Friday, May 14, 2010

Doing the Right thing...

As the dust settles on the Great Experiment, and it seems that the Conservatives may have conceded too much in return for LibDem collaboration, the right end of the Conservative Party may well contemplate the  idea that it might "de-coalesce" and re-absorb the UKIP. There are probably  around 50-100 tory MPs who might now be working out how to assess how much support they could muster in the country for The Real Conservative Party.

By allowing Scotland and Wales further independence in return for them losing most of their Westminster MPs, and introducing a PR voting system, the prospects would be much more tempting for minor parties to "have a go". Any number of the factions within existing main parties might pluck up the courage to "go it alone". Five years is long enough for quite few experiments to test ideas on the voting public before the crunch reality of a general election rolled up again.

The Tory Way Forward group was pushing for a minority government that would almost certainly have exposed the LibDems as being duplicitous, irresponsible and generally unsuited to government - although at this moment, it seems likely that Dave is going to find some of his own party are going to be more awkward to manage then the "can't believe their luck" LibDems!

But there's always a chance that this is all part of a very cunning master plan to corner and then impale the LibDems on their own hubris and desperation for power. It obviously suits Cameron to park some election pledges that cost money we don't have - and write them off to the national interest. And having Vince along to properly spank the (still largely unrepentant) bankers is another well-poisoned chalice passed along.

There is little doubt that the country's immediate best interests are now being served by an arrangement representing well over half the votes cast. Can it deliver the huge spanking to public spending that the economic crisis requires - and survive? David Cameron is either the shrewdest operator in Westminster, or the daftest. There's not a lot of standing room in the middle ground.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pandora alert

However much the truly horrible circumstances left behind by Brown's regime require extreme measures and a government of national unity, TMP remains acutely aware of the dangers to this unique experiment in collaborative politics.

All the main parties in the UK have been coalitions that have traditionally accommodated a wide spectrum of opinion. This has meant the job of leading these parties has always been the management of a "coalition" - and the result has been a relatively moderate compromise, where the absolutely unreconcilable extremists of the main parties have been obliged to depart to the fringe parties, and guaranteed obscurity.

The electoral system of "first past the post" has encouraged the existence of such internal coalitions, and thus far spared the British public the sight of the creation of an Official Pantomime Horse.

But PR makes the creation of a "fringe" party a lot more attractive, so all the main parties are likely to see their factions peeling off into new extreme alignments, and their leaders will no longer be constrained by the needs to manage their own internal coalitions.

TMP will do its best to remain constructive and hope that it all works out - and that the result is the best of all worlds in these extremely dangerous times, and if he pulls it off, Davnick will have achieved a considerable miracle.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What you wished for..?

So far so good..?

The British public has, by a series of completely uncontrollable quirks, managed to force a revolutionary - but contained - change in the system of its politics that it apparently wanted to see, but was not on offer as any sort of "official" option or choice in the world of tribal politics where 36% of the vote could deliver a working majority for Labour. They snookered Cameron (nice analogy, thanks DM) behind the Brown, and the only way to pot the blue was off the yellow. Given the angles, there was no other possible positive result - other than a re-rack.

Furthermore, the balancing compromises all appear to have been tipped by what is perceived to have been to appease public opinion. No bad thing perhaps if the first acts of this government are to be huge tax increases and savage cuts.

So then, we have a fascinating and unique majority government, and TMP must, by definition be happy to be "in power" at last. The few remaining "embarrassments" at the extremes of the Conservative and LibDem parties are mumbling as they sit bound and gagged and stuffed in their parties' respective closets, and there is much smiling for the cameras. And it is entirely healthy and to be expected that there are sceptics in both parties that have put down markers that they will be keeping an eye on the direction and leadership.

Anything less would be disconcerting and unhealthy.

There's a sense that both Clegg and Cameron are not going to be pushovers and are going to be willing to draw lines - but Cameron (rightly) has the stronger hand henceforward, and Clegg should know it. If there has to be another election, Cameron should be holding all the right cards - and as long as the Labour Party spends the traditional 5 years beating itself to death - Clegg knows he should sail back in.

