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Tuesday 11 May 2010

Sarah McDermott | 16:26 UK time, Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Could we have a new government by tonight?

Events at Westminster are proving endlessly fascinating - hundreds are gathered at Westminster and on College Green, some with loud hailers!

Cabinet ministers (and Alastair Campbell) are to-ing and fro-ing in Downing Street, and there are some very high level dissenters from the Lib-Lab duet, so is a Con Lib deal now odds on?

And thank you for watching last night - at our peak 1.6 million of you were watching.

But is this Dutch auction going to irritate the electorate eventually?

Tonight, we will have the very latest news - more big interviews - analysis from Michael Crick, and the impact on the markets from Paul Mason.

And we'll be whistling up our Political Panel of Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman, who you might remember on Friday's programme, did some role playing on the deal making - it seems a very long time ago.

What do they think now? Has Nick Clegg squeezed everything he can out of his suitors?

We've squeezed an extra 10 minutes out of the channel, so come with us again for the ride.


Conservative leader David Cameron says it is "decision time for the Liberal Democrats" over who to back for government.

So, will there be a deal today? And if one emerges how viable will it be?

Tonight we'll bring you the latest on all of the day's events.

Our Economics editor Paul Mason will assess how the markets are likely to react to the various possible outcomes.

Stephen Smith has returned to Donington Park Motorway Services to assess the mood of his new found friends there. How do people feel about the state of flux that British politics is in, five days on from the inconclusive general election?

And we're reconvening our political panel of Olly Grender, Peter Hyman and Danny Finkelstein to find out what they make of it all.

More details later.


  • Comment number 1.


    Both Dave and Young Nick have stated their primary aim is stable governance for the nation - NOT SIMPLY TO BE PRIME MINISTER AT ANY COST to that beleaguered nation!

    Personal ambition has been conquered - apparently. Honourable men do not dissemble (do they?)

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 2.


    If Newsnight doesn't win the Edgy Prize for concept and production, with such an arresting angle on news and current affairs, there is no justice in media.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whichever party(s) forms a government will raise taxes and cut public spending severely. It’s best for the Tories to take the poison chalice first.

    The Lib Dems should abstain on any Tory laws, it’ll be viable enough until the Tory spending cuts and possible tax rises take hold for the public. By then the Labour party with a new leader can have a coalition with the Lib Dems and with the others can have a vote of no confidence in the Tories. At the polls the Lab/Lib coalition will be the insurgents, and hopefully the Lab/Lib coalition can form a majority government. It’s no good having a Lab\Lib coalition now as the public see both parties has losers, and rightly the Tories with the most seats should form the government for the time being.

  • Comment number 4.

    Negotiation for beginners

    Cameron's visible impatience this mornig with Nick Clegg and his team is entirely understandable; how long did Cleggie think his talks with Mandelson could be kept secret?

    Clegg must realise now that allowing himself to be sucked into "secret" talks with the Dark Lord was seriously damaging to any credibility he may have held in Tory eyes; all that was needed was a phone call to Cameron prior to meeting, just as he'd done before with his Gordi meeting.

    Clegg's now being cornered by firstly his naivete re secret meetings with Mandy , secondly Cameron's anger at the perceived duplicity and thirdly by the growing clamour from Labour that a LibLab pact is a non-starter.

    Labour will want to concentrate on their own issues of leadership now and must relish the prospect of Opposition in a scenario of savage cost cutting from HMG, whatever its composition.

    The conservatives must have serious doubts about Clegg's credibility now, which will harden their attitude towards governing as a minority.

    Cleggie may well have blown it.

    I'm growing increasingly irritated by BBC journalists' attempts to emulate Sky News' bullying approach to interviews; Kirsty Wark tries hard to bully, but it's difficult when you're reading from a prepared list of questions and paying scant attention to the interviewee's answers; Andrew Neil, disappointingly, has become a caricature of himself, a loud know-it-all - his bullying of Barry Sheerman this morning only one of too numerous examples - whose time is surely up. Let Nick Robinson take the chair in the Bubble and see the difference he'd make.Surprisingly, for me anyway, Emily Maitlis has been very good at the Bubble interviews, far better than on Newsnight.

    No-one to match David Dimbleby yet.

  • Comment number 5.


    I was wondering myself, BYT, about all those pundits, analysts and experts 'wheeled' into the studios. They are probably waiting for the roll over as per today's Newsnight's front page.

    And, who was the madam that Churchill uttered the famous phrase about? I've forgotten.

    Re: Jeremy's Birthday

    Ideally I'd like to do a verbal rhythm & rhyme for him today but am not sure how to go about it and in what tonal mode.


