Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tory or Labour: Why the Right Decision Was Tory?

I have been getting a lot of email from constituents from both sides of the divide over the argument of which coalition, and indeed none, the Liberal Democrats should have entered into. So I'd like to make the following comment on the goings on of the last five days and especially the last 24 hours or so.

I now am watching scenes of Gordon Brown resigning while we do not yet now if the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives have agreed upon the decision as William Hague only left the discussions after Brown entered the Palace.

One phrase that grated with me when it first came out what the Labour negotiating team saying they were defending their manifesto. That crated not of coalition but of hanging on indeed attempting to take over. It appears that the Conservatives have understood the new politics better, they have made concessions, indeed this evening some of their MPs have said that some of their policies which they didn't like could be got rid of to be replaced with Lib Dem ones.

One key thing is the sustainability of either alliance. The Labour one was tenuous and that was clear, there was no way that Labour could guarantee any vote on any major legislation, Labour MPs in Scotland were even ruining any chance of a fall back with the SNP by mocking them at every turn, which was just wrong. The Labour deal and every step they appear to have made, even the resignation f Gordon before agreement is formally met by the others appears to be doing everything to undermine the governance of our country.

As I blogged earlier my own Labour MP have even been taking it out on constituents. Labour appear to be trying to get the people to make up their minds again as soon as possible rather than achieve any sense of stability towards the national interest.

Anyone who will know me will attest that one thing I am not is a right wing member of the Liberal Democrats. For me to earlier today to say that a deal with the Conservatives was the right, proper and only thing to do was a big step. But it is the thing to do but the best for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, for Scotland and the United Kingdom. It will undoubtedly be hard for many of you to understand or to take, I'd welcome you to email me if you disagree and I will answer your enquires personally.


Anonymous said...

Why did Labour refuse to engage in serious negotiations?

1) Self-interest: having got us into this mess, Labour have made the calculation that standing jeering on the sidelines while others try to sort it out will rebound to their medium-term electoral advantage.

2) Self-interest (again): significant elements of the Labour Party object strongly to a fair voting system; democracy just isn't their bag, unfortunately.

3) Tribalism: many Scottish Labour MPs are violently sick at the very thought of having to work with the SNP, in however limited a capacity.

Two counts of Self-interest and one of Tribalism; so much for the 'progressive' Labour Party.

Grahamski, Falkirk said...


Could you perhaps deal with all those voters who voted Libdem tactically to keep the tories out?

Many voters entrusted the Libdems with their votes for the specific purpose of keeping the tories out of power.

Do you accept that a significant proportion of your votes came from a specifically anti-tory perspective?

If you do, what on earth are you are playing at?

Stephen Glenn said...

Hi Grahamski,

I'm not sure if your comment is relating to locally or nationally. I will attempt to answer both questions.

Locally I would think that it is unlikely a significant proportion of my votes came from the anti-tory perspective seeing as there were three parties ahead of them locally. So therefore I'd think that it was based on the positives that were being offered my myself and Lib Dem manifesto.

As for nationally, we have kept a purely Tory Government out of implimenting all the regressive plans that it had. In place of many of these we will be able to enact many liberal and progressive policies. The counter argument of why we did not support a progressive alliance is that there would have been very little hope of implementing anything. Very little chance of such an alliance sticking together for long enough to stabalise our economy. Labour MPs were already briefing against such an alliance while talks with Labour were going on. Some had even said it wouldn't work on election night and others in Scotland were alienating the SNP who may have been required to act as a buffer.

Also the Labour proposal was only on their terms, defending THEIR manifesto not a coming together of ideas. Even the the concessions that were being made to the Liberal Democrats were only in Principle and not in actuality.

Of course the end settlement is far from ideal, I will admit that myself. There are a number of issues I feel strongly about that are not in there, and others that are watered down. However, there is much that the Conservatives have had to give up or take up which to me means it is worth it.

Plus we are not facing the uncertainty politically or financially about another UK election in months which would not have been helpful for our infant economic recovery.

Anonymous said...

It may be true that the Liberal Democrats will suffer some electoral damage in the short-to-medium term. So be it. We are not in politics to further the sectional interests of our own party, but to make government as liberal as possible. Will the UK government be more liberal as a direct result of our willingness to work with the Blue Beast? Yes, it clearly will; and we should be proud of the fact. Party tribalism is not our sole concern: leave that to "progressive" Labour.


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