Deal between Lib Dems and Conservatives imminent

A quick round-up of where we seem to be at right now (with apologies for the slowness of the site loading: our servers are taking a bit of a battering right now!) …

Throughout the afternoon a succession of Labour figures ruled out any prospect of a Lib-Lab coalition deal. This morning people like John Reid, David Blunkett and Tom Harris dismissed the idea – this afternoon they were joined by serving ministers such as Andy Burnham, Jack Straw, Liam Byrne, Sadiq Khan, Diana Johnson and Peter Ainsworth. With the possibility of a Lib-Lab pact utterly dependent on unity within Labour ranks, it became clear Labour just wasn’t prepared to do a deal.

Fair enough and it’s their right not to – but I hope we don’t hear too much self-righteous cant in the days to come about from Labour suggesting actually they were quite open to the deal. It’s Labour which has slammed the door shut on the Lib Dems. As Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders put it on Facebook:

I got in wrong. I thought Labour would want to form a reform coalition even though the arithmatic was tight. It would only take a couple of Labour MPs to rule out an agreement and it would be dead in the water. Today several Labour MPs have been ruling out the chance of such a coalition and forcing us to produce a stable Government in the best interests of the country with the Conservatives.

So the Lib Dems are left with the choice of doing a deal with the Tories … or not doing a deal. As I’ve made clear throughout, there are pros and cons with either option.

Doing a deal will mean the Lib Dems are associated with the Tories in the eyes of many, and that won’t be liked by voters on the liberal-left of politics. Almost certainly the Lib Dems will suffer at the polls as a result, perhaps most of all in urban areas in the north and in Scotland. That will be painful. If the party signs up to this deal, it’s important we do so with our eyes wide open as to the risks. On the upside, it sounds like the deal will include a number of Lib Dem policies – things which would just not get done if we were to sit on the sidelines for the next few years. It also gives senior Lib Dem figures the chance to prove themselves in government for the first time in 65 years.

Not doing a deal … well, it’s an option. On the plus-side we keep our hands clean, and can attack a minority Tory government whenever the mood takes us. Quite how the public would respond to that, I don’t know. Badly is my guess. More importantly, the way would be open for the Tories to hold the Lib Dems to ransom, effectively threatening to go to the polls every time it looked like they couldn’t get their latest bill through. Bills which might include married couple tax cuts, targeting immigration, and withdrawing further from Europe. Of course all those things may happen even with a deal: but not to the same extent.

For Lib Dem members wanting to know when they get a proper say – well, according to the Guardian, this weekend seems to be the answer:

4.46pm: Apparently the Liberal Democrats have booked a venue for a special conference on Saturday. And they have also started to prepare ballot papers for a ballot of the entire membership.

Under the so-called “triple lock” in the party rulebook, there are provisions to consult the entire membership about any proposal that would “affect the party’s independence of political action”. This is what the triple lock says in full.

    Conference agrees that:

    (i) in the event of any substantial proposal which could affect the Party’s independence of political action, the consent will be required of a majority of members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons and the Federal Executive; and,

    (ii) unless there is a three-quarters majority of each group in favour of the proposals, the consent of the majority of those present and voting at a Special Conference convened under clause 6.6 of the Constitution; and,

    (iii) unless there is a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at that Conference in favour of the proposals, the consent of a majority of all members of the Party voting in the ballot called pursuant to clause 6.11 or 8.6 of the Constitution.

The triple lock was approved by the Lib Dem in conference in 1998 because activists were worried that Paddy Ashdown wanted to take the Lib Dems into a coalition with Labour (see 9.57am).

As the Lib Dems interpret this clause, Nick Clegg would not need a special conference if three-quarters of the parliamentary party and three-quarters of the federal executive approve a coalition. But I’m told that Clegg is preparing for a special conference and a membership ballot anyway to give the move extra legitimacy.

Incidentally the Guardian has a fascinating close-up of Nick Clegg’s negotiating crib-sheet here. Items listed as Lib Dem ‘red lines’ (ie, things we will not concede too far) include immigration, Europe and Trident. Make of his scribblings what you will – it sounds, though, like we won’t have long to wait before we hear the deal in full.

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  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 6:13pm

    Can I just ask, if the rumours are true and the electoral reform you’ve got is a referendum on AV and nothing more… where does that leave you? Lib Dems on other threads on this site are against AV. Would the Lib Dems oppose it after all this?

  • This morning people like John Reid, David Blunkett and Tom Harris dismissed the idea – this afternoon they were joined by serving ministers such as Andy Burnham, Jack Straw, Liam Byrne, Sadiq Khan, Diana Johnson and Peter Ainsworth.

    Heh. What a perfect lineup of the most corrupt, arrogant, mean-spirited, greedy, illiberal, disrespectful nasty people with a contempt for the traditions of our legal system and civil liberties we’ve seen in the history of British politics. I, for one, will be very glad to see the back of them, and I hope the rot in obscurity. We’ve dodged a bullet by not having to be associated with such scoundrels.

  • Sold your souls to the Tory Devil. Clegg can now finally admit what we all knew, he really is a Tory at heart. Shame on your party, enjoy the moment as it will be your last.

  • It looks like the deal is done and the difficult phase begins- getting a lot of unpalatable jobs completed.

    I think your man has done as well as he could, but I am struck by Stuart Bell saying on Sky that all talk of Labour being part of a “progressive” alliance with you, and supporting PR, is off the table – suggesting that their deathbed conversion to electoral reform was skin deep and short lived. If that is true, is it not likely that the PR referendum may occur but be lost by you? I am not being provocative but just think that that aspiration is looking distinctly less viable.

    You kmay not all like David Cameron but do give him the respect due that he is a man who is likely to stick by his word. That is a refeshing change after the shyster years shaped by Lord Mandelson and Alistair Campbell.

  • James Robertson 11th May '10 - 6:56pm

    As a liberal and a progressive a Lib Dem-Tory coalition was hardly top of my wished for outcomes.

    However, there are no easy decisions to be made. All of the possibilities are risky and our party has not had to make such potentially painful decisions about the direction of our party since 1989.

    Whether this is the right decision or not depends largely on what Cameron has offered to Nick Clegg. If is simply a referendum on AV with the Conservatives reserving the right to campaign against it, then it is hardly a concession and I’m not too sure many of our grassroots members would swallow it. On the other hand, if a “deal” gives the Lib Dems some scope for implementing liberal policy it is likely to be preferable to the admittedly interesting possibilities to be found in opposition to a Cameron-led minority government.

