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Sour Brown memories threatening Lib/Lab deal?

Nick Robinson | 12:58 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

"The ultimate fulfilment of the New Labour mission."

Gordon Brown and Nick CleggThat is how one senior Labour figure described to me the prospect of a Lib/Lab deal in the event of a hung Parliament.

It's the clearest sign that Gordon Brown and his team are preparing to woo Nick Clegg, having either ignored or belittled him in the recent past.

There is one big problem with this plan though: it is Gordon Brown himself and the history of his dealings with the Lib Dems.

Paddy Ashdown has always blamed Brown for scuppering the deal he spent many hours discussing with Tony Blair. It was one reason Ashdown turned down Brown's invitation to join his government in 2007.

Similarly, Nick Clegg has sour memories of his conversations with the prime minister on expenses reform and much besides.

Both men regard Mr Brown as a Labour tribalist who thinks the Lib Dems should simply pack up shop and join what he regards as the anti-Tory forces.

Interestingly, friends of Gordon now dispute this version of history, insisting that their man was never opposed to electoral reform - nor indeed to a referendum on it.

They blame the Lib Dems for overreaching themselves in the late 1990s by insisting that they would only accept one system of proportional representation - what's known as AV-plus and not AV. which the Labour party is now holding out on offer.

But the Lib Dems do not want to be seen as completing anyone else's mission; given their poll ratings, they now believe that they can achieve their own.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Tactically and philosophically vital that Clegg attacks Labour stongly. There is no reason why LibDems should be seen as consistently left of centre. Radical and libertarian history does not suggest so much of natural Lab link up as has been suggested over recent years. As some have said, currently Clegg is running a party that Lloyd George might recognise. Look at the great reforms and attempted reforms in the past - most of these have come from the old Liberal radicals. No reason to see a natural socialist link up. I vote LibDem and I am no socialist although I support thorough parliamentary reform and a fairness agenda.

    Am 48 and have voted liberal all my adult life. Could imagine a coalition of either colour providing the core reform agenda gets delivered. And I wouldn't put it to a referendum either. I don't recall a referendum for universal suffrage - it was just the right thing to do.

  • Comment number 3.

    It sounds to me as if Labour has moved further left to embrace the socialist intentions of the Liberal Democrats in a desperate attempt to cling to power. I don't trust either the discredited Labour Party or their Pretenders to the throne. Sorry, but I predict meltdown and another Election within the year as stalemate and in-fighting between Labour and Lib Dems reaches crisis point.

  • Comment number 4.

    Brown would find it impossible to share power with anyone for long - its a bit like the frog and scorpion fable, Brown cannot concede power to anyone, it's his nature.

  • Comment number 5.

    'Interestingly, friends of Gordon now dispute this version of history, insisting that their man was never opposed to electoral reform - nor indeed to a referendum on it.'
    Well I don't believe that! Gordon Brown with friends?

  • Comment number 6.

    I certainly hope so. I'm not voting Lib Dem to keep Brown in power.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Those in power becoming willing to share power only when they are about to lose it. Power is never given up willingly but is always taken away.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nick, you and other commentators are going to have to get past the notion that the Alternative Vote (AV) is a form of proportional representation. It's no more proportional than the existing system - it just stops MPs being elected with a clear minority of local support. I'd guess that the terms for any deal with Clegg post May 6 will be minimum AV plus and hopefully the much fairer STV system that works fine in Scotland's local elections and the Republic of Ireland's parliamentary elections. Why should the Lib Dems then or now have accepted a system barely better than what we have now?

  • Comment number 10.

    It is interesting that there is a strong Anti-Tory movement in the UK.

    Sometimes it splits the vote and the Tories win, sometimes it works tactically and the Tories lose.

    This time around things could be different. There has been an Anti-Labour movement too; one that the Tories used to their advantage.

    However, the Anti-Labour vote has become a Pro-Lib-Dem Vote. People now seeing Clegg and the modern Liberals as a true opportunity for Change. Cameron's old-school Tory background turning people away from Blue and onto Orange.

    There is also an appetite for a hung parliament. We live in a modern forward thinking society where perhaps the top-down approach is not attractive.

    We feel stitched up by the politicians, the banks, cctv, insurance etc etc. Big corporations have let us down and we want to dissolve power from Annonymous Economic Powerhouses back to accountable, elected people.

    So Labour is attractive because they appear to 'care' about employment, health, education etc. and the Liberals are attractive because they offer a fresh approach and new direction.

    It leaves the Tories looking tired, unimaginative and keen to absolve themselves of responsibility. They look like vultures wanting to pick over the remains rather than rebuilding, supporting and helping society.

    Cameron has lost his unique selling point and appears lost. Clegg appears dynamic and new. Brown is the safe pair of hands and with Clegg could become a very interesting duo!

  • Comment number 11.

    It may just be clumsy wording Nick, but you ought to make clear in your second last paragraph that AV is *not* a form of proportional representation. In many cases it would actually be less proportional than the current system.

  • Comment number 12.

    If Labour form a minority government it will be without Gordon.

    If he won't go - the LD's would work better with the Tories - however much it hurts me to say it.

  • Comment number 13.

    Cameron must be getting fed up being called the Easter Egg politician - Shiny on the outside, hollow on the inside.

  • Comment number 14.

    We're now getting to the stage where the idea of a hung parliament sorting out the problems of the country is starting to look very messy.

    The notion that if the people voted for such a mix it would galvanise all politicians to come together in the national interest is altogether looking very shaky indeed.

    The more we see of the squabbling before the election the better for if Brown thinks he will stay in power to ruin the country altogether he should think again.

    The Tories have more in common with Labour than the Lib Dems but not with Brown still in charge.

    This is really what election campaigns are all about. Voters will sway back and forth as each says something they might like but in the long run the economy and who wrecked it and who else can really put it right will win the day.

    Today inflation is rising tomorrow who knows.

  • Comment number 15.

    Clegg has said he will support the Party with the largest public mandate. That seems to suggest a conservative/ Lib dem coalition is increasingly likely in the event of a hung parliament.

  • Comment number 16.

    What is interesting about the Lib Dems is that the party itself is divided into two philosophies. There are those who adhere to classical liberal philosophy, and are generally pro-free market, prefer minimal government intervention in the economy and are likely to be against high taxation.

