Sunday, May 09, 2010

Hung Out to Dry

Gordo, Cammy, Cleggie

The people have spoken. Unfortunately, they have spoken with a forked tongue.

Gordo has probably had it. Cammy is on the phone to the removal folks, but can't give them a date to get his stuff. Clegg with the extra leg is morosely holding the wolf by the ears and dare not let go.

Analysis. Gordo will have to go. Why? Nobody except Gordo thinks he can do a deal that leaves him occupying Number 10. Nobody except Gordo even wants him to. He's finished, but does that mean that the Labour Party under another leader is also finished? That's not clear. It's possible that another Labour leader could emerge who could work with the Lib Dems. It's possible, but it would have to happen very fast. Like now.

Cammy looks like he's in a good spot. He's not. He didn't win. There was a big swing to the Tories but not big enough. He can make a case for almost enough MP's but, as the old saying goes, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Some commentators even keep repeating the falsehood that he won the popular vote. He didn't. More people voted for other parties than voted for him. He also must get into government at almost any price. Anything less and his days are numbered, and the number is very small.

Clegg with the extra leg looks like he in the strongest position of the three. He's actually in the worst! His vote may have held up but he lost a crucial number MP's in the election. He's not even holding a convincing balance of power. His shibboleth of proportional representation looks as far away as it ever was. His room for manoeuvre is very small.

So, where do we go from here?

That, as they say, is the 64,000 dollar question.

Pundits are adamant that a Lib Dem/Conservative is most likely. I think the pundits are wrong. Clegg has only one chance to get some sort of proportional representation and this is it. If he bottles it now – he's had it for the opportunity may never arise again. The Tories will never agree to PR. They know it would mean a permanent Lib/Lab majority. Cammy could not agree. If the Labour Party can ditch Gordo fast, and are serious about offering PR Clegg could not resist the temptation to have a go. If it all went pear-shaped he could at least say, “I tried.” It's hard to see any other win-win situation for him. A deal with the Tories without something akin to PR will so anger the activists that he might have to resign.

Get to the bookies and bet on a Lab/Lib Dem deal.

That's my best bet.

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