.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, July 16, 2012

Over to you Mr. Cameron

Possibly the most-quoted article in Liberal Democrat circles yesterday was this one by Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer. He takes an interesting look at last week's vote on the House of Lords and concludes that the Tories need to grow up and start to take the coalition seriously. He says that 'it is the Lib Dems who have been the grownups of the coalition and the Tories who have been the juveniles':

The Lib Dems have understood the fundamental premise of coalition: that a marriage between two parties can be sustained only if both partners are prepared to sacrifice their own preferences for the greater cause. Mr Clegg's party has been astonishingly disciplined over the past two years. To a fault, they have often put aside their own desires and interests for the sake of coalition unity. They have held their noses and voted through welfare cuts, immigration caps, tuition fees and a health plan which was not even in the coalition agreement. With one or two exceptions, their ministers have been stalwart defenders of the coalition and their backbenchers have refrained from badmouthing it.

For this, they have paid a punishing price. At local elections, Lib Dem councillors have been slaughtered. On their current opinion poll rating, they have lost more than half of the support they received at the last general election. They have virtually no friends in the press. Their leader has been flayed to within an inch of his political life.

Coalition has generally been much easier for the Conservatives. As the bigger party, they have been asked to make far fewer compromises. It is the snarl of the rancorous tendency on the Tory backbenches that David Cameron has allowed the yellow tail to wag the blue dog, but there is scant evidence to support their cries of betrayal.

He concludes that if the coalition is to prevail then David Cameron has to take things more seriously:

So the prime minister has some hard thinking to do over the summer. Is he ready to take ownership of the coalition? Can he confront those in his party who want to wreck the government with the determination now necessary to save it? Will he tell the hard truths to the Conservative party about the necessary compromises of sharing power?

If he is not able or willing to do that, then no one else can rescue the coalition.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?