Lord Adonis turns his back on the possibility of a Labour / Lib Dem coalition

December 7, 2012 1:49 pm

Lord Adonis – a former Lib Dem – has turned his back on the possibility of a Labour coalition with the Lib Dems, telling the Guardian:

“I would certainly prefer a Labour government with a small majority to a coalition with the Lib Dems. Definitely. Absolutely definitely. I would not have said that two and a half years ago.”

“What we have essentially had, let’s be clear, is the Tories’ economic policy and a seriously failed attempt by the Lib Dems to inject some constitutional reform into a Tory government. There has been very little that is identifiably Liberal that has been brought into the mix.

“If they were going to be in coalition with us, I hope it would be our programme that would be dominant. But it’s not at all clear to me what the Lib Dems would bring to the party.

“I think the real danger, which we’ve seen over the last two and a half years, is that you would have constant wrangling and argument about the implementation of the government’s programme issue by issue without any productive result from it.”

“Let’s be clear – it’s the same Lib Dem party that has failed catastrophically in forging an effective coalition with the Conservatives who we would be relying upon to form a coalition with us.”

  • http://twitter.com/jonwalker121 Jonathan Walker

    The Guardian has gone in strongly on the idea that Adonis has turned against coalitions in their story so I can see why you have done the same, but he doesn’t rule out a coalition in the event of a hung Parliament – which in practice is surely the only time a coalition is likely to happen anyway.

    It is true that Lord Adonis was one of those people who thought coalitions were a good idea *in principle* and he’s moved away from that view.

    Here’s the full Guardian interview: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/07/lord-adonis-interview-coalition

    Here’s some short extracts:

    Q: Would a minority Labour government, or a Labour government with a slender majority, be preferable to trying form a coalition?
    A: I would certainly prefer a Labour government with a small majority to a coalition with the Lib Dems. Definitely. Absolutely definitely.

    My comment: He doesn’t answer the question about a minority government. He says Labour should try to govern alone if it has a slender *majority*.

    Q: If we’d had this conversation two and a half years ago, you would have said you wanted a Labour government, but that coalitions can work, because they work all over Europe.
    A: Well, I’m much more negative about it now. My view is that you can make a coalition work. If the electorate don’t give a majority to Labour at the next election, then it may be that we have to talk to other parties about a coalition, although I hope we do get a majority. But what is my view of coalition? I think the experience of the last two and a half years has been a very, very poor exhibition for the concept of coalition

    My comment: He says “may be that we have to talk to other parties about a coalition” which is hardly enthusiastic, but the choice basically is talk to them or try to govern as a minority, and he says Labour should talk.

  • AlanGiles

    So it is down to little Andy Adonis to decide is it? – even if in 2015 that is how the country votes.

    Says quite a lot about the strength of Labour’s leader, that he leaves it to a rather mediocre Lord to make the announcements.

    • aracataca

      Isn’t he just giving his opinion?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

      I see no one is allowed to give their opinions now… interesting view of party democracy there, Alan…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001102865655 John Ruddy

      I see no one is allowed to give their opinions now… interesting view of party democracy there, Alan…

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

      • AlanGiles

        Good morning Jaime, I get grumpy for several reasons: firstly the attitude of Labour itself. In reality I doubt they would do much to help the poorest (Reeves was unable to say whether or not Labour will oppose the 1% rise for benefit claimants, low as many of the rates already are). That should not even need to be thought about. Labour is supposed to be the party of the ordinary person, especially those on the bottom run of the ladder. Also, I wonder if you or they have ever seen the plays of J.B. Priestly – especially “An Inspector Calls” which shows that every action, intended or otherwise has consdequences that often affect the innocent. One or two of the “Labour-can-do-no-wrong brigade” on here, seem to want to forget that it was Labour and not the Coalition who passed off an amateur meddler as a welfare “expert”, and instigated his report in full (Purnell would have liked, by his own admission to have “gone further”). It is a bit dishonest now to suggest that it was “nothing to do with us, guv”. I just want people to face the truth and admit it, rather than pretend all the ghastly consequences of Freud somehow magically started in May 2010, after Brown made himself all but unelectable. Purnell himself in 2009 said the full consequences of Freud will not be seen until 2013, and for once in his life, he was right (and telling the truth).

        To compound this we have the likes of Byrne with his faux outrage at the cuts, and every underperforming shadow minister and mediocre Labour MP and scribbler writing articles with the words “one nation” attatched to them as if they were an answer when really those words beg another question: if we are to have “one nation” (which sadly we never will) is it right to keep quiet over the coalition cuts for fear of upsetting the tabloid press?. I have suggested we should scrap the replacement for Trident, but the leadership will never countenance that for fear of what The Telegraph and Mail says. Obviously there need to be savings and cuts, but this should not impact the greatest on those with less, and little more than nothing. Would Osborne or Byrne like to try living on £71 a week?. That isn’t even about politics. It is about morality and humanity.

