John Walker's Electronic House

This Is Not A Good Day

by on May.11, 2010, under The Rest

It sort of feels pretend.

BBC News is reviewing tomorrow’s newspaper front pages, with three Tories sat around a table, crowing. They’re using phrases like, “these lefties… have got [their] comeuppance.” The presenter chuckles along. The BBC has already sunk comfortably into absolute unquestioned bias, having spent the last few days telling outright lies on the news about how our government works, attacking any Lib-Lab coalition suggestions, and endorsing a Tory government without question.

These three people sneer, laughing out loud at how left wing writers are upset with the result. The presenter doesn’t even look awkward, while his guests describe Cameron as having shown “remarkable vision”.

“I suspect we won’t be hearing the phrase ‘Broken Britain’ any more, as I rather suspect it’s just been fixed.”

Approving murmurs all round.

This is BBC News.

Literally three Conservatives mocking Labour, the left wing, sneering at the non-right newspapers, and all completely unchallenged. This is how things shall be for a long, long time.

The Liberal Democrats are currently emerging from their meeting in which they unanimously voted through the deal, stating that this is the best thing that could happen to our country. Their glee includes agreeing to a cap on immigration, and agreeing to a referendum on “giving more power to Europe,” whatever the bloody hell that means. They’ve abandoned their absolute core principles, and they’re telling us what a wonderful day this is for Britain.

Can I wake up now?


24 Comments for this entry

  • Jennifer Allen

    Thoroughly depressing isn’t it? :(

  • James

    God. I’m glad I was in the pub to miss that. Maybe I should go back there for the next four years.

  • Blackberries

    And if we get fixed parliaments then we’re stuck with the Conservatives for four or five years.. Ugh.

    I’m trying not to be reactionary, and tell myself that as distasteful as I find a Lib-Con coalition, it’s better than the Conservatives going it alone. If it might get some Lib-Dem policies pushed through, if it might put the brakes on some of what the Tories want, then surely it’s worth it? I would have dearly liked a progressive coalition to get PR and stave off a Tory budget, but that was probably always a bit of a long shot.

    The budget is what I’m most concerned about to be honest. It could be very bad indeed. I wasn’t even wholly convinced by the Lib-Dem approach to begin with (bloody Orange-Book brigade…). Let alone a Conservative one with Osbourne as Chancellor..

    I will have to think very hard about voting Liberal Democrat in future. I was split down the middle in Lib-Dem/Labour sympathies anyway. And it’s more important to me that the Tories stay out than the Lib-Dems get in. I suppose it’ll depend on how Labour rebuild themselves, how much they can shake off New Labour.

    Let’s hold our breath everyone.. the next four years will not be good.

  • Kanamit

    So what you’re saying is that America no longer has the stupidest and least balanced media? Yippie!

    No, but seriously, good luck. You guys will need it.

  • Tom O'Bedlam

    I didn’t watch the news, but I have to confess to having a difference of opinion about the coalition.
    Concessions had to be made. Look at what we’ve got in return for those losses. No rise in the inheritance tax threshold, a referendum on AV+ and 20 ministerial seats. From that position we have a lot of power, more than we deserve, truth be told. “Never compromise, even in the face of Armageddon” is a nice philosophy but we have to be pragmatic.
    I’m not over the moon about it by any stretch of the imagination, especially that we’ve had to concede scrapping Trident.* But over all I’m trying to remain positive. Its a damn sight better than a pure-blood conservative government at the very least.

    *No one listened to my idea about using the money saved on Trident to research Battlemechs :(

  • TheSombreroKid

    Being scottish, I think the libdems just played into the snp’s hand here, they were desperate to get a tory government which scotland didn’t vote for, because there’s scottish executive elections a year from now, which have now garunteed an snp landslide, which i’m ambivilant about, i don’t want a tory government but i was hoping the union could be saved.

  • TWBr

    If it helps any, this is what it feels like to be American, if you imagine it like this ALL THE TIME.

  • Alex

    After the debacle of the proposed Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition in Canada, I was hoping that the left wing in the UK could make it work. Guess not. :(

  • Greg

    Contrary to what many people have said, I actually did vote for a hung parliament. I wanted a labour party with flavours of LD (voting reform, science, civil libs) etc. I just did the counting wrong, but it’s too late to take my vote back.

