Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Coalition II in 2015?

In Matthew d’Ancona’s article in today’s Evening Standard (1st February) The Spectre of John Major is steering the PM’s EU strategy. he argues that David Cameron’s U-turn on Europe may have been in a move to placate his coalition partner Nick Clegg and that he is looking to a second term in 2015. The question is, would the Libdems want to do this again?
In Brussels, Mr Cameron took the step to agree that those states that signed up to the Fiscal Compact can indeed use other European Union institutions to push their decisions onto Great Britain – unless it was to threaten British interests including “The City” and then he would take contest it. All very sensible as the European states are trying to save their own economies, the Union’s economy and by extension our economy as well.

However the Euro sceptic wing of the Conservative party is already getting up in arms, spurned on by Ed Miliband’s taunt “The Veto that never was.”
We’re back to business as usual, ministers and mandarins cutting deals, and the people of this country ignored. If you’re a Eurosceptic, there’s only one show in town after yesterday and that’s calling for a referendum,  Douglas Carswell MP for Clacton.

However the Pro- European Libdems are over the moon with the action. It is no secret that Nick Clegg was Bitterly disappointed as were many of the party at what was perceived as Tory obstinace by some.  Could this new move by Mr Cameron be to placate his Libdem partners?


It could be that the realisation that it is better to be part of the solution than part of the problem and that the EU will need to access all it can to try and solve this massive crisis and if the Euro and the European economy collapse then Britain will take another serious knock and if our local trade partners are in serious trouble they won’t want to buy British goods r be able to afford it.

However Mr d’Ancona suggests that placating Clegg and co is at the centre of this move. According to estimates sited in his piece he suggests that a fear of the repeat of the Major years is what is pushing him. Who can forget the on going divisions of parliament and the Government being held to ransom by a handful of rebellious Eurosceptic MPs?
He suggests that some Conservative projections have them winning the election with say a 60 seat majority although others suggest 10 or 20. I agree with him that the chance of them taking points from us is pretty low as if our vote collapses, which I fear it may (especially with the Local elections at the same time) then why vote for the other half of the Coalition instead? They’re going to vote Labour.

If the majority is very low it would make sense to pitch the idea of a second Coalition to the Libdems and Clegg (if he doesn’t lose his seat next time.) and the best way to do that is to give some ground on Europe which is a central part of our ideology. 
There is plenty of work for the Coalition to do, and things that we have put in now that could be finished by the same government in 2020.

Would it benefit us though? It is hard to say. We’ve lost a lot of support over policies we’ve had to back down on; Trident, tuition fees, benefit cap – which has divided party opinion and attracted a lot of criticism from the opposite benches.  However we have put through a heck of a lot of our policies, and becoming a credible party of government with experience.
The big thing about Coalition is that it was in the National interest and we’ve sacrificed a chunk of our support for the  good of the nation, and I guess if it was necessary again in 2015 then yeah I’d like to think we’d sign on again for the good of the country, after all Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, but we have to also look at what state the party is in in 2015 and whether or not we still have strength and support to do it. Who can predict until the results come in?

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