Skip to content

Day: March 24, 2011

Labour want a two-headed Leadership Debate next time – want to kick out the Lib Dems

…well that is according to this article in The Independent.

However whilst it seems quite a statement people should look closer at the story. Firstly the quotes are not attributed to anyone. Not even attributed to the infamous ‘unnamed source’ so these quotes could have just as easily been what the guy at the PC next to the journalist thought or what the janitor or cleaner thinks. He does intimate that the quotes came from a man but that is all the information that you are getting.

As for the quotes – wow just how boring are they?

“What we think should happen is that David Cameron debates with Ed Miliband while Nick Clegg debates with our deputy leader Harriet Harman.”

“Clegg’s comments have reinforced our view that the next election will offer the choice between two directions for the country: a Tory led coalition and a progressive majority represented by Labour.”

So let’s break down those quotes. Firstly Labour are saying that in the next General Election that neither the Lib Dems (which is arguably fair) nor the Tories (far less so) can form a majority government. This is what you call at best deluded and at worse a lie. I think it is quite clear that if the Tories (or the Lib Dems) win enough MPs to form a majority government outright that they won’t enter into a coalition. The coalition came about because of two factor, namely the result of the General Election and the economy. Had the economy been in a good state (say 2005) then no doubt the Tories would have formed a minority government.

Secondly the quote says that Nick Clegg should debate with Labour’s deputy because Clegg is the deputy in the coalition. Now again Labour are showing their short-sightedness. When the 2015 General Election campaign starts there will be three parties fighting on a national stage to win a majority in the House of Commons. Although saying that if UKIP put up candidates in all seats (which is possible) then their leader whoever it may be should be allowed to take part in the debates (same for any other party but I doubt any other party will fight in enough seats). So all the people who can be PM should take part in the debates – and as the leader of a party who will fight to form a majority government then surely Nick Clegg should be bestowed that honour?

Also should AV be adopted then there is a very realistic proposition of Labour needing to ally themselves with the Lib Dems to form a government. Heck even if AV isn’t adopted it could happen. The way Labour seem extremely keen to throw the Lib Dem’s under the bus seems like a very big gamble. If the Lib Dems don’t go away and die at the next election then suddenly Labour are without their natural ally. The Tory-Lib pact is not natural at all but is working because of give and take on both sides.

The Lab-Lib pact never got off the ground because Labour were willing to budge on AV+ but that was it – it was to be a Labour led government in every other way. It was like Labour’s negotiation team either wanted the Libs to join the Tories, clean up the mess and return in five years to reap the rewards or they quite simple believed the Lib Dems would never ally themselves with the Tories.

Either way Labour are now very much alone on an island knowing that they are burning their bridges with the Lib Dems – and doing it fast.

Lastly I’ll throw in another quote from the piece.

“While not on the scale of Gordon Brown and “bigot-gate,” Mr Clegg’s gaffe will cause unease in Liberal Democrat circles about how close the party has become to the Conservatives in Government.”

Nice way of likening Clegg to Brown there. Clegg said with his mic still on that the coalition seems to be going well, Brown makes a ill-judged comment badmouthing a voter. They are not alike in any way shape or form. Putting the two situations in the same light is reaching in the extreme.

So to summarise. The piece doesn’t attribute its quotes and is poorly written. If the quote in fact does come from a senior Labour politician then boy are they stupid. Labour have all the ammunition they need to come back strong in 2015 but they are using it all to fight now instead of licking their wounds and planning for the future. When it comes to 2015 they might not have any ammunition left and they may not have many friends to help them out.

Labour activists keep repeating the same old diatribe that the Lib Dems are ‘dead’ and ‘finished’ but the reality is at this point is that boring old rhetoric is wholly inaccurate. This country is a three-way country as it stands and I don’t see any sign of tat changing for the smaller (I do think UKIP could make an impact in 2015 – I really do). So Labour need to stop crushing the Lib Dems and start getting their house in order.

Tell us the electorate why we should vote for you. Don’t tell the electorate why we shouldn’t vote for someone else. The people of this country are getting wise to that trick and the impact of negative politics is diminishing all the time. If Labour want to win a 2015 election they need to tell us why they deserve not and ‘the other lot are worse’ is not something that will get the electorate excited and ready to vote Labour back into office.

I think I went off track somewhere during that ramble. What a shock eh?

As you may know I’m not listed on Lib Dem Blogs any more. To keep up with my blog either subscribe to the site via e-mail on the link to the right of the screen or via any feed software you may use

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.