Gordon Brown to resign, Lib Dems to open formal talks with Labour

Gordon Brown has within the past hour announced he will be standing down as leader of the Labour party at their autumn conference – but hopes to remain as Prime Minister of a Lib-Lab coalition alliance until that time:

If it becomes clear that the national interest, which is stable and principled government, can be best served by forming a coalition between the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats, then I believe I should discharge that duty to form that government which would in my view command a majority in the House of Commons in the Queen’s speech and any other confidence votes.

But I have no desire to stay in my position longer than is needed to ensure the path to economic growth is ensured and the process of political reform we have agreed moves forward quickly. The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country. As leader of my party, I must accept that that is a judgment on me. I therefore intend to ask the Labour party to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election. I would hope that it would be completed in time for the new leader to be in post by the time of the Labour party conference. I will play no part in that contest and I will back no individual candidate.

It’s also been confirmed that the Lib Dems are opening formal talks with Labour. When the Lib Dem parliamentary party met earlier today, they sought further “clarification” on aspects of the Tory deal.

Speculate away, folks …

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57 Comments

  • Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Civil Rights.

    I see a flaw in the negotiations..

  • Chris Mills 10th May '10 - 5:49pm

    Now we can do the deal we wanted to do in the first place.

    Nick and team, you kept your word and talked to the Tories first.

    You proved you’re trustworthy. Now go get the job done with the right coalition.

  • Nick Clegg MUST find a way to get a Lib/Lab/rainbow coalition to work. There seems to be a public, and largely a political will, to get this to work. We probably have AV+ on the table. For the Lib Dems to pass up this golden opportunity would be utter madness. Clegg, I, and I suspect the vast majority of the Lib Dem electorate, URGE you to make this coalition work. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for electoral reform, and a stable-enough coalition with Labour, a party whose economic policies are far closer to ours than the Tories’. Let’s go for it!

  • I don’t think that history will regard Gordon Brown as one of our worst Prime Ministers. Deeply flawed, overly-fond of machiavellian manipulation, and devoid of the RADA-type skills that seem necessary in the modern world to make someone well-regarded as a politician, all true. But a decent man who put everything he had into trying to make life better for the majority of people in this country but who failed in the end due to circumstances beyond his control, albeit that he played some small part in allowing those circumstances to develop. Blair and Thatcher I will always detest: Major and Brown, though, did not deserve the vilification heaped on them in office.

  • @Jez

    The electorate does not think constitutinoally. All they think is that this is a stitch up against the Tories. They won’t understand this, if we do a deal, and we will be punished at the ballot box.

    THis is a God-awful position for the Lib Dems. I wouldn’t want to be in Clegg’s shoes for all the tea in China. But this move, simply cannot work.

  • David Allen 10th May '10 - 6:05pm

    I agree with Jez BUT it will be tricky, it will be a tough negotiation, we must treat Labour just as we did the Tories, that is, slow, careful, get it right, put the national interest at the forefront.

  • Sarah Evans 10th May '10 - 6:10pm

    Although a previous Labour voter I voted Lib Dem last Thursday because I support many Lib Dem policies especially electoral reform. I would love to see a more consensus form of politics and I think the talks between Labour and Libdems are a real step forward.

  • ”Labour and Lib-Dems between them are bringing politics and democracy into disrepute! They care not what the country wants, clearly. It is all about them! This angers me. They do not govern in my name, that’s for sure!”

    Just seen this reaction on Sky comments and their are hundreds like this on BBC and Sky. A coalition with Labour may be good if we want PR but we had better hope the next election is a long time in the future and peopl have short memories.

  • ”Labour and Lib-Dems between them are bringing politics and democracy into disrepute! They care not what the country wants, clearly. It is all about them! This angers me. They do not govern in my name, that’s for sure!”

    Just seen this reaction on Sky comments and their are hundreds like this on BBC and Sky. A coalition with Labour may be good if we want PR but we had better hope the next election is a long time in the future and people have short memories.

  • Brown’s protracted resignation, coming some days after the election, seems on the face of it, a game changer.

