Three articles have caught my eye this morning, partly because I was logging on here to write largely the same kind of piece only without the same level of detail, historical analysis or wordsmithsmanship. So instead, what with the wonders of the internet and everything, I will simply link to them and spare you 600 words on why the three party system is anathema to a well maintained and regularly serviced political system.
- Telegraph.co.uk: Boris Johnson: Only two can play – which leaves no room in the game for Labour
- Heresy Corner: How to dish the Whigs
Meanwhile, this is a great round up of the situation as it stands:
- BBC – Andrew Neil’s blog: The We Mo
Heresy Corner’s suggestion that Cameron does a Disraeli is an interesting one. The idea being that, as Disraeli did with Gladstone, Cameron steals the title of grand reformer of the people from Clegg by proposing something even more radical and populist, thus handing him the support of all those who currently support Clegg’s policy of proportional representation. There are some problems with that though. First, I suspect there was far more support for widening the franchise in 1867 than there is for PR now. Bear in mind most Tories by nature do not want it and that they constitute a majority of the electorate, according to the polls. Second, Disraeli managed to persuade his party to push through these ultra-radical reforms by pointing to the fact that people would thank them by voting for them. However, the Tories lost in 1868. Whether the current Tories remember 1868 is not really the point. It’s more that they will never accept Clegg’s proposed reforms. So Cameron has to come up with something that benefits the Tories electorally but is also fair for and understandable to the country. He’s gone on about radicalism enough; if he could only demonstrate he is the true reformer on the ticket, he might just pull off a majority.
We’re all coalitions really…
Now, since so many people have suddenly developed the bizarre idea that a hung parliament would be a good thing and that coalitions are somehow good for the country, in that very spirit, the rest of this post is just a useless amalgam of stuff I thought and saw with no real point, purpose or outcome, much like a coalition…
I would also point out that the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens etc, are all themselves coalitions. Not everyone in every party agrees entirely on everything, as we all know. But they coalesce around a series of ideas because that way lies power and the ability to put some of those main ideas into practice. Stretch that coalition of ideas to the point where you include two opposing ideas and you obviously have an unstable alliance and usually some kind of split. See the SDP split from Labour in ‘81 for example…
Nobody understands Gordon anymore
Questions about Gordon Brown’s sanity have been doing the rounds for years now, and hiring an Elvis Impersonator did nothing to assuage concerns. It was a truly bizarre moment. At first it looked as though the guy had broken in, like some kind of guerrilla impersonator, but no. He had been hired. Newsnight covered it beautifully. Gordon walked on to the lyrics, “When no-one else can understand me/when everything I do is wrong.” Masterful.
But as the campaign grows ever more surreal not even the most professional commentators can any longer contain themselves. Paul Waugh and Laura Kuenssberg both struggled to hide their exasperation at GB’s behaviour at this morning’s speech to the nurses. Meanwhile another Labour PPC has been sacked following some extraordinarily dark behaviour in the corners of the internet. Lovely picture of him on Tory Bear for those of a strong constitution.
Twittering for a tw*tting
For those sceptical about the uses of Twitter, a little story for you with links to status updates. Yesterday, while moving a coffee table around Tower Hamlets, I pulled up outside my house and noticed George Galloway was sitting outside a local cafe. He isn’t difficult to spot, partly because anyone wearing wrap around shades with slicked back hair tends to stand out, but also because the diesel-powered festival of nonsense that is his Respect battlebus was parked across the road. Naturally, I tweeted: ‘George Galloway currently sitting outside cafe next to my house. The possibilities are endless.’ Several minutes later I received a reply: ‘So am I his bouncer, so watch your back!!!’
I was not following Jay Stewart before this episode and neither was he following me. Therefore he must have been running a constant Twitter search for all mentions of George Galloway, which is… odd? Impressive? Either way, it was a funny encounter.
The internet tells me (make of that what you will) that Jay has a more vested interest in protecting George as he is, I gather, his son-in-law.
Vote with your throat
Finally, if you would like to ‘vote with your throat’, do visit The Cambridge on the outskirts of Soho for a political pint of London Pride. The three taps are themed according to the colours of the three main parties. I am happy to report their poll last night stood at L: 106, LD: 76 and C: 116.