  • Lib Dem will be toast next election, but at least closet tory Nick Clegg and a few of his cronies will have 15 miutes of power.

  • I voted lib-dem and all I got was this lousy Tory government

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 7:45pm

    James – the concessions are going much further than that, including adoption of some of our policies on taxes, dropping some of their own tax policies etc.

  • @ Mela

    See what programme they have negotiated and what they do. It will not be a standard issue Tory government. It will be a mixture of Lib Dem policies and Tory ones.

    You can’t have everything you want in life. Sometimes it is better half a loaf than no loaf at all, which is what the alternative was.

    The Lib Dems offered Labour the chance of a coalition and they turned it down for purely selfish reasons. Under those circumstances, what was Nick Clegg supposed to do?

    Blame Labour. THEY let you down by failing to back a progressive alliance.

  • Sounds like our Nick drove a hard bargain with the Tories. Heseltine sound a bit racked off, which means our man did a good job. As a Liberal I’m delighted that we will now have a Government committed to delivering a Liberal/ Conservative manifesto. Which is better than a Conservative or Labour manifesto.

    People’s we kind of won!

  • Looking at it all from the perspective of an Irish Green I hope that Clegg has got more on electoral reform than a vote on AV which is nearly as bad as first past the post (see the evidence of Prof Michael Marsh et al to the House of Lords committee back in February). Our experience in government is that you have to be prepared to be tough from day one or the major party will walk all over you and blame anything the electorate doesn’t like on you at the same time.
    Its a great opportunity – use it well. A well run coalition has more opportunity for creativity and stability than any other form of government, and in a time of economic, environmental and social chaos its the best chance there is for a good result

  • After voting Labour since i was old enough to vote so 27 years now i thought this time your party was the right people for No. 10.

    Now hearing lib dems are joining with the cons i feel very let down, im not over politicly minded but know enough to get by, being a lower middle class hard worker i am dreading the thought of cons running this country again
    what a waste !! never mind life goes on

  • Ed Balls talking out of his ******.

  • Manda Scott 11th May '10 - 8:07pm

    If Cameron and Clegg can truly usher in a new era of sanity, integrity and co-operation in politics, if we can scrap the infantile displays of PMQs and the ghastly partisan tribalism then this is worth fighting for – it’s the best deal we were ever going to get and it’s many, many steps in the right direction

    and if we get Ken Clarke as Chancellor and Cable as Vice with the ghastly Osborne elsewhere, it’ll be little short of a coup. GIven the votes we got, we couldn’t ask for more. Now we need to drop the tribalism and make it work.
    If We can pull Cameron’s Tories to the centre, it’ll be way far to the left of Brown and Blair (who, to my mind, were off the right flank beyond Thatcher)

    Go for it. Make this work.

  • Paul McKeown 11th May '10 - 8:11pm

    Well done Nick & team!

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 8:16pm

    Manda well said!

    “and if we get Ken Clarke as Chancellor and Cable as Vice with the ghastly Osborne elsewhere, it’ll be little short of a coup.”

    I am still hoping they’ll tell Osborne that this nice cupboard is what they refer to as “the cabinet”…

  • Simon Lilley 11th May '10 - 8:16pm

    Let us seize this moment and work with the Conservatives to introduce as much of our program as possible. We must make this deal work. labour will be looking inwards for several months as the elect their new leader. Harriet Harman as Acting Leader wont be able to do much. The future is bright the future is YELLOW.

  • Mark Lightwood 11th May '10 - 8:20pm

    To everyone saying they are “betrayed” by the LibCon alliance:

    You voted for a hung parliament. If Labour scuppered a deal of an alliance with the Lib Dems, how is it the Lib Dems’ fault if the Tories get in?

    The Tories would get in otherwise. They don’t need the Lib Dems. This way, the Lib Dems are sacrificing themselves to try to moderate what the Tories would do.

    God bless the Lib Dems – these are very difficult times ahead for them, and I hope they can achieve as much of their manifesto as possible.

    (I am ashamed I voted for one of those Labour ministers who scuppered the deal today)

  • It’s so obvious now that Clegg wanted in with the Cons all along.

    If he had been even minded about it (or even logical considering that Libs and Labs [ grass roots that is] have more in common than Libs and Cons ) he would have opened up parallel negotiations on Friday instead of giving preferential treatment and thus momentum to a deal with the Cons. plus allowing resentment to build up on the Labour side.

    Clegg disguised the privileged, entitlement, publicschoolboy arrogance quite well at first but half way through the campaign it showed through – maybe that had a lot to do with the falling back in the vote.

    Maybe that’s what he and Cameron have in common after all : Born into privilege; the best education money can buy; and stuffed with a sense of entitlement for breakfast lunch and dinner; never had to work to put bread on the table in a real job outside the fairyland of politics – where do the similarities stop ?

    Yes Brown ‘lost’ the election – but only on the same basis that Cameron lost it, as did Clegg – none of them came close to 50°/° plus one. After having had a fair hearing during the campaign Clegg lost worst of all.

    A deal with Labour offered AV in place before the summer recess and legislation for a referendum on full PR before Christmas – a historic democratic fairness deal which Clegg has eschewed in favour of ( when by the way ? ) a promise ( from ‘Cast Iron Guarantee Dave [ call me Delboy ] ‘ ) of a vote for a referendum on AV and nothing whatever on full PR.

    If the line is ‘ Labour couldn’t deliver the vote’ – well – why not put that to the test ? Options would have remained open if AV enacted and / or the referendum on full PR had not passed the Commons during the first year of a Lib / Lab deal.

    Until this week I had thought Clegg came into the principled category of politician and had more on that account to share with Brown ( however erroneous some of the latter’s policies ).

    It’s now clear I was mistaken. He prefers to be in there with his natural publicschoolboy muckers Cameron et al who if they have demonstrated one single thing beyond peradventure it’s that they believe in absolutely nothing except their own personal advancement ( after all that’s what Cameron was born into ).

    Before this weekend I had some faint hopes for British politics. Now the disillusion is total. And it comes from the Party I had thought was the most idealistic. For the sake of a few baubles you’ve abandoned PR for ever. Enjoy the Cabinet seats there’s good chaps.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 8:22pm

    “This way, the Lib Dems are sacrificing themselves to try to moderate what the Tories would do.”

