Brown’s failed poachings: the views of the Lib Dem blogs

Fifteen Lib Dem bloggers have so far had their say on Gordon Brown’s move to ensnare some of the Lib Dems’ top talent inside his first cabinet.

Here are the links (in reverse chronological order):

Neil Fawcett, A Liberal Dose: ‘More Guardian Tripe’

Tristan Mills, Liberty Alone: ‘Pacts with Labour’

Jonathan Wallace: ‘Cabinet seats and spin’

James Graham, Quaquam Blog!: ‘Deny everything, Baldrick (Updated)’

Mike Bell, Word from Weston: ‘A cosy consensus’

Anders Hanson: ‘Do we really worry the other parties that much?’

Paul Walter, Liberal Burblings: ‘Liberals resist headless chicken hysteria at “bums on seats” story’ and ‘Northern Ireland Secretary offer to Ashdown – Only a cretin would take this seriously’ and ‘Jobs-for-Lordsgate – two whopping great positives for us’

Nich Starling, Norfolk Blogger: ‘Morally bankrupt Guardian shows that it is no guardian of free speech and high political values’ and ‘Ming is so right to say no to Labour’

Toby Philpott, Liberal Legend: ‘The Guardian Talks Rot’

Jeremy Hargreaves: ‘United We Stand: No Thanks, Gordon’

Steve Webb MP, The Webb Log: ‘Lib Dems in the new Brown Government?’

Paul Evans, Hot Ginger and Dynamite: ‘No Gorzumping’

Charles Anglin, The Dissenter’s Voice: ‘Brown’s mischief and Lib Dem misjudgement’

Stephen Tall, A Liberal Goes A Long Way: ‘What should Ming have done?’

Steve Guy, The sandals are off: ‘We are not Labour Lite’

Doubtless there are more articles being written as I write… please use the comments box to direct folk to any I’ve missed (or which weren’t published when I compiled this list).

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This entry was posted in Best of the blogs and News.


  • Scott Rennie 21st Jun '07 - 3:29pm

    Pehaps we need to ask ourselves how a progressive conensus can be built? Brown’s attempt may ahve nt been the wisest o the most likely to succed, but it does pose questions of us! Any real constitutional reform for eample,will only be achieveed accross party, andno y us alone. Are we prepared as Liberals to abandon tribal politics on our part to make it happen, or are we as wedded to tribalism as the ‘conservatives’ in the other two parties who wish to see a little change as posible? To what extent are we prepared to takl ith brown about a progressive consensus at all, and what form would those talks take. There is at least the possibility that just as Blair was the reformer who was a dissappointment, Brown will turn out to be the nexpected oportunity for political reform in our nation tat we did not expect. What do we need to do to seize that opportunity. The fact of the matter is that those who have power are those with the power to bring change.

  • I’m not cheerleader for a coalition with Labour and I don’t see it happening, but I would like to think that, however opposed to a coalition (with anyone) some members might be, if we were to end up in a situation where a special conference democratically debated the issue and approved going into such an arrangement, those people would continue to work constructively within the party.

  • This episode has made the Lib Dems look very weak indeed. To even consider joing a Labour cabinet will damage the party in the South. Brown has played this very well indeed. i don’t think he has done this to help the Lib Dems. One nil to LAbour I’m afraid.

  • Er? Paul – Brown offers Lib Dems Lords position in cabinet. Lib Dem Lords refuse. How does this make the party look weak!?

  • Our first poster here asked how we build a progressive consensus and I think that is a valid question.

    Such a consensus will involve two sets of people;

    1. ‘Natural progressives’ This is the catergory I would put myself in, by this i mean the type of people whose gut reaction politics are of a leftist progressive nature. This is your core vote and these people either vote Labour naturally, splinter off to the left of Labour or, as is most likely at the moment stay at home.

    2. Moderates or what i sometimes call small c conservatives. These kind of people are not natural progressives in that they are not idealistically committed. They want things to be better but also want stabality; they are pragmatic. For example, they maybe supported the Iraq war at first but are now against it as the disaster has unfolded. They did vote Conservative, then voted for New Labour and now are thinking of switching back.

    Now….I think the Liberal Democrats can be home to both but it wont be by operating as a satalite to either party, it will be by building a strong independant identity. Depending on which wing you sit on you are going to either more hostile to Labour or the Conservaties, my politics make me naturally more sympathetic to cooperation with Labour and hostile to the Conservatives but I am very well aware that there will be others who would feel the opposite way.

    I think we spend too much time on the ‘what if there was a hung parliament’ debate. Now I would agree that there is a reasonable albeit still slim chance of one the next time around but I think it gives the impression to the public that essentially that is what we are playing for; which doesn’t help. We shouldnt make any pretensions to government though, we should say this; we are the third party, we are the real alternative, our politics has something for both sets of people that I mentioned and we can be the progressive consensus.

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