Labour MP says party shouldn’t rule out a ‘grand coalition’ with the Tories

1st March, 2015 7:15 pm

Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, has said that Labour shouldn’t rule out forming a ‘grand coalition’ with the Tories after the next election if neither party win a majority.

GiselaStuartOct2008

Stuart told the Financial Times (£):

“If on May 8 you had a position where Labour had more seats than the Tories but not enough to form a government — but the Tories had more votes than Labour — I think you should not dismiss the possibility of a grand coalition in terms of regrouping of the main”

Stuart, who was born in Germany, went on to compare the UK to Germany, where there is currently a left/right coalition between the CDU and the Social Democrats:

“When you have to make very difficult decisions, the broader the baseline from which you work, the more you are able to do these things. If no party has won an overall majority then it will have to work with another party. And as you work through the options, do not rule out that you have a grand coalition.”

Needless to say, this isn’t likely to be a popular suggestion among most Labour supporters or MPs…

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  • Monkey_Bach

    Ha, ha, ha… ha, ha, ha…. Oh, boy! Eeek.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I think that a “grand coalition” would be highly unlikely for British politics, and I don’t think that it would be the only option open to Labour, given the likelihood of 30-40 SNP who won’t side with the Tories.

    Perhaps more interesting, to me at least, is whether her statements are purely her own thoughts, or whether she has been asked by Labour HQ to “fly a kite”, to guage public reaction.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Given who it is, the latter explanation is extremely unlikely.

      She is German originally, and thinks “it works there, why not?”. Except that, of course, Germany is very different to us in all sorts of ways – and besides the “grand coalition” there hasn’t exactly been a massive boon to the SPD……

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        She is as you say of Germanic origin, but she is a professional politician in the UK. I would credit her with a very fine-tuned sense of British politics (and therefore our political differences in comparison to Germany), and as a Labour politician, she will be very aware of how the SPD are doing. I am afraid that I do not think that she is unaware of the context. So, if she is smart, as she very probably is, there is to my mind some kite flying going on.

        She and her sister are very possibly the *only* Labour politicians who could raise this with a built-in “excuse” if the reaction is negative. And so I wonder whether she has been encouraged to do so.

      • Brian Barder

        I just hope that most of those posting comments in this disheartening thread are either mere trolls or closet Tories.

    • Tubby_Isaacs

      The SNP passed all their Holyrood budgets from 2007-11 with Tory support.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        With which the SNP was NOT in coalition. However, in the referendum Labour and the Tories were in a formal coalition in every sense of the word.

        • dougthedug

          The votes for the Scottish Government budget show just how incompetent Labour were in the Scottish Parliament. They never thought of getting their amendments through in return for supporting the budget.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            I am convinced it’s the ‘Bain principle’ in which Labour votes against anything the SNP proposes even if they support the issue. You have to vote with someone sometime in order to horse trade.

          • robertcp

            I do not have a problem with the SNP negotiating with Tories to get budgets passed. It is equally silly, however, to criticise Labour for working with Tories when both parties disagreed with independence for Scotland.

          • dougthedug

            But the SNP weren’t in a formal coalition with the Tories as Labour were 2012-2014.

          • robertcp

            If you say so. I am just glad that NO won last September.

          • dougthedug

            Doesn’t stop the fact that Labour are now on the ropes in Scotland. They sacrificed themselves for the Union by marrying the Conservatives. It’s going to be a fairytale with no happy ending for Labour.

          • robertcp

            It is a price worth paying as somebody once said.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            There wouldn’t have been criticism if they had worked separately perhaps occasionally negotiating to cooperate, but their hand-in-glove approach of a coalition was a disaster (for Labour, that is). They shared offices, a budget and Alistair Darling gave a speech at a Tory conference to a standing ovation. I don’t know where you are from, but even the idea of a coalition with Tories does not fly in Scotland. Labour supporters who have spent decades fighting the Tories were incensed and outraged. You can say they shouldn’t be all you want but it doesn’t change the fact. (If you don’t believe me take one look at Scottish polling since the referendum) One thing I can tell you with no doubt whatsoever: Scots are not fast to either forgive or forget.

          • robertcp

            I am Welsh and live in London. Labour was right to oppose independence but people who disagree can vote SNP.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            I asked because I suspected you don’t understand Scottish politics but didn’t want to make an assumption. In 90% of Scotland, coalition with Tories is a death sentence politically. Whether Labour was right or wrong, the coalition is killing them. (And they absolutely could have opposed it without a formal coalition) Really DougtheDug explained it pretty thoroughly. Mind you, I am pretty sure they didn’t *think* they were sacrificing themselves for the Union at the time, but is what it is going to come down to.

          • robertcp

            I just hope that the SNP remember that coalition with the Tories is a death sentence after May. The SNP should see its role as improving a Labour-led government.

          • dougthedug

            You don’t have to tell us about forming coalitions with the Tory party. We’ve seen what it’s done to Labour in Scotland.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            And the LibDems which is a ‘dead man walking’ in Scotland or the next thing to it. If they don’t lose everything but two of their Scottish WM seats, I will be astonished.

            I think that the party leaders are intelligent enough to have learned from that example.

          • robertcp

            That is good.

          • Brian Barder

            PLEASE stop writing coalition when what you mean is alliance.

          • treborc1

            Looked like a coalition to me smelled like it as well, maybe a training for the future.

          • dougthedug

            Definition of coalition:
            A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government:

            When I wrote coalition what I meant was coalition.

          • Brian Barder

            The dictionary definition is completely irrelevant. Since May 2010 ‘coalition’ automatically suggests a coalition government of the kind formed by the Conservative and LibDem parties, and that obviously has virtually nothing in common with the alliance between all the UK parties opposed to the breakup of the UK. Scottish nationalists naturally disliked that alliance but that tells us nothing about the pros and cons of Labour going into a coalition after the election in May. Personally I think Labour would make a huge mistake to contemplate a coalition with anyone – and that any kind of deal with the Tories is totally unthinkable. But none of that has got anything to do with the Scottish referendum campaign, however strongly some Scottish separatists might feel about it.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            When I say coalition, I MEAN coalition. But thanks. A coalition is exactly what they had with the Tories during the referendum.

        • Brian Barder

          I give up. An alliance for a limited purpose is completely different from a formal government coalition in which different political parties share policies and ministerial appointments. Acceptance of support from a political adversary on a specific issue is even less like a coalition. It’s difficult to have a useful debate on the suggestion made by the often admirable Gisela Stuart with people who can’t grasp these quite simple facts.