    I think that’s it in a nutshell. (Though I suspect that’s not their intention.)

  • Looks like Nick might have got more out of this deal that Cameron, I’m left of centre but this seems the best outcome from the election result that could be achieved.

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 8:32pm

    James – Exactly. It was a BIG gamble but if we get full approval on this then Mr Clegg might well have just delivered on his promises a dozen times over….

  • I was impressed by Nick Clegg’s openness and honesty and thought he conducted himself in a very statesmanlike manner over the week end. I was then shocked that he opened negotiations with labour behind the Tories’ backs and without telling them. It wasn’t as if the talks had broken down. It seems like back room horse trading, of the kind that he seemed against in the leaders debates. I am not a fan of the Tories but they have emerged very well from the post-election negotiations. I, and I’m sure many others, am questioning the duplicity shown by Nick Clegg. If this is “new” politics I don’t like it. I would also not appreciate a “spin-like” explanation of why he did that. Let’s hope we get some honesty and he redeems himself in the eyes of the public.

  • Nobby Charlton 11th May '10 - 8:35pm

    Which marraige will last longest? Tory-Lib or Peter-Alex? my money’s on Jordan!

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 8:36pm

    “Labour MPs, both left and right. They fucked it. They brought in the Tories.”

    I think that’s clearly true. Nevertheless, expect “The Lib Dems let the Tories in” to be Labour’s tireless refrain for the foreseeable future.

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 8:39pm

    JenniferS – he HAD to be seen to try the Labour route. Paddy et al would not have forgiven him.

  • Wayne Howard 11th May '10 - 8:42pm

    It does appear Nick Clegg is a Tory in Lib Dem clothes. I wont be delivering anymore Lib Dem party Literature and my vote will go to the Labour Party in future. Clegg has said the Tories have got it wrong on the economy but supports them for government.
    Labour by right had the first chance to form a government but Clegg by passed the commons rules and the courtesy to the Queen which is in very poor taste, shows his mind was made up before the negotiations

  • Andrea, I understand the need to explore all options with labour, its the going behind the Tories’ backs that I find objectionable.

  • If the rumours concerning the policy concessions are correct (and after last Thursday I’ll believe it when I see it) , then Nick Clegg and the negotiating team have played a blinder. Emotionally, I find it a deal with the Tories difficult but the logical corollary of PR means working with parties we don’t necessarily like. We’ve campaigned for “grown up” politics; I hope that the Party has the maturity to grasp this historic moment.

  • vince thurnell 11th May '10 - 8:44pm

    Vote Lib dem and get Conservative, never again , i’ll shall be voting Labour in the future. As for Labour scuppering any deal, how does anyone know . We don’t know what went on behind those doors but it would appear after listening to the Labour spokesmen that a deal was never on because Clegg had already made his mind up and was paying lip service to them.

    As for the Liberals getting more out of the deal than the Tories, last time i looked it is Cameron that is going to be primeminister thanks to the Liberals so i would say they’ve come out of it the better. I voted Lib dem at the last two elections but i’ll remember next time if i vote for them i’ll be voting for a tory government.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 8:48pm

    ” As for Labour scuppering any deal, how does anyone know”

    Because Labour backbenchers – as well as ex-Cabinet Ministers – were practically queueing up to say they wouldn’t support it. That’s in a situation where every single vote would have counted. It was clearly not “deliverable” by Labour.

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 8:49pm

    I think it’s obvious that talking to Labour was a way of showing the Tories that they needed to give up more- which I suppose is better than not doing so and taking the Tories’ first offer.

  • I (and know many more like me) turned to LibDem when we felt Labour shifted to the right in 97.
    I have never felt so betrayed, disgusted and let down by any single politician. I have just joined the Labour party to fight the blue and yellow ( an appropriate colour ) coalition.
    I hope the Lib Dems get shafted by the Tories. You will lose a lot of support and I have the feeling you will live to regret this night.

  • Paul McKeown 11th May '10 - 8:51pm

    A Conservative being made Prime Minister, that sent a shiver down my spine. Grrrr…. frisson of fear. At least with a whole host of Lib Dems around the government, it will be in many ways a “wet” Conservative government. It feels good to have Liberal Democratic policies implemented, but still! Shock to the system, will get over it soon enough!

  • vince thurnell 11th May '10 - 8:53pm

    Mike, youve hit the nail on the head, they played one off against the other and Labour refused to play ball so they ended up going with option one. Its that how quickly this party can throw away its principles then i’ll be voting Labour in the future. And to think this party is a merged party between the Liberal party and ex Labour MP’S it makes my skin crawl.

  • I fear for the future of this country with whats happend today. I for one will retain my new Lib Dem membership as I belive that change comes from the inside and hopefully there will be enough of us around to sort out this mess.
    Seeing that Cameron is bringing in the “old guard” to cabinet has already proved that things will not get better. It will be interesting to see how long the policies that Nick Clegg has taken within will be acted on by the tories?
    A change was needed, did we need (or want) it this way? Good Luck to all..

  • @ Vince Thurnell

    Labour openly refused to back a progressive alliance. So why would you join a party like that?

  • vince thurnell 11th May '10 - 9:02pm

    Robert C, i voted Lib Dem , i did not vote Lib dem to get a propped up Tory Government. If Labour refused a progressive alliance (which is still unclear), there was nothing stopping Clegg propping up no party , voting for the queens speech and deciding policy by policy what way the mp’s would vote. So I yes i will be voting Labour in the future unless someone could give me one good reason why i should vote otherwise.

  • Clegg made it clear in the talks with Labour that he would rather work with the cons, and that a deal was in place, hence, it can’t be said that Labour refused to play ball, as some are suggesting.

  • Everyone should understand that the coalition agreement does not mean that the Liberal Democrats are being absorbed by the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats remain a distinct party organization, with its own leaders, its own membership, and its own manifesto. The only difference is that they will now be on the inside, actually doing something good instead of being on the outside, heckling.

    The Liberals lost power in the 1920s due to internal conflicts and the rise of the Labour Party. The road back to power has been extraordinarily long and difficult, but this is the only way it could possibly have happened. It is now incumbent upon the leaders of the Liberal Democrats to show that they are effective, competent ministers; if they prove to be so, and if they make the coalition government work, they can expect the public to reward them at the next election; and in due course we can expect to see a Liberal Democrat as Prime Minister.