    On the other side, we have the social-welfare Keynesians, who are more likely to believe that the government should take a larger interventionist role in the economy, and certainly has the responsibility to provide social safety nets, unemployment benefits and other policies that are part of a civilised society. Moreover, they believe that the government can use the policy instruments at their disposal to achieve economic goals such as very low unemployment and low inflation. In fact, there is a grouping within the Lib Dems that call themselves the Beveridge group, after the economist and social reformer who was a member of the Liberal party.

    So, if we do get a hung parliament and a lib-lab alliance, there will certainly be many philosophies at work. Within the Labour party, there are those who are more in tune with old Labour values, and there are still those who cling onto new labour market reforms. If any alliance is to function properly, there needs to be strong dialogue and these differences need to be reconciled and bought to the table.

    Personally, my views reflect those of the Beveridge grouping within the Lib Dem, and I think that a lot of Labour backbenchers will find those views refreshing, especially after the neoliberal orthodoxy that we have had to endure under new Labour and the Conservatives for 30 or so years. Hopefully, the progressives within the Labour and Lib Dem parties can work together IF there is a hung parliament and redirect policy towards the progressive social and economic goals.

  • Comment number 17.

    "The ultimate fulfilment of the New Labour mission."

    What a bizarre thing to have said. Blair and "New Labour" moved the Labour party more to the right and towards free market economics, and so away from the more socialist policies they had previously clung to. And aren't the Lib Dems actually to the left of labour on the political spectrum these days?

    So perhaps such an alliance would really symbolise the final nail in the coffin for new labour?

  • Comment number 18.

    I have a feeling that we may be about to see a drop in the Lib Dem surge...

    Seriously though, the best Brown can hope for is a coalition, and I personally hope that the Lib Dems don't go for it, as they will be forced out for another 65 years if they do.

  • Comment number 19.

    Gordon, David and the BBC keep forgetting that Nick Clegg refused to be drawn on preference and said he would first consider a partnership with the party which had the greatest electoral mandate.

    Today, that would seem to be the Tories.

    This is why a vote for the Lib Dems counts, our new policy direction will improve the next government, even if we're a junior partner in a coalition.

    DC's actually moaning that as PM his wings would be clipped, and that he'd have to ask nicely, rather than decide/announce/defend. Isn't that arrogance just what the people want to stop?

    That's today, tomorrow I'd like an outright majority in the polls, just to ensure that the electoral reforms happen quickly and the people get the power they deserve!

  • Comment number 20.

    Why haven't people asked Cameron whether he rules out a coalition with the LibDems? Until he does, we could just as well have Vote Clegg, Get Cameron.

    I do find the Tories using fear to scare people off the LibDems rather pathetic - they really lack any positive agenda whatsoever.

  • Comment number 21.

    So we're still on vote Clegg, get Brown then.

    For all of Clegg's posh proseletysing ways about people beginning to think somehting has changed, the opposite is true.

    nothing has changed; you'd vote Clegg and get Grumpy britches.

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 22.

    This might be a good election for the Tories to lose. Tweedledum and Tweedledee running the country further into the ground and we'll be crying out for 'change'! Let's do it all again later in the year.

  • Comment number 23.

    Darrin, fair enough we've heard that a hung parliament and even an outright Labour victory is not something the markets want, but ultimately, we can't be held captive by the financial markets or high flying City investors. I appreciate that the markets losing confidence can be a big problem, but this election is about the general public, and who we think has the best vision and ideas to take this country in a positive direction, achieving socioeconomic goals and ensuring a more fair society. Yes, the soothing market fears are important, but after what the City has done to the economy, it shouldn't be surprising that some people think it's quite rich for some City types to be dictating how the country should be run.

  • Comment number 24.

    It is clear from everything that has happen in the last decade and a half that Gordon Brown can be trusted as much as the former beast in the tale of the Scorpion and the Fox. It's in his nature to sting things that keep him afloat.

  • Comment number 25.

    In light of recent events, it seems rather arrogant for Brown to assume that he will be in a position to 'offer' anything to Clegg/Lib Dems ... other than a letter of resignation.

    Out with the old, in with the new.

    #iagreewithnick

  • Comment number 26.

    #7

    Given how astonishingly poorly "City investors" have been performing lately, I'd take the results of that poll as a *boost* for the non-Conservative-majority outcomes.

    That aside, there are two glaring issues I have with those numbers, above. The first is that the vast majority of these investors stand to gain significantly if the Tories get in power, whereas they'll find themselves squeezed if there is a different result.

    The second problem I have (as an economics graduate), is that I can see a significant economic upside to a strong LD showing, even if they aren't an overall winner. The mood of the electorate has improved slightly over the past week, mirroring the increase in LD support; if this is sustained, after the election we could see a sustained boost in consumer confidence, which would have the effect of offsetting a number of the issues they raise.

    But still, my major concern is that 100% of the sample in that survey would have had a Conservative bias.

  • Comment number 27.


    I take my hat off to you Nick. This is spot on.

    The dream of the Gang of Four has always been an unholy alliance between the now defunct 'Liberal' and 'Labour' parties. Wittingly or unwittingly, Clegg is part and parcel of that New Labour project.

    Mandy is rubbing his hands with glee. With Clegg's help, his dream of an ever-lasting New Labour project could finally come to fruition.

    The wind is being knocked out of Clegg's sails under the searing spotlight of scrutiny but Mandy is still spinning, Brown is still grinning.

    But is it too late and will voters be taken in by the sham?

    http://theorangepartyblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/will-voters-see-through-clegg-sham.html

  • Comment number 28.

    " ... friends of Gordon now dispute this version of history ..."

    Neatly sums up Gordon Brown and the group of political gangsters and shysters that form the Labour Party and its hangers-on.

    And our politicos wonder why they are held in so much contempt these days. Or, maybe they don't (care).

  • Comment number 29.

    The only reason Brown supports AV is because he believes it will increase the Labour vote. There is no reason at all not to also add PR as an option in a referendum other than the power hungry tyrant being worried about losing some control.

    Gosh, what a terrible thought? REAL democracy in Britain!

    Clegg should accept nothing short of PR. Time the Red/Blue stranglehold that has done so much harm in the UK over the last 30 years was broken.

  • Comment number 30.

    No7 Darrin,
    You are in danger of becoming 'a desiccated calculating machine'
    Do not get to worried, Gordon, Vince and Alistair will sort things out.

  • Comment number 31.

    Farcical.

