Daily View 4×4: 11 May 2010

Good morning and welcome to the most environmentally friendly 4×4 you will ever meet. It looks like 11th May 2010 could itself go down in history, but until then, here are a few fascinating facts from previous years.

  • 198 years ago today, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.
  • One this day in 1985, 56 people were killed following a fire at Bradford City’s Valley Parade ground. This had particular meaning to me, as I had been at the ground for the previous home game.
  • Today in 2001, author Douglas Adams died suddenly at the age of just 50.

4 must-read newspaper commentaries

But hold on tight to your blood pressure!

Rachel Sylvester: It’s a fight for power: purist v pragmatists (Times)

Mary Riddell:  In office, but no longer in power, Brown gives Labour last chance  (Telegraph)

Sean O’Grady: Brown out. PR back on the table. Has Clegg snatched victory from the jaws of defeat? (Independent)  

Polly Toynbee:  Lab-Lib – the only legitimate coalition (Guardian)

4 must-read blogs

At the Free-thinking Economist, Giles Wilkes points out that the talks are not about tribal party choices and criticises the sense of entitlement of the other parties and their supporters in the media.

Angela Harbutt’s post at Liberal Vision starts from the position that she didn’t vote Lib Dem to get a Tory government.

Over at Liberal Burblings, Paul Walter asks the media to get the facts right.

Whilst Alix Mortimer is still waiting for the offer she can’t refuse.

Off for another day of political surprises and to see who’ll blink first.

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This entry was posted in Daily View.


  • Martin Land 11th May '10 - 8:13am

    John Bellingham – a good St Neots man. Yes!

  • Whether you like the tories or not, they did get the most votes. David Cameron has earned the right to become Prime Minister.
    I am a member of the Liberal Party and I would expect Nick Clegg to do the decent thing regarding this.
    This is just the sort of dirty tricks I would expect from Labour. I hate everything they stand for.
    To form a coalition with Labour would be like sticking two fingers up to the thousands of people who voted for them.
    Sue Shaw

  • Peter Chegwyn 11th May '10 - 8:31am

    Sue – The Tories may have got the most votes but that does not in itself mean that “David Cameron has earned the right to become Prime Minister”.

    To use your own words, forming a coalition with the Tories might also be described as “sticking two fingers up” to all the people who voted and worked for the Liberal Democrats in the belief that we were trying to STOP the Tories forming a Government, not helping them to do so!

    Forming a coalition with the Tories in the national interest begs the question: “Is it really in the national interest to have a Conservative Government?”… which is a different debate altogether!

  • Reading nick’s statement it implies the sticking point with the Tories is that they want to call another election soon and are unwilling to change this. Helping them only until another election in October isn’t a great option. If nothing else it doesn’t leave time to do anything about AV even if there is a referendum.

  • “Added together, this rainbow coalition barely gained 50% of votes.” This is not quite true… Libs + Labs and you get 52% of the votes already.

    Having said that, Tory minority with us keeping them shackled by the voters’ will we represent is the only workable option.

    As Alyx Mortimer and Sunny point out: Where is the killer offer from Labour? AV [rubbish and no better than what the Tories offer] with ‘rumours of a future deal on PR’ is just not acceptable, much as I would prefer a deal with Labour.

    We all know what ‘rumours of a deal’ with Labour produce: Nothing.

  • The suggestion that a Lib-Dem deal with Labour would be illegitimate is unsustainable. The deal would be brokered by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who has been elected and who took part in the election debates. Shortly after the deal had been ratified and electoral reform achieved Gordon would go. The new leader of the Labour Party would have to then very quickly call a general election to seek legitimacy; and if it was conducted under some form of P.R. the Lib- Dems’ position would be enhanced. However, if the Lib-Dems prop up a europhobic, draconianly anti-public sector Tory party they will lose the support of those on the left who tactically voted for them. A recent T.V. comment made by a Tory activist when speaking of a deal with the Lib-Dems was “use them and abuse them.” Says it all.

  • You are right – it would not be legitimate: It would have majority voter support.

    But: It wouldn’t succeed in passing anything through parliament. Labour FPTP fans would sink any Bill – whatever their whips say, we would look like fools for being led up the garden path for the second time in 13 years, and we would sink below the radar, losing any possibility of gaining the influence we should have had with 23% of the vote.

  • That should read illegitimate obviously…

  • There are enormous risks whichever way we go but the fact remains that the conservatives have more votes and seats than any other party and a Lib Lab coalition does not command a majority in parliament – talk of rainbow alliances is wishful thinking/cynical manipulation on the part of the SNP. We either go forward with Cameron or Cameron goes forward without us as a minority administration. We will not earn respect from anyone if we sit on the fence waiting for a better offer.

  • You are right Henry, Labour does have its FPTP fans but it also has its AV fans and fans of pure PR. Gordon Brown actually announced the commitment to a referendum on AV as far back as the Labour conference. I doubt if anyone in the Tory party actually supports pure PR or even AV. The Lib-Dems should insist that the referendum on AV the Tories have promised should take place within less than three months other wise the Tories could easily call an election before the referendum. Even if the Lib-Dems do a deal with the Tories and actually get a referendum on AV the Tories will probably campaign against it and be supported by their friends in the right wing press.

  • I’m a long-term LibDem voter, and naturally left-leaning. However, I cannot see how any kind of deal with Labour could form a viable, stable government at this point.

    Our best bet is to swallow our pride and walk the walk putting the country first, complete with all the cutting that will involve. With this aim in mind, some silly Con policies (inheritance tax cut, reversing the NI raise) should be easily stopped in the name of cutting the national debt.

    Nick is a canny negotiator, but he must come of of this looking like a statesman who did the best thing for his country, not a negotiator who did the best thing for his party.

    Any other outcome will result in the LibDems losing absolutely any credibility they have managed to garner – and wd should expect to lose a good 10% of our support.

    I should add that the ConLib option will also lose us some support in the short term, but if we can demonstrate that a coalition can work, it will make PR much more acceptable to the electorate. The current situation does the opposite (with a little help from the Conservative media, of course).

  • Simply allow the Tories to go it alone and run a minority government, I can not see Vince Cable backing up Osbourne in any shape or form!

    This doen’t mean we should go to bed with Labour either, lets continue to be the alternative to voters and when the next election comes round we will be in a much stronger position to push our own case.

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