A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lib Dems

I'm instinctively queasy about this.

We've got quite enough talented Labour MPs to fill every position without co-opting our political enemies.

If more social democratic Lib Dems like Vince Cable (who started out as Labour Candidate for Glasgow Hillhead in the 1970 election and a Labour Special Adviser to John Smith at DTI) want to be Ministers they should defect back to the Labour Party.

I don't think the Lib Dems have much to offer intellectually in terms of input on constitutional issues - there's a kind of mythology that somehow they are experts on constitutional reform when in fact they have a pretty narrowly self-interested stance on PR and most of the interesting thinking on the constitution is coming from Labour people.

The weakness of Campbell as a leader actually gives us a chance to put the Lib Dems back in the box and erode their local government base. It will be very difficult to give the Lib Dems the electoral kicking they deserve for their opportunism at a local level if we are cosying up to them nationally.

I'd prefer a bit more tribalism from the new PM rather than less.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Flat earther said...

Luke, we finally agree.

11:09 am, June 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

Me too.

11:55 am, June 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Andy said...

How on earth is it possible to be pro-pr but anti-coalition with the libdems? Libdems in a labour cabinet is the inevitable outcome of PR. Bring some intellectual coherence and rigour to your position on these issues please Luke.

12:41 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Blogger Chris Paul said...

And me. Ming must defect to fulfill destiny. in my opinion. And I think he will, possibly taking a cadre of LD lefties with him. Watch this space.

1:04 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Anonymous keepleft said...

well we did warn you.......

1:43 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Andy, we don't have PR though - we have a Labour govt which already has a working majority.

If we did I'd argue for a single party Labour govt with issue by issue support from other parties on legislation, which is the norm in the Nordic countries - similar to the approach the SNP has gone for in Scotland.

Ideally I'd like the LDs to be so destroyed electorally that they don't get many seats under any electoral system.

2:41 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Blogger el Tom said...

No opposition to a pact in principle, but why have one when we don't need to?

"I don't think the Lib Dems have much to offer intellectually in terms of input on constitutional issues - there's a kind of mythology that somehow they are experts on constitutional reform when in fact they have a pretty narrowly self-interested stance on PR and most of the interesting thinking on the constitution is coming from Labour people."

Completely correct. Their support for STV in both houses is a joke.

2:53 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Blogger JRD168 said...

Don't trust 'em, they've got too much of the quasi Tory Orange Book brigade in their ranks.

2:57 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Luke, excuse my repeating part of what I've said elswhere, but there was here in Scotland after the recent elections, the utterly mystifying (and credibility damaging) decision by the Lib Dems NOT to enter into an alliance with the SNP - something that arguably would have reflected the popular mood.

The strong and recurrent rumour among the saloon bar gossips, sorry I mean political commentators, was that Ming Campbell had intervened from ‘Down South’ to scupper any talk of such an alliance as it would damage prospects of him engineering an alliance with Brown in the ‘bigger picture’ – hence the electoral credibility damage to the Lib Dems in Scotland.

And now we have today's story emerging... about Ming and Brown?

4:33 pm, June 20, 2007

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Blimey. I agree with Luke!

Not against cross-party working in principle - these are less tribal times, even we on the left would admit that - but I'd rather be looking into working with groups like the Greens. Ultimately, some sort of Red/Green partnership, under PR, would be my ideal way forward.

Parachuting Lib Dems into the government would be an act that lacks democratic transparancy and is unfair on the public, who need to know who they're voting for.

Of course, "Brown in anti-democratic behaviour shock" is a complete dog-bites-man, Pope-declares-Catholicism non-surprise of a story

12:32 am, June 21, 2007

 
Blogger Southpawpunch said...

I think few thought that Brown would be much lefter than Blair, but this (if true) suggest he may be more right.

Which kind of begs questions even to people like Luke. Is he signed up to a LP or a Labourlibdem party - and if so, what will it take him to realise it may even get too right for him. There's no end to how far Labout may evolve.

2:46 am, June 21, 2007

 
Anonymous Jane said...

I think GB is looking to remain at No10. He probably thinks that he will need the Lib Dems if the next election results in a hung parliament. Further, he is removing career opportunities from many labour MPs which is rather demoralising.

Having read press reports (again) this week relating to his behaviour towards the PM, nothing this man does will ever shock me. It seems pretty low to offer someone a post when his party leader had rejected the suggestion.

Come back Tony!!!

9:58 am, June 21, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Jane I'm assuming that you are maybe more than a little naive?

"I think GB is looking to remain at No10. He probably thinks that he will need the Lib Dems if the next election results in a hung parliament."

Well you could knock me over with a feather! A politician who wants to remain Prime Minster and is thinking strategically about how to stengthen his and his party's prospects through alliances with others. It just too shocking!

As for your remark about bring back Tony; let's not have any truck with an imitation re-run of 'vanquished Thatcherism and the Tories'. Brown is going to have a hard-enough task without folks carping back to imagined glories. Tony is gone... let's move on and repair the damage of Iraq etc.

Some of that damage, Jane, is the significant damaging contribution your man Tony made to the credibility of Government and politicians in this country.

12:27 pm, June 21, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

imagined glories

I didn't imagine the minimum wage, did I? Nor the ban on hunting, or the increased expenditure on health and education ...

Oh, hang on a minute, all those achievements were down to Brown, weren't they? And all that's gone wrong in the last ten years has been the fault of Blair, eh, Ted?

Sycophancy isn't just the preserve of Blairites.

12:38 pm, June 21, 2007

 
Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Sham, I'm nobody's Blairite, but recognised and repected him as our elected leader while he was in office. Now Brown is about to inherit that mantle, and will have the same (sometimes constructively critical) respect from me. The whole Brownite vs Blairite thing has been a pointless and uncomradely diversion in recent years- surely we can leave it behind now, and concentrate on winning the next general election ?!

8:07 pm, June 21, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

dave brinson that is exactly my point; leave it all aside, get on with the future

1:11 pm, June 22, 2007

 
Blogger Sham said...

Agreed!

Lets support Gordon but be careful not to trash the last ten years, which I believe both Tony and Gordon can take credit for.

6:43 pm, June 23, 2007

 

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