    Saying you're different doesn't make it so. It's an indictment of the collective intelligence of this country that one television appearance can result in such a surge in popularity. Given the discrepancy between his party's current poll ratings and the at best lukewarm, at worst downright hostile, reaction to his party's policies (barring on tax), it is clear that this current pattern is a triumph of style over substance.

  • Comment number 32.

    forum @ 20

    "I do find the Tories using fear to scare people off the LibDems rather pathetic."

    Me too. Perhaps if the view that the Lib Dems could work with Labour but not with Brown (as our Nick is hinting here) gains traction, then they - the Tory Story bloggers - will settle down a little. I do hope so. It's very possible because a lot of what drives these people is visceral hatred of Brown as an individual. Why? Dunno but something about him drives them nuts, this much is clear. People should stop being churlish (about the Lib Dems) and get one thing straight. The Liberal Democrats were the only one of the contenders to call Iraq right – a big call – and they have both a decent set of policies and a decent set of front benchers; their leader and their senior people stack up well against those of the other parties. They were cleaner than the others (albeit not clean) on expenses and their core values are nothing to frighten the horses, unless you’re a very cowardy custard horse. So they deserve to make this breakthrough, if indeed they manage to do so – which is still far from certain. And I say this as someone who doesn’t support them. I’m a Clear Thinking Progressive, as you know – or if you prefer something a little less up myself, I’m on the left of the Labour Party – the intellectual left, not the rough and tumble Bob Crow wing - and Labour coming third in the popular vote, regardless of the ensuing machinations in a Hung Parliament, would be a major major embarrassment. So come on people (especially you Tory types) ... if I can be fair and gracious about what seems to be happening, so can you.

  • Comment number 33.

    21. At 1:56pm on 20 Apr 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:
    So we're still on vote Clegg, get Brown then.
    nothing has changed; you'd vote Clegg and get Grumpy britches.


    I imagine Jim Davidson or Russell Brand as leader would be more up your alley, eh, Robin?


  • Comment number 34.

    Darrin: Please keep up the 'city doesn't like...' comments, I would have thought it a perfect way to get people to vote for something.

    In a democracy it is the people who vote, not the financiers. Check out the etymology.

  • Comment number 35.

    Well Nick, looks to me like you are crying in Camerons milk !. Poor old Danny Finklestein was doing the same on Newsnight yesterday. To Quote Nick Clegg " You really dont get it do you ". Camerons ploy for change is hollow , whay are you not asking him where and what the change is. Truth is that he has changed nothing in the Conservative Party. Cameron is trying to be all things to all floating voters. He looks done for because he is always acting a part. He cannot be his true self as he knows that his right wing anti European leanings will split his party and further damage his position in the polls. You cannot be a true leader when you are untrue to yourself. The public are not fools we see the sham and Tory division and will not support him

  • Comment number 36.

    More thoughts on the business leader poll:

    ORB interviewed 145 senior professionals within large UK-based institutional investment organisations. A total of 89 institutions were covered with their combined assets under management (AUM) amounting to £1.75 trillion. The Portfolio Managers within the survey were personally responsible for combined AUM of £121.5 billion.

    So:

    - All the people sampled were in the top 0.05% of income in the country.
    - All/Most of them would have been from London.
    - All have a blatant vested interest.
    - The sample size is sufficiently small that, even if these people were correct 90% of the time, the margin of error would remain excessively large.

  • Comment number 37.

    No15 Palus,
    Past practice suggests that the party with most seats in the House of Commons has the strongest mandate.This does not of course mean that they could form a viable government.Have a look at the 1974 first election result.

  • Comment number 38.

    Surely we are closer to "the ultimate fulfilment of the new Labour mission" than your interlocutor realises.

    Economy on the rocks; housing, transport, services and amenities straining to cope with pockets of over-population; unnecessary wars being waged with under-equipped troops; surveillance and anti-terror measures used against innocent citizens, while real crime soars...

    All the while the Great Leader (CEH, where are you?) dithers and indulges in "gesture politics" and "warship diplomacy" for the cameras, thousands upon thousands of Britons remain stranded overseas. (If Nicholas Winton could organise rescue trains across Europe in the 'thirties, why not our leading public servants in these days of Schengen and Open Access?)

    Might we just hope that Bruin has signed his own warrant by his past behaviour? That somehow the shifting balance of power will restore Parliamentary democracy as opposed to rule by Executive decree?

  • Comment number 39.

    PasstheParcel

    Yes this election is about General public, but as the UK is a major finance hub in the world,their views must be looked at also,my point is Labour arguing that Tories would risk the economy with their plans rings a bit hollow when reading a report like that.

  • Comment number 40.

    Not that Nick Robinson is in any way baised in his election reporting but....At Oxford he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association...speaks volumes doesn't it !!

  • Comment number 41.

    Darrin, #7 - Are these the same investment professionals who've been busily losing trillions on the fantasy that US house prices would go up for ever, and have subsequently been bailed out by Alistair Darling? These people are not predicting what will happen if we vote a certain way, but telling us what they will do. Which in my books counts as blackmail. Ironic that we're now being encouraged to vote Tory in order to keep various foreign sovereign investment funds sweet: so much for protecting British sovereignty and democracy.

  • Comment number 42.

    "What a bizarre thing to have said. Blair and "New Labour" moved the Labour party more to the right and towards free market economics, and so away from the more socialist policies they had previously clung to. And aren't the Lib Dems actually to the left of labour on the political spectrum these days?"

    They are, and this is one of the great shames of the whole New Labour experiment. Had the Labour Party not gone down the road of rebranding themselves as New Labour, and effectively copying the economic policies of the Tories, they almost certainly would never have been elected in 1997. However, the likely outcome of having the Tories carrying on in power until now is that the banking crisis and credit crunch would have still happened - the Tories only magically discovered that they were in favour of regulation after the crisis happened!

    But at least then Labour could have been standing in the wings in 2010 offering an actual socialist agenda and being poised to take power. As it stands now we have the Lib Dems offering essentially an "old Labour" manifesto, a population who clearly doesn't understand what Socialism means stating that they love the Lib Dems (who are acting like socialists) and that they hate Labour because their socialist policies failed (even though they never actually had any socialist policies!) with a sizeable number of them still wanting to elect Cameron, who's party has always backed unregulated capitalism in any case!