          • MikeHomfray

            But when you have the sort of attitude that Labour should support nationalism because the tories are against it, what do you expect?
            The Yes voters have been carried away on a wave of rather pathetic braveheart nationalism. I rather wish sometimes that they had actually won and now we could laugh at them as they create Belarus , without a currency , without the sweetheart deals of barnett, and without the cash cow of oil

          • Shiprex

            Any nation who wants to can choose sterling as it’s currency, though the coming uncertainty in fortunes it would be a risky business.
            Since the first oil came ashore from the North Sea over 220 billion quid more has gone into the UK exchequer from it and Scotland than has been devolved/spent in Scotland. POP.
            The oil is still there and can still be got at, nothing wrong with setting up a nationalised oil company now that it would be cheaper to buy what’s there already and some may be looking to get out and thus do as Norway has done with taking the tax AND the profits from the resource. Seems that there are still some who see oil as a burden. Then there is the potential for renewable energy, food, water etc. that passes through other parts of the UK as UK and not Scottish for tax purposes which would be added to the economy. Not saying it would all of a sudden become paradise but a bigger step TOWARD something better than there is currently.

      • Davros64

        But now SNP are to the left of new Labour. Not that it’d be hard…

        • Tubby_Isaacs

          They aren’t. See their council tax policy. It’s the same as Pickles. Cuts carnage everywhere.
          Only thing they’re to the left on is what they’ll never be responsible for, the UK budget. No-one quite explains why it’s OK for them to force cuts on councils but not Westminster to force them on Holyrood.

          • Davros64

            Except New Labour want to cut just about every budget going (just less than the Tories in some instances), so any comparisons with the SNP are almost immaterial.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            A lot less than the Tories- the IFS say the difference is “stark”.
            You’re missing my point though. The SNP are happy to impose cuts (Labour in Wales hasn’t done that, and Plaid Cymru have raised tax) and take credit. While telling Westminster it should be acting totally differently.

          • Davros64

            Hmm, as opposed to the Hypocrisy of New Labour.
            And who are now generally despised for their mealy-mouthed statements during the referendum farce.

            That and the fact that Sturgeon’s got ten times more balls than that rampant sellout, Murphy.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            One of the statements from the referendum about Scotland’s economic prospects just got support today.
            This’ll catch up with you.

          • Davros64

            How so?

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            Scotland’s prospects being far too dependent on oil. Oil not being extra.

          • Davros64

            Extra revenue?
            Except even the most ardent unionist knows Alba needs to diverisfy its economy after the way it’s been ‘structured’ by London, ie. not giving a toss for decades…making it dependent on state subsidy etc.

            In essence an unsustainable business ‘model’. So why London, bar oil revenues, is so desperate to hang onto it is beyond reason. The scenery maybe…

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            Ah the old “we’d have done so much better than London” lark.

            The dominant Scottish Nationalist, Salmond, supported Euro membership and admired the Irish Economy. Whoops.

            Scotland’s economy has performed well for 25 years anyway.

          • Davros64

            Ha ha. Nice spin on revisionism…nothing wrong either with an internationalist outlook.
            Scotland was made dependent on state subsidy before they exploited its oil. And it’s now supposed to doff its cap ‘in gratitude’. Yeah right.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            I don’t think anybody has to be grateful or not. We’re a union. I have no problem at all with Barnett or Scottish MPs voting on everything in Westminster. Possibly, some Scottish money should go to Wales instead, but that’s about it.

            The SNP will do very well in this election. But they’re going to look silly after it, stalling fiscal autonomy and trying to create rows over everything.

            The boat was missed years ago.

          • Davros64

            And what an awful union, worse than it ever was, post- referendum FFS, all overseen by that tool, Murphy.

            Most Scottish reps.don’t care about voting for England-shire as long as it keeps the Tory vermin from interfering further in Alba…

            And most ordinary people just want the money spent on the pointless Trident to be spent on infrastructure instead.
            As for ‘rows’, you mean fighting New Labour’s contd.parroting of Westminster’s austerity measures!

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            So it’s overseen by Murphy, is it?
            What happened to the “branch office”? Now you don’t like the person leading Scottish Labour, he’s suddenly all powerful?

          • Davros64

            No. He’s just another idiot leading Scotland and that party in the wrong direction…

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            He’s not leading anything by the SNP’s own logic.

          • Davros64

            Hopefully it’ll be mainly decimated come May.
            You reap what you sow.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            For the dozenth time, I accept Labour are going to do badly in May.

    • taranaich

      The question is who would be least unpalatable a choice for Labour, the SNP or Tories?

      • dougthedug

        Undoubtedly the Tories. Labour and Tory ran a joint campaign against the SNP in their 2012-2014 coalition.

        • Derek Barker

          Yeah, for the majority of labour MP’s it would be like given the dog a bone, Least we forget the labour MP’s fronting up to pay their heart felt respects to lady Thatcher.

          Least we forget the signs poping up around Scotland, telling us about how certain businesses are funded by the uk parliament.

          Not to mention two jobs Murphy who has again put his name forward for an MP’s post and remains Scottish labour leader.

        • Brian Barder

          It was NOT a coalition in any accepted sense of the word.

          • dougthedug

            Definition of coalition:

            A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government:

        • Brian Barder

          It was NOT a coalition in any accepted sense of the word.

        • MikeHomfray

          Quite right too – to oppose the evil of nationalism, the most damaging philosophy known in politics

  • Stephen Comley

    this would destroy the labour party / millions of labour voters would walk away and never return . DONT DO IT

    • IRejectFPTP

      Agree, the Labour party would be toast. Would finish them for good, although it might be just the thing to prove to Britain once and for all that our future does not lie with Tories OR Labour

    • IRejectFPTP

      Besides, how many ‘votes’ the tories have is completely and utterly irrelevant. Seats make a government, not votes. Unless we’ve decided we can swap between FPTP and PR on the fly, depending on which one works for the establishment.

      • ed77

        WT actual F!? opponent of FPTP says ‘how many ‘votes’ the tories have is completely and utterly irrelevant’ !!!

        • IRejectFPTP

          It is. In a FPTP voting system. Now the system is fraying at the edges, they want to move the goalposts and use votes, while still refusing us PR which would allow them to take votes into account, at the cost of their cosy little FPTP cartel

          • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

            Voting for Parties and people to rule us is anti democratic and stupid period, we dont need AV or AV+ we dont need SBT or PR or FPTP aka SMPS. We need Direct Demcoracy were no more elections and parties only caring for us once every 5 years, with false and broken promises, but we evict Party and Representative system for not doing what its mission statement says and go straight for the height of demcoracy as the Ancient Greeks professed in the form of Direct Democracy were people vote directly themselves on issues and laws and economics, no parties on the parties behalf, making it out to be on the peoples behalf, when you have public approval rating of less than 40-30 or even 20% like Cameron and Co has, you have no right to fight people with approval rating of 70-80-90% like in Libya under Gaddafi or Syria under Assad.

            Gaddafi Libya showed us the second method of implementing Direct Democracy thru the Peoples congress and People Committe, which, is better then referendum ballot because its cheaper and brings you even closer to politics. Switzerland has lasted longer with its referendum and Government quasi Direct Democracy, its time we moved on and ditched our current system of Parties and elected Representatives entirely.

          • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

            Voting for Parties and people to rule us is anti democratic and stupid period, we dont need AV or AV+ we dont need SBT or PR or FPTP aka SMPS. We need Direct Demcoracy were no more elections and parties only caring for us once every 5 years, with false and broken promises, but we evict Party and Representative system for not doing what its mission statement says and go straight for the height of demcoracy as the Ancient Greeks professed in the form of Direct Democracy were people vote directly themselves on issues and laws and economics, no parties on the parties behalf, making it out to be on the peoples behalf, when you have public approval rating of less than 40-30 or even 20% like Cameron and Co has, you have no right to fight people with approval rating of 70-80-90% like in Libya under Gaddafi or Syria under Assad.

            Gaddafi Libya showed us the second method of implementing Direct Democracy thru the Peoples congress and People Committe, which, is better then referendum ballot because its cheaper and brings you even closer to politics. Switzerland has lasted longer with its referendum and Government quasi Direct Democracy, its time we moved on and ditched our current system of Parties and elected Representatives entirely.

    • Grand Coalitions are common in Gisela Stuart’s native Germany, which has one now.

      Mind you, formal and informal coalitions between Labour and either the Conservative Party or whatever vehicle organises the paleo-Tory vote in a given locality are not uncommon at municipal level.

      The late, great Derwentside District Council was run for many, many years by an unofficial but highly effective arrangement between the Labour mainstream, which led that Council throughout its history, and a body of Independents, against the nutters on both (or all) sides. It worked.

      There is not going to be a hung Parliament, though.

      • treborc1

        Wales are doing it now with an informal agreement with Plaid, but Plaid have been decimated in the past few years and are looking to lose at least two more MP’s .

        Scotland is labour problem how many MP will they lose .

        • Deals with Plaid don’t count, that’s like a deal with the Residents’ Anti-Bypass Party or something. We are talking about the real thing: a deal with the Tories.

          And Labour could lose every seat in Scotland and, based on the historical record, still win. The outcomes of 1945, 1966, 1997, 2001 and 2005 would all have been the same in Scotland had not existed. It is arithmetically impossible to win an overall majority without doing so in England.

          In any case, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens could never go home if they had kept Cameron (at least 200 seats) in, so they would have to back Miliband (at least another 200 seats).

          • treborc1

            I think it matters to the welsh as it matters to the Scottish people, who are lucky to have a second socialist party.

            The sooner we get devolution sorted the better then labour England can battle for the right with the Tories.

      • Chrisso

        “There is not going to be a hung Parliament” …
        In your dreams maybe but most psephologists would disagree.

        • The Tories have to be 11 points ahead for an overall majority of one.

          • Chrisso

            The current forecast is 280 Tory seats, 283 Labour seats. That’s a recipe for a hung parliament and a minority government.

          • Forecast by whom? What did they forecast last time?

            You just want it, that’s all.

          • Chrisso

            (sighs…) Forecast by Oxford-based psephologists:
            http://electionsetc.com/2015/02/27/forecast-update-27-february-2015/
            They previously had the Tories winning a few more seats than Labour. So it’s time for Tory trolls to get real. Even Simon Heffer is pondering [New Statesman] the likelihood of a hung parliament. And nope, you’re dead wrong. I want an outright Labour victory, not a hung parliament.

          • denise clendinning

            We all want that

      • Andy Ellis

        Do tell us why you think the polls and betting odds, which have all been pointing to a hung parliament for some time now, and show no signs of changing any time soon, are wrong? All the evidence point to the Tories and Labour being stuck on low to mid 30’s %. With UKIP leeching Tory votes, a core LD vote that’s unlikely to decrease more, and the extinction level event for Scottish Labour, I’d love to know how you think this majority government is going to become more likely in the next few months!

        • Everyone allowed in print, on air or above the line insisted that the Tories were going to win outright last time, while some of us valiantly tried to point out where we could that it couldn’t be done because of boundaries that are still exactly the same now. But we were right.

          When we tell you that the most left-wing Labour Party in a generation is going to beat the most right-wing Tory Party since the War at the latest (and that it would have done so at any General Election after 1992), then you can take it to the bank.

          • Andy Ellis

            No they didn’t! That’s just total bollocks! When you DO actually have the most left-wing party in a generation (which is a pretty low bar to be frank) get back to us. All most of us see is the same New Labour, drifting ever rightward, its political compass as skewed as its moral compass.

            You may (just) get more seats than the Tories, but you’ll be nowhere near an absolute majority, nor given your track record would I or many others want you to be!

          • You seem to be an SNP supporter, so perfectly happy to vote for a very righting party economically, but one whose MPs would nevertheless have to support Ed Miliband for Prime Minister rather be seen to back David Cameron. Not that there is going to be a hung Parliament, anyway.

          • Andy Ellis

            The “Tartan Tories” schtick is wearing a bit thin now, eh? Nobody in Scotland other than britnat ultras and dyed in the wool New Labour SNP haters really falls for it. SNP are (and probably more importantly are seen by Scottish voters as being) considerably more progressive and further left than New Labour.

            I’m an independence supporter, and would probably support the SNP as a vehicle towards that, yes. Of course most people like me (and according to polls 2/3rds of voters in Scotland) would rather see an SNP/Lab deal.

            By all means keep your complacency about the prospects of a hung parliament; it’ll make negotiating the SNP’s price for a deal all the sweeter. Let’s face it, that’s the only way you’re going to stake New Labour through the heart and do something progressive for a change.

          • There hasn’t been a “New Labour” in years. Well, except perhaps in Scotland, with a Labour Party so right-wing that it elected Jim Murphy. But based on the other main party in Scotland, that is just a Scottish thing: more right-wing than England.

        • June Helm

          The problem with polls is that you don’t know if people are telling the truth for one thing. For another they usually poll the marginals and marginals change their minds at the last minute

    • failquail

      Given the state of the labour party, this would be a good thing, we could then rally around a party that is actually noticeably different to the tories.

    • Doug Smith

      It makes perfect sense though.

      Policies are near enough identical. And it would provide an alternative to an unwelcome coalition with anti-austerity, left-leaning parties such as Plaid, the Greens and SNP.

      • Daniel Speight

        Doug I’m going to give a long-winded reply to why I think you are wrong, and for this I apologise. I will admit I have a lot of time for some people who have very similar views to yourself. I’m thinking of those like Ken Loach who have supported the labour movement through thick and thin.

        My disagreement is that I think you are allowing a party that doesn’t belong to the middle-class apparatchiks who now run it to be stolen away by them. The Labour Party does belong to the working class. Having middle or even upper class support is great, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a social democratic party belonging to the labour movement.

        The fight should be to turn the party back to its roots and ideology. On LL we have the likes Anthony Painter saying social democracy means what he wants it to mean, (a lesson learned from the gang of four I suspect. Otherwise it’s from Alice in Wonderland.) We have Rob Marchant telling us that we are all middle-class now, which is one of the biggest lies that the media has managed to convince everyone of.

        Somewhere in the comment thread 1931 is discussed and it’s worth remembering that back then the party turned its back on those who formed a coalition with the Tories. The trouble with the party now can be chased back to the 1945 election victory. Herbert Morrison, Mandelson’s grandfather, was a bit of a snob and wanted to get more university educated Labour MPs rather than ex-miners or labourers. He was powerful enough in the party to get his way and the gentrification of the party started in earnest.