    My instictive reaction on hearing the news of the Con-LD pact was too make some lame facebook updates; the next was to check out joining the Labour party where I was pleased to see the site was down due to unpresedented demand.

    However, on sober reflection, and given the actual result of the election, I think this result is the best outcome. LD negotiated very well and seem to have some real power now that should temper the worst of a Tory government. George Osborne will have more support on the economy. I think we should give this a chance but keep our eyes open. We may find that we don’t miss the BBC so much after all.

    I also think Labour managed the debate and the election very well. They wern’t thrashed despite the efforts of many and they appear to have managed to have stuck all the blame on Gordon meaning they seem at the moment to be in a much healthier position now than could possibly be expected. Maybe when the Con-Lib thing fails some of the good LD MPs will run to Labour.

  • Daniel Rivas

    Blackberries – As I understand it, fixed terms don’t stop the government from being able to collapse, and a vote of confidence being called. It just means the PM can’t immediately move the goalposts; if voters swing to his party massively, say.

    Anyway, a depressing day. All we can really hope for is that it does collapse, but that would kill any real chance at proper electoral reform any time soon. Sigh.

    Still, a good effect of this could be the Labour party taking a right old hop to the left; to distance themselves from the libdems now this has happened, and to get away from the politics that will be cutting rather heavily rather soon. Cynical, sure, but still a silver lining.

  • Dan Lawrence

    The question is what else could Nick Clegg have done?

    He had a choice between; not supporting the tories and forcing another general election (which he has no money for, would torpedo the idea that coaltion government could ever work in the UK and which he would likely cost him support from people sick of elections) or he could go into coalition with the Tories.

    :abour made it perfectly clear today that they wanted no part of any coalition with the Lib Dems by parading a series of MPs and cabinet ministers in front of the press dennouncing *any* potential deal while it was still being negotiated. Labour proved today that when push comes to shove they’d rather sit in opposition than do the hard work of turning up to parliamentary votes and keeping the Tories out.

    The facts are that Labour voters from 2005 switched to the Tories not to the Lib Dems; the Lib Dem surge never happened. Labour lost its supporters through lacklustre government and Labour didn’t want to go into coalition with the Lib Dems.

    Blame Labour for Cameron being in Number 10.

  • wds

    Could be worse. You could be Belgian. (I am, so I get to say that)

  • Rev. S. Campbell

    The Guardian reports the terms of the agreement:

    Lib Dems priorities that have been secured:

    • Referendum to bring in some form of alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force the legislation for a referendum through, but they will be free to campaign against the reforms before referendum.
    • New pupil premium to be introduced, steering more funding to schools for every child they take from poor homes. Both parties back this policy, but the Lib Dem version attaches more money to it.
    • Reducing the tax burden on low earners. This could go some way towards the Lib Dem aim of lifting tax threshold to £10,000.
    • A wholly or mainly elected house of Lords.
    • More equal constituency sizes
    • Fixed term parliaments, including this one. The next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Legislation will mean such agreements can only be broken by an enhanced majority of the House of Commons.

    Tory priorities that have been secured:

    • A cap on immigration and an end to child detention immigration controls (the latter was a Lib Dem proposal).
    • Welfare reform programme to be implemented in full.
    • School reform programme providing all schools are held accountable.
    • A commitment to maintaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Renewal of Trident will be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will be free to continue the case for alternatives.
    • The government will make no proposals to join the euro.

    That’s what it took to get Clegg to sell out. He accepted immigration caps, armies of benefit slaves and Trident, for House Of Lords reform (which is a bad idea in itself), some sort of vague progress towards cutting tax on the low-paid a bit, and some pointless fiddling with school rolls.

    As BBC news said this morning – “the Lib Dems haven’t done very well in terms of policies, but very well in terms of Cabinet seats”. Good for them, eh voters?

  • Xercies

    *Bangs Head*

    A cap is the worst idea for immigration…ever. LibDem did have the right idea about seeing whos coming in and out. A cap is unbelievable how will they do the maths, what will happen when they’ve got there 3 million quota or whatever and we still need a maternity nurse after that. What will they give priority to?(with a cap you really need priority to which part of businessses get first dibs)

    Also no BBC I like the BBC to be honest i actually think the little programs i watch on it is worth the £3 a week it is.