    The Americans, on the other hand, had a very logical progression to their presidential elections - right wing President screws it up, more left wing President is elected in his place.

    Funny how it turns out, isn't it.



  • Comment number 43.

    "Interestingly, friends of Gordon now dispute this version of history, insisting that their man was never opposed to electoral reform - nor indeed to a referendum on it."

    Quelle flippin' surprise.... toady mates of Golum Brown attempt to rewrite history in their favour....? Surely not.....

    Now how can that be, for someone with such a strong moral compass?

  • Comment number 44.

    i think brown and clegg should partner up, all clssic double acts are a little guy and a big fat guy, the two ronnies, little and large, abbot and costello, laurel and hardy, Morcambe and Wise, ren and stimpy, spongebob and patrick... think about it!

  • Comment number 45.

    Maybe it is time for the three leaders to start mentioning their team strengths. Gordon looks quite good on this one, and Nick has the very powerful or at least popular Cable card to play which he has not yet brought out. David has a weak hand, and is carefully disguising his face cards, especially his dangerouse Home Affairs card, smuk education card and loose cannon Chancellor card.

  • Comment number 46.

    Passtheparcel, you are correct to claim that "we can't be held captive by the financial markets or high flying City investors" but wrong if you are implying that our problems will be solved by crushing investment enterprise. The City of London thrives on the performance of its financial institutions, the majority of which have benefited the country immensely. Attempting to oust a few rogues in the City is not a good reason to start levying punitive taxes, as the Lib Dems are proposing. The suppression of private enterprise is a strategy reminiscent of Left-Wing dictatorships. We don't want a Banana Republic, thanks very much!

  • Comment number 47.

    13#

    Guffaw, guffaw.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............


    Next!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Brown is a control freak. He will not want to join in with the Lib Dems as he could lose total power of the Cabinet

  • Comment number 49.

    Gordon Brown is far more astute than his two rivals, who both lack insight.A deal will be done between Labour and the Lib-Dems right under the noses of the Tories and Cameron will be left stitched up. The Tory lead in the polls has had nothing to do with their policies, it's just a kick against Brown. Many people however do not have the stomach for a Tory government and the change people crave does not exist yet. There is no real alternative that gives people the belief they can bring about real change. The most appealing prospect now is a hung parliament between the Lib-dems and Labour, which many see as the lesser of all the possible evils.

  • Comment number 50.

    It's pretty obvious that Labour will do a coalition deal with the LibDems because (a) it's the best way to humiliate the Tories, (b) it's Clegg's only hope of a seat in government and (c) NuLab and LibDem are fairly indistiguishable anyway. It'll be a disaster for the country, but not enough people seem to realise that.

  • Comment number 51.

    Gordon Brown doesn't know the meaning of compromise and coalition - unless of course, its on his terms.

    Don't forget the years of infighting that went on within NuLabour v Blair. Can you imagine there being any difference if Brown had to share power with Nick Clegg? Damian McBully would be called back as Brown's pit-bull and given clear orders to undermine the Liberals in any way possible. How would that be good for the government of this country?

    For once - Nick is right and he is perhaps finally demonstrating a degree of objectivity in his reporting - maybe even he has realised that Brown is on his uppers and that he had better find another Labour player to support.

    Either that or perhaps Nick has been caught up in all the excitement and is beginning to let go of the BBC's 'lefty mantra' and looking to achieve a semblance of balance in his reporting! Slim chance but perhaps there may be glimmer of hope!

  • Comment number 52.

    #23 passtheparcel wrote:
    "Yes, the soothing market fears are important, but after what the City has done to the economy, it shouldn't be surprising that some people think it's quite rich for some City types to be dictating how the country should be run"

    I can appreciate this, but raging against the City does not help one iota.

    In any case, ultimately it is the investors in sovereign debt who will "dictate" how the UK economy will be run. These are not bankers with their bonuses, but the governments and national banks of the surplus nations, China, Korea, Singapore etc.

  • Comment number 53.

    #20 Appforum wrote:
    "I do find the Tories using fear to scare people off the LibDems rather pathetic"

    Of course one man's fear is another's calm contemplation.

    It seems perfectly reasonable to point out that modest gains in the LibDem vote may damage the Tories more than Labour. After all, this is why Mandelson has been, until now, boosting the LibDems as a method of Labour retaining power.

    If anything it's been Labour who have been negative. They've realised they can't win a majority share of the vote and have therefore fallen back on an alternative.

    What remains in the memory of Gordon's message in the last debate? "The Tories will damage the recovery", and "I agree with Nick".

    Doesn't sound at all positive to me.

  • Comment number 54.

    It's a bit mean to say the LibDems would "only accept one system of proportional representation - what's known as AV-plus and not AV."

    AV is *not* a system of proportional representation, it's just a way of trying to get a bit more legitimacy for a fundamentally FPTP result.

    No true form of proportional representation has ever been on offer to the LibDems.

  • Comment number 55.

    "Me too. Perhaps if the view that the Lib Dems could work with Labour but not with Brown (as our Nick is hinting here) gains traction, then they - the Tory Story bloggers - will settle down a little."

    I think what irritates people Saga, is the fact that Brown would be happy to finish 3rd in the vote as long as he could stay as PM. He has no shame, and power is everything - any normal human being would be embarrassed. I think the labour party were summed up yesterday, by Ed Balls smug appearance on the Campaign Show (BBC). He couldn't give a hoot that they had dropped to 3rd. Just as long as they could stay in power.

  • Comment number 56.

    "Sour Brown memories threatening Lib/Lab deal?"

    ===

    Yes.




    Hopefully, his past mendacity will shortly come back to haunt him.

  • Comment number 57.

    "if I can be fair and gracious about what seems to be happening, so can you."

    I could live with a Liberal government Saga, as long as Balls, Harman, Cooper and Brown were nowhere near it. Mandy and Darling can tag along. And I think we should put Jack Straw out to pasture as well as he is feeble.

    I am genuinely angry at Cameron for blowing this golden chance to seize a sizeable majority. Their cowardly tactics have cost them. Shame on them. I'm unfortunately starting to think that Cameron is not the man for the job. I am a devotee of small government, but I think it needs someone with a bit of panache to deliver this message.

  • Comment number 58.

    #32 sagamix wrote:
    "It's very possible because a lot of what drives these people is visceral hatred of Brown as an individual."

    Possibly.