        Through to the 1970s the party was like a three-leg stool with the constituency parties (CLPs), the parliamentary party (PLP) and the unions being the legs. Back then the CLPs tended to be to the left and the other two to the right, with the PLP becoming more middle-class. By the seventies it was changing with two of the largest unions swinging to the left. With the rise of Thatcher and the new economics we saw the party starting to disintegrate.

        While the Roy Jenkins led breakaway destroyed Labour’s election chances for a couple of terms, it was also the entryism of mainly middle-class Marxist-Leninist students which eventually destroyed the social democratic left inside the party. The fight against the revolutionary far left opened the door to the likes of Blair and Brown to achieve what Ramsay MacDonald couldn’t.

        So do we give up on the worker’s party? Do we allow the professional politicians to turn it into just another liberal party? What would be left for those that believe in social democracy and democratic socialism. To have a British version of Syriza may be very romantic, but it will be the working class that will suffer yet again. Do you really think a combination of middle-class revolutionaries, greens, feminists and whatever will manage to survive a year, let alone run the country? Let’s be honest. How long can Syriza survive. The seeds of its destruction are in its own makeup. For sure the labour movement does not need yet another romantic defeat. We need a 1945 type victory.

        On the hand I could be totally wrong.

        • IQdaRadical Thinker

          You’re right…you are wrong.

        • Doug Smith

          Thanks for the reply, Daniel.

          But also you could be right.

          However, as there is no democracy within the Labour Party and, after Falkirk, the LP is dumping the trade unions (which have greater internal democratcy than the LP) I don’t see how the Labour Party can be reformed.

          As I’ve said before, as long as they (the LP elite) know they have our votes they, know they can ignore us. That’s why I no longer vote Labour. I’ve decided, having first joined the LP when Wilson was PM, to campaign and vote for what I believe in, not for the lesser of two evils.

          Lewisham’s People Before Profit party/movement provides, I think, the best model available (in the UK) for a future national party. 38 Degrees also looks promising and has begun to organise constituency-based meetings.

          On the international scene, Spain’s Podemos appears to be hitting the spot: Podemos operates a distributed democracy with much participation and online voting on policy development.

          Political parties will, from time to time, get it wrong. But as long as we’ve all been involved in wrong (and right) decisions we all shoulder responsibility, learn and move on. At the moment all that happens (in the LP) is that we change leader and hope the next leader, who is immunised by internal structures against our influence, gets it right.

          At best we are treated like children. At worst we are despised.

          For me, I’ve had enough. Enough is enough.

          Thanks again for your reply.

          • CrunchieTime

            A perfect summary. The party leadership have disconnected themselves from the grassroots. So it’s hardly surprising that the grassroots should reciprocate their actions.

          • Lawrence

            I understand a lot of what you say Doug and as a lifelong socialist I cannot bring myself to vote Labour in it’s present form.
            I voted for Ed Milliband as leader but I think he is not supportive enough of the trade unions.
            I think the best choice of the new parties of the left is LEFT UNITY, Ken Loaches party.
            The only problem I see with these new parties, if they did become popular and grow large enough to threaten the two main parties will they be infiltrated with tories like the Labour party has?
            We need a Labour government but with as many Greens, Nationalist and other left wing MPs in parliament to keep them in check and fight for the working class and underprivaliged in our country.

          • Brian Barder

            Unfortunately it’s impossible to vote for a minority Labour government supported by lots of small left-wing parties. Every vote for a small party makes a Labour government less likely and another dreadful Tory government more so. You’re voting to decide whether Miliband or Cameron will be prime minister: it’s not a beauty contest.

          • Andy Ellis

            Not so; the electoral arithmetic simply doesn’t support this view at all, not does the history of (for example) Scottish Labour MP’s and their influence on Westminster GE outcomes. What makes a Tory administration more likely is Labour failing to gain enough seats on their own account (highly likely…..but then neither will the Tories!), Labour failing to make a deal with the SNP out of pique at the hated nationalists, and Labour trying to govern as a minority without SNP/Green support and failing to be replaced by a short term Tory minority administration.

            Even with the Fixed Term P’ment Act, a second GE in a relatively short timescale looks all but inevitable; Labour need to take care they don’t get punished by the electorate for bringing this about as a result of their unreasoning, atavistic hatred of the SNP.

          • Brian Barder

            I entirely agree with all that, and I don’t see any conflict at all with what I wrote.

          • Andy Ellis

            I was disagreeing with your statement that a vote for a small party makes a Tory admin more likely; it’s a bit more complex than that I think?

          • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

            They hate Nationalists for 2 reason, none are because of Nationalism, it is all to do with SNP implement what they say they will and override national bedroom tax thru using other funds to fund this evil tax, this will embarress Labour who intend not to keep their word like the other Capitalist elite and Labour dont want to join a Nationalist Party that is more Socialistic than they are. I also, think Labour hate SNP idea of not a straight Coalition like we had not, but a issue by issue agreement based Government.

          • treborc1

            I think your wrong labour will end the bedroom tax, but they would only do something else to take it’s place. But Nationalism failed in Scotland this time whether it will fail again is another question. they will have another vote when is the question..

          • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

            Democracy is NOT a horse race neither, you dont vote for who is most likely to win, you vote for who best suites your morals and ethics.

          • treborc1

            it’s not a beauty contest, or it seem a election for socialism.

          • Heidstaethefire

            That’s nonsense as far as the situation in Scotland goes. The S.N.P has already said it will not co-operate in any form with the tories. Therefore a vote for them is a vote against the tories.

          • Daniel Speight

            Doug what if people who believe in social democracy joined their local CLP? What if those in 38 Degrees and the other fringe parties joined and their numbers added up enough to change the party from within? I’m not talking about entryism by the revolutionary left, but people who could see the benefit of having a social democrat party.

          • Andy Ellis

            Seemed to work in Scotland…it’s called the SNP! 😉

          • Riversideboy

            Daniel, I bet a lot of people are thinking what you are, I certainly have been. I love 38 but even all the good work they do still leaves them standing on the sidelines of effective change. I wish they would all join Labour and help bring about a true left of centre Labour Party.

          • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

            Nope we wont back Capitalist pro Israeli elite, that to us would be like voting for Fascism directly. Israel is not our allie and austerity and saving Capitalism just to keep Tories out is not in our views neither, we want a REAL left wing not centrist party, we want a real Socialist party even if its patriotic like Syriza or more participatory democracy like Pedoma’s or the Green Left in Libya.

            We want total change not just policy shift slightly, we dont want crumbs, we want our cake and to eat it and bake another more nicer cake for our future generation.

          • treborc1

            Tell me they why do you think people like me walked away. Why do you think a once local labour party which had in excess of 200 people going to meetings now has nine people .

            I once went to a local meeting that had to be moved to a leisure center so they could use in the indoor football area to seat over 200 members now meets in the back room of a small pub with no more then eight or nine people.

            People walked away for a reason.