        At this time last year I was defending Ed Miliband over the cassus beli about a misprint in a Tweet (“Black” instead of “Block”) – a time when several LL writers commentators and readers were using this as proof of how he was going nowhere.

        It was an easy mistake and it wasn’t worth the time and energy spent on people venting their spleen (the programme he was referring to was long defunct anyway). I thought those attacks were unfair, unjust and out of all proportion. The watershed though came for me one month later, when Miliband gave an interview to Martha Kearney on “The World At One”. Strongly trailed as “Son of I’m Backing Britain” (1968). It was a long sympathetic interview, not at all hostile as anyone who knows Ms Kearney’s interview style will know. But what did “Harold Jnr” (Miliband) come up with?. Fatuous ideas like sticking a “made in Britain” label on the back of products we assemble here!. Needless to say “I’m Backing Britain 2″ never came about and this great interview faded on the lunchtime ether, never to be referred to again. Certainly not by Miliband or the top table.

        This was the first sign to me that the man, nice as he is, just doesn’t have oomph. This was confirmed a month later when Liam Byrne announced he wanted to leave Westminster to try to become Mayor for Birmingham. Obviously this post meant more to him than being a shadow minister. Good enough reason to dismiss him, but, no, on he potters at the shadow DWP post, one minute saying he agrees with most of the coalition reforms and then…….. what exactly?. Can anyone fathom the mind of this dissembling second rater?. He says what he thinks expedient, whatever that happens to be in the circumstances.

        Meanwhile Ed Miliband thinks if he and his sycophants keep chucking the “one nation” magic spell around, all will come well. All the time looking over his shoulder to make sure he doesn’t upset the remaining Blairites, or the tabloid press. A man full of fears and uncertainty. The shadow cabinet as a whole say a lot of things, but you do wonder at their sincereity. They say what is expected of them, some of them with little impact or conviction.

        The sad thing is Ed Miliband is no better or no worse than the other would-be leaders that are mooted from time to time (Yvette Cooper, anyone?). Labour needs a giant figure and all it has are Oxbridge pygmies, who think they know everything, but actually know very little. The same is equally true of the other two parties, which explains, though doesn’t excuse, the situation the country finds itself in

        To answer John Ruddy of course Adonis is allowed to give his opinions, just as we are about him – he was a far from essential government minister, really promoted on the basis of who you know being more important than what you know.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

          Think this coverage is largely because Adonis has been seen as a central advocate for Lab-.LD cooperation

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

          Think this coverage is largely because Adonis has been seen as a central advocate for Lab-.LD cooperation

      • AlanGiles

        Good morning Jaime, I get grumpy for several reasons: firstly the attitude of Labour itself. In reality I doubt they would do much to help the poorest (Reeves was unable to say whether or not Labour will oppose the 1% rise for benefit claimants, low as many of the rates already are). That should not even need to be thought about. Labour is supposed to be the party of the ordinary person, especially those on the bottom run of the ladder. Also, I wonder if you or they have ever seen the plays of J.B. Priestly – especially “An Inspector Calls” which shows that every action, intended or otherwise has consdequences that often affect the innocent. One or two of the “Labour-can-do-no-wrong brigade” on here, seem to want to forget that it was Labour and not the Coalition who passed off an amateur meddler as a welfare “expert”, and instigated his report in full (Purnell would have liked, by his own admission to have “gone further”). It is a bit dishonest now to suggest that it was “nothing to do with us, guv”. I just want people to face the truth and admit it, rather than pretend all the ghastly consequences of Freud somehow magically started in May 2010, after Brown made himself all but unelectable. Purnell himself in 2009 said the full consequences of Freud will not be seen until 2013, and for once in his life, he was right (and telling the truth).

        To compound this we have the likes of Byrne with his faux outrage at the cuts, and every underperforming shadow minister and mediocre Labour MP and scribbler writing articles with the words “one nation” attatched to them as if they were an answer when really those words beg another question: if we are to have “one nation” (which sadly we never will) is it right to keep quiet over the coalition cuts for fear of upsetting the tabloid press?. I have suggested we should scrap the replacement for Trident, but the leadership will never countenance that for fear of what The Telegraph and Mail says. Obviously there need to be savings and cuts, but this should not impact the greatest on those with less, and little more than nothing. Would Osborne or Byrne like to try living on £71 a week?. That isn’t even about politics. It is about morality and humanity.

        At this time last year I was defending Ed Miliband over the cassus beli about a misprint in a Tweet (“Black” instead of “Block”) – a time when several LL writers commentators and readers were using this as proof of how he was going nowhere.

