Ashes to ashes
Cranmer received an email after yesterday's 'Change Coalition' post from a Conservative commentator whom he greatly respects and whose opinion he values highly. It simply read:
You were the one of the last people who I expected to fall for all this :(Before there was even a hint of Lib-Lab formal negotiation, Cranmer responded:
What is the alternative?To which the commentator responded:
One must be pragmatic.
By seizing the political initiative, we retain the policy agenda. If Clegg forges a 'progressive' alliance with Brown (and he may), they will change the voting system, wreck the economy (further) and rape the constitution.
Surely short-term compromise is better than eternal oblivion?
I think the chances of a LibLab pact are very slim and we should realise the strength of our negotiating position. The LibDems on the family will undermine any social justice policy.His Grace answered:
The Lib-Lab pact may be slim, but it remains. While it remains, the alternative must be expounded and supported.No further response was received: His Grace had joined the pariah caste and was not worth engaging further.
It does not need to be formal coalition; it could be ad hoc. Of course our negotiating position is very strong, but it could all collapse into another general election. Some of our policies may be placed 'on hold' while the deficit is brought under control.
Is not Gove's plan for schools alone worth 6-8 months of Lib-Con compromise on other areas? Once enacted, it would be irreversible.
We obviously don't agree on this, but it's not a case, as you say, of having 'fallen' for something. If we are to avoid the greatest evil of Lib-Lab revolution, it is necessary to be pragmatic and argue for moderate, organic, Burkean reform in those areas where we can agree.
The reality is that the LibDems are as divided as the Conservatives on many social justice issues. That will work to our advantage.
Sorry to disappoint you.
And we are now where we are. Nick Clegg is cruising for the best offer, and that is likely to come from Gordon Brown, though God knows how he or his sucessor will deliver it.
It beggars belief that Nick Clegg is now considering a full coalition with Labour (et al) in a 'progressive' rainbow alliance.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that he is manifestly putting party before country: quite where voting reform sits on the scale of people's priorities is anyone's guess. The LibDems were the only party to advocate PR: they achieved 23% of the vote. Ergo the policy was rejected.
And here it rears its head as the deal-breaker: Nick Clegg is not only playing king-maker; he appears to have the power to determine who the candidates for kingship should be.
Cranmer could not put up with another five years of opposition.
Ashes might just return to ashes.