          • Riversideboy

            I understand completely but if Labour die then the right will return Britain to the 1930’s. What will the vulnerable do them without a major party to represent them? There is a real danger of this happening and as much as I admire people like Owen Jones at the end of the day what he is doing is commenting not wheelding some power as he should be.

          • treborc1

            Changing labour from within, at local level you must have tried it I know I did with others, the problem is the local CLP’s and the labour party are Miles apart

          • John Hamilton

            I’m interested in your comments, Doug, here and elsewhere. I am campaign officer for Lewisham People Before Profit but don’t recognise your name. Do get in touch via our website or otherwise if you would like to be involved in our activities, either in Lewisham or setting up a People Before Profit group elsewhere.

        • MikeHomfray

          I think its a bit naive to think that Labour could return to being a ‘working-class party’, without adopting views which would be far to the right of where they are now. There is a prevailing myth that the working class element of the party is more left wing – not necessarily
          Indeed, there have always been working class Tories, but when the m,anual working class was in a majority that didn;t really matter. Labour’s middle class support was quite small. This is no longer so. The working class have declined in number but there remains a segment which are strongly to the right – relying on them alone would be a surefire loser. Labour now relies on its middle class electoral support and will need those greens, feminists etc if it is ever going to get a parliamentary majority. They at least have ideological reasons for opting for Labour, whereas working class right wingers just don’t.

          • Daniel Speight

            Mike you are falling for the line that everybody is becoming middle-class now. This is almost a copy of the American description of their working class as middle class. The truth is that working in an office doesn’t make you middle-class. Owning a house doesn’t make you middle-class and now-a-days going to university doesn’t either.

          • June Helm

            I agree with your statement, but when Thatcher sold off the council houses she gave those buyers the impression that they were now middle class. Whether they have changed attitudes since then I don’t know. What I do know is that a coalition with the Tory party would be a disaster.

          • Michelle

            I think their attitudes have started to change June, now their kids or grandkids can’t get on the housing ladder in part because of the way thatcher bribed them.

        • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

          Show me one Socialist anti Austerity policy they pushed for that will not get them media attention??? I am a Social Scientist im waiting to hear this one? They support Austerity, support Neo Liberal Capitalism in word and action, Social Democratics are NOT Socialists, they are Socio-Traitors an off shoot of Trotskyism which, is a deviant anti Socialist ideal. Being in bed with Unions and SWP does not make you Socialist, SWP are not Socialists they are pro Imperial Wars in Syria and against Chavez Venezuela which, was the msot Socialist State on Earth at his time. Also, in most Socialist States Union’s have no power or place because the State is already Workers and has democratic economics and not needing over paid middle class people to dictate what the poor and working class need and then openly prevent us unifying into a Revolutionary bloc and openly support Capitalist policies that keep them in employment and relevance. I am a proud Militant Socialist who has been to many socialist States from Libya under Gaddafi to Syria under Assad to Spanish Podemo’s to Greek Syriza and yes even the Bolivarians in Latin America. Labour are profoundly right wing compared to these groups.

          Real Socialists would rather hang ourselves than vote even once for Capitalist policies. Labour do not pass the Socialist criteria. You cant be Socialist and back Capitalist economics and Neo Liberal survival.

      • Gary Barker

        There you have it – the voice of the cuckoo in the nest, which has wrecked all real choice in Westminster politics by peddling the right only dialogue that has been the ruin of our economy

    • Ray McHale

      Not to mention Party members.

      • Tim Bennett

        there aren’t that many left are there?

        • treborc1

          Not in my local CLP not any more.

    • PATRICKNEWMAN

      Just too silly for words – oh dear I have used some!

    • Where would they go? They have had other options forever.

    • Mark Harper

      Yes please DO!

    • Alexsau91

      It would also destroy the Conservative party, millions of Tory voters would never vote for the party again. Such a ‘grand coalition’ would be a gift to the fringe parties.

  • gavin

    Hahahaha———Watch this space !
    Well………….they have so much in common.
    Its been obvious in Scotland for several years, now its England’s turn to learn the sorry truth.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Yawn.

      There is not the tiniest chance of it happening.

      • treborc1

        Yes not chance at all, and then you wake up and see Cable and Clegg in tears and Miliband and Cameron smiling. The Blues are in both both of them.

    • The sorry truth is in this chart.
      Google {political compass uk parties 2015}

      The Labour Party are now much further to the right of even where the Tories themselves used to be!

      There’s no logical reason why there couldn’t be a coalition between the two parties.

      • Tubby_Isaacs

        Spending plans are about £25bn different, per the IFS.

        That’s a pretty logical reason for it not to happen.

        As is the fact the only person interested in it is a “maverick” backbencher.

        • The GDP of the UK is £1.75 trillion. So the difference in planned spending is 1.4% of GDP.
          I think you’re making my case for me. Thanks for that!

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            Government spending is a better measure because it’s… government spending.

            You then take out pensions which nobody can really do much about, and interest on debt. And things like international aid and the 2% defence spending per NATO.

            And you’re left with (if not a particularly large percentage) quite a lot of money in terms of political controversy.

          • Most Labour activists would be well to the left of centre. The Party itself ( as measured by its electoral platform) is a right of centre Party. There’s no big difference between the non-Eurosceptic side of the Tory Party and the Labour Party(again as defined by its likely manifesto) any more. Just small differences.

            There’s bigger differences within the Labour Party itself. In the wider sense of the term.

          • Davros64

            Absolutely bang on…

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            Yes, indeed. Though activists are usually less centrist than the membership.
            Right of centre? That changes over time, surely.
            And the “moderate” Tories have voted for all the IDS and Hunt stuff. That wouldn’t have got through Labour.

        • Floreat Ultonia

          Evening Tubby. You mentioned those IFS figures on another thread, but then had to admit that they didn ‘t appear in any official form on their website or elsewhere, no?

          • Davros64

            And your point was?

        • I’d be interested to know where the £25 billion figure comes from? Is that for one year or over the whole Parliament?
          If the latter, that 1.4% figure I previously calculated needs to be divided by 5.

          • PeterBarnard

            I don’t know about the £25 billion, Peter, but the difference between the Coalition’s projections for public expenditure, and Labour’s projections, is that Labour says that it will balance the current budget only (not the total budget, which includes net capital formation), by 2019-20 – or some time or other, I forget which.

            Table B.5 in the OBR’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook, issued with last December’s Autumn Statement, shows a forecast surplus of £50 billion in the current budget in 2019-20 (Receipts = £803 billion, current expenditure = £707 billion, depreciation = £46 billion ; surplus = £50 billion).

            I don’t have Labour’s year-by-year forecast (neither, come to think of it, does Ed Balls) of receipts vs current expenditure and depreciation. However, the decision not to include net capital formation when assessing the deficit allows current expenditures to be greater than those planned by the Coalition – or, perhaps more accurately, by Mr Osborne.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            It’s from the IFS leader (acting off his own bat).
            It’s over the full Parliament.
            There was a shadow budget in 1992. Not sure how much it was different to the actual budget. It’s certainly the biggest difference since then.

