Typical move from Brown. An endless stream of lies about how he cares about securing Britain's financial stability when in reality he uses his final throw of the dice - his own deferred resignation - to throw the situation into more turmoil than ever. The markets, which had calmed down a little today, will doubtless tank once again tomorrow (sterling & gilt futures already sank the second Brown made his announcement). True to form right to the end from the man who has done more to damage Britain than any other individual in history.
BTW I have a new most hated political bit of spin. Any Labour MP interviewed just now can't speak for 2 seconds without saying "what the electorate are clearly saying is that they don't want any one party to rule".
Never heard such garbage in all my life. How does 25 million (or whatever) people voting for the party they want, equate to "the electorate saying they don't want any one party to rule". You might as well say that none of the football fans in the country want their team to win the league, just because the sum total of their fans isn't more than the sum total of every other fan added together.
Who do these scum think they're fooling?
Since the Conservatives have more seats than anyone else and over 2 million more votes than any other party, Labour could only really stay in using the promise of Brown going (you rejected Brown, not Labour, right?!) and to come up with a way of selling the idea of another unelected PM to the electorate by making it appear that's what the public have voted for.
So a quick tally of Lib-Lab seats created a whopping 8 more seats than the Consevatives and a quick tally of the votes gives them a 4.7m vote majority! "That's the number you want to be pushing boys. Let's go with that and hope no-one points out that counting votes in distorted ways would generally show the 2nd and 3rd parties usually get more votes than the 1st party and that no-one mentions over 14m of the 29m didn't vote Lib-Lab."
Then you need to 'legitimise' it... but you need a tagline. 'Progressive majority!' Yay. And what about the line for Brown being removed? "You've told us you don't want David Cameron, Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown so we'll give you David Milliband and you can tell us in four years if you want to keep him." It doesn't matter if we point out not one voter voted for him to be PM since "we don't live in a Presidential system"... that old pearl.
If Conservatives and Lib Dems go together then no other parties are needed and the people would be represented by these 'net' facts about the two main parties representing them:
Seat gain/loss = +92
% vote gain/loss = +4.8%
If Labour and Lib Dems go together then parties the people are represented by these facts about the two main parties representing them:
Seat gain/loss = -96
Lib-Lab % vote gain/loss = -5.2%
This situation also requires the likes of Plaid and SNP to create a rainbow majoirty if they want a majority and they aren't going to jump in bed without their £millions guaranteed.
But before assuming this progressive majority is unified on the point of political and electoral reform, look at what they went to the country with in their manifestos:
“Referenda, held on the same day, for moving to the Alternative Vote for elections to the House of Commons and to a democratic and accountable Second Chamber.”
and the Liberal Democrats said:
“Our preferred Single Transferable Vote system gives people the choice between candidates as well as parties. Under the new system, we will be able to reduce the number of MPs by 150.”
Unified by completely different methods, excellent. Where’s Labour’s political reform been in the last 13 years anyway... you know, when they had a huge majority and said they would deliver it in 1997? Oh wait, when you get the huge majority you suddenly don't want to have representation from parties like Lib Dems do you?! And considering th elack of movement by Labour in the last 13 years, how many labour voters were voting on this issue when they cast their vote on Thursday? 136?
But this is the thing. I don't think they think they are fooling many people anymore - I think they just don't care if they're fooling anyone anymore. The message they send out loud and clear is that it's all a big game to them. It would be a good game if it were not for that the game involves those dying for the country, those losing jobs, homes and businesses through the economic mismanagement... and those who will carry the burden and debt of this generation of politicians (and often people completely unelected) even though they haven't yet been born.
How Mandelson must laugh every morning when he looks at one of his faces in the mirror - a man in a party for reforming the Lords who himself was removed from cabinet twice and arrived back as a Lord, unelected by the people and controlling the country. If the media challenges people like him or Campbell then it's a biased media. If the public challenge them then they're biggots.
Where's my "Welcome to Britain 2010" sign?
I honestly (after thinking about it a lot) dont think I really know what the differences would be if the Liberals go with the Tories, with Labour, or tell them both where to go.
I usually hate with a passion people who say "they are all the same" and dont bother to vote or even know who is who and/or in charge of what. However at the moment I really think they have a point.
