LibLink … Stephen Tall on hung Parliaments

It’s a mark of a good piece of analysis that it is still sound even if the particular news story that prompted its publication doesn’t stand up for long. And so it is with Stephen’s piece over on Comment is Free, triggered by the Guardian story – firmly rubbished by the party – about the party’s attitude towards coalitions.

So although The Guardian story has been ridiculed – after all the paper has variously reported that the party wants a coalition with the Tories, wants a coalition with Labour or doesn’t want a coalition at all – Stephen’s three tests for the party’s approach to the hung Parliament question still apply:

There are three crucial responsibilities of a party leader in the months leading up to an election. First, they must keep their party both united and motivated: it is activists’ campaigning footslog on the doorsteps which will determine the final result. Second, they must crystallise for the voters what it is the party stands for, and project that message loud and clear. And third, they need to help the party to win the maximum number of votes and seats possible.

What’s the answer to these tests? Read the piece to find out.

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  • Anthony Aloysius St 15th Feb '10 - 10:34pm

    “So although The Guardian story has been ridiculed – after all the paper has variously reported that the party wants a coalition with the Tories, wants a coalition with Labour or doesn’t want a coalition at all …”

    Hang on a bit! It’s all very well for the party to “ridicule” the Guardian story, but this morning people here were queueing up to say that there was nothing new in the article, and that it had been made clear long ago that there would be no coalition.

    One person quoted one of Nick Clegg’s own speeches to that effect:
    “Will I support a coalition with Labour? NO! Will I support a coalition with the Tories? NO!”

    That alone would be sufficient justification for the Guardian’s headline. But in any case, I just don’t believe that the Guardian’s political editor simply made up the story, or imagined that senior members of the party had said what they were quoted as saying.

    It’s no good trying to blame the media for the confusion over this issue. Clearly, the confusion is coming from the party. Look at Stephen Tall’s own reaction to the party announcement today:
    “Perhaps the party should outsource its hung parliament strategy to the Grauniad’s reporters, Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt – they’ve made a more coherent job of it than the party has today.”

  • Karl Osborne 13th Mar '10 - 1:51am

    Dear Stephen

    It is no surprise that Clegg has praised Thatcher’s legacy and the good job she did privatising our public assetts to allow big business to make profits and praised the job she did on the unions, to allow employers to drive down wages and squash workers;’ rights. Nick Clegg supported the Orange group, which supported free market polices.

    The real left MPs will be those standing for TUSN, the Trade union and Socialist Coalition at the next election. Dave nellist will stand on the platfrom, A Workers’ MP on a Workers’ Wage. Just as he did as a Labout MP, before they became New labour, a big business party.

    Yours sincerely

    Karl Osborne

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