  • You are exposed for what we all knew you were, Tories. How did it feel having David Cameron talk about my Government. Sell-outs, you will be decimated at the next election. Think the people of Eastleigh, Wells or Eastbourne will vote for you – I don’t think so…

  • Well said Vince. Those who are slating Labour now are simply bitter that the party they’ve voted for turned out to be nothing more than Tory puppets.

    I will relish the day when this country begs Labour to come back.

  • I don’t understand how the same Liberal Democrat supporters that said Labour had lost their mandate to govern, believe that the Liberal Democrats who came a clear third have a mandate to govern, in any form.

  • So this is going to be the spin to hide the truth that the Lib Dems have betrayed their party and the country:

    It was Labours’ fault.

    Well if that salvages your consciences then go for it. The truth is you have a leader and a leadership that is instinctively Tory. You elected him and you’ve got the mess you deserve.

    If all your 30 pieces of Ashcroft silver gets you is a referendum on AV, which the Tory party, it’s press and millionaire backers will do all it can to defeat; is it really worth it?

    Are you going to support a rise in the inheritance tax threshold, the marriage tax, 6 billion cuts in public services in nine months, a UK sovereignty bill, immigration quotas, the DIY society and it’s implications for welfare provision, the dismantling of the NHS and the state education system?

    The Tory party is cynically using you in the hope that they can get a majority later this year or early next year. A commitment to 2 or 3 years government will mean nothing if Tory MPs decide (encouraged privately by the leadership) to vote against a supply or confidence motion in order to trigger an election.

    They may seem nice and reasonable now, but that was just to get over the threshold of number 10.

    Clegg is only interested in climbing the greasy pole of political ambition. He tried to paint the Lib Dems as different to the two ‘old parties’ but has shown himself to be well and truly a practitioner of the ‘old politics’ himself.

    So, you may get a Queens Speech you can support, but I doubt very much if any meaningful legislation will be passed. In the meantime Clegg and Co will support ConDem cuts that will lead to a ConDem depression. The danger is no longer of a Tory Britain, but a ConDem Britain savaged by high unemployment, high inflation, high interest rates and social unrest.

    Labour may not have been a realistic alternative given the numbers and the situation internally within the Party, I understand that. However to actually believe, as I just heard Simon Hughes say on the BBC, that the Tories can deliver a progressive agenda is indicative of just how deluded and intoxicated by the thought ‘power’ the Lib Dem MPs have become.

    This is a dark day for Britain and a darker day for Lib Dems.

  • Couldn’t have said it better myself Steve D

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 9:18pm

    Can I just say one thing that annoys me about the Lib Dems-

    You get in a huff when anyone calls you “the Liberals”, as if we’re going to say the full name every time rather than condense it down like we do with the Tories and Labour. You go on about the “old parties” and the “old politics”. Yet when it suits you’re happy to be the Grand Old Liberal Party back in power.

    Noticed how I’m being all respectful though, no swearing or anything. I kind of feel like someone awkwardly and politely addressing an ex-girlfriend, after a bout of angriness in the immediate aftermath of the break up :P. Silly of me to think one last fling between old lovers Lab and Lib could produce something special.

  • No – Clegg scuppered it [ the historic democratic fairness deal of AV legislated for within months and a referendum on full PR not long after ] or rather did not even give it a chance to get the fine detail negotiated.

    If the Labour leadership had not been serious about aiming for a fair votes based progressive coalition there would have been no point in Mr Brown announcing his resignation. Yes there were dissentients in the Labour ranks but any agreement reached – on AV and full PR referendum – could simply have been put to the legislative test before even the summer recess.

    If the agreement had not been delivered as promised then obviously Clegg could have – if desired – sought a different deal elsewhere.

    Clegg and Cameron, Westminster and Eton, neither ever worked in a real job, arrogance, privilege, peas in a pod – what’s more to say, basically. And now we will never ever get PR ( probably not even AV – they’ll find some excuse to scupper even that. )

    Reckon the F words have a more appropriate target, frankly. Enjoy the baubles chaps.

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 9:20pm

    “So this is going to be the spin to hide the truth that the Lib Dems have betrayed their party and the country”

    WTF? We delivered the kind of new, cooperative politics we had promised.

    Or are you only able to support Lib Dem policies as long as we are the majority party? Because that doesn’t really gel with our policies…

  • paul barker 11th May '10 - 9:21pm

    I watched as London was bathed in Golden light marking a new golden age for British politics, another small step towards Democracy, another step away from The Imperial Dream & into the European mainstream. Yes, its a small step but thats Britain, thats how we do things here.
    We have some tough days ahead, lets enjoy this bright new sunset while we can.

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 9:23pm

    Hmm, I’m going to go check and see what David Cameron’s exact words have been about protecting the NHS. Was it just “I won’t cut”? Was there a definate “I won’t privatize or further marketize” or anything like that?

    We’re in the odd position of a coalition between two parties in which one of those parties wrote a tract calling for the abolition of the NHS… and the *other* party is the Conservatives! :/

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 9:24pm

    “Clegg made it clear in the talks with Labour that he would rather work with the cons, and that a deal was in place”

    Ridiculous. Obviously you have no way of knowing what was said in the talks.

    What we do know is that while the talks were going on, a large section of the Labour party – including Messrs Reid, Blunkett et al. – was publicly making it crystal clear that it would have nothing to do with a Lib/Lab arrangement. From that point on, it was clearly impossible.

  • Paul McKeown 11th May '10 - 9:25pm

    All the Labour apologists coming out. Since when was Labour so bloody “progressive”? Collective amnesia setting in there. Tribal yaboosucks. Labour did many good things in the last 13 years, but frankly lots of shabby things and some absolutely awful things too. Whenever they were worried that things might go wrong, they would show us some leg, but then as soon as they didn’t need us, it was always sorry, maybe next year? And now they just want to sit on the sidelines and snipe. Well, I wish our very brave MPs all the best in a diffcult job, that the so-called “progressives” didn’t want any part in. They will do well and have my support.

  • Are you going to join with the Tories, homophobes and racists in Europe too?

  • Colin Green 11th May '10 - 9:30pm

    From the speculation I hear in the news, it seems like Nick drove a very hard bargain and has successfully won concessions from the Tories on our key policies, particularly on tax. A notable softening of the Conservative manifesto under a Lib Dem coalition has got to be welcome news to all of a centrist or left thinking mind, considering the only alternative now is a Conservative minority government.