But Cameron's first internal move to appease the loyal backbenchers (sans maisons des canards) must now be to fire his close advisers who let him down so comprehensively in the election campaign. Not only would that do Dave a big favour, it would appease a lot of powerful party members who must now be mumbling "told you so".

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All to play for

At least this is going to have to be an open government, and not a secretive cabal of minorities. However much this contrivance may look like a pantomime horse, it represents plenty more than 50% of the votes cast, and is therefore something of a rarity for a UK government in recent times.

The idea of this coalition appears to square exactly with the tenor of Cameron's "big society", and as several of Labour's leery survivors have observed, the LibDem party is itself a rainbow coalition with an astonishing range of nutters and those of limited talent and gravitas, who could not possibly have dreamed of ever achieving office in a "proper" political party. It's a good job Cameron has had the experience of coping with "testing" family circumstances.

A key tone-setter for what lies ahead will have been the jeering mob chanting "Fuck the Tories" that so charmlessly "greeted" Dave and Sam at Downing Street. We trust Broon & Co regard that as a fine example of the sort of poisoned society that they have left behind, and an appropriate valediction for 13 years of his fellow travellers' relentless bullying and overbearing disregard for basic decency and respect. Let's hope another of Broon's many legacies to our nation - the CCTV networks of his Stasi - has clocked those responsible, and that they will find that their BACS transfers cease forthwith, to be replaced by an invitation to get a job..?

We can but hope.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The limpet PM

Brown's delusional squat has now become unseemly and undignified with his latest manoeuvres.

Lord Mandelson has once again cunningly manipulated the feeble occupants of the Westminster bubble who are no longer acting rationally, and who don't seem to care what the markets or the people are going to make of what appears to be - and is - a very squalid attempt to help Labour cling on to power at any cost, and under any circumstances.

Just what is he trying to hide? What horrors are waiting to be discovered in the government filing cabinets? Quite possibly he is trying to conceal revelations that will make the Labour Party unelectable for a generation.

Chancer-in-chief Clegg plainly believes that he can score electoral points by being the hero that forced Brown to announce his resignation, but his nativity and multi-faceted duplicity are becoming more apparent at every twist and turn, and the unsuitability of the Libdems for office has become increasingly apparent.

Or maybe Mandelson is just doing all this to ensure the markets melt down and the Tories get an even worse shambles to unpick than if they had been allowed to get on with a quick and tidy deal in the interests of the country.

The one useful aspect of Brown's parting shambles is that no objective observer watching this play out can still be thinking that PR with its promise of this sort of shambolic horse trade at every election, is a sane and effective way forward?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Deal or no deal?

Told ya so. (There, we got that out of the way.)

Never mind the impossibility of anyone ever managing to dodge the flying staplers for long enough to work with him, Brown's Labour Party (258 - including 41 Scottish MPs) and the Libdems (57) simply do not command a viable majority and will be hostage to nationalists. The Conservatives (307) plus the cabals of nationalists could also do it - but the obvious and preferred solution (for the English!) is that the Conservatives find some way to work with the Libdems. TMP suspects that a poll of the voters offered the various combo and "bogof" offers, will agree that this is the best compromise.

There is every possibility that the true financial situation we face is far, far worse than we had been lead to believe. There is every possibility that once Brown is surgically removed from office, examination of the Treasury books will reveal that he has behaved like the secretive bank clerk that has never been properly audited, where he has been embezzling funds for years to support an expensive wife: Labour's voters - the infamous but very real "client state".  Like that dodgy bank manager, 13 years has provided Brown with a lot of scope to devise clever ways of hiding the losses, and Brown will have kidded himself that he was going to be able to turn it all round, and replace the cash in the till before it was counted by external auditors.

The result of the election has produced the most exquisite set of circumstances designed to torture our politicians for their manifest misdemeanours. But however you try and spin it, Labour lost hugely; the Libdems lost embarrassingly - but in terms of their cruelly inflated expectations, they lost huge and comprehensively - with no sign of an improved mandate for their traditionally bonkers manifesto strategies.