    This is Labour improvisation on a discredited theme, with death bed conversion to the electoral/political reform that only days before, they were dismissing. Furthermore, we also have fundamental disagreements with Labour on a whole host of issues dear to our hearts, including civil liberties.

    We must remain sceptical of Labour, and not just because the numbers simply don’t add up.

    Lib Dems are in danger of being seen as ‘playing politics’ with ‘national and economic stability’ by those not well disposed towards us. I see a coalition with either the Tories or Labour as being a poisoned chalice.

    Time has moved on, and even without Brown’s announcement, the game has changed. We already look foolish for wanting more detail from the Tories on key policies at this stage. Is that just playing for time? Or are we looking for a deal breaker? Surely, those are matters to be sorted out at Green/White Paper stage – and if not to our liking, we can simply vote down.

    We need to seize the timetable and make the running. What I would like the Lib Dems to do is to offer the Tories limited co-operation – the Queen’s Speech and the economy being priorities and in return, the promise of a referendum within 2 years on electoral/political reform.

    Why the Tories? Just because they won the most votes and seats and have more of a mandate than do Labour. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but swallow we must. But our deep felt aversion to aspects of Tory philosophy and practice endangers our very soul. Hence, my preference for limited co-operation and not a coalition.

    This may be throwing away the best prospects of ‘real’ power for a generation. But we would come away with integrity and considerable goodwill of the electorate for not acting in purely party political interests.

    And we would keep the party together, in good spirits and proud that we walked away from both the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea!

  • Lets see how this plays out. But …

    Believing in consensus politics does NOT mean you only deal with one other party. If that’s the case, we might as well fold and some of us will join the Labour Party. We have the opportunity to do something bold and not forever be written off as Labour’s poodles.

    Furthermore – can Labour actually deliver PR? Look at who benefits most from the inequities of FPTP – Labour MPs in Scotland Wales and Northern England.

  • All I’m saying is when Nick Clegg talks about political reform it sounds positive. When Mandelson and Campbell start talking about a ‘progressive coalition’ it sounds North Korean. If we end up with a Lib/Lab coalition and a referendum on PR that looks like it will keep the progressive left in power for a long time then we had better be prepared to lose it.

  • Brown says he intends to hang on until October. This means that a coalition cabinet would be headed by Brown for five months, and could well buckle under one of Brown’s tantrums before that time is up. Brown could, of course, hand over to Harriet Harman as a caretaker Prime Minister, but we cannot have a lame duck leading the country. Who is going to lead the negotiations for Labour? Brown? Or someone else? And is the coalition cabinet going to be dominated during its first five months by the leadership campaign? Are Messrs Balls and Miliband going to be intriguing against each other on an hourly basis? Can the Labour Party not arrange for a ballot of all its Members to be conducted and concluded by the end of next week?

  • I agree with Jay, limited cooperation with the Tories. Anything else seems like we are being selfish. This is Labour being desperate and we will be tarred with the same brush.

  • The electorate does not think constitutinoally. All they think is that this is a stitch up against the Tories. They won’t understand this, if we do a deal, and we will be punished at the ballot box.

    I have little doubt that we will be punished at the ballot box no matter what we do. However, we have an opportunity to do a deal with a party that is much closer to our supporters’ beliefs, which will not cause quite such a bad vote haemmorage at the next election, with no allegation of ‘propping up Brown’ (well, not in the long term, only for 6 months, not TOO bad), and did I forget to mention that Labour will probably offer a strict timetable on PR (probably AV+)? When our vote gets hit in the next elections, if we can get them held on the basis of AV+, we’ll still end up with more politicians, because we won’t be massively punished by the electoral system. This one is, in my view, the best deal on the table.

  • ”Labour and Lib-Dems between them are bringing politics and democracy into disrepute! They care not what the country wants, clearly. It is all about them! This angers me. They do not govern in my name, that’s for sure!”

    Just seen this reaction on Sky comments and their are hundreds like this on BBC and Sky. A coalition with Labour may be good if we want PR but we had better hope the next election is a long time in the future and peopl have short memories.

