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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ed Balls plays fantasy politics again

In many ways the plea by Ed Balls for the Liberal Democrats to abandon the coalition with the Conservatives and form one with Labour instead, is a bit of a fantasy on his part. It is little wonder that the Independent reports that senior Liberal Democrats have regarded it as not a serious suggestion.

Simon Hughes, who is the party's deputy leader, is quoted as saying: "Ed Balls is free to say what he likes, but the Labour Party is not a credible party of government and has no credible plan for our country."

Tom Brake, adds: "It is the season of goodwill, but I fear Ed Balls may have been at the mulled wine when he said this. This Coalition exists to clean up the mess Labour left behind. Not only are Ed Balls and Ed Miliband in denial about the economy, over 13 years they trampled on our civil liberties, launched an illegal war in Iraq, pandered to big business and the City, and left a huge gap between the richest and the poorest. So, thanks but no thanks."

Whilst Lorely Burt, who chairs the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party, said: "I can't think of a single reason why Liberal Democrats would want to jump ship into a Labour boat which has no captain and no credible plans to get us out of the economic difficulties that we have."

None of this of course means that any of us have an affinity to working with the Tories. Most of the time we are metaphorically holding our nose so as to get Liberal Democrat policies introduced.

The fact is that the sums do not add up. A coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats would not have a majority and as such would not be stable. That in turn would destabilise the markets and hit the already fragile economy badly. You would have thought that an economist like Ed Balls would know that.

Nevertheless, the statement is an important one from Ed Balls, who by all accounts was more focussed on the future Labour leadership contest than on forming a stable coalition with the Lib Dems during talks in May 2010. It also leaves open options for both parties if another hung parliament follows the May 2015 General Election.
...and to get an overall majority, the Lib Dems would have to go into coallition with the nationalists (Welsh & Scottish) and who in thier right minds would want to do that...
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