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David Cameron takes 10 Downing Street

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, May 12th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called the Queen to signal his resignation, paving way for Tory leader David Cameron to be made Prime Minister. Brown has also resigned as Labour leader effective immediately.

Mr Brown will head to Buckingham Palace to resign, and David Cameron will make his separate trip to the palace to advise the Queen he can form a new government with the support of the Liberal Democrats.

Let’s hope by relying on the Lib-Dems that the Tories can’t wreck too much havoc in the UK this time around.

Meanwhile, The Guardian has photographed a paper held by Nick Clegg that appears to set out what the Tory-Lib Dems deal is set to include:

The Liberal Democrats and the Tories appear to be discussing a deal that would give Nick Clegg‘s party a minister in every government department, according to a handwritten note that offers a tantalising glimpse inside the negotiations.

Captured on camera today by Guardian photographer Graeme Robertson, the note is written in blue ink by Clegg on a single A4 sheet folded in half.

It appears to set out the main areas under discussion, ranging from voting reform to the dividing up of government jobs between the parties. However, it is not clear whether the note details the Lib Dems’ demands or the Conservatives‘ offer to Clegg.

Based on an inexpert translation of the spidery script by the Guardian, it appears to begin by listing the Tories’ “red lines” on which they are not prepared to give ground: Europe, immigration and the Trident nuclear deterrent.

It then moves on to “AV”: the alternative vote reform to the electoral system that the Tories are now offering to put to a referendum in a bid to secure the support of the Lib Dems to form a government.

The list also includes:

• The adoption of reforms to party funding proposed by Sir Hayden Phillips but shelved by Labour and the Tories.

• Funding for opposition parties so-called “short money”.

• Fixed-term parliaments.

While the Lib Dems said yesterday they wanted clarification from the Tories on education, income tax policy and voting reform, neither schools nor tax are mentioned at all in the note.

But it is the detail at the end of the note which is most revealing. Under the heading “Roles” Clegg lists the two main issues as “ratios” and “me”.

The last three lines appear to detail the proportion of Lib Dem MPs in a Lib-Con government, as well as the share of the total number of votes for the coalition contributed by Clegg’s party.

The note appears to suggest that the party’s share of ministerial roles should be in proportion to its share of votes approximately 39% of the total. The sheet of paper includes a series of figures evidently showing the rationale behind this claim.

The most eye-catching phrase, apparently referring to government jobs for Clegg’s MPs, comes in the final line: “one in each dept”.

45 comments on “David Cameron takes 10 Downing Street”

  1. Heaven help them

  2. mach1 2

    Okay, so who’s running the sweep on the snap election date and where do I sign up?.

    btw, watching the sky news coverage and heard the chant “tory scum tory scum”

    • Name 2.1

      Okay, so who’s running the sweep on the snap election date and where do I sign up?

      Try Goldman Sachs.

  3. They should stay out of Government and offer confidence and supply only.

    The left will not be amused.

  4. Ms X 4

    With luck/judgement the country will vote left at the next election – which could be quite soon.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    The Guardian shows “The Sun” saying different things in its London Edition to the Scottish edition, for the same story.
    Who knew Murdoch and his henchmen could be so duplicitous ?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/may/11/gordon-brown-scottish-sun

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Anybody who’s bothered to watch, even a little, of what Murdoch does.

  6. Tanya 6

    Awesome. Democracy wins at last! Good luck to David Cameron, what a mess he has to deal with. Time to celebrate! Improvements, indeed.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Not even remotely democratic. The majority of people voted for Labour and Lib Dems.

      • Joshua 6.1.1

        Actually, more people voted conservative-lib dems than they did labour-lib dems. A LLD coalition (53% of votes, 48.5% of seats) is more undemocratic that CLD (59% of votes, 55.7% of seats).

        • Lew 6.1.1.1

          Joshua, by this reasoning, the “most democratic” government would be Labour-Conservative (65.1% of the votes, 86.8% of the seats).