    Have you considered how many of these people voted Tory at the last election? I’d estimate a large majority of them. Of course they’d be infuriated that their 36% vote doesn’t get to govern over the 53% who voted Lib/Lab. But we’re not losing any votes from those who already voted Tory. This is a calculation we can afford to make, to piss off many who already voted Tory.

  • @Bob
    ” If we end up with a Lib/Lab coalition and a referendum on PR that looks like it will keep the progressive left in power for a long time then we had better be prepared to lose it.”

    Bob, the majority of people vote centre left in this country. Only around 35-40% vote for the right.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 10th May '10 - 6:37pm

    “Can the Labour Party not arrange for a ballot of all its Members to be conducted and concluded by the end of next week?”

    If I remember correctly, the Labour Party constitution allows for the NEC to appoint a new leader if the current one becomes “permanently unavailable”.

    Your mission. Sesenco, should you choose to accept it …

  • Anthony Aloysius St 10th May '10 - 6:40pm

    Sorry – that should be the Cabinet in consultation with the NEC. Don’t know how that works if the Cabinet contains people from other parties.

  • Hope I was wrong to slag off Lib Dems. This means either a Lab-Lib-Nat or a Lib-Tory with stronger Liberal influence than before, which is something anyway.

  • C H Ingoldby 10th May '10 - 6:48pm

    Propping up a desperate, zombie Labour government would be a disasterous move.

    A short lived, unstable coalition inevitability leading to humiliating and acrimonious collapse.

  • Simon Lilley 10th May '10 - 7:40pm

    WE must not do a deal with Labour. They lost the elction and we will be tarred with the brush of propping up an upopular Government if we do.

    The Tories have moved on electoral reform let us accept that and make the case for change across the country in every corner of the UK.

    A pact with Labour would be a death wish. Do not kill our party please please please no deal with Labour.Its suicide.

  • Simon Lilley 10th May '10 - 7:44pm

    A deal with Labour whose grasp of civil liberties is at best weak, possibly led by harriet Harman is a nightmare.I dont want us to go down that road and it seems many on here agree with me. A minority Tory Govt with “confidence and supply” arrangements would be better than a pact with Labour. The electorate will crucify us.

  • Clegg seems to be working to a plan.

    He invited Brown to formal talks Just as the Tory MP’s were about to meet and at the same time saying the meetings with the Tory’s were going well. A mixed message if there ever was one.

    The Lib democrat MP’s as usual met first, and said they were not satisfied with the detail of the Tory Offer. This will also cause problems to the Tory agenda for their meeting.

    In negotiations the important thing is to keep opponents off balance
    He has achieved that in spades. (he was a good student in Brussels)

    The Tory MP’s meeting will be both Furious and in turmoil, It will be very difficult for Cameron to keep it to the agenda.

    Brown has also had to play to Clegg’s tune, and his timing could not have been better. (Not that he had a choice the announcement had to be some time this afternoon) His Cabinet meeting, this evening, will also have difficulty keeping to the matter in hand, as others will be jockeying for the leadership role.

    So far Clegg has held the initiative.

    For anyone who complains that this is playing Politics….
    Politics is the name of this National interest Game. It is what Politicians actually get paid for, and why we vote for them.

  • I agree with Simon Lilley. You can be sure that propping up a Labour government – with an abysmal record on just about everything from illegal wars, civil rights and trashing the economy – will the the death knell of the LibDems, even if AV or PR comes in eventually. The votes will disappear to Greens and the smaller, single issue parties.

    Think of the long game. Get the AV referendum from the Tories, support them in the abolition of ID cards, reduce period of detention without trial, limitations on the DNA database etc. and in the other matters where you obviously are in close agreement. Labour do not understand civil liberties. In their world, the government rules the citizens.

  • hi, it’s the big trabe for Leb dem to deal with the labour, I think thay well play the graet game in the hestory and the only loser well be the leb dem ,to play with the con is more safe, as thear well giv more seutabel deel,(if you know how to press them ). pleas think allot.