    The AV referendum too is a concession from the Conservatives, even if they’ll campaign against it. AV is better for the Lib Dems than FPTP even if it is not as good as AV+ or STV. Consider it a step forwards. Perhaps in the future we can move another step towards our preferred choice.

    I think Nick has done as well as could be hoped and more. We should back him now as he and his colleagues enter a coalition government. This is certainly a historic government. Let us make it a good one.

  • @ Anthony

    Those were Lord Mandy’s words, I’m pretty sure he knows what went on in the meetings, since he was there.

  • The referendum will achieve nothing, Conservatives and their media will campaign against it, in reality Lib Dem have achieved nothing on electoral reform.

  • I’m quite tired of all this “I’m DISGUSTED and will NEVER VOTE LIBDEM AGAIN” talk. It looks for all the world like throwing your toys out of the pram because you didn’t get an ice-lolly.

    I don’t like the Tories, but I’m not six years old, so I can see why this coalition is the only practical solution right now.

    If you’re voting on team colour lines, you’re a dolt. See what they do first. If Clegg turns into Cameron’s poodle, believe me I’ll be the first to renounce my party membership. Until then, lets see. And let Labour lick its wounds, regroup, and maybe, just maybe, find its socialist roots, get its heart back. I’d rather be in alliance with a TRUE Labour party than the Tories, but Labour sold out years ago. Don’t go accusing the LibDems of it now.

  • “WTF? We delivered the kind of new, cooperative politics we had promised.”

    No, this is not the promised new, co-operative politics and you are deluded if you think so. At face value this looks like two parties working together in co-operation and coalition. In reality it is nothing of the sort. It is the Tory Party using the Lib Dems to get into number 10, any deal will unravel very quickly. It is not a partnership of equals, it is not a partnership of shared values, it is not a partnership of shared vision. It is simply a cynical move to get us through the next few months until the Tories believe they can win an election.

    You have a leadership trying to cover up the fact that it failed spectacularly to achieve a real breakthrough in British Politics, believing that the Cleggmania effect could make up for work on the ground in constituencies. A Party known for it’s ability to turn local government success into parliamentary success couldn’t even win Watford where they dominate local politics. Apart from the odd leaflet I saw very little effort. Maybe they thought job done? Instead we have a Tory Toff.

    Please do not kid yourselves into believing that this is co-operative politics in action. I understand the very difficult position this puts the Lib Dems in, but it was always Cleggs’ intention to get into bed with Cameron; only problem is it will be a one night stand.

  • @ Rachel

    Labour should change to win you over? Labour tallied far more votes, and seats than the LD’s, not too mention the huge Labour successes in the local elections, Liberal Democrats have sold their souls, Labour will reap the rewards next election.

  • allentaylorhoad 11th May '10 - 9:43pm

    “It does appear Nick Clegg is a Tory in Lib Dem clothes. I wont be delivering anymore Lib Dem party Literature and my vote will go to the Labour Party in future. Clegg has said the Tories have got it wrong on the economy but supports them for government.
    Labour by right had the first chance to form a government but Clegg by passed the commons rules and the courtesy to the Queen which is in very poor taste, shows his mind was made up before the negotiations.”

    I agree with every word of that. I come from a long Liberal tradition, my father campaigned with Peter Hain against apartheid in the days when the Tories denounced Mandela as a terrorist and proppped up a fascist regime in South Africa with their money.

    I have already destroyed my membership card and a letter cancelling my membership will be in the post tomorrow. I feel totally betrayed and I see no choice but to vote Labour from now on.

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 9:43pm

    JenniferS – I wouldn’t be totally surprised, as I have said yesterday, if the Conservatives had not been informed of some of this in advance.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 9:44pm


    For heaven’s sake! You have the evidence of your own senses that large sections of the Labour party were _publicly_ declaring that they wouldn’t support this deal. Given that fact, it was clearly impossible,

    Peter Mandelson knows that as well as everyone else does, but of course that isn’t going to stop him trying to put the blame on the Lib Dems.

  • Paul – no Labour member would make out that its all been a bed of roses, far from it. What we are saying though is that Labour is vastly superior to what this country will get from the Tories.

    What I want to know is how all you Lib Dems can be happy with a decison that Paddy Ashdown was so against –

    “Nick Clegg cannot work with David Cameron.”

    “We could not go into a coalition with the Tories, it wouldn’t work.”

    “A coalition is not an option for us. The parties are too far apart.”

    Jesus, he’s the father of your party! How can you support something that he is so fundamentally against , and the rest of this sane world can see as a disaster waiting to happen??

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 9:47pm

    @Rachel: Who knows what the future holds, I do hope that you’re right and Labour does use the opportunity to go a bit left-wing… we’ll have to keep 1983 in mind though if that’s our choice. The Blairites might split off and form some kind of Social Democratic Party and scupper it… then later join the Lib Dems….

    Nothing’s written in the history books before it happens though, might be different this time. We might actually win the replay of 83, that would be sweet.

  • Andrea Gill 11th May '10 - 9:47pm

    Gosh the hypocrites are really coming out of the woodwork now… Go read our Lib Dem manifesto and think about what your utterly disgusting refusal to want to work with a coalition partner actually means. PR and democracy, but only if we win? Sad.

  • Scott Miller 11th May '10 - 9:47pm

    The Lib Dems never change.Each time they have to take some responsibility for something it’s always someone else’s fault or they were forced into it. You’re just too nice to make difficult decisions without some evil force compelling you at gunpoint.Grow up for heaven’s sake. You’ve entered into a coalition with your eyes wide open and every chance to walk away.You wanted Lablour to save you from the hole Clegg had dug for you with his pre election comments. You have not been forced into anything.

  • Bill Miller 11th May '10 - 9:50pm

    This is the nature of politics where no party has an overall majority, and politics is the art of the possible.

    It is very clear that the Labour Party could not offer a deal. The arithmetic was already tight before a host of Labour MPs poured cold water on any prospect of a deal. So either
    (1) enter into a coalition with the Conservatives seeking to moderate their more extreme policies and implement some of our own or
    (2) get involved in a looser arrangement to prop up a minority government, but with less influence and still the stigma in many eyes of supporting the Tories or else
    (3) bring down the government and send us all to the polls again thus failing to provide stable government.

