Michael Gove encourages people to vote Liberal Democrat

From yesterday’s Hansard:

Michael Gove: … In Liberal Democrat-controlled Hull, any student in receipt of education maintenance allowance also receives a travel grant to cope with the full cost—

Mr David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) (Lab): They won’t now.

Michael Gove: I suspect they won’t if a Labour council takes power, but if people are wise enough to vote Liberal Democrat at the next local election in Hull—[Hon. Members: “Oh.”]—or for the Conservatives in any seat where we are well placed to defeat Labour, they will have a council that is fulfilling its statutory duty.

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  • Gove as a cheerleader.

    It’s a fine example of how far, and how fast this party has totally lost it’s way.


  • I have to agree with Terry Gee.

    Liberal Democrats should feel very, very worried.

    That one of the 3 most right-wing members of Cameron’s inner circle offers this isn’t a help – it’s a knife through the heart of any Lib Dem voter who still believes it is a left of centre, progressive party.

    There is now no doubt in my mind that there will be a merger between the Coalition parties sometime before the next election.

  • @ Terry Gee
    I don’t understand. The policy is an example of how far and fast the party has lots its way, or Michael Gove encouraging people to vote LD where his own party cannot win is a sign of the fall? Or both? Because if it is just Gove’s recommendation, well, it is not even that big of a deal.

    As nationally there’s a coalition of course either party would prefer the other side do well – even in local elections because it soothes their partners worries – where they themselves are unlikely to make an impact, because while part of the same government losing out to the opposition is worse than losing out to your coalition partners, even if they are gritted teeth partners.

    But it only lasts for the length of the coalition; at the moment Gove has to accept some LD things but can reassure himself that most of the things they disagree on will not become governmental policy so it is safe to wish them well up to the next General Election, but when that comes suddenly all LD ideas are in danger of being implented (technically at any rate, even if the LD vote were to return to GE levels and beyond we all know there’s no danger of the LDs being the largest party), so he would not wish them well at that point.

    The party hasn’t fallen(well, this is not evidence of it at least – u-turned policies one cannot accept would be that I suspect); Gove was just being pragmatic.

  • I see no Iceberg 20th Jan '11 - 9:40am

    Those who saw the clip will know that this wasn’t a deliberate leaking of a strategy but Gove under pressure, as usual, letting his mouth get him into trouble, as usual.

    And this is only going to harden the Conservative backbenchers contempt for Cameron’s ‘play dead’ strategy after the Oldham humiliation. Anyone trying to convince Conservative councillors and activists of the wisdom of this talk before May is going to instigate a backlash. Cameron is already beginning to see the results with David Davis outflanking him on prisoner votes as well as a good number of Tory Peers deciding that if the AV vote were to be delayed then so what ?

    Gove was also terrible this morning on Today trying to convince us all that he knew better than teachers while setting up a panel without a single comprehensive teacher on it. This is now the pattern for the Conservatives reforms. Say how wonderful the public service is and then ignore everything those who actually work in it, day in and day out, say.

  • Nick (notClegg) 20th Jan '11 - 9:47am

    The Cameroons are trying to cuddle us to death.

    Gov’e comments in the House yesterday are consistent with his patronising remarks about LDs on Question Time last week.

  • Is this some strange strategy by Conservatives, no not to help Liberal Democrats but in some perverse reverse psychology, my first thought was yeah they are in government together but then that nagging itch of a knife between the shoulder blades.

    The surface detail is blinding, the undercurrent or hidden agenda, is this a plan to scupper AV or is it to make yellow tinted so blue there is no choice but to surrender.
    I did say perverse, and you do have to really think about it, but I am sure it is not, it would be pure fantasy wouldn’t it.

    Oh don’t worry, I am wrong, no one is that underhand.

  • my first thought was yeah they are in government together but then that nagging itch of a knife between the shoulder blades.
    No sense in deliberately getting the knives out this early – the time for that is probably 12 months out from a GE (if they are to last the full term), all ‘well, we’ve being doing ok up to now, but now our partners are being unreasonable and preventing us from achieving the best solution. Caveat: still better than Labour’. That’ll be a difficult tightrope to walk.

  • Gove is not quite one of the ‘right-wing’ lot. He is one of the Cameroonians [therefore occassionally not too bad] and is just a little old-fashioned (but learning and frequently changing his mind) in relation to education.

    That is why slips like this will p*ss off the actual right-wingers like Tebbit, Fox, Hague, Davis and Redwood. I wouldn’t be surprised at this rate if the Whigs don’t split from the Tories again. We’ll end up with four parties if things go on… Tories, Whigs, Radicals, Socialists 🙂

  • @Cuse

    What a load of rubbish.

    “There is no doubt in my mind….”
    Well there’s none in mine either. The idea of a merger is laughable so that you would stake your entire mental wellbeing on a statement by Gove makes me fear for your whimsical outlook.

  • Rich.

    Whimsical outlook? Crikey.

    For all your considered (!) opinion, you express anger based upon your own biaised view with not a signle shred of counter-argument.

    The Coalition will merge into one, Liberal Conservative Party by 2014. Clegg and Farron can say all they like denying it. But with electoral wipe-out a certainty – and Cameron betting the House (and economy of the Country) on lowering taxes before 2015 as being a sure-fire election winner, make no mistake.