  • Alex

    How would the fixed terms work? The Conservstives here introduced something similar since we have a minority government, they can just throw out some noxious bill and make it a matter of confidence, get the opposition parties to defeat it and call an election.

    Wouldn’t you guys be in the same boat?

  • Pope Gregoru IX

    I’m a former Labour turned-Lib-Dem voter, but given last Thursday’s results Clegg had three options: sit back and let Cameron form a minority government, form a Lib-Lab coalition, or form a Lib-Con coalition.

    With the first, it’s likely that another election would have been called sooner rather than later, one which I think would have resulted in a Tory majority just large enough to enable them to enact their most EVIL plans. A Lib-Lab coalition might have seemed like the most logical step, given the parties’ closer on-paper alignment, but even though Labour offered more on the voting reform front, they wouldn’t have been able to deliver it. Not with outright Tory opposition and more vehement opposition by large sections of the press, who would have had the knives out for the coalition the moment the ink was dry; Clegg would be seen to be propping up a moribund administration. Even given my Lab-Lib roots, I think that would have been a very unpopular move that resulted in a haemorrhage of support for both parties. End result: the coalition collapses through not being able to command a stable house majority, and a subsequent election results in a Tory win. PR or any other kind of voting reform is dead in the water, as the collapse proves that these kinds coalitions don’t work.

    A Lib-Con pact, while a very risky move for the LDs (proved by the number of supporters I’ve seen like your good self who see it as a betrayal) is certainly the only option that truly is “in the national interest” (sorry, I know, I know). Given the scenarios above, it’s the only one that gives the slightest chance of limited electoral reform (we need to get over the fact that PR was never an option here); it’s the only one that can show the public that coalitions can work, be stable (and it may introduce a new maturity to political discourse that the press won’t know what to do with); most importantly, although there will be policies we have to gag on, it’s the only choice that puts the brakes on the most extremely EVIL of Tory plans. You will not see a dismantling of the BBC here, at least not anything more than Labour was prepared to do.

    Labour needs some time in opposition to reconnect with its own ideals, distance itself from the UK PLC thinking that has seen it become unpopular with even its own members. For Clegg, given the alternatives, this is pure pragmatism, not self-interest, not selling out, and a very brave choice. Yes, it could go tits-up, but I’ve a sliver of optimism that history will record this result as Electorate 1, Murdoch 0.

  • Andy Krouwel

    Seriously, what else could they do? Once Labour collapsed the tories didn’t need to give anything away, and the actually good result evaporated.

    This was the best thing that could happen to our country, but that doesn’t say that it was good, just the least bad of the available options.

    Cheers, Labour!

  • Rev. S. Campbell

    Theresa May? THERESA MAY? Fucking hell, we ARE doomed, aren’t we?

  • James T

    Do LibDem supporters want their party to have real influence in government or not? It seems that many would prefer to remain perched on the end of the opposition benches wallowing in self pity. I thought the reason the LibDems wanted PR was that it might ultimately give them a say in government, which it appears they’ve now achieved rather sooner than expected.

    For a while it looked as though they were going to be instrumental in demonstrating the chaos that results without a majority government, which would have been ironic, but as it is they’ve managed to push something through which looks like a good fair outcome based on the election result. Well done to all involved!

    I don’t really understand why people voting LibDem thought they were entitled to Labour.

  • dirk

    “It seems that many would prefer to remain perched on the end of the opposition benches wallowing in self pity.”

    It won’t matter where they sit now on crucial votes. The CW that Clegg has negotiated a huge win for the LDs may or may not be true; he seemed set on this arrangement during the campaign, signalling that he would ignore the constitution to get into a blue government. However, by accident or design, he seems to have given away the store: confidence motions now require 55%, so can be won with <300 votes.

    And all Cameron had to do was dole out a few Daimlers.

  • Rev. S. Campbell

    Because LibDem values are far closer to Labour values, and therefore people expected that if the LibDems would side with anyone in a coalition it would be them, rather than a Conservative party to whose views on most issues the LibDems are very opposed?

  • Tom O'Bedlam

    That doesn’t entitle people to Labour if its politically untenable.

    Hang on, Teresa May? Wasn’t she in the video for Smack My Bitch Up? No wait, different Theresa May.

  • Blissett

    I’d love to contribute to this debate but Pope Gregoru IX has already hit every conceivable nail on the head so I shan’t bother.