    Of course there is also a visceral hatred of Conservatives in general. "These people" are unable to see a single virtue in any Conservative policy, ever.

    I suspect that armchair bloggers are more anti-Labour or anti-Tory than activists who are supporting the campaign. I know two ex-Labour parliamentary candidates (both lost). I'm sure both would in no way support the wilder anti-Tory emotions on display here. Activists tend to be more pro- their own party than anti- another.

    Going back to Brown, for me the problem is not his personality directly, it's his whole approach of "dividing lines", the cultivation of enemies (often in his own party), and his "wrong, wrong, wrong" diatribes at PMQs. I suppose Thatcher was much the same (the enemy within, etc.), though I think she had many more devoted followers than Brown has or had.

  • Comment number 59.

    "Cameron is trying to be all things to all floating voters. He looks done for because he is always acting a part..... You cannot be a true leader when you are untrue to yourself."

    I agree with this. Unfortunately this is the reason the Tories won't be storming home with a sound majority despite the most woeful sitting government in memory.

  • Comment number 60.

    Beware any form of PR where Party lists decide the pecking order for seat priority, rather than the electorate being able to vote for/against each particular candidate:

    Vote "generic Labour", get Mandleson,
    Vote "generic Conservative", get Ashcroft (in the interest of fairness).

  • Comment number 61.

    #40 redterryl wrote:
    "Not that Nick Robinson is in any way baised in his election reporting but....At Oxford he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association...speaks volumes doesn't it !!"

    I agree. Mute.

  • Comment number 62.

    IF the Lib-Dem's go out to WIN the election and run the country then that is what they ought to do, NO UK coalition has ever worked to the advantage of the public OR the junior partner ... which makes the whole thing a political 'quick fix' and undemocratic - as it no longer represents the wishes of a majority of the people.

    Our electoral system is suited to 19th century shepherds and 20th century newly enfranchised 'sheep' - not a diverse and fractured society living in a 21st century dystopian landscape.

    Lib-Dem's do not 'need' to do anything, why should they drop their political principles and integrity for Dissembling-NuLabor or Confused-Tories? A hung parliament would be the worst thing for the country (the foreign markets will NOT like it), it will not represent the wishes of the electorate or even the general public, BUT it will result in yet another General Election in less than 3 years, only this time we'll be economically, democratically and fiscally much worse off.

    It's not the fault of the Lib-Dems or any single political entity or even the long suffering people, place the blame squarely on the Westminster Antiques Roadshow we refer to as as the Houses of Parliament. The signs were there with Heath in the 1970's and we did nothing, ignoring the problem does not make it 'go away'.

    No political party is prepared to be the 'turkey' that votes for Bernard Matthews, so lets stop talking about change as if it is ever going to happen ...

    Your Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of Great Britain, the Territory of Northern Ireland and Head of the Commonwealth, I humbly beseech you to impose a coalition government in the event that no single political party is able to form a government and run the country in your name."

    Coalition governments worked during the war, and have a long history in Canada and other countries - but it requires politicians with integrity who actually put the country before there own selfish interests and any interests other than those of the electorate ... :(

    No more sell-outs, no more pacts, no more corruption, no more political pantomimes, no more lies and obfuscation, the British people deserve and are starting to demand better.



  • Comment number 63.

    "...Paddy Ashdown has always blamed Brown for scuppering the deal he spent many hours discussing with Tony Blair. It was one reason Ashdown turned down Brown's invitation to join his government in 2007"

    at last... BBC recognition that deals were done with blair/ashdown prior to the 97 election, on this blog!
    (strange that on the 2 occasions ive posted about this, the posts not only didnt appear, they vanished completely, without explanation!)

    panorama after the 97 election, ran an episode about where labour were second to the conservatives, the libdems would field a "paper" candidate
    where the libdems were second to the conservatives, labour fielded a "paper" candidate
    as blair won with a landslide, he was able to brush off the pre election arrangement of junior cabinet posts for libdem front benchers, promised prior to the 97 election.

    this process, is of course illegal and neither parties admitted to it being the case. that said, it was the subject of many articles and prgrams at the time, and was said to be common knowledge amongst those journalists following the campaigns around the britain.

    another reason why i would never vote for the libdems... a party should stand on its own feet/policies, trying to win the maximum number of seats in their own right.
    only AFTER elections should any governmental deals be done.

  • Comment number 64.

    Did anyone notice that Alex Salmon asked the Scot's to vote SNP, the Welsh to vote Plaid and then decided not to ask the English to vote ENP?

    So it is alright for the Scots and Welsh to be nationalistic and ignore the UK but it is not alright for the English to do the same.

    So he accepts that the Scots now cannot survive without the UK does he??

  • Comment number 65.

    sagamix 32

    You can bleat on about "scare tactics" for as long as you like (and make outrageous claims for your intellect as well, as is your regular habit), but you are missing the point, by a mile.

    One of the hardest immediate tasks the government faces, whichever party or parties it ultimately is formed from, is to borrow in the current FY significantly over £300bn (the whole of the deficit PLUS the money to repay all the gilt-edged stock that matures during the year). That is more than 20% of GDP, a little over half of total government revenue, during the current FY. It has to do this from the markets, whether you like that or not, and it has to do it smoothly and without a hitch. If it fails, then we will be projected straight into a major crisis.

    Now, it is abundantly clear that Labour do not command anybody's confidence sufficiently to do this, and nor does Labour in an 80:20 solution with the Liberals. See Darrin at 7 - only the Conservatives have sufficient clout with the markets to be able to pull this off.

    So, have your little bit of fun and clown around as much as you like (none of which has to be taken any more seriously than anything else that you post, of course, because there is no evidence of a single voter who might be genuinely influenced by any of your arguments passing through this blog), but remember, what you are advocating is something that will lead, with the certainty of night following day, to a sovereign debt crisis and the arrival of the IMF to dictate how the nation's finances will be run.

    And if you choose to trivialise this point, then all you are doing is advertising to everyone who reads your posts that you simply don't understand the problem.

  • Comment number 66.

    33 It's an Outrage

    Funny how Sour and Brown seem to sit so nicely together.

    Is it because he looks like he's sucking a lime everytime someone asks him a question?

    Those pat lines he trotted out 'it's answer time, David, not question time' did anyone tell him that if he repeated the line twice it was a sign that nobody was listening?

    Taxi for Brown!

  • Comment number 67.