  • Daniel Speight

    I always thought that to the New Labour members of the parliamentary party a coalition with the Tories would be acceptable, but that none of them would say so publicly. So well done to the German lady for letting that cat out of the bag.

    Then again maybe she could look at the damage it has done to Labour’s sister party in Germany for doing something very similar. If she needed another example, the speed of the demise of PASOK in Greece, which again did the same thing, should suffice.

    • reformist lickspittle

      It won’t happen, but just assuming for argument’s sake that it *did* – then just like in 1931 most MPs activists and affiliates would just jump ship en masse.

      The folk memory of that is at least as important as the fate of PASOK (and other centre-left parties who have also suffered under “grand” coalitions)

      • treborc1

        I do not think it will happen either the Tories would be laughing to much.

  • Michael Carey

    Parts of the PLP forming a National Government in the aftermath of a world-wide economic crisis. What could possibly go wrong?

  • rod robertson

    Please ,please ,please form a Coalition with the Tories.

  • Ian Speed

    You can shove that ad for Heathrow up your arses for a start.

  • dougthedug

    What’s new about this? The Labour party had a formal coalition with the Tories under the Better Together banner for two years in Scotland. 2012 -2014

    Shared platforms, same photoshoots, same offices, same message.

    Labour in coalition with the Tories. That raises no eyebrows in Scotland.

    • Tubby_Isaacs

      Nice try.

      That was a referendum campaign.
      The idea they didn’t attack the Tories in that time is ludicrous.

      • dougthedug

        They were in a formal coalition. Do you think why matters to the Scottish electorate?

        • Tubby_Isaacs

          In a referendum campaign. Not in anything else.

          You understand this very well.

        • robertcp

          What mattered to the Scottish electorate was voting no to independence.

        • RWP

          so the Tories and Labour campaigned under the same banner. Big deal. Anyone would think Labour were cosying up to the BNP.

          • dougthedug

            Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem formed a joint campaign company, Better Together, and had shared directorships on the board. Tory donors and Labour unions poured money into it and Labour and Tory campaigned jointly on the streets with the same campaign material and banners from the same offices. There are numerous photos of Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem politicians being photographed arms around each other and smiling to the camera.

            Labour not only cosied up to the Tory Party they married them. Coalition.

          • RWP

            So what? I’m arguing that was/is a good thing.

          • Brian Barder

            That’s simply nonsense. Political opponents often cooperate in a common cause – saving the UK, action against global warming, defeating terrorism, and many other issues – but to confuse that with a government coalition or to label it betrayal makes a nonsense of politics, and damages sensible government.

          • dougthedug

            Call it what you want, excuse what you want. The electorate in Scotland correctly identify it as a Labour/Tory coalition and the polls reflect this.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            ……….And the SNP went into coalition with the Tories in East Ayrshire and has a cosy little arrangement with them in Dumfries & Galloway and The Borders.

          • Carolekins

            A very big mistake for Labour. Labour ended up doing the heavy lifting and getting the blame. Let this be a lesson:Tories are toxic.

          • tazbuckfaster

            I suppose you must have missed Dame Anne Begg MP cosying up to, and laughing with, the National Front leader David Macdonald in Aberdeen on the No campaign trail.

          • Shiprex

            They did in Aberdeen during the referendum campaign.

      • Daniel Speight

        What is worth noting is the damage joining in a campaign alongside the Tories did to Scottish Labour. It doesn’t matter what the campaign is about there is a historical aversion by many Labour supporters to joining the Tories in anything. It took a world war to do it last time and Labour members couldn’t wait to get out of that coalition after VE day much to Churchill’s displeasure.

        • Tubby_Isaacs

          Yes, the joint campaign did big damage.
          It’s not just that though. The SNP managed to paint anyone questioning the “land of milk and honey stuff” as insulting Scotland. And there was so much genuinely silly media bias against the YES side that the good arguments against them- by Paul Krugman, among others- got lost too.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      But of course in local government the SNP have gone into coalition with the Tories in East Ayrshire, and has a cosy little arrangement in Dumfries & Galloway and The Borders.
      Hypocrisy sick bag, anyone?

      • dougthedug

        And Labour and Tory formed coalitions in Aberdeen, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and Falkirk.

        Nobody in Scotland really cares about council groupings as they didn’t campaign together before the election but formed on an ad hoc basis afterwards.

        However the formal party campaign coalition between Labour and Tory on a national basis during the independence referendum in Scotland is something else.

        Labour fought side by side with Tories while Scotland was ruled by a Tory Prime Minister on a constitutional issue and at the time they said that was Westminster rule was wonderful. Now they turn round and say the Tories are the worst thing that could happen to Scotland.

        Now that’s hypocrisy.

  • JBRodrigues

    This is precisely why UKIP have risen exponentially. Labour are pro-EU like the Tories. Labour are pro-mass immigration like the Tories. Labour are pro climate change bureaucracy like the Tories. The leaders of the Labour and Tory party studied the same degree at the same university. I could go on with the similarities in the two parties. Other than their colour choice, there is barely any difference between these two parties and it is thus no surprise that a Labour MP should suggest coalition with the Tories.

    The choice at the next election is UKIP or LibLabConGreenSNP….

    • Theoderic Braun

      Sounds like curtains for UKIP then.

    • Andy Ellis

      How is one of the choices UKIP when they are highly unlikely to get more than a couple of MPs?

      • treborc1

        We all have to start off somewhere, although if your wanting a vote on the EU why not vote Tory.

  • Theoderic Braun

    In such a “grand coalition” who’s going to end up being Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer? Will the various cabinet positions be allocated on some kind of time share basis and alternate between Labour and the Conservatives? I’ve heard MPs say some really stupid things in my time but this one takes the biscuit.

  • Bonkers, absolutely bonkers.

    • dougthedug

      They did it for two years in Scotland as you know. That was just their trial run.

      • Tubby_Isaacs

        No they didn’t.
        That’ was a referendum campaign.
        You know that very well.
        Tell me about the SNP going with the Tories for 4 years to get their budgets through.

        • dougthedug

          Saying referendum, referendum doesn’t make the two year Labour/Tory coalition in Scotland go away.

          The SNP were a minority government in 2007-11 and Labour were so incompetent they never worked out how to horse trade amendments to the budget for votes.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            What about the local government arrangement in East Ayrshire and the cosying up in Dumfries & Galloway and The Borders?

          • dougthedug

            What about Aberdeen, Stirling, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and Falkirk?

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            You don’t have an argument with me over these places. My point is that the SNP do deals with the Tories as well and in 1979 they joined forces with the Tories to bring down the Callaghan government.

          • dougthedug

            The difference with the councils, SNP/Labour/Tory and various combinations, is that the parties didn’t form a coalition and campaign together as allies before the election, they formed on an ad hoc basis afterwards.

            1979. The Labour party shafted Scotland with a 40% rule in the referendum and then even though it could have been overturned in Parliament after the referendum as it was an Order in Council Callaghan failed to whip his MP’s to do so.

