Sunday, 17 October 2010

Politics, tribalism & coalition

'Britain's political tribes are determined as much by emotion and prejudice as any absolute sets of policy' writes Julian Glover in tomorrow's Guardian. In a thoughtful piece which demands reading, he suggests 'the old world has been blown inside out. the people who never had power suddenly have lots of it, and those who assumed it was theirs to keep can only complain'.

And how they do.

'This mindset does not judge the coalition for its actions but condemns (where have you heard that before?) the fact that it exists. The fury - far beyond the scale of anything the LibDems expected - is rooted in a hostility to pluralism that regards Conservatism as something approaching an evil, and any LibDem associated with it an unnatural compromise. Presumably, the only acceptable outcome would be ceaseless Labour rule'.

'Riled, Lib Dems are making a poor job of defending themselves. They are embarrassed to speak confidently – not so much because of the deal they did, but because they never presented themselves as deal-makers. Instead, they presented themselves as tellers of fantastical truths, signing pledges on tuition fees the leadership never thought they'd need to return to. That was the worst of the Lib Dems: indulging an unworkable policy that amounted to an unaffordable middle-class subsidy dressed up as principle.'

'Oppositionalist purists will rant against the compromises of power. Nobody knows better than the LibDems how easy that is to do. But they've taken the decision to stop copping out. The neurotic rage of those who still want to is entirely predictable.' Brilliant.