          L

          • Joshua 6.1.1.1.1

            Agreed – but note I said “more undemocratic”. I did not say that the CLD coalition was the most democratic option

            • fatty 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nice one, how about they put every elected MP all together as one group to lead the country…that would be more ‘democratic’. And Josh, it would also be ‘less undemocratic’

            • Ari 6.1.1.1.1.2

              There is nothing essentially undemocratic, or even “less democratic” about a government commanding the majority of the popular vote. It might be said to have less of a mandate than a government that might command an even larger share, but mandates are just part of the democratic process, not the totality of it.

      • Nick C 6.1.2

        The majority of people voted either for a combination of Con-Lib or Lib-Lab

        • Lew 6.1.2.1

          No, nobody voted for a combination of anything. 100% of people who voted cast one vote and gave no formal indication of their other preferences. You can infer as much as you like (and the electoral reform lobby has done some smart modelling based on previous preference survey data) but that’s a different matter.

          L

  7. Bored 7

    De ja vu, the bloodsucking classes resume their parasitic hold upon one of the financial capitals of the world….

    • David 7.1

      Yeah, 13 years of Labour has been fantastic for the UK. Financially they are in really good shape because of Labours fine management.

  8. Will the Lib Dems avoid becoming the Maori Party of the UK?

  9. Chris 9

    History books won’t be particularly kind to Nick Clegg.

  10. Excuse my ignorance of British politic but could someone explain how these parties might align with NZ politics.

    Brown – Labour Party ?
    Cameron – National Party ?
    Clegg – Lib Dems. How do these guys align, Left, Right, Middle?

    • vidiot 10.1

      Lab = Lab
      Conservative = Nat
      Lib Dem = Centrist / Centre-Left (so maybe NZ First would be closest in NZ, with a tinge of Green, or dare I say it ‘Social Credit’). Going back almost 30 odd years, the core of the party were ex-Lab MP’s who had left Lab as it was becoming too left wing for them.

      • Lew 10.1.1

        NZ First are a social conservative party, the utter opposite of the Lib Dems.

        L

      • jcuknz 10.1.2

        Lib-Dems to the far left I heard recently.

      • Daveosaurus 10.1.3

        The Liberal Democrats are what you’d get if you merged Anderton’s and Dunne’s constituencies.
        The Peters First analogue would be the UKIP – xenophobic and wishing for the return of Empire, but without the BNP’s neo-Nazi trappings.
        Otherwise the SNP have some distinct parallels with the Maori Party (fighting it out with Labour for the indigenous vote with the Tories/Nats fairly much out of the contest).

        • Lew 10.1.3.1

          Except that the Lib Dems have (again) none of the social conservatism of Anderton or Dunne (eg, around drug policy).

          L

    • Lew 10.2

      John, first two are roughly correct, but there is no analogue for the Lib Dems in modern NZ politics. On social issues such as immigration, civil rights and liberties and international affairs they’re well to the left of Labour, while on economic matters they’re more centrist, lacking the socialist foundation which Labour had (but has largely abandoned). Nevertheless, they favour a strong welfare state and steeply progressive taxes, and are by no means a freemarketeer’s party, although the Lib Dem ranks do include such folks. They have little in common with the Tories in social terms, and only slightly more in economic terms. It’s a poor fit, and this will be a difficult coalition for both parties to be part of.

      L

  11. Thanks for that info, that makes it a little less puzzling for me.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Any chance of a left-leaning deal was torpedoed by Labour MPs. Anyone who doubts this, spend five minutes on the UK news websites (e.g. Guardian, BBC) … too many quotes, too little time, but summary: Labour couldn’t/wouldn’t deliver a majority. Remember, there are no list MPs, no tight caucus discipline. Individual MPs rebel often in the UK. The “progressive” deal was dead in the water (not that New Labour are very progressive). Many Labour MPs are relieved today.