  • Comment number 6.

    There is a certain amount of tosh being thrown about - was it ever likely that the Lib Dems would NOT talk to Labour.

    The arithmetic does say Tories but both sides know that their parties hold diametrical positions on PR.

    The Tories could go minority government or make it clear they would bring down a rainbow coalition so call for new elections.

    Labour would be vulnerable to the SNP suddenly pulling the urg from under them.

    Labour could be planning to pull the plug on the Lib Dems and get new elections with a new leader.

    I also reject this tripe that the world falls apart if there is no deal in the next 60 minutes.

    As for market falls they had a huge bounce in the US apparently due to a glitch in the software for high frequency traders.

    So should we pay too much notice to those that helped wreck the economy?

    If the Tories had taken more notice of the standards set by Sarah Palin then they might have known to "open the bottled water at the appropriate time" and it might all have been different.

    Will Cameron survive not winning?

  • Comment number 7.

    The only thing we make is money!

    #53 yesterday; I read the link with interest; it really told us nothing new however; CDS's and CDO's exist only because of something else - in this case debt - and so these derivatives like much else within our system of capital are truly parasitic; they need something to feed from ; what do they do when there's nothing left? Spontaneously combust! Didn't that just happen already?

    Revolutionary scenario

    LibLab coalition needs Scottish and Welsh (g)Nats and Ulster Okeys' support to govern; quid pro quo is light touch cuts in these parts of UK; so England bears disproportionate burden on belt tightening; "Only fair," says PM-to-be Ed Balls; "England did vote Tory, after all!"

    Cue "hard working families' aspirations" - in England only - told to go take a long hike.

  • Comment number 8.

    I assume that it is impossible for elements of the financial markets to start a market panic in order that they can encourage a better settlement for the Tories who might be more inclined to lighter touch regulation than the progressive rainbow coalition?

    There is no Fabulous Fred who is thinking that he will be a hero amongst his colleagues.

    I assume that it is impossible due to the global nature of the markets and that we have red hot FSA and BoE people wo will spot unusual market activity.

  • Comment number 9.

    NN “And we're reconvening our political panel of Olly Grender, Peter Hyman and Danny Finkelstein to find out what they make of it all.”

    They are ‘representatives’ of the Big 3, so I don’t expect them to really address the Big issues of political/electoral reform other than on party lines.

    To get genned-up on the electoral options I recommend a visit to the Electoral Reform Society website :-

    Cameron is for no change, so will delay real action, Clegg is for straight PR, and Brown wants Alternative Vote, both of which have significant disadvantages. I still advocate a points system (as previously posted) as this will not give the same weighting to voters’ second choices as other systems, and will greatly reduce the wasted vote syndrome, leading to less distortion and less voter apathy.

    However, real Political reform - e.g. Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ and Clegg’s views on more power to Local Authorities, and associated ideas on reduced number of MPs with fewer/larger constituencies - should come first as these dictate the most suitable form of voting. The attached link had some hard views on the first of these:-

    I’ll limit my quotes as blogdog doesn’t like substantial extracts:-
    “The tough medicine of the Tories’ Big Society is a prescription for England alone …education, health care, social services, local government and communities, and policing are all devolved areas of government. “

    Tories don't mention this; and no party ever refers to ‘England’.

    “The British political establishment has disowned the view that it has an authentic, valuable role to play in the life of the English people… just as Cameron once famously indicated he did not want to be a prime minister for England and refuses to allow the English people to have a government of its own. Instead, the establishment – whether New Labour or Cameron Conservative – have attempted to re-model English society along purely market-economy lines, and will continue to do so if we let them: the Big Society being one where English civic society is transformed into just another competitive market place, with the inevitable winners and losers”

    Good reading there for statists and conspiracy theorists, and I’m beginning to be influenced myself. Meanwhile the Electoral Commission claims that it has long asked for reforms, but these are mainly connected with organisation of elections, rather than with political reform:
    “The commission has called for a debate not only about increasing its own powers to direct returning officers, but also about online voting, weekend voting and reviewing the timetable of registering to ease the administrative load in the system.”

    But with the threat of national bankruptcy looming larger daily, whilst our would-be Leaders play for power, I don’t see how or when political/electoral reform will be effected, only that they were promised and are sorely needed.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Markets like good strong government, they like certainty"; if we've heard that once....

    So why don't the LibDems coalesce with the People's Party of China?

    Where is Jaded Jean when he/she/it is needed?

    And Cleggie, word of advice; like before, don't tell Dave.

  • Comment number 11.

    #1 barriesingleton

    Yes it IS going well as people are trying to rationally work together for the nation and if the leaders get it wrong they may not be leaders for too long.