    I expected option (2), but am willing to trust our negotiators that (1) was the best option.

  • You get in a huff when anyone calls you “the Liberals”
    Doesn’t bother me. Might other those old SDP types I s’pose.

    You go on about the “old parties” and the “old politics”.
    Actually that rather irritated me. Seems to be a Clegg “thing”. Too soundbitey for my liking, a bit contrived. I (a LibDem party member) certainly never talk about the “old parties” and the “old politics”. I am LibDem because I agree with them, not because I don’t agree with Labour or the Tories.

    Yet when it suits you’re happy to be the Grand Old Liberal Party back in power.

    What should we be happy to be?

  • paul barker 11th May '10 - 9:53pm

    Can I just make a prediction about the opinion polls ? I think we will be sharply up though after the election result no-one will beleive it. Of course some of the cuts will be very unpopular but things will look very different in 4 years & its way too soon to get gloomy about future election results.

  • Mark Lightwood 11th May '10 - 9:57pm

    The people commenting here who say they are Lib Dem members who are tearing up their membership cards and will join Labour – their grasp of basic grammar and spelling is so awful that the only reasonable conclusion is that they are actually Labour members, or just very thick Lib Dems. Only people that stupid join Labour, or the Tories.

    “” As for Labour scuppering any deal, how does anyone know”

    Do I need to re-post the list of Labour figures who publicly came out against the LibLab deal? They scuppered it, and they scuppered it in public.

  • Chris Power 11th May '10 - 9:59pm

    I believe, as a Lib Dem supporter, that other supporters need to decide whether they want the Lib Dems to be seen as a potential party of Government or as a dumping ground for protest votes of various kinds.

    I admit there is a “hold your nose” element to this whole thing but given that it is clear that the tribal elements in the Labour party were scuppering any chance at all of a “progressive coalition” (and just how progressive Labour is on ciil liberties is highly debatable), the only two choices were a coalition with the Tories, or an unstable minority Conservative Government.

    To use the vulgar political phrase, I’d rather see the Lib Dems inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in – I’d rather they were in the rooms were decisions are made, trying to apply a moderating influence, and to get policies that I support enacted, and policies that I oppose stopped or tempered.

    Finally, the Lib Dems support a move to an electoral system that makes this kind of deal-making much more likely in future, were it to be adopted. If they refused to deal in good faith with the Conservatives it makes a mockery of that whole policy stance – they have to show they can walk the walk of grown up politics, not just stand on the sidelines and carp about it.

    I believe this coalition is one that Lib Dem supporters should get behind, let’s see how the thing works.

  • Terry Gilbert 11th May '10 - 9:59pm

    Can’t help thinking that many of those who ‘will vote Labour in future’ here tonight never voted for the Lib Dems in the first place. Some genuine supporters will be disappointed, but let’s wait and see what the deal is before we jump to conclusions. From what I’m hearing it looks good.

  • As a LibDem supporter I would of course prefer a LibDem government, but given how the country voted (and the vagueries of the electoral system) we have this situation.
    The way I see it is that the Tories are the only party which can offer a coalition which has any remote possibility of stability – something which seems to be needed right now.
    Labour could easily descend into civil war and is unable to deliver on PR at all.

    At least we get a government which will get rid of atrocities like ID cards (can you see Labour giving up a flagship policy like that?)
    There are some more liberal Torties, hopefully with them the LibDems can keep the right at bay, it sounds like enough concessions have been made to bring lefties like Vince Cable onside too.

    Those who view the LibDems as Labour lite are mistaken and obviously have never thought about it – Liberalism (which in its various forms is still the dominant force in the LibDems – even if its watered down in many areas) is a left wing ideology distinct from the main thread of the Labour party which has always been predominently statist – both on its left and right wings.

    Lets see what the LibDems have got – probably more than from a Labour party which hates the Liberal Democrats as a rival force on the left..

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 10:01pm

    @Dane Clouston: I didn’t mention Europe as far as I can remember.

    @Rachel: It doesn’t apply uniformly to all Liberals of course, just a trend I’ve noticed that annoys me. “Bad old parties” on the one hand, “Let’s celebrate the anniversary of the Liberal Party” on the other.

  • if labour wasn’t possible we should have pulled out and let there be another election or minority govt
    selling out to the Tories will lose so much support in the future including mine
    i will support Labour in future i am never voting lib dem again !

  • Labour should change to win you over?
    I’d just like to see a genuine socialist party- a modern socialist party- out there. I didn’t say they SHOULD change, I said I’d prefer to work with them if they did. Where did “should” come from? It’s so flaming partisan, so absolute. No wonder we can’t make progress with people accusing other people of demands, shoulds, musts and so on.

    Co-operation is not ALWAYS the same thing as selling out. On the flipside, being “unwavering” and “staunch” quickly becomes being pigheaded, inflexible and stubborn. Frankly, the LibDems were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. We’d have got shit for getting into bed with Labour too, and it probably would have fallen apart pretty soon. Leaving Cameron to rule in a minority would have led to another General Election which he would have probably won outright.

    Sheesh, everyone’s a pundit.

  • Mark Lightwood 11th May '10 - 10:06pm

    The issue is that Labour will now spend the next 6 months/1 year/2 years/however long this govt lasts – and it will be a fixed term government, one change Labour never brought in – wailing about how evil the Lib Dems are, and that there is only one choice.

    Their main argument for not joining the Lib Dems in an alliance was that being in opposition would allow for “renewal” – but what renewal can there be if all they offer is relentlessly negative attacks against the government? They have to offer a true alternative. But they won’t bother doing that, they’ll just be negative about every move the government does and assume that at some point they’ll just re-inherit power: much as the Tories knew at some point they’d get back into power, so let’s not bother with any real vision.