            Labour are still whining that they shafted Scotand and the SNP with the 40% rule and the SNP didn’t take it lying down.

          • MikeHomfray

            Are you entirely stupid?
            Labour opposes nationalism – quite rightly so.
            This it mounted a joint campaign with others who also oppose nationalism.

          • dougthedug

            Labour don’t oppose nationalism, they revel in it. They are a British nationalist party and that’s what they fought for in the independence referendum.

          • Chrisso

            That was exactly the problem. Labour failed to differentiate itself from the Tory approach by taking a Dev-Max stance – until it was too late. By appearing on platforms at Tory conferences and singing exactly the same song, Scottish Labour tarnished its brand irrevocably. Hence the sad death of Scottish Labour.

          • Shiprex

            No they took away their support of the Labour government who’d set up unachievable targets for independence (40% of the electorate HAD to vote for it rather than a simple majority). Then mothballing the whole concept.

            Labour didn’t get enough support in the following election from the population and thus lost.

            Not the same.

        • Shiprex

          Not a coalition but confidence and supply arrangement.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            But that involves “getting in bed with the Tories”, right?

          • Shiprex

            Nope it’s called consensus politics and requires grown up thinking and compromise.

            Something Westminster is lacking.

          • Brian Barder

            Consensus politics means the lowest common denominator policies, never bold radical action, frequent paralysis – fine for Tories who believe in minimum government, frustrating for socialists who want radical change and reform.

          • Shiprex

            No it doesn’t tell that to the Swedes who’ve been at it for decades and they’ve still got a manufacturing industry, great health care, responsible government (local and national) and great family care (300+ working days off for PARENTS excluding sick days not just for mummies) free education INCLUDING UNIVERSITY. But they don’t have nuclear weapons or have a minimum spend on military due to NATO (not democratically elected) regulations or feel the need to enter into wars of dubious legality on hear say (intelligence reports).
            Then you’ve got the German one too and I reckon they have got a pretty good grasp of things there, Oh and of course the current Britisher government itself a paragon of common goals and mutual respect and …. actually they are a bad example.
            Even when a system such as the Scottish government elections where PR plays a role with the intention of avoiding one party rule you can get the situation where one party DOES achieve a ruling majority. What this tells you is that they are respected and can be seen to be doing what they are supposed to be doing and that is what the people want NOT what the politicians want (i.e. follow the party line)

            A party that achieves this must be doing something right and it seems they are in Scotland. Pity the Labour Party has lost its way in service to the money makers instead of its roots

          • brianbarder

            Not so. None of these mighty achievements by the Swedes and Germans can plausibly be attributed to their electoral systems. Sweden enjoys far greater equality than we do, and recent economic studies have found that more equal societies generally perform significantly better than more unequal ones. The Germans have benefited from very low expenditure on defence until relatively recently, and from having their currency kept artificially cheap by sharing it with the weak Mediterranean €-zone countries (thus not suffering the competitive disadvantages of the high exchange rate that the deutschmark would trade at if Germany had its own currency). Germany has also benefited from exporting a high proportion of its GDP at the expense of its domestic consumption, thus in effect exporting a heavy trade deficit to its trading partners, raising those partners’ levels of debt, in some cases to unsustainable levels, thus currently facing the dilemma of Greece’s absolute inability to service its debts to Germany (and others), with the likelihood that its German creditors are likely to lose a lot of their money while the exports on which the German economy has depended so heavily are now threatened by lack of demand in their export markets.

            And finally Germany benefited (of course after paying a horrendous price in death and destruction through losing the war) from American generosity in the Marshall Plan which enabled them to rebuild their industrial capacity from the ruins with more modern and productive plant and machinery than those of most of their commercial rivals. (And Germans work hard too, having imaginative incentives to do so.) Plus the WW2 allies at the end of the war gave Germany a democratic federal constitution and enlightened labour and trade union structures and systems which reduced work-place friction and created an environment conducive to productivity and economic success.

            None of this had anything to do with the electoral system. It’s true that the principal German political parties have more common ground between them than our aggressively conflict-driven parties do, which is why the Germans can enjoy reasonably stable government even when they have a Grand Coalition between the two main parties — something that would be impossible in Britain because of the adversarial character of our system (like our adversarial justice system — it’s just the way we’ve always done things).

            The experience of the last five years of coalition government in Britain doesn’t suggest that forced power-sharing has made our politics any less adversarial: quite the opposite. Listen to Mr Cameron bellowing insults at the Labour opposition at Question Time! Anyway, even with FPTP it’s clear that we now face an indefinite future in which no single party is going to win an overall majority and govern alone, and going over to PR would only set that in permanent concrete. IOW, electoral “reform” is now pretty well irrelevant, and FPTP probably has fewer disadvantages than any likely version of PR with its political fragmentation causing instability and uncertainty as permanent features of the political landscape..

          • Shiprex

            How can you say that?
            The very running of their country DEPENDS on consensus rather than IDEOLOGY driven policy. That is people HAVE to think about it thoroughly and actually REASON rather than force policy through.
            I didn’t see where the Swedes had gone wrong and all you did was describe the German model (still the British aren’t looking outward UNLIKE independence seeking Scots oh and the Scottish Government has done pretty well with it’s system designed to INCREASE the likelihood of coalitions and bar the current situation has had consistent and effective coalitions working for the people and NOT the Ideology).

            The Westminster system and British Governance is broken and WON’T let itself be fixed. The banks and finance industry have too much to lose and because of their influence over the media sill prevent improvements to any significant degree. Boundary changes etc will be the maximum they’ll allow.

            That won’t wash in the information era as people can find out much more and get the deeper meaning of policy without great effort.

            Its finished and UK Labour could have made a great ally with an independent Scotland Labour (Northern Branch office doesn’t wash with Scots) but they shot themselves in the foot and let the Tories off the hook with that one. Just imagine the strength in that cabal in EU parliament.

          • Chrisso

            I agree that with FPTP we face an indefinite future after potentially two elections that fail to produce an absolute majority at Westminster. But there’s no reason to think that we might end up with shifting coalitions every 10 months as has been Italy’s experience.

            I’d prefer to see this as the mid-point of a transition in British politics, a realignment that involves a historic Tory-Labour split. The eurosceptic Tory right will hive off to join Ukip, the rest of the Tories may realign with Labour’s Progress tendency and the Orange Book LibDems rump into a New Conservative party. The left of centre politicians left in the LibDems and Labour might then reform into a Progressive social democratic party that accepts the post-war welfare state that was abandoned by Thatcher and build consensus.

            So I disagree that FPTP is the ‘least worst’ option as you seem to suggest. There is little evidence that a system that elects MPs who lack support from over half of their constituents makes sense. It can hardly produce less adversarial politics than it does and as you say it’s our adversarial politics that does us and our people no good.

            A PR system, and yes there are faults with any of the various models, must be better as it *represents* in a better fashion those that are currently disenfranchised by the current FPTP system and vote with their feet. Just 65% currently support the two main parties and have done for some years now. That cannot be the basis of a representative democracy.