    NewsTalk wrote:-
    "However, the Anti-Labour vote has become a Pro-Lib-Dem Vote. People now seeing Clegg and the modern Liberals as a true opportunity for Change. Cameron's old-school Tory background turning people away from Blue and onto Orange".

    What absolute ill informed rubbish and typical of the LibDem's "I will only see what I want to see regardless of the reality"! I do not see Cameron as "Old School" Tory, rather the opposite in fact. His background is not much different to Clegg's privileged background either. The difference is that Cameron will certainly bring positive change for the Country, and Clegg will only bring back Brown and his ruinous government for another 5 years. Please try and see past your prejudices!!

  • Comment number 68.

    Labour's theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as "the truth" exists. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, "It never happened"—well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five well, two and two are five.

  • Comment number 69.

    1. What the parties say before the election will not be the same as what they will agree to after there is a result delivering a hung Parliament. Forcing another election and blocking electoral reform would be a high risk option for any party.
    2. What the City say will happen will not come about, because people do not shoot themselves in the foot if they can avoid it. Talking down the economy would do just that. They may prefer a Tory win, but is this the same City whom WE have had to bail out and whose dodgy dealings will continue to make the headlines for years to come? They will work hard to make as much money as they can whoever is in power.
    3. If Brown leads the largest party he will be asked to try and form a government. If he fails he will be in oppostion and his career ends in failure. If the price of success is his absence from the government, he would go for that because he would claim that he was at the centre of forming the government that reformed British politics and find some reason for leaving which makes him feel good. Humiliating him would not be in the interests of the Labour party nor a coalition.
    4. A Tory/Lib coalition would be interesting. People may dislike Brown, but they don't trust Cameron. If they did, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. There would be the fear that he would string the LibDems along over elctoral reform and hope that an improved economic situation would deliver him an electoral victory in a couple of years. We wouldn't get the reform which I think is more important in the long term than quick economic recovery.
    5. A fear is that one party almost gets a majority and forms alliances with some of the Plaid, SNP, UU, DUP or Sinn Fein distorting politics in those areas. The result would probably be another election. BNP and UKIP would have a similar effect.

    Unless Labour win outright this is the end of Brown's career.

  • Comment number 70.

    Nick

    so basically we await another stitch up of the election as between Blair and Ashdown in 1997.

    All done in the best possible political need of course.

    1997 Vote Ashdown got Blair

    2010 Vote Clegg get Brown

    This will sure up the markets no end

    "The ultimate fulfilment of the New Labour mission."?

    To Gerrymander the electoral system in every way possible so Labour are the only outcome and its working again.

    Clegg, its just like watching a moth to the flame.

  • Comment number 71.

    7 Darrin

    Nice survey.

    The problem is that the City and the financial markets credibility is totally shot through with the general public at the moment. Forgotten about the global financial crisis, credit crunch and recession already have you? It appears that all those responding to this survey you quote have.

    The cosy tie up between Tory politicians and some parts of the City was the cause of much of the deregulation that caused the credit crunch; e.g. demutualisation of building societies legislation in 1986. As well as deregulation that allowed the exotic financial products to develop, which allowed the recycling of US "Toxic" Products or sub-prime mortgages.

    It is great that you have drawn the close link between Tory policies and some bankers views in the City. Being so closely aligned might work in Mr Cameron's favour when seeking support come 6th May. On the other hand the independent voters might stick two fingers up at the cosy, consensus cause of the credit crunch and vote for something new, fresh and different.

  • Comment number 72.

    saga @ 32

    now then mr saga sir, you might be playing the "fair" card in your posts, but i put it to you that you are anything but "fair"

    why would i think such a thing of you? (incase you were wondering)

    you know as well as i do that any vote for the libdems will increase gordon brown's chances of clinging to power.
    to prove this point, perhaps those with a couple of minutes to spare might want to visit the bbc news website "swingometer"

    i was playing about with it this morning and found:
    - a swing to the conservatives from labour of 6.5% and we would still have a hung parliament, old news i know
    but the interesting thing, was when i clicked at the top to see the swing from labour to the libdems....

    if there was a staggering 20% swing from labour to the libdems, 10% of which has already happened in recent days, there would still be a double digit labour majority in the house of commons!
    it would take a swing bigger than the 20% maximum swing allowance on the swingometer, from labour to libdem, to even acheive a hung parliament!

    and there in proves the point the conservatives make - the more people vote for libdem MPs, the bigger the majority a labour government hang on to.

    now why do people suppose, that labour and their followers are not voicing their concerns and opposition to the libdems?
    labour have even been encouraging people to vote for the libdems!

    play it straight sir, stick with your party of choice you have defended for months on these boards, if you quit the "fair" libdem bluff, we might start to take you more seriously!

  • Comment number 73.

    10. At 1:40pm on 20 Apr 2010, NewsTalk wrote:

    Cameron's old-school Tory background turning people away from Blue and onto Orange.

    =======================================================

    Cleggs a Toff why is he hiding from his background?

    I thought it was New Politics

  • Comment number 74.

    The Lib Dems will sell this country down river. They will just move us forever closer to a European Superstate. I wonder what their motives can be? Answer that Mr Clegg.

  • Comment number 75.

    If this carries on, and if the normal pattern of opinion polls underestimating the percentage support for the LDs applies, then they could be faced with a very difficult conundrum. If the vote share is such that Lib Dems come 1st, Tories 2nd and Lab 3rd, whilst in terms of seats, the order is precisely the reverse, then what does a party that has campaigned for years on the virtues of PR do? Coming 1st in votes terms whilst coming 3rd in seats terms would make their case for them. But could they then bring themselves to do a deal with the party that came 3rd in votes, and 1st in seats? - be careful what you wish for, Nick.

  • Comment number 76.

    Most important question of all has yet to be put by our media. It is to ask Cameron or osbourne what would they do about the banks?
    Given the latest appalling news about Goldman Sachs what would a prospective govt led by Cameron do. The tories are inveterate free-marketeers and opposed to regulation but the banks by their words and deeds are ripe for regulating. What would the tories have done in Oct 08 and what would they do now?

  • Comment number 77.

    # 7: Darrin wrote:

    This sample of City opinion overwhelmingly regards the Conservative economic team of Cameron and Osborne as being the most likely to get debt under control (76%), to deal with the budget deficit (75%) and to promote growth (69%). They are also significantly more likely to be rated as the team which will best manage the economy (66%), that understands ‘big business’ (63%) and as being ‘prudent’ (59%).