    Its also going well because those that don't like the democratic system like the BNP got trashed at the elections.

    Their leader is under intense internal party pressure - and thats besides the arrest of the BNP Collett over alleged threats to kill Griffin their odious leader.

    National Socialism is the ideology that is simply a magpie collection of ideas to justify a replacement monarchy - the Fuhrer-State - and the end of democracy in favour of tyranny.

  • Comment number 12.

    I suppose that it is a cruel hand for the Tories if their favoured first past the post system does not deliver strong government and worse its not them who will govern.

    If the rainbow coalition pushes through AV Plus or PR then that will all be a thing of the past and majority government will rest on the power of their ideas and the quality of their governance record.

    Will those of the Tory number who are for PR put their heads up and be counted? Probably not right now. So is that ideology or is that self interest?

  • Comment number 13.


    Does Gordie remind you of James Bond in any way?

    My name is Monika, Monika Twirler

  • Comment number 14.

    Gareth Porter (IPS) read on the HuffPost "Pentagon Doubts Grow .."

    "The section of the Pentagon report on the state of the insurgency goes even further toward declaring that the McChrystal plan had failed to achieve a central objective, concluding that the Taliban strategy for countering the offensive "has proven effective in slowing the spread of governance and development".

    The key finding is that the Taliban have "reinfiltrated the cleared areas" of Helmand and "dissuaded locals from meeting with the Afghan government" by executing some who had initially collaborated"

    I am no kind of military expert but surely its the movement of people who presumably can be identified as Talib fighters that is the issue.

    I also can't look at the NY Shahzad scenario and assume that that would not happen if the Allies withdrew from aAfghanistan. Surely that would happen more.

    It is heartening to hear the US has been drilling missiles into training camps in the wake of Times Square and Shahzads revelations of training in North Waziristan.

    It is still puzzling as to why they didn't bomb them flat anyway.

  • Comment number 15.

    #9 indignantindegene

    "Good reading there for statists and conspiracy theorists, and I’m beginning to be influenced myself. "

    "They are ‘representatives’ of the Big 3, so I don’t expect them to really address the Big issues of political/electoral reform other than on party lines."

    Given the big three are addressing all of the issues and permutations of first past the post, AV and PR and the smaller elected parties have made their views clear that's about 99% of the votes cast at the last election so its pretty representative really.

    The BNP and associated "statists" - used in this case to describe the National Socialists - didn't get anybody elected and are generally despised and therefore they are hardly going to be an influence in broader society.

  • Comment number 16.

    A personal plea

    If you must have Grender, Hyman and Finkelstein on the programme, then please, please, please;

    Stop Hyman pointing at Finkelstein like he was the school snitch;

    Stop Finkelstein from, from, from, FROM repeating the same word increasingly loudly;

    Stop the two of them persistently talking over Grender.

    Point 3 is highly probable in that she's now the important one.

    Enough with the crosstalk and shouting, already- particularly Kirsty's.

    Paul Mason, as ever, will be worth hearing, while the Motorway stuff belongs on 5.

    Where is Alex "lucky white heather" Salmond and his progressive alliance today? Stuck on the Electric Brae?

  • Comment number 17.

    Should all of the talks break down and the Tories decide a minority government can't work and there is a fresh election does that not favour those who can call on the Ashcrofts and Unions for "recapitalisation"?

    I think there would be a lot of sympathy for the Lib Dems but they don't have large financial backers - but then again were the Ashcroft millions wasted and its not clear that a new election with an impending new leader would see a new stimulus for Labour.

    Maybe that's best though as the outmoded first past the post system has thrown up instability in a time of National crisis.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm fed up of Clegg's indecisiveness! How much longer will he keep dragging it on?

    The First Past The Post system has been working successfully since 1920,so why on earth change it now?

    :p The Conservatives should just form a minority government, and in about 6 months time go to the polls again - where I suspect they will get a majority second time round......

    @ Kashi #10 - Where is JJ when you need him? JJ if you are reading this, come back!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 19.


    The delightful Ben Bradshaw keeps repeating that the electorate 'called for' the current situation. He's either a fool or a knave.

    Martha says Campbell is in the Labour talks because they call him in on big decisions. No Martha - they call him in when there is some need to soullessly bamboozle the people.

  • Comment number 20.

    #13 mim

    "Does Gordie remind you of James Bond in any way?"

    Well, he 'Fingered our Gold' to a bunch of gamblers.
    Am I getting warm?
    Sorry, more English humour.

    My name is Legion.

  • Comment number 21.


