The Dave blues

We were happy then…

The Knife loathes nearly all the Liberal Democrats and what they stand for, and in the interests of consistency, I loathed them when they were plain Liberals, lead by gay dog killer Jeremy Thorpe, then the completely insufferable vain crazed abortionist, David Steel. Just for the record.

Although the vacuous Cleggy is not quite as hateable as Cable or Huhne, he is effectively useless, a cipher who provides a means to majority government, and if he gets his way on boundary reform, not in government for long.

Dave, on the other hand seems likeable enough to me, though many disagree, and he’s skilfully lead a rickety patch up for two years, but sadly, it now seems that he would have been better forming a minority administration, rather than a coalition, bold though it was at the time. Who knows what the inevitable early subsequent election would have produced? Certainly not a Labour majority.

How to sum up the current state of affairs? Despite claims to the contrary, I cannot believe that the public will ever see Ed ****wit as a PM in waiting. That doesn’t rule out him getting in by default of course. This post is therefore to quote Iain Martin below, who has provided the best summary that I’ve seen, at this stage. It’s not optimistic, but I actually think that as the current situation is untenable for long, something interesting is on the horizon:

Actually, the paucity of convincing measures contained in the Queen’s Speech indicates that David Cameron very much “gets it”, “it” being the reality of his situation. He has made a practical, even cynical, calculation about what is possible in coalition. His government front-loaded almost all of its important legislation, on education and welfare, and expected by now to be enjoying the first political fruits of a recovering economy. It has not worked out that way.

Instead, the Government is stuck, out of ammo on the economy and apparently incapable, thanks to the compromises of coalition, from doing very much about it. I find Cameron’s cautious response deeply depressing, when there is so much the Government could be doing on the economy which it isn’t. But it is explicable.

The Coalition sticks together, for now, not because it is united by some great vision or mission. It is “dealing with the debt”, say its leaders, which it is doing by actually putting up the debt from £1tr to £1.4tr. Nick Clegg even said at the tractor factory relaunch in Essex that on debt the Coalition would “wipe the slate clean”, a turn of phrase that indicates either horrifying ignorance of economics on the part of the Deputy Prime Minister or an assumption that everyone else is very stupid indeed. Failing in its declared mission – to deal with the debt and get the economy moving – the Coalition remains only because those at the top of the two parties fear the alternatives. It is sticking together because it is sticking together, even though there is now very little in it for the rest of us.

One caveat. If Greece exits the euro and the eurozone economy explodes we will enter a terrifying period of uncertainty. I’m sure Cameron will then think that the concept of coalition is useful for one last spin: “stability in a crisis,” “working to get Britain through it”, “must pull together,” “rolling up our sleeves,” “straining every sinew”. Other than that, the Coalition is done.

I’m beginning to hope so.

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