    =========================================================

    Good grief - the economic team of Cameron and Osborne. No wonder the city made such a pigs ear of things if they think Osborne knows the first thing about economics. Anyway the city must have inside information because so far I haven't heard the tories say exactly what they are going to do economically if they get power. Maybe the city just expects Cam and Ossy to look after their own.

  • Comment number 78.

    I seeBluecrest Hedge Fund has decamped to Guernsey. estimated loss to the exchequer £130m a year in corporate and personal taxes.

    That's one Hedge Fund and only a handful of employees.

    That's about 8% of the entire amount Brown was counting on by upping the top rate of tax to 50p.

    I wonder what he'll do when the £1.6 billion he was counting on getting with the 52% tax rate turns into a negative figure? Put the rate up to 62%? Duffer Brown strikes again.

  • Comment number 79.

    15. At 1:47pm on 20 Apr 2010, PalusKeg wrote:
    Clegg has said he will support the Party with the largest public mandate. That seems to suggest a conservative/ Lib dem coalition is increasingly likely in the event of a hung parliament.

    =========================================================

    No its the usual have it both ways Clegg.

    Is that 'public mandate' number of seats?

    or

    Is it 'public mandate' biggest number of votes?

    He won't answer the question when its put.

    It means a 1997 Lib Lab stitch up again all in the of democracy of course.

  • Comment number 80.

    "Gordon Brown is far more astute than his two rivals, who both lack insight"

    Is this the same man who has seemingly led one of the big TWO parties into THIRD place. I totally disagree that he has any insight whatsoever, but even if I am wrong there is no disguising the fact that the man is an utter failure.

  • Comment number 81.

    It appears that the electorate, as a mass of people, are incredibly easily swayed towards a party and/or concept of a lib-lab coalition who offer very little (if anything) to the tax revenue generators in this country. Whilst to a certain extent, I disagree with aggressive redistribution of income, I appreciate that as part of a developed society/economy, it is a necessary evil. However, to lose sight of an optimum level of taxation and indeed, where the burden of tax falls is a dangerous thing. I am 26 and stand to earn a figure of £70k this year - not bad but in no way extraordinary. If the Lib Dems take part in a power sharing coalition with Labour and their plans to tax 'high-earners' come to fruition, my first move - and that of many of my hard-working friends will be to escape this country while we have no ties for the relative luxury of a country which embraces revenue generators rather than using them to fund an overweight (welfare) state and general profligacy.

    Just consider that before you vote for the first person who indulges in the seemingly obligatory 'banker bashing'...

    Finally, with regards to ignoring the desires of the City - just consider where the corporation tax came from which funded this country during the economic boom.

  • Comment number 82.

    "The most appealing prospect now is a hung parliament between the Lib-dems and Labour, which many see as the lesser of all the possible evils. "

    What utter rubbish - the only reason youself and your cronies are saying this is because you have realised that an outright labour majority is now impossible.

  • Comment number 83.

    Nick - Your blog is spot on. Just rewind on any Prime Minister's Questions and listen to the patronising way Brown puts down Clegg. At least he listens to Cameron.

    Problem is the more people vote Lib Dem, the more likely we will have Brown as PM (please NO).

    The UK electoral system is biased: Labour only needs a disproportionately small % of the vote win a majority of seats.

  • Comment number 84.

    34. At 2:35pm on 20 Apr 2010, Briantist wrote:
    Darrin: Please keep up the 'city doesn't like...' comments, I would have thought it a perfect way to get people to vote for something.

    In a democracy it is the people who vote, not the financiers. Check out the etymology.

    ========================================================

    Check out the history all Labour governments have run out of money and that is when the Financiers vote with their money and pull the plug on your out of control spending.

    Then the the grown ups have to come in and clean up the mess again.

    Same as it ever was.

  • Comment number 85.

    JH66 @ 58

    "Of course there is also a visceral hatred of Conservatives in general. "These people" are unable to see a single virtue in any Conservative policy, ever."

    Not me, John - here's some I don't hate:

    (mix of past and present).

    - selling council houses (but a pity they didn't hardly build any).
    - facing down the extremes of union militancy.
    - upgrade of teaching profession (if more than a soundbite).
    - privatisation (some of them).
    - deregulation (some of it).
    - removal of child benefit from middle and high earners.
    - public sector pension reform.

    Stopping now before I get carried away and end up regretting myself. Not saying I like any of the above, pls note, just that I don't viscerally hate them. Hate them, sure, but not viscerally.

  • Comment number 86.

    The prospect of another 5 years of Brown fills me with horror. I just hope people realise that if they vote Clegg they may well get Brown instead.Brown has single handedly destroyed our economy, if he gets another term there will be an immediate run on the pound and a removal of our triple A status. Its just unthinkable. Lets hope people realise what the consequences are in voting for Clegg. Its amazing to see what lenghts Brown goes to to hang on to power. He has always been 2 faced now it seems he is preperade to be 4 faced.

  • Comment number 87.

    A Lib-Lab coalition would destroy both parties in the aftermath of a fall-out and consequent second election.
    All parties should really be trying to avoid winning, because whoever is in power will not get recognition for sorting out the unholy mess of the economy that Labour has created. Whichever way we slice it, we're in for a 10% cut in living standards for at least 4 years. The only issues are the way the pain will be distributed and whether half-measures will prolong the agony.

  • Comment number 88.

    "76. At 4:10pm on 20 Apr 2010, Horshamred wrote:
    Most important question of all has yet to be put by our media. It is to ask Cameron or osbourne what would they do about the banks?"

    I take it Brown doesn't have to answer this question?


  • Comment number 89.

    Darrin 7

    These "City professionals" are among the hucksters and barrow boys who brought the banking system to the verge of collapse in 2008, so don`t be too impressed by their "Opinions"

    Of course they favour the conservatives,for a start they will benefit from IHT and a more favourable tax regime.Reproving noises will be made about bonuses but not much else once the tories are in office.

    These characters are the pinnacle of the most unequal society in Western Europe and want to keep it that way.In the current unsettled political climate, it might be better if they kept their "opinions" to themselves before an incoming left of centre government made financial centres responsive to objectives other than aggrandising self interest.

  • Comment number 90.

    A Lab/LibDem pact could see no Brown, Mandelson, Darling and of course no BALLS. Maybe it is a good idea after all.