  • How on earth can so many people who opposed the Iraq war, ID cards, rendition flights, etc etc etc possibly want to do a deal with Labour

  • We would not be propping up a Labour Government, we would be part of a coalition.
    It would be a NEW coalition government.
    The programme would be in place before it was formed. Unacceptable elements would not be included.

  • Labour are offering AV without a referendum. This means relying on Labour MPs to pass AV – do the majority of Labour MPs really want a change from FPTP? The Tories do not want AV but with a referendum it won’t be up to them. Ironically that could mean AV would be more likely via the Tory offer than the Labour one!

  • Ok let’s be a little honest…

    Is the leadership of the Lib Dem being clever by opening talks with Labour?
    I don’t think so, I think it might be that there is no choice, if the party leadership cannot get the 75% (43) MPs to agree to carry the coalition then what choice is there?

    It has bought an instant response by the Conservatives, a referendum on AV; yes it is far short of what the Lib Dem party wants but probably a better position than what was on offer originally.
    If there was a referendum the points to make sure of, majority only(over 50%) or a % (60%,75%) of the referendum vote because having a referendum and accepting the results are two different things, the Conservatives do not want any change at all.
    I am not sure it is in the interest of the country or the Lib Dem party to form a government with the Conservatives, like it or lump it neither sit well with either of the party voters, yes the Conservatives will grit their teeth and do so because of what it offers…The Lib Dem party will lose voters at the core level as shown on TV interviews and online posts, I do feel sorry for Nick as they will not forgive him or his advisors it will also be the last time protest votes go to Lib Dem party(if they were going to vote Tory they have already).
    Please do what is best for the country not just in the short term (our current situation), but consider the longer term as well, the future of UK politics this is a moment in politics that must be taken

  • I voted LibDem in this election. But never again if you do a deal with Labour, given the state they have left the country in, the fact that they have no leader, and the fragility of any such coalition. It would be held to ransom by nationalists and would go far to break an already fragile Union. More importantly, given that more of your seats are in Tory marginals than Labour, your parliamentary party would be back to fitting in a taxi again at the next election.

    Now that the Tories have offered a referendum on AV, there is no reason not to do a deal with them and plenty of reasons not to. The public has a right to be consulted on something as important as changing the electoral system. Yes, they have been the arrogant nasty party in the past, but they seem to have acted quite honourably so far in these – while Clegg seems to have been carrying out secret negotiations behind their backs with Dark Lord Mandelson. Would you trust anything he says?

    Former Labour Home Secretary John Reid has just appeared on BBC basically agreeing with the above, and firmly defending FPTP to boot. His argument is that such a fragile coalition would actually be bad for the Labour party in the long run.

    The essence of PR systems is that you get coalition politics – which is not on the basis of emotional rapport, but hard headed politics. otherwise you might as well all join the Labour Party.

    If the Tories are the nasty party, then the LDs are in danger of becoming the Double-dealing party. And once the electorate lose respect, you are electorally finished.

  • Sorry, a sentence above should read:
    Now that the Tories have offered a referendum on AV, there is no reason not to do a deal with them and plenty of reasons to do so.

  • If the two losing parties get into Number 10, the electorate should take to the streets and defeat what will be a sham of a government that does not have the moral right to govern.

  • Nick Clegg risks losing all the support he has gained during the election campaign. The electorate rejected Labour. Do you really think that the electorate will tolerate support of a discredited government, with a second unelected Prime Minister, and controlled by the unelected Mandelson and master of spin Alastair Campbell. Count your fingers after dealing with those two ! The person to come out of this shambles with the most integrity to date is David Cameron. Deal with labour, short term coalition , fail confidence vote, new election = political suicide!

  • I agree with Simon Lilley. You can be sure that propping up a Labour government – with an abysmal record on just about everything from illegal wars, civil rights and trashing the economy – will the the death knell of the LibDems, even if AV or PR comes in eventually. The votes will disappear to Greens and the smaller, single issue parties.