    I think if we knew the full cost of Westminster 'success' since 1920 (bad decisions, bad law, corruption, crime, alcohol and WAR) we might be begging for absolute monarchy UNDER CHARLIE!

    I am for 'Mitigated Unfairness' but instead we are going to play emasculated fairness. It will end in tears.

    You only have to listen to the 'elder statesmen' to realise that, as they are still barking, WHAT WERE THEY LIKE WHEN MESSING WITH OUR LIVES?

    Oh it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 22.

    What was all that rubbish from Clegg about doing things differently; not like the "old parties". He's really no different from the rest.

    I think he has played the Lib Dem card poorly and whether the next election is 6 months or 5 years away, the Lib Dems will suffer. If it is 6 months, they will get squeezed by the Tories on the one hand and a Brownless Labour Party on the other. If it continues well beyond that, the Lib Dems and the Tories will pay for being the parties in power administering the cut backs. Think back to the early 1980s. Maybe Cameron is hoping Argentina may invade the Malvinas again.

  • Comment number 23.

    Kash # 16 - what you need to understand is that Alex Salmond never really wanted a progressive rainbow alliance. The SNP would not want to enter coalition with Labour but could not be seen to be the stumbling block to forming a coalition to keep the Tories out. Interestingly, earlier in the day, Labour said they did not need SNP support for a Lab/Lib Dem coalition. This is perfectly true. Even if the SNP was outside a Lab/Lib Dem coalition, it would be electorally disasterous for it to vote with the Tories to bring down such a coalition.

    No, what Alex wants is a Lib Dem/Tory coalition so that he can argue that voting Labour in Scotland is pointless - the Scottish Labour MPs will become the feeble 40 - and the 11 Lib Dem MPs in Scotland will be reduced to a handful at the next election.

  • Comment number 24.


    Something like thatt, Legion


  • Comment number 25.


    Did he clean up Brussels while an MEP? Or did he milk the expenses like the others.

    Of the three (Brown, Cameron, Clegg) Clegg is the most like Blair.

    He was CHANGE once.

  • Comment number 26.


    To paraphrase ....



    Any bets on how long the ‘affair’ will last?


  • Comment number 27.

    #15 Go1

    “Given the big three are addressing all of the issues and permutations of first past the post, AV and PR and the smaller elected parties have made their views clear that's about 99% of the votes cast at the last election so its pretty representative really.”

    My reference was to the ‘representatives of the BIG 3 on the NN political panel’ not the parties official spokespersons.

    And as I stated: ‘real Political reform - e.g. Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ and Clegg’s views on more power to Local Authorities, and associated ideas on reduced number of MPs with fewer/larger constituencies - should come first as these dictate the most suitable form of voting.’

    You keep referring to PR which specifically produces a direct proportion of MPs elected per party to that of the overall votes cast per party. Would you have welcomed the 20 UKIP; 12 BNP; 7 Greens; and 1 English Democrat MPs that PR would have yielded last week? In any event, the votes were cast by voters with as much right to their opinion and politics as any others in a democratic society.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “that's about 99% of the votes cast at the last election so its pretty representative really.” The MPs elected are not in any way representative of the pattern of votes cast. And those who suggest that the electorate wanted a ‘Hung Parliament’ are building on the old saw, that ‘people get the government they deserve’. It’s only true if we fail to force government to break FPTP, this UNFAIR discrimination against the VOTERS' choice.

    “The BNP and associated "statists" - used in this case to describe the National Socialists - didn't get anybody elected and are generally despised and therefore they are hardly going to be an influence in broader society.”

    This is a statement of your opinion, not of fact; and I have expressed my opinion - that given a fair voting system there would be less need for ‘protest voting’ but minor parties could still be given some recognition (such as the points system that I have explained) and fear of ‘wasted’ votes would not put half the electors off voting, or feel obliged to vote only for Big parties, as all ‘points’ would still have an influence on the final result.

    You have also referred to the AV and the AV plus systems. Studying the complete list of results will show that only approx 30% of MPs gained 50% or more of the vote in their wards. It also shows many just above or just below that figure, and several where the third highest got almost as many votes as the number two, so I don’t see an arbitrary 50% resulting in fairness, nor the counting of second choice votes to have the same value as first choice. The Plus factor is a separate group of MPs to try to preserve the illusion that one can have PR and a ‘local' MP. The real answer is to debate the Political Reform issues: how many MPs, what size areas, and transfer more power to local councils (or Cameron’s Big Society – which certainly needs some very close scrutiny regarding the true agenda).