  • Comment number 91.

    I watched the debate and as Brucie would say "didnt he do well!!". I found myself warming to Mr Clegg right up to the point where he was prepared to sign away our security in order to save some cash. If the public are that shallow that they would vote for any of the leaders on the basis of performance in front of the camera then I suppose the nation will deserve to repent at its collective leisure if it picks Mr Clegg or allows him to into government.

    I have always voted Tory but I must admit to some queasiness in doing so this time. Whilst I generally like the Tory approach I have no belief that they can deliver even a fraction of what they promise on the basis that when all said and done they are as much moribund by social liberalism and political correctness as are the other parties.

    All parties are so transfixed upon the idea of trying to be "all things to all men" ( and women - God even Im doing it!) ( and where every word uttered is reliant upon the say so of some some focus group or PR guru) that they all end up espousing essentially the same message. It then only becomes a matter of degree and degenerates into a fight about the extent of "cuts" without then having the bottle to spell out in words of one syllable how far we are in the mire and what it will actually take to get us solvent again.

    We are heading for a hung parliament by any present reckoning. This does reflect the split accross the country but is not to be welcomed in any measure. 1974 still stands a fair warning to us all on that score. Better a Labour majority ( tough God forbid) than the prospect of indecisive and divisive pacts.

    There is a collective "head in the sand" approach being taken by the public. We know it will hurt - we just hope it hurts our neighbours more than us. We have had 13 years of essentially cosy middle of the road consensus politics and look where we are now. Perhaps we could afford this in the "squander" years under Labour but not now. Do we really want a continuation of more of the same?

    All parties have failed to set out in any proper detail just where the cuts in our bloated bureaucracy will fall. This is unsurprising since with the seemingly endless legions of unproductive and resourse hungry public servants governments have collectively helped to create in their "big government" plan since 1945 and to whom they all now have to appeal for votes, how can they say were the executioners axe will fall and then not damage their chances of election.

    The parties all seem to want to "protect front line services" - a doubtless noble endeavour but totally unrealistic and such identified savings as have been advertised by all three parties are at best notional.

    Its the lack of honesty ( though why should we be surprised Im not sure) that turns me off.

    Im dissappointed by the lack of truly radical thinking in politics, particularly within the Conservative party and politicians that have "balls" . The people should be crying out for real change but none seems likely in electing any of this lot.

  • Comment number 92.

    If Lib Dems are true to their principles then they should give support (in the event of a hung Parliament) to the Party with the greatest number of votes, even if their is no formal coalition. But, they are treading on dangerous water whichever way they go, as many of their voters will be upset as they will have voted tactically to keep either Brown or Cameron out!

  • Comment number 93.

    Brown is finished

  • Comment number 94.

    How will PR work, as in will it be done across all four countries or will each country be done seperately. I ask as with about 5 million Scottish voters in England if they all voted SNP, then they could and would become a major party. If it is done by country then the Tories with a large English vote would get more seats and Labour could lose heavily. Maybe its the way ahead.

  • Comment number 95.

    71 - "The cosy tie up between Tory politicians and some parts of the City was the cause of much of the deregulation that caused the credit crunch"

    yes, I remember them deregulating the banks while Gordon Brown was out at the shops picking up some milk. The Tories and their banking mates snuk in the window and deregulated them without Gordon Brown knowing anthing about it. "Blimey", Gordon Brown said when he got back from the shops "I could have sworn the banks were tightly regulated but it seems not. Oh, well, can't do anything about it now. It's not like I'm going to be in charge of the country's finances for the next 13 years is it?"

    "e.g. demutualisation of building societies legislation in 1986."

    yes, i'd quite forgotten about the banking collapses that occured in the 1980's and 1990's due to poor banking regulations. Or maybe it didn't happen because there WERE proper regulations in place at the time. regulations that Brown scrapped.

    With your grasp of history and finance, I was wondering if you could talk us through how Mrs Thatcher was responsible for the "South Sea Bubble" in the 1720's or perhaps how John Major caused "Tulip Mania" in 1637. Come on, they MUST have been to blame.

  • Comment number 96.

    32. At 2:26pm on 20 Apr 2010, sagamix wrote:

    I’m a Clear Thinking Progressive, as you know – or if you prefer something a little less up myself, I’m on the left of the Labour Party – the intellectual left, not the rough and tumble Bob Crow wing...

    ===

    That must be a very lonely place for you to be, Saga!

  • Comment number 97.

    40. At 2:50pm on 20 Apr 2010, redTerryL wrote:
    Not that Nick Robinson is in any way baised in his election reporting but....At Oxford he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association...speaks volumes doesn't it !!

    ===

    Been in hibernation, Terry?

  • Comment number 98.

    PP16

    Policies built around progressive Keynesianism, with a strong interventionist programme to build greater equality into the social system is precisely the realignment of the left which is needed.

    The economic crisis is exactly the environment where such a programme could be rolled out."We are all in it together",that cynical populism by the airheaded Osborne could be turned on its head and given real substance.

    For this to work the Lib_Dems would need to be brought into government to give it the widest possible basis of support.Then we can tear up the manifesto`s and get started.

    Brown`s position in a future government would be unchanged however much he may have rubbed Clegg up the wrong way.Essentially it`s an irrelevance if a joint programme can be agreed.The state is an instrument of change,not an individual.

  • Comment number 99.

    I would like to think that Nick Robinson is more intelligent than all this. There is no way the Libs will EVER be in a position to be in govt or form govt. The worst case scenario is that they may be in a position to be a king maker..but that wont last loong. We will go to the polls again soon after that.
    So why kid ourselves.
    if the Tories win..we lose. If Labour wins. we may just get by.

  • Comment number 100.

    "86. At 4:31pm on 20 Apr 2010, Simon04 wrote:
    The prospect of another 5 years of Brown fills me with horror. Its just unthinkable."

    I'm afraid people are both too stupid and selfish. They are stupid in that they fall (in general) for Brown's "Global" downturn nonsence which hides his woeful stewardship of the economy. They are selfish, in that Brown has bought so many votes now via benefits and the public sector that all these self serving people will vote for the status quo because they they either can't get jobs elsewhere or are unwilling to come off benefits.

    Brown should be on about 10% by now - only the real diehards. The fact that he isn't reflects the utter idiocy of the electorate I'm afraid.

 

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