    The Lib Dems took the least bad option. I agree confidence and supply would have been better, but the UK public doesn’t “get” that concept, unfortunately.

    Some of the worst Tory excesses will be trimmed. There may be some moves to political reform. The Lib Dems won’t get thanked, and if the next election is FPP, they’ll get punished. But … what could they do?

  13. James Stephenson 13

    Realistically, this was the only game in town. Given the fact that the Welsh and Scots Nationalists don’t vote on English issues as a matter of principle, the Conservatives and the DUP together could have blocked any measures brought forward on health, education, justice, environment, economic development…..

    The “rainbow progressive alliance” was a non-starter.

  14. ianmac 14

    Given the huge problems facing the Economy, the “Poisoned Chalice” seems apt. Getting concensus will be a huge task. And will there be implications for NZ trade/exchange/politics?

  15. He TAKES downing street???

    His party won more seats, the people want him there, he formed a coaltion with the lib dems, its all fair and square.

  16. prism 16

    I did like David Cameron’s speech writer’s effort. Very statesmanlike, noble, wise, conscientious, compassionate – jolly good I thought. Hope all comes to pass in the same vein.

    It must have seemed to the Lib Dems that they had to consolidate their advance in voting which left them at the tipping point in the election. They wanted surety of action for move towards proportional system. They are to get a referendum so that is a small step for Britkind.

    Another thing which would be good for them to referend on is having a shorter term. Four years would result in politicians being more compliant to the voters. I think it is 5-6 years now.

    That’s long enough to dig an extremely comfortable hole lined with valuable paper of various kinds. The scams revealed over past years remind me of the term ‘rotten borough’ from a previous century. Today some of Britain’s politicians self-advancing attitudes might equal that rottenness.

  17. toad 17

    The Liberal Democrats have been criticised by Green Party politicians and activists for the terms on which they have agreed a coalition deal with the Conservative Party.

    The Green Party leader Caroline Lucas described the Liberal Democrats as “not the party of change, but the party of changing their mind’. Lucas, who last week became the first Green MP in Britain, made the comments shortly before the LibDems entered a coalition government yesterday evening (11 May).

    She insisted that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg should hold out for a referendum on proportional representation. But it has now been confirmed that the deal between the Tories and LibDems will limit electoral reform to a referendum on Alternative Vote, a variation on the current non-proportional system.

    Lucas’ warning of the “LibDems’ tendency to backtrack on promises’ was echoed by Green and other left-wing activists following the news of the coalition last night. Darren Johnson, one of the Green members of the London Assembly, used Twitter to encourage disgruntled LibDem members to join the Green Party.

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/12118

    • Lew 17.1

      And so the cannibalisation of the left begins.

      L

      • Neil 17.1.1

        well British pollies were paying a lot of attention to how things have played out here in NZ and clearly the LibDems took lessons from the Maori Party on how to Betray The Left.

    • prism 17.2

      toad I wonder would the LibDems have been able to exert successful pressure on the Conservatives if they had decided on a confidence and supply agreement with them? I can understand the third party wanting to make gains as they have been in the wings for so long.

      In a well-rooted democracy like Britain is it a positive mood to advance ti the stage of a referendum for AV and be able to use the discussion time around it to promulgate the facts about prop. representation?

      Also if they brought in a 5% threshhold as we have but with no list member side-riders, could they keep the neo-nazi Bristish National Party out?

    • gobsmacked 17.3

      “She insisted that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg should hold out for a referendum on proportional representation.”

      Yes, I thought so too. And it’s a shame he couldn’t.

      But here’s how the conversation went:

      Clegg: “We will hold out for a referendum on proportional representation.”
      Cameron: “My party won’t vote for that. Nor will Labour. MPs want to keep their seats.”
      Clegg: “Then you leave us no choice. No deal with either party. Another election.”

      And so Caroline Lucas loses her seat.