    18 Mistress76uk
    “The First Past The Post system has been working successfully since 1920,so why on earth change it now?” Some would query ‘been working successfully’ but also we no longer have only 2 major political parties getting over 50% of the vote, although they would like to keep it that way. My ‘VOTE RADICAL’ may have helped by revealing that the GBP want other democratic options. The argument that voting reform produces minor parties thus preventing solid government have been blown out of the water by the chaos of what we have got now through FPTP. The BIg 2-3 had better get used to compromise and working together COOPERATION not CONFRONTATION politics.

  • Comment number 28.


    It's all kicking off quite.................... interestingly?

    But, what's the rush? Is this being driven by media. Getting is done right is more important surely than getting it done.

    Not sure who the winner is, but I don't think he'll be taking it all for very long.

    Isn't there a saying 'Marry in haste, repent at leisure?

    I'll be back - it may be that the deal will be done.

  • Comment number 29.


    Nick Robinson reports the Blair phoned Brown to commiserate. This is the first time I have felt unbounded sympathy for Brown.

    Going to Hell is bad enough - to be consoled, on arrival, by the Devil himself, is way beyond Dante.

    There will never be one stranger than Tony. Westminster certainly can pick 'em - AND NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE HAS CHANGED.

    Oh - it's all going to go awfully well in the future.

  • Comment number 30.

    I've just seen Alex Salmond at his pompous best declaring the Conservatives have no mandate to govern Scotland. This was based on the fact that having polled just 15% of the vote,'they were rejected by 85% of the Scottish public'. Could I just point out (as I wish the interviewer had done!!) that the SNP, by the same reasoning, were rejected by 81% of the Scottish public. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of SNP policy and hardly sufficient for the bold Alex to claim he is speaking for the Scottish people. He certainly isn't speaking for this one!

  • Comment number 31.


    The outgoing Prime Minister wraps himself in dead soldiers. Another bizarre distillate of the Westminster mash.


  • Comment number 32.

    #31 Yes Barrie a very sad way to bring "our brave soldiers" into it. What were they doing there in the first place is what I'd like to know. About the only time I've heard the war in Afganistan mentioned in this election squable, and then for brown to show what a very nice man he is.

  • Comment number 33.


    My local MP took umbrage when I told him 'party politics is shallow'.
    Yet Brown is (allegedly) going to dump the constituents who voted him back in - JUST LIKE TONY DUMPED HIS. These Westminster creatures really know about honour and loyalty don't they! Should he not be required to get a 'release note' from his constituents? Or might it be that they were really voting for the rosette SO IT MATTERS NOT WHAT CIPHER IS UNDERNEATH? One thing's for sure: Mrs Duffy must wish she had 'talked to the rosette'. The face, sure as hell wasn't listening. Bye James.

  • Comment number 34.

    I WON

  • Comment number 35.


    Just heard Brown call Mandelson (aka Peter) a rock - bliss. Will James (he that is known as Gordon) ever realise the part rocks played in holing him below the waterline?

  • Comment number 36.

    On this significant day for the UK

    Gold now hitting heights

    Louise Yamada - technical expert on the market -

  • Comment number 37.


    How does that work then Dave? (I don't think he has been paying attention.)

  • Comment number 38.

    cameron used that word fairness again. even though it demands human sacrifice.

    how does he square fairness and being the patron of the JNF? are they a model of the 'fairness' he has in mind. is role gaming monarchy as the only group that can be head of state fair?

  • Comment number 39.


    new labour has to be the worse govt we have ever had. 2 un winnable wars and a credit crunch.

  • Comment number 40.

    SANS FAIR(e) RIEN (#38)

    Hang in there Jaunty. Decent Dave will challenge Israel over the 'GREAT IGNORED' i.e. ALL THOSE U.N. RESOLUTIONS THAT ISRAEL SHRUGS OFF.
    And Obama will stand shoulder to shoulder with him.


  • Comment number 41.


    Odd that Britain is a 'major global player' and had the finest financial mind in the world, as Chancellor and then PM, in the years that hatched the sub-prime collapse YET HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT WHAT WAS COMING. Did he ever work for the Met Office?

    And all these other countries with genius money-minds - they all had no idea? Are we in 'dog that didn't bark' territory?

    Anyway - did Gordon save the world, or just tip money down a volcano?

  • Comment number 42.

    Blythe Masters in her own words :-

    I would like to hear what any expert has to say on her words and her work in inventing these CDS's. "They help companies grow she says" She seems very switched on and together is there delusion or what, someone please explain how these instruments would help a company grow ?

  • Comment number 43.


    We have had too many generations of the 'mothering is carp' message, ever to recover. The value of mother, to a newborn is immeasurable, and only the child knows when that bond may be extended, and for how long.