  • William Haymes 11th May '10 - 10:06pm

    You had the winning lottery ticket guys but flushed it down the toilet either through self-delusion or sheer madness.
    Today you had the chance to make the biggest Constitutional change in decades and you gave up without an attempt to salve and solve some of the problems of a few Labour louts angry at GBs sacrificial resignation in,amongst others, the naive belief you wont encounter even more vicious tribalism in the Tory party.You saw the most beautiful wo/man of all your dreams and struck blind by a scent of office you gave up when s/he would nt immediately have a coffee with you- seriously pathetic
    Proof of this is 1) You laid down an outrageous negotiating precondition that GB was a stumbling-block
    2) You ignored established principles and courtesies in going to Tories first
    3)Cleggs longstanding personal hatred of Labour where he has said Labour is finished so many times that his reason has to be in question- this clouded all judgement
    4) That he has ignored the huge democratic problem the election threw up over Scotland which is cursing him especially tonight as Labour servers collapse and will wipe you out like the Tories
    5) That you havent met your 4 benchmarks and that the Tories will crush you if at some time they do offer the pathetic AV referendum by campaigning against you and you will lose even that paltry bribe
    6) That you have waived without reflection very real difficulties over defence,over tax, over cuts,over immigration and over Europe where Mr Clegg stated that the Tories had been in discussion with anti-semites and homophobes( 2nd leaders debate)
    7)That you are now mired in economic austerity and coming social unrest which will be laid firmly at your door

    Worst of all is the complete lack of resilience in dealing with a few set backs and media-driven hassles.You will be dreaming of that beautiful wo/man for years and years and despise your inability to even suck it and see….utter craven cowardice and lack of focus and objectivity has consigned you to oblivion – what a waste what a tragedy to tell your grandkids about- how you had the holy grail in your hands and dropped it like a cheap beer-glass

  • I wonder why Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg really did the deal?

  • The people commenting here who say they are Lib Dem members who are tearing up their membership cards and will join Labour – their grasp of basic grammar and spelling is so awful that the only reasonable conclusion is that they are actually Labour members, or just very thick Lib Dems. Only people that stupid join Labour, or the Tories.

    I’m ashamed that anyone so insulting and judgemental joins the LibDems.

  • Mark Lightwood – How very adult of you. I was wondering how long it would be before someone has to take it to a personal level.

    Still no one can answer my questions about Paddy Ashdown’s views….


  • I’ll presume that no one knows why the Lib Dems have right to govern when the electorate has clearly rejected them. It’s one thing saying Labour is finished, lost their mandate to govern, and that the public had spoken, yet it’s perfectly fine for the party who came a clear third, to be a part of a coalition government.

  • consigned you to oblivion – what a waste what a tragedy to tell your grandkids about- how you had the holy grail in your hands and dropped it like a cheap beer-glass

    Freakin hilarious. I believe the word is “hyperbole”. Lots of people PERSONALLY OFFENDED by a political deal. Still, better than apathy I suppose.

  • William Haymes 11th May '10 - 10:13pm

    you need to be much nicer to the Tories from now on Rachel-insulting their bad grammar and spelling wont be acceptable

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 10:13pm

    Tempers may be high right now, but us on the Left can use this- regain a real sense of purpose in opposition. Depending on how Orange Book the liberals in cabinet are (seeing as it looks like all the people who wrote the thing, this may not look good actually) Labour could renew itself in opposition without the government moving the goalposts too far to the right in the meantime. Better than a pure Tory government anyway.

  • Keith Browning 11th May '10 - 10:15pm

    Reading this blog is quite amazing. Anyone would think the Lib Dems have lost not won.

    Anyone who voted Lib Dem voted for a party that is now in government. Their vote counted for the first time in decades.

    Those who voted Labour was a vote for the losers.

  • I’ll presume that no one knows why the Lib Dems have right to govern when the electorate has clearly rejected them. It’s one thing saying Labour is finished, lost their mandate to govern, and that the public had spoken, yet it’s perfectly fine for the party who came a clear third, to be a part of a coalition government.

    Occurred to me too. Quirk of the system. Technically, a Lab-Con alliance would represent the majority of the voting population. Now that would be fun to see.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 10:17pm

    William Haynes

    Your complaints really shouldn’t be directed against people here, but at the unholy alliance of Labour “grandees” and dissident back benchers who destroyed the possibility of a Lib/Lab coalition. From that moment it was inevitable that Cameron would be prime minister. I’m sure that many people here are every bit as annoyed as you about that.

  • That’s great – thanks very much Lib Dem Voice for giving us SOME information as to what’s going on but why is it that i’m watching David Cameron walking into No. 10 yet have NO idea as to what is happening from our side? I stood for 13 flipping hours last Thursday greeting the electorate with my yellow rosette on hoping people would understand that voting Lib Dem was NOT voting Tory or Lib Dem – now it may well be that was not in vain BUT I don’t know, no one is telling me – and all this ‘trust us’from the leadership is all very well but I would turn that around and say to our leadership ‘trust us’! – the members. I’m just getting the feeling I’m being ‘spun’ on here – please please prove me wrong

  • Mark Lightwood 11th May '10 - 10:21pm

    “no one knows why the Lib Dems have right to govern when the electorate has clearly rejected them”

    The Tories got 36% of the vote. 64% voted for someone other than them. Why have they got any right to govern?

  • I agree with you Mark. I think Labour need a spell in opposition, and I do genuinely hope they regroup. I don’t want a Tory government, and agree that a coalition tempers them, which is good. Labour were discredited in the minds of a lot of floating voters. Now the Tories get to be the nasty party (and us too, with our poisoned chalice…or did we drop that like a cheap beer glass? I forget) with swingeing cuts…might work out in Labour’s favour in the long run. I will enjoy the Lib Dem’s time in the limelight, but after that, we’ll see.

    (On a separate issue, just to be clear, I wasn’t insulting anyone’s spelling, I was quoting someone else)

  • Mark Lightwood – Illiterate would be resorting to profanity when you’re incapable of sensible political discussion!

  • The Lib Dems have betrayed millions of voters tonight. I was told that a vote for Labour was a wasted vote and only the lib dems could beat the Tories here. What a joke. I am absolutely furious and look forward to your party being trounced at the next election.

    New politics…! An absolute joke. Hopefully this shambles will break down in months.

  • @ Mark

    The Conservatives won the most seats, and got the most votes, that gives legitimacy to their right to govern.

  • My comment at 10:35 is a different one from the previous Rachel. Don’t want to confuse people. Have now changed username.

  • The conservatives have hardly any presence in the United Kingdom other than in England, I find that quite disturbing.

  • Mike (Labour) 11th May '10 - 10:45pm

    @Richard: Well, no. The Tories command a majority of elected representatives in the House of Commons, that’s what gives them their legitimacy, not having the most seats or votes. Only votes for David Cameron was to make him MP and the only seat to do so was his own.

