Pincer movement which will trap Coalition….
One of the great lies told by both David Cameron and Nick Clegg is that their Coalition can deliver stable government. This lie is propagated assiduously by proponents of the Coalition; Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat MP from Leeds North West, repeatedly told the radio presenter Stephen Nolan and the New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan that they were ‘childish’ for questioning this assumption. However, let’s look at the facts; the Coalition is already facing a major rebellion from among its own ranks which will probably be enough to inflict an early defeat regarding the now infamous ‘55%’ measure. Mr Cameron has already provoked a rebellion from 118 of his own MP’s and questions about his ‘management style’ as well as murmurings about a possible no confidence motion are rife.
Mr Clegg meanwhile has seemingly breezed through the initial choppy waters but that would be to underestimate what has happened. I will say with complete confidence that the Liberal Democrats lost more than 100 members post-election; meanwhile the opposition party, a party just subjected to a humbling at the ballot box has been able to post a surge in membership topping 10,000 (surely this must be rather unprecedented?). Clegg may have it easy for now but you wait until the electorate vents its spleen at the ballot-box; a process I would expect to begin in earnest next year. Watch the quasi-Stalinist unity the Liberal Democrats have achieved collapse as people start to rediscover their oppositional instincts under the pressure of a crumbling electoral base and Liberal Democrat MP’s, fuelled by fear for their own seats, become much more free-thinking. I would be sincerely surprised if both Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg both survive to the end of their ‘fixed-term’ and not at all unsurprised if neither does.
Meanwhile, the Communication Workers Union looks like it will take a campaign against the proposed privatisation of Royal Mail seriously and start by creating a special committee charged with taking charge of this campaign. This committee should consider adopting proposals for a ‘Peoples Bank’ based on Post Offices and also test this governments alleged committment to extending co-ops. It should put forward a radical alternative to the asset-stripping privatisation of the government and not just fight a defensive struggle for the maintenance of the status quo.
Wracked by internal dissent and faced with determined opposition to an ‘age of austerity’; this Coalition will have nowhere to run and far from delivering ‘stable government’ will be one of almost permanent crisis.