    RESPONSIBILITY and FAIRNESS (Cameron buzzwords) to the young, amount to total dedication of mothers. Does Dave have any idea? He said nothing in opposition. Poorly nurtured individuals grow to exhibit all manner of negativities and human failings. But does Dave have any idea?

    I predict it will be the mixture as before. Mammon - GDP - schooling to destruction - production-line medicine - and war on a whim.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 44.


    "A new dawn has broken - has it not." (T Blair)

    Dave: another suit doing Deja Vu, not ambitious, he just cares about YOU!

  • Comment number 45.

    Whenever Kirsty Wark asks someone a question, she immediately interrupts the person who answers. This happens after almost every question, and it is VERY IRRITATING INDEED - not least for the person trying to answer. I am a big fan of Kirsty's, but really she has to learn to listen - it has reached the point where, because of this, I really don't enjoy watching Newsnight when she is on.

  • Comment number 46.

    the leaders have sold their souls to the devil......they said pre election that their policies were best for the country, but when it comes down to it they just want power! how can they say one thing one day and another least it shows us their real colours.....we should have another general election as tories did not vote for liberals and visa versa... Im sure lots of labour voters voter liberal to protest .we have ended up with totally different prinicples from any that the three of them debated.......what a croc

  • Comment number 47.

    I thought the political panel with Olly Danny and Peter was biased tonight as Peter was shouted down by government supporters

  • Comment number 48.


    No one with a soul stays long in Westminster. 'Politics is 'inside the lie'. Westminster runs as a feudal court. The 'honourable' ones have their hierarchies, but we are just serfs. Dave says THEY serve us, but then Tony said he was a 'pretty straight kind of guy'.

    Until Westminster and its ethos, are taken out of governance, we are truly doomed.

  • Comment number 49.

    Where did a 5 year fixed term come from? I didn't vote for that.

    This election was partly about reclaiming politics' reputation after the expenses debacle, and the first thing they do on getting into power in unstable times is vote themselves in for 5 years?

    The Tories & Labour don't want AV/PR because they would have far fewer seats and no power. The Lib Dems want it because without it they have very few seats and no real power.

    I usually try to be positive about the state of our country but if they don't realise how self-serving this looks then I may well give up. Let's hope the possibility of a fixed term being unconstitutional turns out to be correct.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hilarious that the montage featured Tony Blair, and hardly any Gordon Brown. Preparing for funding cuts by recycling old montages? Or did the proper tape accidentally get left on a train?

  • Comment number 51.

    Samantha Gore: "The Tories & Labour don't want AV/PR because they would have far fewer seats and no power. The Lib Dems want it because without it they have very few seats and no real power."

    Correct me if I'm wrong but not even the Liberal Democrats are pushing for PR. And AV should not be lumped in the same category as PR, they are starkly different voting systems, and AV is hardly more proportional than FPTP. It does very little to improve the voice of traditionally under-represented groups in parliament.

  • Comment number 52.

    46. At 11:30pm on 11 May 2010, lesley turner wrote:

    the leaders have sold their souls to the devil......they said pre election that their policies were best for the country, but when it comes down to it they just want power! how can they say one thing one day and another least it shows us their real colours.....we should have another general election as tories did not vote for liberals and visa versa... Im sure lots of labour voters voter liberal to protest .we have ended up with totally different prinicples from any that the three of them debated.......what a croc

    I wrote:
    Maybe the Lib Dems have sold their souls for power. I don’t think it’s going to be that strange a coalition. Lib Dems (centre left) + Tories (centre right) it’s New Labour is another disguise!

    I voted Lib Dem, as an anti-New Labour vote. I was hoping the Lib Dems would keep their distance from both major parties. Until Labour elected another leader, like Alan Johnson or Ed Millibrand and then the Lib Dems would have a coalition with them.

    As for the five year government, the Tory \ Lib coalition will be lucky to last five months! (Praying hard, it is so).

  • Comment number 53.


    Flicks, these concerns may have had an impact on gold prices.

  • Comment number 54.

    Its a bit strange isn't it sometimes I think she can try a bit too hard and maybe get a bit over excited. For me yesterday was a time for reflection of an unusual time but Kirsty was at them like my next door neighbours boarder terrier. Still she is presenting far better than last few years and that's very good and pleasing to see. Sometimes last year you felt she may just get up and say Ive had enough of this and walk off the set. Words were just being thrown out and away, embarrassing at times - the thought came - 'something must have been upsetting her' Watching NN became more of a trip into Kirsty's state of mind with a question mark, some sadness and hope that what ever it was would right itself in the end. But its part of what makes watching her fascinating - its not just about reading words ala Mr Sopal et al

    Look at Brando getting at all this -

    "act to save our lives every day" :-

    Re gold - its a bull market been going on for 10 years. The interesting factors are that silver has been kept in a tight range 17 - $18 for sometime it broke out yesterday to over $19 also both the $ and gold have been rising - this is significant.

