sudden resignation yesterday, as if in a final mad clutch at power to throw everyone into a mild panic...?)

  4. Depressingly still no sign of any women being involved in this process. Can't think of any LibDem women likely to get a Cabinet post. Possibly Theresa May will get something but no doubt we will be reminded of her taste in shoes again. So much for new politics.

    I will soon have to drag myself away from 24 hour news though and back to real life.

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  6. Yes, Theresa May, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality. De we really need a minister for women? Equality, perhaps, but Theresa May? I'm not convinced her voting record shows her to be an appropriate advocate for equality. And shouldn't Home Secretary be pretty much a full time job on it's own?

    Did anyone else see the lovely photo on the front page of the BBC site of Cameron and Clegg apparently holding hands?


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