The UK general election looks slated to deliver a hung parliament. The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have all said they will vote down a Tory Queens Speech. Given the projected numbers, that means that Labour delivers a Queens Speech, gets the support of Plaid Cymru, (~3) the Greens (~1)and the SNP (~40 – 50) and forms the government. Those numbers are a bit rough and ready, but regardless, Labour governs. End of, right?
Forget that Miliband wrote off any coalition with the SNP. That’s neither here nor there. Lack of a confidence and supply arrangement is also neither here nor there. Unlike NZ, the UK now has a Fixed Term Parliaments Act that diminishes any need for such deals and arrangements.
And so we’re still looking at a Labour government that, obviously, enters into discussion with other parliamentary parties on an issue by issue basis. So, for example, they could rely on the Tories and Libdems to push through Trident renewal. The same goes for austerity measures.
Putting aside the spectre of a ‘grand alliance’ and it’s possible repercussions for Labour in the future, Labour easily governs for the fixed five years term of the Act.
But then along comes the Muppet, with others in Labour, hinting they will engineer a second election rather than just get on with the job of governance. The only way they can do this is to pen an unnecessarily provocative Queens Speech that they know neither the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens could vote for. If they throw in large dollops of austerity and make specific commitments on Trident, then they’ll have accomplished their mission. (I guess the Tories could back them, but yeah…)
So, is Miliband really so fucking stupid as to believe he can strong arm the anti-austerity parties and the SNP in particular, to support a Queens Speech that fundamentality contradicts their core policy stances (anti-austerity and Trident)? And does he further believe that if that doesn’t play out (it won’t) and he then simply refuses to re-write his unacceptable Queens Speech (ie, make it neutral), that he can bring on a second election where Labour will somehow bounce back in Scotland on the basis that an SNP vote will be seen as useless by Scottish voters?
Such hopes would suggest he’s incapable of grasping the simple fact that votes are made by people and are about what people want; that voters are not inanimate little pegs to be hammered into favourable patterns.
I have a sneaking and horrible suspicion this morning (it may pass) that their utter incomprehension of political realities in Scotland, acting out alongside the tutelage of their US based election strategy advisor, has them entertaining such an obviously wrong headed strategy – so fucking potentially disastrous on so many levels – as something that might actually work.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that common sense prevails. Otherwise, the vicious whirlwind that will be reaped and the possible very real world expressions of it, just doesn’t bear thinking about.