  • Comment number 55.



    Not only that, the whole speech sounded false. First he ousts Tony Blair by dirty tricks, tries to hold on to power at all cost and then complains that he 'didn't really like' the post. Poor Gordie. My heart breaks for him. Even his last utterance 'good bye' sounded ridiculuous. He was probably trying to imitate the phrase Jeremy uses after each of the University Challenge programme. I've been aware for a very long time indeed that the Russian tutors I've written so much about, i.e. db and jg, have been interfering in it. I'm not a dog but I 'smell' them from thousands of miles away. They are not at all that clever as they think they are.

    Anyway, last night I attended a Media Society meeting entitled 'Who Won the Election?' and they had a huge screen behind the Speakers' table transmitting the news. They even stopped the discussion especially for us to listen to Gordie resigning. People jeered a bit throughout but on his 'good bye' utterance there was a spontaneous outburst of laughter.

    Making shambles of everything right to the end, that's Gordie and his 'mates'.


  • Comment number 56.

    Thanks Kirsty for showing up the real angles at work in the 'coalition'.
    The whole set up now seems ridiculous. Why not have the Conservatives and Labour form a coalition?!!. This has shown how much we need to reform the electoral process - and how dated the Conservatives and Labour are becoming. A new generation voters will be put off for life (me included) after this. Their vioces are not being heard. The two party sytstem is just too narrow and self-serving. We need more choice and more representation.

  • Comment number 57.

    Lars Vilks attacked during lecture :-

    'showed police using pepper spray and batons to hold off an angry crowd'

    So they were there, ready and expecting.

    A provocative set up in my view.

  • Comment number 58.


    Although Kirsty is incoherent at times, (she should NOT be required to say 'editor' or 'Conservative') I usually interpolate, and persevere.

    Last night a combination of extra-harshness of timbre, and long skewering outbursts, ACTUALLY CAUSED ME TO SWITCH OFF.

    I doubt I was alone.

  • Comment number 59.

    In the future, will be watching the moves Vince Cable will make and how far he will be allowed to make those moves.

  • Comment number 60.

    beyondit: I was using 'AV/PR' as shorthand for alternatives to the current system, it was late and I was tired... my real point was to say how disgusted I am that any of them can claim a five year term without any reference to the voting public. I am amazed that none of the commentators picked up on this, they were just too excited at seeing a change, not the real implications for the rest of us.

  • Comment number 61.


    He said we should hold him to account if he defaulted. Is coalition tantamount to default?

    'Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise Nick to cleave.'

  • Comment number 62.

    Currently a government can be in power for up to 7 years before calling an election (though in practice they tend to be called after 4/5 years). Of course if it doesn't work regardless of any 5 year fixed term agreement a general election will have to be called well in advance.

  • Comment number 63.

    Stop the crazy train, I want to get off.

  • Comment number 64.

    I suspect that Henry Marsh, Consultant Neurosurgeon at St George's, may have something to do with the 'experiment'. He was always full of himself and is 'friends' with Prince Charles, and probably db and jg. He is more or less their age and studied at Oxford.

    He once barged into my office despite me asking him not to, pranced behind my back and talked/laughed about my bowel and bladder problems.


  • Comment number 65.

    Blinkin eck, start again.

    Stop the crazy train, I wanna to get off.

    Quick election bullet analysis. Not surprised hazel Blears won her seat -again. The good folk of Salford recognize one of their own. Hazel helped herself to funds that she was not entitled to. Its a bit like the twisted labour supporters view of their allegiance to Labour with that often repeated refrain of ' Labours for the working man.. and benefit cheats'.
    Lempik Opek: Well what can one say about this fella. I always thought he was unsuitable for politics. Felt rather sorry for him when he lost his seat. He had the look of a teenager heartbroke. I've recently discovered he has some acting ability -whilst watching yesterdays Nn. The Steve Smith and flipper scene with Lempik answering the phone was a moment that Hollywood producers, or at least C4 should see. Me thinks he has a future in front of the camera. I could see him easily in a Tarantino flick a baddie. Seriously, the flipper/Opek/Smith scene was needed after a mental week of politics.

  • Comment number 66.

