Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Dave or Ed Milibandwagon?

Not sure either of them have managed to jump-start it yet which is why it's not exactly electrifying.

Except several people seem to believe that the future destiny of the Lib Dems may well depend on who wins the most boring contest in electoral history, this September.  John Rentoul is not alone in hoping for a David win believing that surely Labour would not be so dim as to elect Ed.  Or would they?  UNITE is a big, powerful union with quite deep pockets.  That buys a lot of direct mailing to members reminding them, many of whom work in local authorities delivering the public services about to be cut and live in the council housing which will not now be improved because 'there is no money'  - the modern mantra - who fights their corner.  Note how they are also backing Ken for the London Mayoral nomination....

David would be the smart choice for Labour but these are unpredictable times.  People are worried and cannot be relied upon to do the sensible thing, preferring perhaps instead to invest in a Leader who has a track record of street-fighting (in the political sense).  Athough he has managed to avoid too close scrutiny over it, it's worth remembering that Ed M. presided over the worst of the Blair/Brown war years with his close allies, Charlie Whelan and Damian McBride in the Brown bunker at No.11.

Current thinking appears to be that Clegg and Cameron will strike some sort of electoral pact before the next parliamentary elections, assuming the coalition survives that long.  Sandra Gidleigh, on the Week in Westminster on Saturday, probably speaks for many in the party when she said that unless there was evidence the Lib Dems were having a serious impact on policy and law-making they would be 'toast' at the next election, as referred to by Matthew Norman today.    Which is where the debate over Dave/Ed comes in.  David M would be closer to Clegg than Ed although Ed has appeal to many on the left of the party.  Backed by the Unions who are squaring up for the fight of their generation however, would Ed even be interested in finding common ground wth the LibDems?

Why do I care?  Hard to explain really, except that politics gets under your skin so that even now, when we are no longer affected by it day to day, it's impossible to ignore...or maybe it's like a scab that you can't help but pick...either way, it is compulsive.  

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