    Not really. You’re fogetting how fickle the electorate are. 13 years ago, the Tories were so unpopular there was talk that they would be destroyed as a party. This time, they got the most votes at the last election. That’s a changearound in 13 years.

    The other thing I’d say is that even if our vote share decreases a bit, and smaller parties rise up, I’d be happy with that. People who want to see PR should welcome the inclusion of a host of smaller parties, and we’d still get a few more MPs anyway because of our much fairer representation.

  • As an outsider who vaguely used to wonder why the Lib Dems never got anywhere, my interest was piqued by Clegg and the apparent surge in the polls that appeared to show that they could become the second party. So I decided to check out various blogs to see what sort of people they were, it was quite an eye opener – not so much for what the blog owners wrote but more from the comments, many of which appear to be from grass roots members.

    1. So, as I understand it, you believe that the people should have a referendum on an alternative voting system, unless the Labour Party offers to give you one without that annoyance.

    2. Your belief in integrity is such that it is OK to have good faith discussions with one party, whilst forgetting to mention to them that you’re also holding discussions with another party.

    3. You believe that all Tories are evil and under no circumstances can you have any coalition unless it is with the Labour Party. (substitute Tory for black, Asian etc and ask yourself if you are being a little bigoted).

    4. You believe that you should think of the Nation first, but you really want to do a supply thing so that you hope it will keep your hands clean and not cause issues with your Party.

    So, as most of you seem to be socialists anyway, why bother with the LD Party? After all, the LD Party only come about from bruised Labour egos and all of the main players from then are long gone.

  • Chris SH … spot on. Seems that way. Educated people should know that economics, sociology etc are not exact sciences. To go around hating and despising people because they hold different views on the best make up of a modern mixed economy is silly.

  • I have several Lib/Dem voting friends in one of the only LibDem seats in East Anglia. At the New Year we were talking about the coming election, the state of the country, the war and I voiced the fear of exactly what is happening now i.e. Gordon as PM because of another LibLab pact/coalition, happening. “Oh no, the LibDems would never do that!”

    Well it looks like I was right and they were wrong. I’ve just e-mailed them all “Told you…” So far I’ve had no replies — too ashamed I suppose.

  • Andrew Suffield 11th May '10 - 1:03am

    Well it looks like I was right and they were wrong. I’ve just e-mailed them all “Told you…”

    You don’t even know what will happen yet, and you’re already posturing about being right? I must be on the internet again.

  • Perhaps I can offer an unblinkered ( no disrespect is intended I am not an activist or a signed up party member with any one) view I would 7 times out ten vote tory This time I voted Lib Dem (In Clacton) 80% sure that the Maverick incumbant tory would win the seat (he did with53% of the vote and the lim dem a distant 3rd about 500 votes down from 05) My reasons for my vote firstly were practical I wanted to add to the overall Lim Dem total the second more of a hope I didnt want anyone with a huge majority.

    The fact i voted at all this time was a huge change of heart for me Because I was enraged by Expenses in fact I still am and its plain wrong that more MPs have not attracted the attention of the CPS

    The leaders debate and Nick Cleggs performance re engaged me

    To my way of thinking the GE result is the right one on so many levels but one reason that I would like to think should resonate with Lib Dem activists is a lib Con 3 /4/5/ year agreement gives you the chance to be in power
    which will counter for some time the charge your opponents always say in debate ” thats all very well and easy for you to say but you will never be in power to implement”

    I can see activists who have worked hard would be dissapointed with the result

    I can also understand activists suspisious of an allaince with the Torys

    But when the pain dissapates can you see in a way you have done your job well because for whatever reason this tory voted for you

    You lost 5 seats tragic perhaps to the MPs who are no longer but in a classic squeeze is that so bad I am old enough to remember your party with only 6 MPs

    doing a deal with labour might be instictive but for the electorate it would be so unpopular

    Please dont do it

  • There is no point getting a PR referendum by propping up Labour – you will lose it as voters decide that you lack the political maturity to share power sensibly and so maybe first past looks good after all.
    Think about how floating voters will behave – they are the ones who will crucify the liberal party if they get into bed with labour. It doesn’t matter that labour’s policies are closer to liberal ones anything like as much as the fact that labour are now seen as having little integrity or democratic instincts – it’s why the labour vote collapsed in the first place!
    A deal with labour will undo all the work of the past decades and make the liberal losses after 1923 look minor.
    I voted lib-dem this time instead of labour but both are currenly doing a fine PR job for the Tories!
    If your making me feel that way – seriously worry – no seriously, – WORRY!!