So there was no mandate for big change in the electoral system, just a further example of a "curse on all your houses". In all the vox-pop interviews, what the people want is honest politicians, a sane electoral process - whatever that might be - and above all else, sound government that sorts out the financial mess of Brown's 13 spendthrift years. The people still want the opportunity to vote for strong government - and one that can be turfed out in its entity when it screws up.

Moreover, we are currently witnessing exactly the typical and unedifying consequences of PR - hung elections with factions of  losers frantically trying to stitch dodgy deals together. Can 5 losers make a winner? It's shambolic.

As a result, if this is handled adroitly, there should be less appetite for changing the system to make this the default process for every national election henceforth.  This crisis seems to arise from the people witnessing what can happen when one party is given too much power for too long, and wanting to spank the increasingly detached political class en masse. TMP suspects that what the people actually want is something like the US system where it is possible to balance the excesses of an over-powerful government by voting for a different flavoured Senate and House of Representatives - and indeed, President.

Gordon Brown has given every indication that he is a self-obsessed sociopath (long before the unguarded bigot comment proved the point beyond all doubt)  and seems incapable of accepting anything less than that he has a divine right to remain as PM. He will undoubtedly try every trick to try and scare Clegg that he will be tainted forever by a Tory deal, where the reality is that all Gordon cares about is that he remains in Number 10.

Of course a LibLab pact might work without the bombastic and messianic Brown as leader; but the idea that the Labour Party could then dump another leader and impose a "PM" on the UK once again is high farce, and the stuff of insurrection. Nevertheless, Labour apparatchiks like Harriet Harman, Ben Bradshaw and the perma-tanned and perma-absurd Peter Hain have suddenly seen the PR light and are rushing in that direction with embarrassing haste. The fact that Harman, Hain and Bradshaw are prime examples of career MPs who could not earn a living in the real world, needs to be kept in mind.

With this complex background, the only possible solution for Cameron was to make a generous offer to the libdems and put the onus on Clegg to be the disruptive one. Which is exactly what he did.

Cameron knows that Clegg is chronically lumbered by his own party's daft constitution that requires a 75% majority of the MPs for any deal, and that the (many) hotheads who have yet to fully appreciate that they they actually lost the election, will block any deal that does not offer a full route the sort of disastrous proportional representation that the wilder-eyed Libs have always craved. So there will be some form of Conservative government - with or without formal Libdem participation, and the plan must be:
  • Restore fiscal confidence
And then, in parallel:
  • Undo as much of Labour's endlessly crass legislation as possible
  • Tackle the BBC's distorting and stultifying influence on crucial new and old media markets in the UK
  • Depart Afghanistan with as much dignity as possible (we may need the soldiers back here to control the food riots)
  • Deal with the the electoral shambles 
The electoral commission quango has been exposed as amateur, and is presently on the back foot and thoroughly discredited, so now is a good time to steam in and reform the entire process. In case there is another election forced early, immediately sort out the insanity of boundaries that favour the outrageous Labour hegemony in its various "client zones" and reduce the number Scottish MPs to around 20 to reflect the fact that Scotland and Wales have their own governments - and England does not! Better still, call the tiresome Alex Salmond's bluff and give Scotland its full independence whether it wants it or not, and tell it to get on with developing its economy based on tidal energy, not English taxes.

Reform the House of Lords that has become a pantomime of a farce thanks to Labour's numerous crass appointments, with a senate-like elected body, using a simple form of PR that would be fine for a revising body which is appropriately intended for vacillation and woolly thinking; but with a similar guillotine process that presently exists in extremis when the government feels that it can justify riding roughshod when it is the only option in the interest of strong government.  It would be lovely to imagine that such a body could be non-partisan in the way that the old House of Lords didn't have to toe any lines other than their own honestly held beliefs and consciences. TMP likes the idea that 50% of such an assembly should be elected from candidates selected by real people - not politicians or the establishment's ideas of Great and the Good.

And how about a qualification that is based on proof that anyone voting for this new "senior" house should have voted in at least 5 local and national elections? This should keep out transient celebrity campaigning, and might encourage all those who proudly boast that they cannot be bothered to vote, to think again.
  • Hold a referendum on the options (and require a 75% turnout to make it stick, using the LibDems own internal policies)
But above all else, deal with Brown's catastrophic fiscal shambles before it runs out of control and petrol rises to £10 a gallon as the jittery markets (who are required to be onside to fund Brown's deficit, remember?) melt down.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Be careful of what you wish for, eh?