    There will be a merger.

  • oldDinosaur 20th Jan '11 - 1:05pm

    The poisonous life support given by the Tories is slowly killing the party within.

    I fully expected to see the party subsumed within Conservative HQ with us all wondering how it happened.

    There is no distinction left between the two parties in the mind of the average electorate. You couldn’t fit a ciggarette paper between Dave and Nick as far as they are concerned.

    It’s a very sad time to be a Lib-Dem at the beginning of the end for this historic party.

  • dave thawley 20th Jan '11 - 1:07pm

    After reading this I want to puke up.

    Also in the sun yesterday (not my regular read) it showed that in an opinion poll Clegg was 2nd favourite (behind Hague) to step into camerons shoes as PM. – Trouble for us was that it was a poll of con supporters. This sums it up, we are no offically the little conner party and I, like most other truly liberal people am going to resign my membership.

  • dave thawley 20th Jan '11 - 1:09pm

    I like the previous posters can see us becoming part of the con party – good work Cameron and Clegg for wreckking british liberalism for a long time to come.

  • This Lib Dem has absolutely no desire to see the Tories do well in the locals (or in any other election). My only interest is in seeing the Lib Dems do well. Where I live (Kingston upon Thames) it is a Tory / Lib Dem battleground locally. The Tories doing well would mean the Lib Dems doing badly. Labour are out of the picture.
    As they are in my area (Labour have 2 out of 98 seats). What I meant to say was that in the interests of the Coalition it is better is neither party starts getting worried and anxious to pull the plug early – the reasoning behind tories wishing LD well in OES – I didn’t mean to suggest ideologically the LD want the Tories to do well, but that if the Tories are murdered in the polls in Labour/Tory marginals, it puts more pressure on those elements of the Tories who are reasonably happy with implementing some Liberal policies from the hardliners. I am sorry if I was not clear.

  • oldDinosaur 20th Jan '11 - 1:33pm

    @Alex Macfie

    It’s already happening now – “Labour is the enemy now” is the joint rallying call.

    I have spoken to friends who said that in an AV vote they would go for Conservative candidates as the next preference and will already be voting tactically to conservative local council members.

    I feel heart-broken over whats happened to us.

  • We don’t care about which of the other two parties does better. I expect the Lib Dems to campaign in local elections on LOCAL issues, and form whatever LOCAL coalitions made possible by the LOCAL electoral arithmetic and LOCAL party relations.
    This sort of thinking is one reason I tend more toward LD – I feel they are more willing to co-operate for the greater good and get at least some liberal policies on the table, and without instinctive animosity for any one political faction overriding that fact. I am sure that somewhere a Con-Lab council is working for the local area, but it is a lot harder for them.

  • Gove isn’t right wing. His education policies are some of the most left-wing in a generation. He is fanatically elevating knowledge in a way that previously was only seen in Socialist Cuba, Russia and China.

  • dave thawley 20th Jan '11 - 1:56pm

    @Alex, As a liberal dem (at the moment) I totally agree, I hope that every tory loses their position so that we can get progressiveness at least at the grass roots and if its a choice between Tory and Labour I hope labour win.

  • I voted Lib Dem at the last General Election, if the Tories start making these noises I will not at the next.

    Why ?

    Simple, because it will show that whatever the outcome the Lib Dems will work with the Tories rather than look for the best (or in the case of 2010 only realistic) option. I supported the decision to form a coalition as it was the only game in town but if a decision is taken before the next election to effectively fight as one entity (whatever the public say) count me out. It could in effect mean the “Coalition of the Losers” which would have been the result if a Labour Lib Dem et al coalition had been formed last May, and therefore was not an option…

  • Ed The Snapper 21st Jan '11 - 7:05am

    The LibDems are making the mistake of entering into a situation where they will always be seeking a coalition with the Conservative Party. Big mistake. It alienates about one-third of voters.

  • Michael Gove: … In Liberal Democrat-controlled Hull, any student in receipt of education maintenance allowance also receives a travel grant to cope with the full cost—

    Does that mean that with the scrapping of EMA the sudents lose their travel concession?

  • oldDinosaur 21st Jan '11 - 1:15pm

    Oops – Formatting askew – Revised comment is below

    You just have to read the analysis on Ashcrofts site to see the damage that is being thrust upon the party.

    “The level of tactical voting is very clear. Only just over half (55%) of those who voted Liberal Democrat at the general election stayed with the party last Thursday; 29% went to Labour. Those who voted Conservative in 2010 were mainly responsible for keeping the Lib Dem share looking respectable: fewer than half of those who supported the Conservatives in May did so again at the by-election; a third of them voted for Elwyn Watkins this time.”

    When I see Clegg nodding and cosying up to Cameron is turns my stomach. So much so, that what may be of Interest, to some at any rate, is that I started writing “thrust upon our party” in the first sentence and then changed it as I realised something, that a not inconsiderable few have been saying on here.

    It’s not OUR party any more. Well it’s no longer mine any longer. I feel utterly betrayed and dispondent

  • Alex Macfie 21st Jan '11 - 5:09pm

    [continuing my 1:27 pm comment]
    … My MP is Zac (spit) Goldsmith. I would vote OMRLP above the Tories in an AV contest. But there are places where Labour thinks it has a divine right to be elected. I might think differently about my preferences then…

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