As Labour disappear off into opposition ready to tear themselves apart, they’ve found themselves in agreement about one thing:
The Coalition isn’t the fault of all those people who voted Tory, giving them the 306 seats.
It’s not their own fault for running up a budget deficit of £175 billion and running a Government based on spin and celebrity, pandering to the The Sun and the Daily Mail on law and order and immigration, waging George Bush’s War on Terror here in the UK and, most unforgivably of all, treating Civil Liberties as something a ‘modern’ society doesn’t need. Nope, it’s not their own fault.
Who’s fault is the Coalition? That’s right: It’s the Liberal Democrats fault, you traitors! You liars! Obviously the Labour Party would never have compromised their principled objection to economic sanity by doing a deal with the Lib Dems, so that left the Lib Dems with the one option they were supposed to take: Don’t do the deal and help bring down the minority Tory Government within a few months. Then there’d be another election, Labour would be returned to power with a new leader and we’d all go back to living in a Progressive Paradise(tm)
You know, I’m looking at this narrative and wondering just how out of touch and crazy Labour really are likely to become. For all the trite talk of a “New Politics” this Coalition is exactly that. Partisan, tribal politics has been ditched in favour of compromise, negotiation and attempts at harmony.
Do Labour seriously think that the real people, the normal ordinary voters that don’t get quite so involved, will see more virtue in Labour’s principled objection to co-operation, or will they reward the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for doing something no-one really believed possible?
The Lib Dems have played their hand extremely well. They’ve taken an opportunity to get a lot of their manifesto turned into real living Government policy, and in return they just had to avoid their instincts to become partisan bores about it.
I think history will show Labour to have been on the wrong side of this particular movement, no matter how confident they feel that others will share their tribalist dogma.