        It was an easy mistake and it wasn’t worth the time and energy spent on people venting their spleen (the programme he was referring to was long defunct anyway). I thought those attacks were unfair, unjust and out of all proportion. The watershed though came for me one month later, when Miliband gave an interview to Martha Kearney on “The World At One”. Strongly trailed as “Son of I’m Backing Britain” (1968). It was a long sympathetic interview, not at all hostile as anyone who knows Ms Kearney’s interview style will know. But what did “Harold Jnr” (Miliband) come up with?. Fatuous ideas like sticking a “made in Britain” label on the back of products we assemble here!. Needless to say “I’m Backing Britain 2″ never came about and this great interview faded on the lunchtime ether, never to be referred to again. Certainly not by Miliband or the top table.

        This was the first sign to me that the man, nice as he is, just doesn’t have oomph. This was confirmed a month later when Liam Byrne announced he wanted to leave Westminster to try to become Mayor for Birmingham. Obviously this post meant more to him than being a shadow minister. Good enough reason to dismiss him, but, no, on he potters at the shadow DWP post, one minute saying he agrees with most of the coalition reforms and then…….. what exactly?. Can anyone fathom the mind of this dissembling second rater?. He says what he thinks expedient, whatever that happens to be in the circumstances.

        Meanwhile Ed Miliband thinks if he and his sycophants keep chucking the “one nation” magic spell around, all will come well. All the time looking over his shoulder to make sure he doesn’t upset the remaining Blairites, or the tabloid press. A man full of fears and uncertainty. The shadow cabinet as a whole say a lot of things, but you do wonder at their sincereity. They say what is expected of them, some of them with little impact or conviction.

        The sad thing is Ed Miliband is no better or no worse than the other would-be leaders that are mooted from time to time (Yvette Cooper, anyone?). Labour needs a giant figure and all it has are Oxbridge pygmies, who think they know everything, but actually know very little. The same is equally true of the other two parties, which explains, though doesn’t excuse, the situation the country finds itself in

        To answer John Ruddy of course Adonis is allowed to give his opinions, just as we are about him – he was a far from essential government minister, really promoted on the basis of who you know being more important than what you know.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy. They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Alan,

      I have great consideration for your views: they are clearly honestly held, and from a lifetime of experience (and always backed up by your personal touch, perhaps even on music which we both enjoy). They are a “country mile” from my own views, but we can in a friendly manner agree to disagree.

      But… you are getting a bit “grumpy”…? I would like to say, as an internet acquaintance, “lighten up a little bit”.

      (I would also say the same for your “sparring partner” of Bill / Aracataca. Goodness, the pair of you need your own separate article to have a go at each other, and the rest of us can be spared)

  • kb32904

    I don’t want a ‘small’ majority – I want a bloody stonking majority !

  • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

    Adonis doesn’t turn his back on anything. In this extract he even talks about what might happen in the event of a coalition – not exactly ruling it out, and quite right too.

  • Serbitar

    If I am being honest I would have to say that the Liberal Democrats have managed to temper the Conservative’s innate and remorseless cruelty to an extent. I know for a fact that they have blocked many ruinous policies, e.g., 10% cut in housing benefit of anyone unemployed for more than a year, stripping housing benefit from the under 25s, preventing child benefit from being restricted to the first two children for the unemployed – really awful bloody tooth and claw cruelties desired by the Tories for decades that have now become real possibilities by using the financial crises as justification for swingeing welfare cuts. On the other hand the Lib Dems helped the Tories to heap debt on the young shoulders of university students and to introduce the bedroom tax and benefit cap which latter two horrors will cause havoc in the lives of the people affected and to society generally over the next several years.

    A lot of bad blended with a little good; whatever, the Lib Dems are finished.

    (Incidentally didn’t Tony Blair give Adonis a freebie peerage to keep his friend in politics after Adonis failed to get elected as a Labour MP?)

  • Serbitar

    If I am being honest I would have to say that the Liberal Democrats have managed to temper the Conservative’s innate and remorseless cruelty to an extent. I know for a fact that they have blocked many ruinous policies, e.g., 10% cut in housing benefit of anyone unemployed for more than a year, stripping housing benefit from the under 25s, preventing child benefit from being restricted to the first two children for the unemployed – really awful bloody tooth and claw cruelties desired by the Tories for decades that have now become real possibilities by using the financial crises as justification for swingeing welfare cuts. On the other hand the Lib Dems helped the Tories to heap debt on the young shoulders of university students and to introduce the bedroom tax and benefit cap which latter two horrors will cause havoc in the lives of the people affected and to society generally over the next several years.

    A lot of bad blended with a little good; whatever, the Lib Dems are finished.

    (Incidentally didn’t Tony Blair give Adonis a freebie peerage to keep his friend in politics after Adonis failed to get elected as a Labour MP?)

    • reformist lickspittle

      Adonis has never stood for parliament as a Labour candidate – or indeed as anything else. IIRC he was an SDP councillor once.

  • Serbitar

    Thanks. You’re quite right. My bad.

  • Serbitar

    Thanks. You’re quite right. My bad.

  • Serbitar

    Thanks. You’re quite right. My bad.

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