Category Archives: Charles Kennedy

Milliband Pragmatism


I believe that the first duty of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Parliament is to oppose. But is it right to oppose measures some of which you approve in order to get the other lot out? Lenin would have had no difficulty. His objective was the overthrow capitalism and its replacement  with a socialism. To hell with sensible social democratic reforms and shoot the bankers. You know the kind of thing. Long live the Revolution. What approach will Labour under Ed Milliband do?

Ed has already given us clues. The Coalition has come up with a Constitutional Bill , one of whose objectives is to cement Coalition rule for five years and to make it more difficult for the Coalition parties to win next time by changing the electoral system and gerrymandering the constituencies. In his Conference speech Ed told us that he is in favour of electoral reform and   will support AV in the proposed Referendum. How about changes to the Benefit System? Ed says he will support sensible changes to reform Benefit Entitlement  and so get more people into work. But would he support these changes if accompanied by an end to universal benefits, to Child Allowances, and the Winter Fuel Allowance, for example, to enable expensive reform to go ahead? Can you have one without the other? Ed is watching the progress of the Hutton enquiry into pay differentials, and no doubt talking to him (Why not? They must know each other well.) If Hutton comes up with sensible proposals, we might infer that they would have Labour support. 

These examples show that Ed is not RED in any meaningful sense. He is in that that tepid category of social reformers, of which I am one, who is prepared to support policies which realise social democratic aspirations. And he is a pragmatic with it.

Labour support for sound social democratic polices is to be welcomed as a contribution to good governance. What else could we desire? Might it not encourage alliance building acroos the floor of the House? Might it become more difficult for the Far Right to move the Coalition in reactionary directions and moderate the worst of the cuts? Might it in some circumstances encourage Lib Dems to vote against socially divisive policies that they abhor? Might cross party voting become the norm in this Parliament? Can some Lib Dems join with Labour and vote out damaging cuts across the floor of the House?

Moderation such as this is to be welcomed. It will be welcomed by the mass of the electorate because this is what it wants. If our Dave and Boy George become aware of open up opposition in the House might they not, even at this late stage, moderate their enthusiasm for cuts? It is possible. Might this be the tenor of discussions between the Labour Party and Charles Kennedy? No need to leave the House or quit the Lib Dems. Join together with Labour and vote out that which you think disastrous and wrong. I have always thought that there was enough cunning in the Tory camp to avoid this, that there is a Plan B and perhaps a Plan C. Who knows? Of course, I could be wrong. Ed could be wrong. In this case perhaps I shall bring out my Red Flag and chant Long Live Lenin with the rest of them.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under BBC, Benefits, Big society, Cabinet, Cameron, Charles Kennedy, Coalition Government, Commons, David Milliband, Deficit, Ed Milliband, George Osborne, Guardian, Labour Blogs, Labour Goverment, Labour Party, Lenin, Lib Dem blogs, Liberal Voice, New Stateman, Referendum, Revolution, social democrats, Treasury

Charles Kennedy, You Say…


Charles Kennedy, you say, Its no surprise, You could see it in his eyes. But George and Ted , the second row, Now that’s a blow. The Northern Group? They met at Crewe, Ian, Daniel, Jane and Sue. None of these were even starters, I’ll have their guts for garters.The Group that met at Hythe, you say. Six of them, They met today. No way! Hold on Simon, If I’m right, That’s thirty five, Enough are left to stay alive. Speak up Simon, The line and I are faint. At thirty five, there’s no complaint. Steel myself, is he involved, I shall be bold. There’s more, you say, the Western group, They  met at Bath, Now there’s a laugh. Now let’s be clear, Simon, By my reckoning three remain, Danny’s led me quite a dance, Last seen,  ferry-bound for France? Considering your position, Simon, et tu, I cannot quite believe of you. The keys? You want the keys to Cowley Street, You speak for all. It’s come to that,  Usual place,  brown envelope beneath the mat. I must tell Dave, There’s me to save. Speak up Simon please speak up, You say he knows,  He told you? Good Lord!

Leave a comment

Filed under BBC, Cameron, Charles Kennedy, Coalition Government, Conservative Home, Labour Blogs, Lib Dem blogs, Lib Dems, Liberal Voice, New Stateman, Nick Clegg, Politics, Uncategorized