The Thick of It


Thursday, May 12, 2011

A year in Condemnation

The Liberal Demolition shows no sign of letting up. First there were the glory day(s) in the Rose garden at number ten. Then the betrayals, then the bickering, then the elections.

While repeated blows have landed on the Lib Dems and while they have been serious the victim is more likely to suffer a slow and drawn out death than a knock out punch. The Lib Dems will last to 2015 because whatever happens between now and the next election, like John Major's rebel turkeys, his disgruntled party can't risk a general election that would see them wiped out.

After founding of the coalition David Laws did his best to show that this wasn't "Cleggameron's" new politics as he thieved the taxpayer for several years for rent he didn't have to pay. That Clegg placed the his party's integrity at the behest of what he would have known would be a very unpopular Tory government shows how much he wanted to give his party their raison d'etre: electoral reform. He gambled everything for this. He lost. What has he got left? He has his party to save.

How can Clegg do this? Strong words in public but capitulations in private letting the Tories get their way will only weaken their cause. The real test is whether they can stem the Tory zeal for deep public spending cuts, especially as economic indicators worsen in the coming 12 months.

There is little Cameron will want to do to change the coalition. His government retains control of policy, the top jobs and the blame for anything bad always sits with the Lib Dems. After the initial disappointment of failing to get a majority at the general election a year ago, things could hardly be better for Cameron and his Tories.

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