    No mention of the German elections. A massive funding plan for the Euro (650billion-ish up from 45-65b-ish a week ago) The Greeks don't make nowt. They sit around smoking cigarettes, drink lots of alcohol and harass women tourists..oh and they retire at 53yrs. Greece is an example of when Socialism can go seriously bad. Well , we'll be bailing that lot out, well, we'll be proping-up the Greek Govt, who will inturn, tax the hell out of the Greek worker; most of whom work for the Govt. I don't see much return on this bet. Piling debt onto debt, not a good move but it buys time for the Globalist's agenda while they move the chess pieces around the board.

  • Comment number 67.

    flicks 57

    Muslim sensitivity training in Southpark:

    (Link might not get passed the Mods filter)

  • Comment number 68.


    There is so much to take in, so many why, where, who, how's and what if's, and so much to say but am doing battle with NHS services (or NOT services) so I will be brief (did I hear a collective sigh?)

    in #48, Barriesingleton referred to
    ".....No one with a soul stays long in Westminster."

    I wonder if it is not closer to the fact that Westminster, the system, is a soul destroyer. That must change.

    I think we MUST give those who say change MUST happen, a shot at doing something of note to bring the governance of this country into the 21st century and make it parliament for the people and by the people.

    The colour doesn't matter. I suspect that blue and gold make a rather sludgy green, but lets ALL give them our support and give them a chance in what is always a challenging time. At least here we have a set of people, regardless of the motives, appear to be prepared to make concessions and talk to each other rather than shout each other down.

    Perhaps we should ALL write directly to our constituency MP's, positively setting out what we require from them at Westminster, regardless of our view of the party they represent. Now, they represent US!

    In doing so, we may remind them, and continue to so often, that they are there to serve the people both locally, nationally and internationally. In this matter they are no lesser or greater than the yoof flippin burgers in Maccy D's!

    There WILL be PAIN (a lot) before we see any GAIN I am sure.

  • Comment number 69.


    Interesting take Kevsey.
    ".... Labours for the working man.. and benefit cheats'."

    I have long held the view that there needs to be some balance of 'Help Up' rather than just 'hand out', which it strikes me is the one thing nu labour seems to do in an unqualified way as their one and only nod back to 'old' labour.

    I want to know how much money it costs to mean test (and police) various benefits.

  • Comment number 70.

    High BYT how's your son, is he ok, has he had the op?

    I know how you feel, one of my sons had an emergency apendectomy at the same age, it had almost burst. He had been ill on and off for almost a year before it suddenly became an emergency.

    I hope your son is on the road to recovery.

  • Comment number 71.


    My view BYT: Westminster is long established in its self-serving ethos.
    The party system, first past the post, inequity in voting (according to party) and a lot more, all thrive in Westminster. Parties of that ilk PRE SELECT the candidates we are 'permitted' to vote for - they are Westminster Creatures by proxy at outset. My MP also thrives there, and over five years I have got his measure. I have no doubt he would be uninfluenced by a letter such as you suggest.

  • Comment number 72.

    Earlier today I had surgery on my head - feel woozy and a bit faint - just hoping I don't get a migraine which will be worse than what I just went through.

  • Comment number 73.

    Earlier today I had surgery on my head - feel woozy and a bit faint - just hoping I dont get a migraine which will be worse than what I just went through.

  • Comment number 74.

    Thanks Lizzy

    things finally improving today. May even get to go home tomorrow if he has a good night. Not drips, drains or tubes or pain killers since noon and MOST things functioning close to normal. Still puking (usually just as I arrive!)

    What a stunt to pull just to get out of coming home and cutting the grass!!!!! And he owes me a lot of Michael Buble Cd's in lieu of the rare as hen's teeth concert tickets!

    I wonder, to return to more general politics/life quite when, if ever we cease to be 'mum' to our 'babies'?

    He plans to keep his wrist bands. Apparently if you return next year you get a free IV drip!!!

    The staff have almost all been really supportive, but there is, to a man/woman a sort of complacency because they deal with this stuff every day - and seem to conveniently forget that the person in bed 10/12 ward 106C today is not the same one as yesterday and doesn't know what you can do and what they should do. They also seem to forget, particularly on adult wards that the family NEED information and that an 18 year old adult will NOT understand or be assertive about their needs. They forget that they are a service provider.

    Then there are the costs of car parking
    And the fact that a new state of the art major city (in this case Edinburgh) hospital is build with at least 50% too few parking spaces. Why n o multi storey?

    I wonder if, rather than charging for parking, they may be better to build small self contained 'visitor accommodation' units. If anything less than £50 a night I'd be quids in.

    Another 'service' that needs root and branch reform if you ask me. Think I shall address a rant to Sir Bob (LD) when I return to Aberdeenshire west & Kincardineshire


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