About me
Archive
About me

Lib Dems in next week’s cabinet?

close

Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 12 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 12 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Gordon Brown and Sir Menzies CampbellThis morning, The Guardian reveals that Mr Brown and Sir Menzies have been having talks about Lib Dems potentially featuring in Mr Brown’s cabinet, when he announces it next Wednesday. It’s an interesting plan. It would, of course, be fantastic to see two parties working together despite their differences, for the good of the country. It would be a laudable example of rising above party politics. But I can’t see it happening, because I can’t see the advantage for the Lib Dems.

It’s clear what’s in it for Labour: A virtually guaranteed win at the next election, an appearance of true cross-party working, and some very capable ministers.

But what’s in it for the Lib Dems? They lose the power to properly attack the government, they will inevitably be blamed for blunders while Labour takes the credit for successes, and it damages any perception anyone might have had of them as a potential government in their own right. They lose the advantages of opposition, without really gaining any real influence. They would also lose a certain degree of advantage when it comes to negotiations for a coalition government following the next election, should one be necessary.

Media speculation that this might happen, however, is very clearly beneficial to both parties. It paints Mr Brown as someone willing to break with tradition and party politics in order to find the right people for the right jobs, and it paints the Lib Dems as a party taken seriously enough for it’s shadow ministers to be considered for the top jobs.

If nothing comes of the speculation, really no political damage is done to Mr Brown, but it allows the Lib Dems to harp on about turning down potential power in favour of standing up for their principles – or else, they could both deny that the talks ever took place, which would be even less damaging to Mr Brown, and of no harm or benefit to Sir Menzies – so they’d both have gained a free bit positive media coverage.

So I reckon the mutually beneficial media speculation is as far as this will go. Sir Menzies isn’t a fool, and I can’t see him agreeing to something that would move his party backwards. But he and Mr Brown are good friends, and there’s every reason to think that they might have put their heads together and hatched this plan which gives them both a bit of good PR – great for Mr Brown as he’s entering the job, and great for Sir Menzies to help quieten the mutterings about him in his own party.

I don’t see a Lib Dem in next week’s cabinet. But I’d be delighted to be proved wrong.

This 1,153rd post was filed under: Media, News and Comment, Politics.

Some recently published posts

What I’ve been reading this month / October 2019, 3 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / September 2019, 6 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / August 2019, 7 minutes long

A flying visit to Copenhagen / July 2019, 9 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Some random old posts

Swing Update / April 2005, Less than a minute long

Flying and thinking / May 2019, 3 minutes long

Terror plot foiled? / August 2006, 4 minutes long

I realise now I was wrong… / March 2005, Less than a minute long

To survive, Brown urgently needs better advice / May 2008, 7 minutes long

Abercrombie and Fitch: for beautiful people only / October 2012, Less than a minute long


Comments and responses

No comments or responses to this post have been published yet.

Compose a new comment



Comment

You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.



The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.