Friday, 7 May 2010

People will forgive Clegg if he backs Brown

The current line, yet more scaremongering in my mind, is that the country won't accept Brown staying on as PM.

Bollocks.

If it turns out as is being reported that Tories are going to stubbornly refuse electoral reform then the ball is in Labour's court. Do they want Lib Dems to support a Tory minority government and hope for a better share and another hung parliament next election, or do they want to give PR?

If they do the former then Clegg may lose a few chattering classes votes, a few Labour voters that should still be voting Labour. But this election has showed us just how many people choose the Tories...they, the significant proportion...will not feel ire towards Clegg for giving their party the platform, if not implicit support.

But with the latter we'd return to a Labour government, likely with a short package of government intentions that would lead to a referendum and then new general election (should the result be "no FPTP"). Here, apparently, the public would riot and the Lib Dem support would be forever lost.

Again, I say this is bollocks.

For a start the 45+ age group that mostly supports the Tories are not the rioting kind. Second, it is impossible to conceive of a situation where a Lib/Lab agreement is made based on reform will come out badly for the Lib Dems.

"We helped Labour get power again, yes, but only to secure the change that is so desperately needed in our corrupt electoral system, and out of date parliament. We gave YOU the choice over your future with a referendum and now we're in a situation where everyone's vote matters all across the country. When we go to the polls, you can punish us for daring to reform while the Conservatives would not, but I hope you'll recognise the benefits that the difficult decision to side with the Labour party has had"

Objectively...is that really going to play badly come next election? No...I think not.