Friday, 20 February 2009

Have we crossover?

First it was the Telegraph and the Sun, now the Guardian has joined the speculation. Are we heading for cross over where the Lib Dems poll ratings move in front of the Labour Party. Some of us are old enough to have been around this course before back in the early 80's. On that occasion the coalition between the SDP and the Liberals was so inherently unstable-due in large part to Dr Owen-that it always seemed to me likely to end in tears.

There was a second moment at the time of the Iraq War when I certainly thought the New Labour project was going to come unstiched. Certainly Blair had to leave much earlier that he wanted and there was Brown bounce.

Now we have a recession. Big political moments like War and recessions change the face of politics as Martin Kettle argues in today's Guardian. I am beginning to wonder whether the Labour Party can withstand two such body blows- and the infighting within the government(altho it has not reached the childish pitch of the in fighting within the Southport Tories) is a clear sign of decline. Parties with internal squabbles and backbiting do not prosper-the electorate properly conclude that they are so busy fighting amongst themselves that they have no time to work for the electorate.

I guess the odds are still against a long term cross over, but the continuing failure of the Tory Party to 'take off'. The clear impression that the electorate have that altho Cameron is trying to talk a different language nothing has really changed in the Tory party, means that there is an opportunity opening up again for the Lib Dems to take on the mantle of progressive leadership in Britain