The Thick of It

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Death of the Lib Dems? Cracks start to form

How many more Lib Dems will break ranks with their rather smug colleagues in coalition? Barnsley councillor Sharron Brooke has been a thorn in the side of Clegg's cost deal with the Tories more than once. She has now released a leaflet in the Lib Dem party name denouncing the coalition, which makes her, like me, "ashamed." 


This isn't the first time Brooke has broken ranks. Straight after the coalition was formed she said to BBC Radio Sheffield, which was then relayed to Clegg: 


"It's stupid (the coalition). If they think this little bit of power will keep them there forever, it's a load of rubbish because we'll be gone, at the next election, whenever it is, because we cannot sustain this. Our policies are miles apart from the Tories, WE are miles apart from the Tories."






What about the coalition? I realise one councillor won't break it by itself. Jonathan Reynolds argues well that the next year is make or break. It will take some time before we can really judge if the coalition will survive the full five years. There is definitely enough of a bond to keep the ConDems together for the foreseeable future. 


What will test them is when something they couldn't plan for in the coalition agreement occurs. What will they do then? That is the true test of government, how you deal with what you didn't see coming. How will the Lib Dems deal with a major European Union or defence issue that arises? There are not that many Lib Dem MPs so it wouldn't take a large number to cause a split. The threat of a split in the Lib Dems is real but may not prove fatal to the coalition, but is likely to be so to the future prospects of the Lib Dems. 


Clegg as the next Ramsay MacDonald anyone?

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