Oh dearie, dearie us.You woz warned.

In the fantasy land of modern British politics, can Gordon the Ghastly and his eager helpers at the BBC  really try and pretend that two abject losers make a winner?

Monday, May 03, 2010

13 Years of Labour Misrule comes to a spluttering halt..?

The floating voters are every bit as fickle and flaky as ever, and guess what, Blair Mk2 is the beneficiary. But not the Blairalike who had imagined for so long that he was going to the main beneficiary of Brown's incredibly badly managed period as PM.

Like Blair, Clegg is no son of a miner or any other person acquainted with the real world. Like Blair, he is married to a staunch Roman Catholic, and is thus in the thrall of religious hocus pocus to some extent. It is ironic that the marvellously cunning but ultimately vacuous Nick Clegg and his missus come from even more privileged euro backgrounds than Cameron - the uber-rich shadowy patrician upper classes of Europe have always been rather better networked than the English nobility, who are generally obliged to spend their time worrying about fixing the roof of the decaying family pile and dealing with Death Duties, rather than hob-nobbing at meetings of the Bildeburger Group.

Labour and Libdems have been told by their spin advisers that floating voters have pretty much declared themselves to be weak minded and easily manipulated types who are likely to be fooled by the biggest lies, repeated frequently. The nature of the scare tactics deployed by Brown and Clegg are pretty scandalous, but it remains to be seen if the Tories rigidly positive campaign does them any favours. We suspect that the floating voters are as a dangerously gullible as the spin doctors believe.

Vince Cable is a quite startling lightweight who has not been properly tested at any depth, and on the odd occasion he is tackled on subjects beyond his apparently wondrous prescience when predicting the most obvious bust ever, he is invariably found wanting. His persistent evasion of the moral issues underlying the fact that the Libdems were wedged up by a convicted fraudster's cash stolen from an identified group of real people, as opposed to the usual funding from companies and unions that milk larger and more anonymous herds, ought to be taken out and explored at every opportunity. But for some reason it is not being given the coverage it deserves. Since the BBC's house journal, The Guardian, has come out in support of the Libdems, there is a growing suspicion that the BBC has been has been doing everything in its power to assist the Clegg bandwagon. The replacement of the compulsory BBC licence fee by something more innovative in recognition of everything that is going on in media, is long overdue.

Gordon Brown's exposure as an irascible old boor seems to confirm Cherie Blair's observations of long ago that he simply was not equipped for the PM's job at any level of character. His grotesque stage managed performances in front of carefully picked audiences where he spouts venomous lies in the course of his efforts to terrify the weaker minded of his supporters, are simply amoral.

The UK has suffered horribly over the past 50 years through the over promotion of accountants to run its once-world class businesses. But guess what, they understand the price of everything and the value of nothing - which is why all the best assets in the UK are now owned by foreigners! Gordon is actually one of the few chancellors to make it to the top job, and now we are thoroughly reminded why "those who keep score shall not also bat".

We don't agree with Nick. We think he's a chancer, supreme performer, an opportunist - but mostly just another airhead Blairalike politician with an ambitious and pushy wife who will gladly say and do anything to achieve her ambition, with no thought of the consequences. Clegg is, make no mistake, the 100% heir of Blair.

So what happens with the hung parliament and we witness the efforts of the Irish, Welsh and Scots to call the tune? The English will at last revolt - and about bloody time too. Cameron's efforts to maintain the idea that it's worth trying to keep Scotland's client state and its unremittingly awful MPs (including Broon, Darling etc) in the Union, will have to go. Home rule for England, please.

The most likely consequence of the impending cock-up is that we will be doing all this again in 6 months as the shambles wrought by gullible floaters forces the issue again. Maybe this time honesty will prevail if some form of PR means that no one is ever going to win a genuine majority ever again, and there is consequently less to lose.

Be careful of what you wish for, eh?