  18. Name 18

    Having a Parliamentary majority of 70 seats with a LibDem/Conservative coalition means the Cameron will be able to ignore the Thatcherite Right of the Conservative Party and will have to if he’s to retain LibDem support. In order to get the coalition Cameron OFFERED (ie was not forced into conceding) several policy concessions that will make Right-Wingers very unhappy and I’ve read opinions plausible to me that Cameron (very aware of the anti-Tory vote in the election) was quite happy to move the Conservatives towards the middle, just as National moved towards the middle when ACT split off to fight for the Right.

    Clegg was forced to put his money where his mouth is. Proportional Representation only works if there are Parties willing to work with either side, willing to fight their corner but make compromises. Had he or Labour won another 20 seats a Labour/LibDem coalition would have strong enough to run a Government and would have happened – and would have been the best outcome – but with the mathematics of what actually happened to have gone with Labour would simply have shown up the LibDems as Labour-Lite and confirmed the Right-wing mantra of “vote LibDem, get socialist”.

    The old tribalism of Red v Blue has been overtaken by a new political awareness on the part of the electorate and Clegg and Cameron have both shown themselves alert to the new politics. The result represents 59% of the electorate and for the first time no clique within a Party is going to be able to impose its philosophies on the UK unhindered. It may not be the best possible result, but it’s the best available.

  19. gingercrush 19

    Its probably the best option of all the possibilities but it still reads disaster. Going back to polls would have killed the Liberal Democrats and proportional reform. Labour and Liberal Democrats governing would have made the media very unhappy. It required negotiations with several other parties and leadership troubles within Labour whilst governing would have done so much damage.

    This deal is problematic because Liberal Democrats don’t get exactly what they wanted. And you’re going to watch massive cuts to spending because you have no choice. The public will become increasingly incensed and its likely to be the Lib Dems who will wear that wrath. Still its the only real credible option.

    • Name 19.1

      “Its probably the best option of all the possibilities but it still reads disaster.”

      If you mean disaster for the Country it’s not going to be as big a disaster as a Labour Govt. propped up by the LibDems and a rag-bag of Welsh and Scottish nationalists. The markets would not have liked that at all and would have made the economic position far more perilous and difficult. Fulminate against the unfairness and nondemocratic nature of that all you like, it’s the reality.

      If you mean disaster for Labour, I’d say it’s the opposite. They get a chance to re-build under a new leader with clean hands. For Labour to have done what is necessary fiscally would have killed it off for ever, but not doing it would not have further damaged the Country.

      If you mean disaster for the LibDems, at the worst they’d be no worse off than they were before – a small third party left out forever in the wilderness. But they’ve given themselves a chance now to carve themselves an identity of their own. Yes they probably picked up an anti-Tory vote which will be disappointed, but why didn’t that anti-Tory vote go to Labour? IF (and it’s a big IF) they can distinguish themselves, score some policy successes and be visibly a brake on Tory excesses they might hold onto and even build on the non-socialist, anti-Tory vote. It’s the vote New Zealand First garnered to hold the Center and role of Kingmaker, but failed to hang onto because of Winston Peter’s egocentric shenanigans.

      If you mean a disaster for the Tories, yes. I think they have most to lose. They should have won last week’s election hands down but they no-longer have the core vote. The strong Right has nowhere else to go, apart from breaking away into ACT territory and the weak Right has a lot in common with the LibDems anyway. What you’ll see in this Parliament is a tussle between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats for the Centre vote, but the Tories have the baggage.

  20. Gosman 20

    Good to see the usual leftist disdain for the democratic process displayed here in all it’s glory

    • Armchair Critic 20.1

      Pales in comparison to the right’s disdain for democracy. ECan or Supercity ring any bells?

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Today is the day of the Mt Roskill by-election. To be safe under the legislation, there will be no further comment on that election until after the polls close at 7pm. Transgressors will receive lengthy bans.