  • Hello Rachel New! 🙂
    Don’t think there’s much chance of us being confused! Difference opinions.

    The Lib Dems have betrayed millions of voters tonight. I was told that a vote for Labour was a wasted vote and only the lib dems could beat the Tories here.

    This is why I hate negative campaigns. “Vote X so Y don’t get in” is a stupid way to campaign, and a sad thing for anyone to have to do. All parties are guilty of using this argument, and I dislike it in all of them.

    It is, however, the fault of the FPTP electoral system that these kinds of tactical campaigns and votes happen. For what it’s worth, here’s my rule of thumb: always, ALWAYS vote for what you want, not to keep someone else out. You can never feel betrayed, or ashamed of yourself, that way. It’s the system that sucks.

    You could choose to see the coalition as a positive thing- it will curb the excesses of the Tories. Wait and see, and support electoral reform so that you’ll never have to vote tactically again. 🙂

  • Don’t worry Scotland, the quickest way to independence, is a Tory government.

  • vince thurnell 11th May '10 - 10:57pm

    Mark Lightwood, Id like to thankyou for assuring me that my decision not to vote Lib Dem again was the correct one. You have clearly shown that there is as much snobbery amongst the Lid Dems as there is in the Conservative party, i’ll think both parties will be well suited. Just for your information though i actually have an A level in English. The reason my grammer was so poor earlier is because I was so bloody angry. But as i have already said, many thanks for convincing me it is time to vote for someone else.

  • William Haymes 11th May '10 - 11:00pm

    Anthony Aloysius St

    No your leader blew it/sold out /placed his own personal agenda first and you are currently deceived by the media which scouted out for tribal trouble-makers today especially.Astonishing you dont see this….
    With such a prize on offer YOU WILL NEVER HAVE AGAIN the attempt was appalling for the British people who want a fairer voting system – like the 5th form- why didnt people back off and arrange another calmer meeting – oh no you had just scalped a sitting PM and expected sweetness and light- sorry as time will tell you have been sold out- i am relieved actually that the mask is now off and you will surely see what a mistake you have been deceived by- the prize warranted any risk- the people would have understood- now they see you as quitters and much as part of the old politics as the rest- he blew it for you for himself- what confidence you have in the altruism and good judgment of political leaders

  • Sorry, thought of more to say on the tactical vote thing (I am chatty tonight):

    Furthermore, I think it’s hypocritical of a pro-PR party to use the vagaries of the FPTP system in a campaign. However, they are dealing with an electorate that votes tribally. People are often more viscerally anti-Tory than anything else. PR will do nothing to change those kinds of inflexible, kneejerk battle-lines. It just means we don’t have to vote tactically because of them. Personally, I wish there was a way we could vote blind, for just policies.

    I really am just rambling now. Night night.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th May '10 - 11:14pm

    William Haymes

    “Astonishing you dont see this….”

    Well, today I was actually hoping against hope that it might be possible to construct a coalition between the Lib Dems, Labour and others that could keep the Tories out of power. If you had been following the discussions here, you would have known that many people were hoping the same.

    What happened? We saw a procession of Labour politicians destroying any prospect of that “progressive coalition” on live TV. It happened before our very eyes only a few hours ago.

    That’s what has saddled us with a Tory prime minister. I’m not at all surprised that, as a Labour supporter, you want to try to put the blame on somebody else. But you must take us for fools if you think we’re going to be taken in for a moment.

  • Good to see Clegg has sold out his supporters for the deputy prime minister position, can get cosy with his public school boy buddies now.

  • I’ve never felt the need to post before, but today Clegg has sold the millions who voted Lib Dem down the river in a selfish attempt to get a bit of power. Yes, the LibLab coalition would have been unworkable, but that doesn’t mean he had to enter one with the conservatives.From the start Clegg was only interested in joining with the Conservatives, ignoring the constitution that as the current Government Labour should have been first allowed to try and form a working majority.Clegg singularly overrode this. Cameron should have been left to form a minority Tory government. The fact is that in 90% of the seats won by the Lib Dems it was an outright battle with the conservatives, and in these seats voters *be it tactical or not) choose Lib Dem over Conservative, now they are one and the same. I feel sorry for my local Lib Dem MP, who since 1997 has been a hard working MP, but will surely suffer at the next election as any reason to vote Lib Dem has today been removed, voters won’t bother and the conservative will win the seat next time. The carrot of voter reform will remain just that to keep the coalition together for the next 5 years and any attempt to stop Conservative policy and end the coalition will result in no reform. The conservatives won’t let it through as under PR they will loose almost all chance of forming a majority government in the future. The manifesto and beliefs that the Lib Dem MP’s were voted on has today been blown out the water as they now support policies that they have always been against just to taste a small amount of power. A sad day.

  • I personally think Clegg has pulled off a pretty good deal for the Left has a whole securing the new £10k tax threshold. The dropping of inheritance tax promises is also an excellent coup for the masses. A Lib- Lab alliance would have been untenable as they could only have formed a minority government (undemocratic voting system).

    However, this coalition will end in tears and possibly make the Lib-Dems a very small party as they will never win a vote on AV against Con and probably Lab opposition. The touting of fixed term parliaments which I have been in favor of , seems now to have a very unpalatable edge, as it seems that a minority government has found a way to keep power beware the Tory bearing gifts…

  • I am appalled that the party I voted for have handed David Cameron the keys to No. 10. George Osborne as chancellor fills me with dread. I would rather Nick Clegg had said no to deputy Prime Minister and pushed for Vince Cable to be Chancellor. How long will it last ? I don’t know, I just hope Lib Dems remember to watch their backs, the Tories are adept at stabbing their own in the back , they will have no problem stabbing Nick Clegg in the back when it suits them.
    The Lib Dems may very well have condemned themselves to political obscurity.
    I will never vote Lib Dem again!

  • I think it’s really funny. After listening my whole adult life to smug, Guardian-reading, middle-class liberals going on and on about how different they are, how progressive and blah blah blah, they are revealed as Tories after all. Even the website is changing colour, from yellow to blue!

    LibDems, it’s time to think carefully about who you get into bed with, and what nasty infections you might get as a result. As a young man, Cameron looked upon the likes of Thatcher and Tebbit and all those other hard-right nutcases and landed gentry and thought, ‘These are my people!’

    The Green Party issued this invitation to you today:

    Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

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