Ed’s dangerous liaisons with Nick….
So, apparently our illustrious leader has been having secret meetings with Nick Clegg. Apparently they are not discussing the finer points of leadership (which, given their respective popularity ratings, they probably should be) but how Labour and the Liberal Democrats can work together on areas of ‘mutual interest’. In a style that we have come to expect from this leadership this is in some regards brazenly arrogant and presumptions. How, when it comes to AV, can Mr Miliband offer our ‘co-operation’ when supporting AV is not the Party’s policy but his own and the leaderships?
Nonetheless, I am sure all this will please the literati that lives in the pages of the liberal press. However, Labour members have every reason to feel, well, a little ticked-off especially as a fair proportion of them are about to enter bruising election campaign against the Lib Dems and are probably sick of hearing the ‘yellow peril’ trash Labour’s record on everything from here to eternity. First it must be pointed out that this is yet another Ed Miliband u-turn. Here is what Ed thought of Nick just a few months ago:
Nick Clegg,” he says icily, “is a betrayal of the Liberal tradition. David Cameron and Nick Clegg are texting each other like teenagers in love because they agree with each other. It’s not some forced marriage, they ideologically agree with each other.
Reading this you can’t help but think, in his head Miliband imagines himself as the ‘unbroken thread’ of ‘liberal tradition’ as opposed to the traitor Clegg and in actual fact, Labour tradition as well. I digress. Even if we accept Miliband is entitled to change his mind, which he is, it would be nice to have an explanation and for him to drop the pretence this has been his attitude all along. The only time I have been in favour of such a union is when, as a Liberal Democrat, I desperately wanted to leave and return to Labour but wasn’t quite ready to make the leap. So, psychologically, arguing for the two to unite made sense in a way that only denial really does.
Ed’s attitude however, makes no kind of logical sense. In general, his attitude towards the Liberal Democrats as a Party and indeed Clegg personally is becoming a huge embarrassment for Labour. He is beginning to make himself look like a lovestruck puppy that attaches itself to any old passing leg and clings on for dear life in hope more than expectation. I suspect this is amusing for Liberal Democrats but less so for Labour members. One group that definitely is laughing are the Conservatives – read this in The Spectator if you don’t believe me.
Of course, we want the support of ex-Lib Dems but one wonders why people who have just been rather sold down the river would want to see Mr Miliband swooning at feet of the person who just so viscously abused their political trust. They probably don’t and this is why we recruited more ex-Lib Dems when we reflected the pain they felt at the betrayal they had just suffered. Given that Miliband’s advances make little sense in this respect they tend to illicit the nagging suspicion the real agenda is to have a serious go at severing Labour’s historic links with the labour movement. Not even Tony Blair was stupid enough to have a real go at this particular wheeze but then again he did have a coherent vision for the Party and the country, love it or loath it, and that gave him a sight more about him than Miliband possesses.
What peculiar kind of madness makes Miliband thinks he can succeed? Again, perhaps its desperation. Perhaps he wants this to be his ‘legacy’. Sadly, its a comment on his complete lack of political judgement that he wants to tie Labour to the political equivalent of the Titanic and seems to feel this is a somehow ‘inspired’ move.