On occasion this blog is as guilty as any of clinging to certain comforting delusions as though they were nursery blankets. Moreover, it delights to see Rupert Murdoch (inter alia) in an impotent rage, and his Sun newspaper groping around on the toilet floor trying to relocate its famous sense of ‘humour’.
But the unhappy truth remains that Lib-Labbery cannot work, or certainly not in this curious moment that we’re living through. The British people won’t wear it, not based on this arithmetic. It’s said that coalitions can grievously wound the smaller party, and here I wouldn’t mind so much, but I can only see the larger party getting gored in the process too. I do believe Labour has to regroup around a bit of the forward thinking and reforming instincts that Tony Blair first advanced and then got utterly distracted from while he was PM. I also think that process will be much assisted by Miliband or Johnson as leader. But I can’t see it being conducted anywhere other than in Opposition. If Labour and the Lib Dems have so much in common, let them work that out together fruitfully in a time and place when the people aren’t waiting for a government to get formed in the midst of an economic horrorshow. I was never too keen on David Blunkett or John Reid while they held high office, but I must concede they’ve talked a few truths in their time while I was finding certain lies more consoling. They’re both right on the present issue, I’d say: I can't see that Labour will be forgiven for this particular effort to retain office - if, by whatever crazy contortions, it actually comes off. The Con/Lib notion at least makes sense by dint of numbers, though Clegg must see the ruin that will await his party then. But it seems to me, however glumly, that the proper course is Cameron now rolling up those much-vaunted sleeves of his and forming a minority government. On a purely tribal level, I think this will also, in the long run, prove the least worst option for Labour.
The photo above is (c) PA/Getty.