  • Prior to the election the LibDem party would have benefited greatly from an AV system as most peoples instinct would have been to make them second choice, as against a party that they feel strong opposition to, eg. the Labour or Tory parties. HOWEVER, following this debacle the instinct of most people will be to make their second choice anybody OTHER than the LibDem party. So this Horse Trading will almost certainly lead to an AV system but the beneficiaries will almost certainly be: UKIP, the Green Party or BNP ! A rainbow coalition will be short term and the electorate will punish what they regard as the ‘losers’ of the last election with a Tory landslide. People are not just sick of Gordon Brown but of his whole dishonest spin obsessed party, this is a Government that in 13 years has done more damage to this country than any other in my living memory. Getting into bed with them will do long term damage to LibDem prospects.

  • Hello, this is the first time I’ve posted on here but I have been visiting, and I’m mainly doing so because my friend is next to me and wants to ask a question or two. He doesn’t have a computer at home and doesn’t visit any political blogs, but I go on many.

    1. He wants to know why Gordon Brown can stay until August, or whenever, if the Labour party got less votes and seats than the Conservatives? If he does then its because of your party.
    2. What is the point of the Labour and Lib Dem parties, they both seem the same to him?
    3. Will sinn Fein be ‘coming’ in with you and Labour?
    4. For 13 years the system seemed alright or surely it would have been sorted out. Why now? Is it because Labour don’t want to go?
    5. Why vote if this is the result.
    6. Who takes over from Brown? Will they be another unelected Prime Minister?

    My friend lost his decorating business 3 years ago and he says he can ‘t pay his bills anymore and lives in a one bedroom flat with his daughter, and is classed as over occupied. He voted, but won’t tell me who, and he says most people voted for change but everything is the same and he thinks it will get worse!

    Thanks,

    Laney

  • Both Labour and Tory’s are offering the AV system, it Is marginally better than the FPTP But it is in no way a proportional system. It jut takes into account second and third preferences. It is not what the Liberal Democrats are asking for

    The STV system is proportional on a regional basis, but not necessarily on a national one.

    According to the voting reform society the results of the recent poll would have been as follows.
    C L LD SNP PC Others

    FPTP 307 258 57 6 3 19
    AV 281 262 79 5 3 20
    STV 246 207 162 13 4 18

    As you can see the LD, SNP and PC would have received proportional seats under STV but not under the other systems… However AV may serve as an interim system.

    None of the systems would have made the formation of a coalition any easier or more difficult in the present circumstances…[b] however Under STV any coalition so formed would be stronger, clear cut and more stable, as the resultant majority would be greater. [/b]

    What ever system had been used the LIB Dems would have to had made a choice between what was on offer. They are reacting to the situation given to them by the voters… It is not optional.

  • Hi Laney

    1) Gordon Brown remains Prime minister till he resigns, If he can form another government he continues.
    This is what our constitution says….

    2) He should read their manifestos and philosophies. unless he educates himself he will never know the difference between any party.

    3)Sinn fein do not take up their seats… they do not attend parliament.

    4)The system has never been Fair, There never has been a party strong enough to change it.

    5)Voting created this result It would have been a hung parliament under any system. (read my post above for greater detail)

    6) There never has been an elected prime minister.
    In this country we only vote for MP’s

    Things will indeed get tougher before they get better, which ever government is in place.
    We as a country are heavily in debt. If we were a business,like your friend, we would be out of business.
    We must pay our debts, and turn the country round. Only then will things improve.

    ..

  • The thing is, he is no longer bothered and he says he isn’t voting again! He can’t get his head round the situation that Labour messed up Iraq, REALLY messed up Afghanistan and also sold off all our gold at a give away price and your party are going to keep Labour in.

