What is happening today, then?


At midnight last night Parliament was dissolved. Members of Parliament are expected to clear their desks and retreat to their constituencies, if they are re-standing, or to go and help new candidates.

But the country is not without Government. Ministers will continue to hold their posts right until a new Government is formed after the election, so we have the unusual sight, for Lib Dems, of some of our own remaining in power throughout the short election campaign.

The Prime Minister  will visit the Queen this morning to mark the end of this Parliament. Nick Clegg will also go to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the Queen and to chair the final Privy Council of this Parliament.

The election campaign proper begins!

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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  • One thing that starts today is that David Cameron starts “squatting” in Downing St. I think that was the term used by the media when Gordon Brown was there in May 2010.

    Given their fair minded and accurate approach to reporting news, I have no doubt that the Murdoch press and their close associates in the BBC (many of whom were actually working for Murdoch in 2010) will soon start to condemn Cameron for “squatting” in Downing St.

    I was curious to note that around noon today the BBC had hired a helicopter to film Cameron taking the two minute limousine journey to Buckingham House and back to Downing St for the purpose of what was little more than a Party Political Broadcast funded by the taxpayer.

    He then stood on the steps of Downing St to make a party political speech on behalf of the Conservative Party.

    How interesting that when he wants to appear “an ordinary bloke in his country kitchen” the BBC send a friendly old Etonian off to the Oxfordshire countryside to film him in one of his many homes. The BBC man evens holds his lettuce for him.

    Yet when Cameron wants to look all important and Prime Ministerial at the beginning of an election a BBC film crew is on hand to mount a helicopter and film a two minute journey around Westminster.

    Is the BBC charter due for renewal soon ?

  • And because Nick Clegg & Co. decided that it would be a good idea to stay in government right through the election, the Liberal Democrats are effectively neutered, unable to put forth a wholly independent point of view.

    The real tragedy for the Lib Dems is that this decision has hardly generated any discussion or response from Liberal Democrat members, and went by almost without it being noticed that the decision had been made at all. I hope it will not be forgotten in the future that there were other options, and they went unpursued.

  • Philip Thomas 30th Mar '15 - 6:09pm

    We can resign from the government any time we like. But why should we let the Tories fill the ministries currently occupied by Lib Dems for a month?

    However, I do worry about one technical point, which hasn’t come up because no one has predicted the election result this way: if the Election results in the obvious coalition being Tories+Lib Dems, technically it is arguable the government simply continues in office. This would mean no negotiations and no Special conference to vote on staying in coalition with the Tories….

  • In such an (imaginary) government, the proportions of seats would be quite different, and the Tories would no doubt demand a larger share; Nick would be demoted to Crumpets Minister and Lord President of the Tea Service, Vince would be Secretary of State for Boot Polish, and everybody else would be Ministers of Seatwarming.

    There is absolutely no use in continuing in government for a month — there is not a jot of good Lib Dem ministers can do, and having to defend the indefensible hamstrings the entire election effort.

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