Friday, 23 April 2010

Robinson the Great-a hero for our time ?

I missed this yesterday in the Guardian-an editorial about a comic political novel written by a former Liberal Party President written on the eve of the 1929 General Election. That was an election when the Liberals fighting under Lloyd George and his Yellow Book manifesto won the debate and lost the election.

The President was Ramsey Muir an academic based in the NW at Liverpool and Mnchester universities. His 'hero' Robinson was a the Clegg of his times. As the Guardian editorial writes:

Published in 1929, it describes an election ending in a hung parliament in which neither Labour nor Tories can form a majority. Behind them in seats, but not so very far, are the Liberals. Step forward their leader: Robinson the Great. An ideal of what Nick Clegg could become in his finest dreams, Robinson forms a minority government, accepting defeat on day-to-day business but promising to resign only on a vote of no confidence. His bigger rivals dislike one another so cordially that they can never agree to combine and bring him down. Meanwhile, the Commons gradually loses its yah-boo adversarial nature because of the triangular nature of its debates. Measures are increasingly discussed on their merits, rather than point-scoring.

So a hung parliament doesn't mean Gordon has to be Prime Minister.

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