Wednesday, 14 April 2010

co-operation -the public's preferred option?

The most popular choice as an outcome of the General Election is a 'hung parliament'. There is simply no appetite for an out right Labour or Tory victory according to a poll in this morning’s Times:

The poll, undertaken yesterday and this morning, says that more voters are now hoping for a hung parliament than either a Tory or a Labour outright victory. … 32 per cent of the public now hope for a hung parliament (as opposed to expecting one), against 28 per cent wanting a Tory majority and 22 per cent a Labour one.

This will mean that the media will intensified their fixation about what Nick Clegg will do. It always amazes me that nobody really puts Cameron or Brown under real pressure on this issue. It is somehow a Lib Dem Question. Here is Sefton where we are by some way the biggest party on the Council and the Tories are shrinkingly small bit it still remains a question that is asked of us. The Tories rant on about how the hung council is not good news but don't follow through with the logic that as the smallest party they could easily put an end to the supposed difficulties.

In many ways this reminds me of 1974 when in the aftermath of the miners strike people felt that Heath had failed but they didn't fancy licensing Wilson to usher in rule by the Union Barons. In those circumstances there was a massive surge in the Liberal vote. There was much talk of parties working together and stopping all the 'slanging matches'.

Today we faced with a major national challenge namely how we are going to sort out the nations finances. You would not guess this from the manifesto launches of both Labservative manifestos where the issue doesn’t get any serious mentions. The issue of parties putting aside their differences and working together for the national good over this key issue is beginning to become part of Clegg/Cable reply to the question of a hung parliament. I guess that if we move up in the polls we will see this proposal become more dominant. The public undoubtedly want to see this form of cooperation. Back in 1974 I thought it was just a bit of escapism -wishing to recreate a misremembered past. Today I concede that unless there is some widespread buy-in to the measures needed to get the economy sorted we are heading for major social unrest.

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