Saturday, May 05, 2012

One of the Coalition parties is not up to government - and it's not the Lib Dems

It was inevitable that the Coalition would run into trouble. One of the constituent parties had long been out of power, had leaders with no experience of government, and hordes of backbenchers and activists with bizarre views and little concept of party discipline.

I'm talking about the Conservatives, stoopid!!!!!??????!!!!!

The key political development of the past few weeks has been the discovery that David Cameron and George Osborne are not that special after all.

Many of the criticisms of Osborne's budget were trivial, but there is no doubt that he mishandled the politics of it. David Cameron has made serious mistakes over the Health & Social Care Bill - the useful reforms it contained could have been brought in without legislation - and is increasingly allowing that carefully crafted mask to slip and revealing the unattractive personality beneath.

Meanwhile, those Tory activists and backbenchers are convinced that the way for the Conservative Party to win voters back is to pursue a more right-wing agenda.

That's right: they believe people voted Labour on Thursday because they think the Tories haven't cut tax for the wealthy fast enough and don't like Cameron's support for gay marriage.

Given that the Liberal Democrats badly need to re-establish a clear identity in the public mind, we should not hesitate in exploiting Cameron and Osborne's weakness. Every time they tacks to the right to appease his party we must be vocal in putting the Liberal case against that move.

And that goes for Liberal Democrat Cabinet ministers too.

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