The country is f***ed, absolutely screwed, has a HUGE amount to pay back and no means to pay it without equally huge tax rises and/or public service cuts. Roughly 90% larger than anything yet announced.
It is not a case of a growing and strong economy with revenue gains to split between tax cuts (Conservatives) or increases in Public services (Labour), they are both going to be the same rising a lot and cutting a lot. Its not either/or we are going to get the worst of both Worlds and it doesnt matter who is in charge at the time to order it. That will be happening regardless. Just get on with it.
Have a plan and stick to it
I recommend grabbing some popcorn, sitting back and watching the press whip themselves into the usual frenzy, taking the most dramatic angle they possibly can which still fits within whatever political agenda that 'news' outlet possesses. After all we live in a democracy, and we can bide our time, satisfied in the knowledge that sooner or later there will be another election (for all we know, and quite possibly, sometime between June and August this year, unless the LibDems again sell out on their pledges (I would have used the word principles, but in all seriousness, I'm not aware of any beliefs that they have and hold so strongly that they wouldn't change in order to gain a few extra votes, or a share of power - certainly based on their recent track record in Scotland - or perhaps we really are about to discover one?)). At the next election we can exercise our democratic right, and let the canvassers know; how unhappy we are, and that as a shot across the bows, this time we're going to punish them by instead voting for... erm... well...
The thing is with the undoubtedly highly unstable 'rainbow alliance' on the one side that only has a chance of passing legislation if the pain is largely confined to England as opposed to the Celtic lands and an unconfortable tory/lib coalition with mutual unease and distaste on the other there is pretty much zero chance of either option doing much of the 'getting on with it' part.
Who wants to be in power inflicting the pain when a snap election is only ever going to be a heartbeat away?
A hung parliament was exactly what we didn't need at this point - but sadly given the historical precedents (see the mid to late 70s) it was exactly what we were going to get...
I'd always thought PR or something like that which meant a fairer share of the seats according to how the votes were cast in the elections would be a better thing, but after only a few days of this hung parliament situation I can actually see the benefit of having a first past the post system now. I'd be pleasantly surprised if there are any deals made in the next few days or so that mean a viable government being in operation. But who knows, like CL says grab your popcorn and take a seat!
Also, how quickly could there be another general election if things don't work out and who's decision would it be to hold another general election? I presume it would be down to whoever eventually got into power to decide to hold another election if they felt the circumstances were right for them to be able to gain a majority?
I'm guessing they would be able to call it the moment it's obvious the coalition/other/minority government cannot function as a government and that the PM at the time would call it.
Lib Dems and Labour probably don't have the kind of funding required to significantly improve their positions. The one thing in Labour's favour could be a new leader but I think the Lib Dems would be hammered - not going to get in office, secret meetings, can't work with the others when seemingly presented with big concessions, what's the point of them? Of course, not hardcore Lib Dem voters will think that, but floating voters might.
People are saying the Lib Dems are in a difficult position but I don't really get that... they wanted a hung parliament and they knew they would either be siding with one or the other. They would have dreamed of being offered up a Lib-Lab pact where they had influence and Brown was a goner or where the Tories conceded serious ground on voting reform. Tories and Labour didn't change their stripes post election, you knew party difference and ideologies - surely one offer looks to be able to create a stable government for the people of the country and one doesn't. If they go with ideology I wonder why they wasted days talking to the Tories tbh.
As for PR, you could argue while some systems are better at representing voters with numbers of MPs, if they then do dodgy backroom deals, how well are you represented in the end. I don't have a favoured system over another but all seem flawed that I've read and some are quite frankly confusing.
Whilst my worry about the current system is that you can get dangerous majorities like 1997 passing terrible law, in a system continually creating coalitions, it could quite easily become Lib-Lab every time creating the 'safe seat' they stand against themselves and if there's a perpetuation of 'us versus the Tories' then even if they were doing an awful job, you wonder if anything would change. (And if it was any other likely varient each time I would feel the same but in this instance I don't believe it would be).
The buzz (a 90 year buzz) is proportional representation - any representation would be nice where politicians did things because it was the right thing to do for the people they represent. If you don't have people like that, you can have any system you want and it'll be rotten to the core.
Originally Posted by musicbox
Agreed Fella, another great post! For the sake of irony - musicbox should probably now award himself a Star Post award.