    And personally I think Gordon will try to cling on as PM, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a ‘terror alert’ soon and cobra will have to act decisively!

    Apparently my friend has just seen Ian Paisley jnr on the TV and wants to know will he be offered some kind of deal?

    I’ve explained to him how Labour only got 5.8% more of the vote that the Lib Dems and I think he realises the situation a bit better, but he still thinks this is our ‘hanging chad moment’.

  • Hi Laney
    No one sold off our Gold in recent times…. we have not been on the gold standard for years and years.
    Gordon has already said he is going…
    Ian Paisley jnr. will be offered nothing by a Lab/Lib Dem Coalition. He supports the Tory’s
    Terror alerts do not effect governments.
    It is certainly a moment that can change our perception of politics for a very long time.

  • I think 10 years is still pretty recent.

    Yes, my perception has definitely changed! Why bother?

    My story: I was ran over in 1995, breaking some vertebrae in my lower back. From 1999 – 2005/6 I was a carer for both parents, with Cancer and Alzheimer’s. I got an extra £20.00 carer allowance for each parent on top of disability payments. Earlier this year I qualified as a Pest Controller, it cost me almost £1000 so I had to virtually starve for 3 months as I could not get any financial help. I am on Buprenorphine patches for the pain which means , as I’ve already found out, I can be classed as a Health & Safety risk so getting a job will be a ‘challenge’.

    Why bother indeed!

  • The UK ended the Gold standard in 1931

  • Terry

    To pick up some of your points:

    1) He did have the option of resigning and asking HM to invite the Cons to try and govern. That is also in the constitution, you shouldn’t try and muddy the water by inferring it was the only thing he could do.

    2) Absolutely agree – people should stop being tribal and make up their mind on the options presented.

    3) Not yet – there is a first time for everything – who would have believed that Paisley Snr would share power with Sinn Fein and to have, what seemed, like a good relationship with their leadership.

    4) There have been lots of parties strong enough to change it, Labour could have changed it quite easily. What you probably mean is that the LD Party has never been strong enough to change it.

    5) But it is likely that it will be more common under any system other than FPTP, regardless of the rights/wrongs of each system, you should ensure that the pro/con arguments of each are given equal weight.

    6) No there hasn’t. But the X-Factor contests have led people to expect that the leader on show was the one that they would get, regardless of reality.

    It will be tough times ahead. What concerns me greatly is that in order for the LD/Lab to get a workable majority, they are going to have to do deals with the nationalists. Plaid have already been on the radio saying that they would only entertain siding with any such government if funding for Wales is safeguarded. I would assume that the other nationalists will have the same demands.

    What this means for the English is that they would have to bear the full brunt of any such cuts, it would be extremely unfair and would probably hasten the end of the UK, or at least result in a fully devolved England. The likes of Wales have done very nicely out of things like the Barnett Formula and the move of civil servant posts from London. They now need to show that they are not spongers and willing to face the pain as well. Before anyone screams little Englander at me, I should point out that I live in Wales (Anglesey), so I’m about as far from England as it is possible to be when in Wales.

  • Chris-sh

    Comments noted…
    1) of course there were other options, however he had first Dibs. Cleggs intervention somewhat limited his choices. As it turns out the agenda has been dictated by Clegg, which was not in the rule book.
    3)They would need to change their own rule and recognise and swear allegiance to the sovereignty of the Queen, ( the reason they have never been able to take their seats.)
    4)I should have said there never has been a party with the desire and strength to introduce it.
    5) I did not discuss the likelihood, simply that with the way the electorate voted there would not have been another result. Under a PR system one would expect very few outright wins and more participating parties.
    6) the Uk electorates understanding of politics is indeed very limited.

    Perhaps the nationalist problem could be best solved by making them Scottish and Welsh secretaries. The ramifications of that could be very interesting.(and not at all obvious)

  • Strange reading all this. Do the conservative/ labour blogetariat have jobs to do? Or very benevolent employers. I think we should be told….

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