Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tantrums and principles

The one common factor to emerge from the bust up in Westminster over reform of the House of Lords and changes to constituency boundaries is the utter cynicism of some politicians.  None of the three UK parties emerges with much credit.
Those in the Conservative party who seem to think that they can sign up to an agreement with another party and then pick and choose which elements of the agreement they support have displayed a certain amount of arrogance as well.  I even saw one of them suggesting that the response by Nick Clegg was immature.  It didn’t look to me as though the immaturity was entirely one-sided.
Then we have the Labour Party, who claim to support reform of the House of Lords but decided to vote against it largely to put the Liberal Democrats on the spot.  And then we have the Lib Dems themselves who've responded to an act of bad faith with what looks like petty petulance.
Clearly, Clegg found himself in a position where simply rolling over and accepting that the Conservatives were not going to deliver on one of their coalition pledges would have left him looking weak - or perhaps that should be ‘even weaker’.  However, given his commitment to the continuation of the coalition, he needed to find a form of retaliation which was nonlethal. 
Protecting MPs from a cull may achieve that aim, but it isn't exactly the most populist issue he could have chosen to start drawing lines in the sand.  Worse still from his perspective, it might even secretly please more Tories than it upsets, given the worries many were facing over their own seats.  Heads they win, tails the Lib Dems lose.

4 comments:

G Horton-Jones said...

John
Two/three issues in a single blog inevitably clouds the issues and responses
Reform of the House of Lords is an English issue The need if any for a second chamber for governance of Wales by the Welsh is another matter and was rightly not mentioned

Boundary change for MPs is an attempt at an English solution for an English problem. Wales has no need for Mps or Lords. We are capable of running our own country

Coalitions can work but may not If recent history tells us anything smaller Political parties are the losers when coalitions fall apart

Siônnyn said...

Tory MPs cynical, immature and arrogant? Surely not?

Keith Parry said...

There are too many MPs in Wales,a reduction of about forty would suite us fine.As for Lords they should have been abolished by Lloyd George in 1910.

Siônnyn said...

To be fair to Lloyd George, he tried, by making the HoL the corrupt venal bunch they are today, thinking it would self destruct with all the peerages he was sshamelessly selling. Alas, the English aristocracy saw nothing wrong with that, (it was after all the traditional method - al;though it was usually the King selling them) and continued as though nothing had occurred.