Cracks, splits and fissures….

May 14, 2010

I’m not sure I’m ready for months and possibly years of pundits spotting evidence of microscopic fissures in the LibCon coalition; it’s depressing, invariably disappointing and counter-productive.

Already the Independent has led with a “First cracks in coalition” piece and there will be many to follow in a similar vein. There are enough recalcitrant Tory backbenchers and Lib-Dem consciences about, only too happy to play the Grand Old Duke of York for their time in the spotlight, that the political significance of such wishful thinking will be missed.

Even Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy found the temptation impossible to resist when he led a piece on protests about Theresa May’s appointment, with;-

“A potentially fractious split has already opened up between Conservatives and Libdems over the issue of equality.”

Oh come on. “Cracks”, “splits”.

We’re not talking about some obscure Trotskyist tendency meeting in the upstairs room of an inner-city pub countering central committee edicts from genuine ideological conviction. These are politicians who already have their hands dirty; in fact they’re up to their elbows in it. LibCon MPs willing, never mind able, to bring down this coalition can probably be counted on a mittened hand.

And it’s directly into the hands of Clegg and Cameron that this approach will play.

Both are new young leaders about whom the public is uncertain. Had there not been that uncertainty neither would be where they find themselves. Both are untested. Cameron sees himself as the heir to Blair but his lack of a Clause IV moment leaves his authority questionable. Clegg has a third of his parliamentary grouping now sitting in positions they didn’t dare dream of.

Neither would find anything more helpful than to emerge from the first period of their coalition with their reputations enhanced by their tough but successful handling of intra-party dissent for the greater good of the strong and stable government they’ve offered the country. The recalcitrants sounding off before they’ve even heard the first Queens Speech seem happy to oblige; writing their own names in the Whips’ black books even before parliament is in session.

Anyone opposing the coalition should be concerned to stop any narrative about the effectiveness of its leaders gaining traction. Cameron made the wrong call on the credit crunch and has flip-flopped since, but despite a poor campaign and election result he played a good hand well to reach No.10.

We should acknowledge this, but deny his legitimacy.

He lost the election just like the other two main parties and is as much an ‘unelected’ PM as Gordon Brown was because he failed to lead his party to a majority in the country.

Shifting attention from his actual failures to so-called cracks and splits that, if they exist at all, will count for nothing in the long run is premature, mistaken and bad politics.


One Response to “Cracks, splits and fissures….”

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