            Whilst Cameron is divisive and childish at PMQ it’s perhaps unfair to suggest that the 2010-15 Tory-led coalition is a genuine effort at enforced power-sharing. The two coalition parties are actually profoundly unequal in their power-sharing abilities, the Tories have easily and frequently confounded the LibDems. Hence Cameron carries on as if he *had* been elected as a majoritarian PM by the country and is backed by his yah-boo acolytes without a thought for the body-politic outside Westminster.

          • Brian Barder

            I agree with much of that. But it’s a fact of life that no political party since the 1930s has ever won as much as half of the national vote, even in the days of two-party politics when Labour and the Conservatives pretty much carved it up between them. In recent years support for the parties has become even more fragmented to the point where neither of the main parties can currently claim more than about 33 per cent of the vote. In that situation it’s hardly surprising that in numerous constituencies no candidate wins 50 per cent or more of the vote: it’s just a reflection of the state of opinion in the country, not a fault of the electoral system. Any form of PR would reflect it too. We just have to get used to the idea that any effective government is going to need the support in some form or another of two or most likely three or more different parties, with some groupings forming on certain issues and different groupings forming for others. Messy and unpredictable, but other countries manage to cope with it and we’ll have to learn to manage it too. It’s what the PR enthusiasts have been campaigning for for years!

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            As opposed to running a combined unionist campaign.

            Tell your SNP mates about that.

          • Shiprex

            Haha So when in GOVERNMENT without a majority everyone should flap disagreeing for the sake of it rather than do as you are paid to and GOVERN as opposed to sliding into bed (and against a significant proportion of your own supporters) with your supposed polar opposites on a single issue referendum that would have seen a whole new nation whose core national values are closer to your party rather than the NEUVO Labour of recent times which has followed the Tories to a neoliberal orgasm of debt insane debt and next to no industry to speak of while the rest of Europe was busily getting on with Social Democracy you lot were more interested in keeping the City and media moguls sweet.
            Never again. New means Now tories.

          • Tubby_Isaacs

            Nope.
            If you’re these progressives, you do a deal with the more progressive parties. Your lot didn’t

          • Shiprex

            Or you work WITH others on an issue by issue as in CONFIDENCE and SUPPLY basis like SNP did with Tories because they provided the means to have a working governance (GOOD THING for the electorate or should it be the polar opposite which you have less in common with?)
            Better to govern with less compromise and common goals dealt with effectively than stifling governance because of ideology. COMPROMISE is NOT a bad thing and ends up using reason and logic to win over support rather than blind faith. Governance should not be religiously based like so many Labour supporters seem to think

          • dougthedug

            There was no confidence and supply agreement only a willingness to deal with any party, Green, Lib-Dem, Labour or Tory.

          • Shiprex

            Grown up politics by consensus not like the FPTP system. A breath of freshness that has been going on for some time in counties not so far from UK

          • Shiprex

            Grown up politics the like some of the more developed nations in the world. By consensus not minority rule

  • David Tam McDonald

    Why not just forget about elections entirely then?

  • robertcp

    Labour should not rule out anything before May, although this does seem very unlikely.

  • Neil Anderson

    Her “majority” is 1,274. In a seat like Edgebaston, which I imagine is quite populous, her coat is well and truly on a shoogly nail. Hence, she can say pretty much what she likes. Up here, that’s know as “opening your mouth and letting your belly rumble”.

  • RWP

    The bitter hatred of the Tories amongst Labour members would prevent the leadership from doing this even though this will probably be the only combination of parties in the new parliament that could guarantee stable government.

    • Doug Smith

      The members of the Labour Party count for nothing when it comes to forming policy.

      That’s why I’ve allowed my membership to expire – there’s no point in throwing money at an elite that despises you. F*** ’em.

  • treborc1

    I’ve been saying it for a while, what a way to do it two parties under the blue banner.
    It would end the pretence

  • Mark Harper

    I knew it!!!! SNP are going to roll right over the top of you in Scotland so all pretence will be dropped. Red and Blue will join to defend the remnants of a lost empire and it’s entitled elite. HYPOCRITES!

  • Ivan Thomas

    Blue Labour finally come out of the Neoliberal closet.
    Cuntspangles, the lot of ’em!

  • treborc1

    I think it can happen it will keep two losers in jobs if nothing else..

  • Sandstone Flats

    Ye shall know them by the company they keep.

  • kelly barnett

    Neoliberalism has all but destroyed Labour’s credibility, anyway. I was born in 1995, and the only thing I have to differentiate Labour from Tory in my mind are snippets from the past, whispers about how Thatcher ruined my mum’s family’s lives. Nothing current; nothing credible.

    I think Ed Miliband is a far more credible leader than Natalie Bennett, but he really needs to make some changes in party policy if they’re going to stand a chance at maintaining credibility. For my entire lifetime, Labour have been a weak echo of the Conservative Party. It’s disillusioning.

  • Duncan Fraser

    So.

    “Only Labour can keep the Tories out of Westminster.”

    “Or make sure they get in.”

    “Whatever it takes.”

    Is there anyone left awake at the wheel of this party?

    • Chrisso

      I doubt that a maverick and daft suggestion by a marginal Labour MP reflects the Labour Party leadership view. And the FT article makes it clear that neither Labour nor the Tories back Gisela Stuart’s remark.

      However it’s fair to question whether she’s in the appropriate party. In October 2004, she became the ONLY Labour MP who supported the re-election of George W. Bush in that year’s US presidential election, arguing “you know where you stand with George.” She said a victory for Democratic Party challenger, John Kerry, instead of Dubya, would prompt “victory celebrations among those who want to destroy liberal democracies. More terrorists and suicide bombers would step forward to become martyrs in their quest to destroy the West.” Stuart is a signatory of the neocon Henry Jackson Society. Originating within the University of Cambridge the HJS promotes the maintenance of a ‘strong military with global expeditionary reach’ – something Blair would certainly promote. In 2010 Gisela Stuart earned the title ‘Parliamentary Survivor of the Year’ from the Tory ‘Spectator’ magazine, presented to her by … Cameron.

      • Duncan Fraser

        uhm so you are saying that Labour are no longer New Labour, they are New (Original Formula) Labour again?

        I see very little evidence for that statement tbh, particularly in Scotland with Jim Murphy as the face of change.

        • Chrisso

          “so you are saying that Labour are no longer New Labour” – I said no such thing but it would have maybe been a fair comment had I done so.
          “I see very little evidence for that statement” – what statement are you referring to?
          “Jim Murphy as the face of change” – I don’t think so. That’s the irony – he is the face of so-called ‘Progress’, the Tory-lite faction within Labour.

  • Alex Wright

    Agreed, surely it would decimate the Labour membership, and maybe even lead to Pasokification?

    There’d probably be Tory defections to UKIP too.

  • Ray McHale

    How to split a party, in one easy lesson.

  • Visualjaz

    And you wonder why the Electorate are going to vote for the smaller parties.. VOTE GREEN ONLY TRUE LEFT-WING PARTY!!!!! – Left!!!

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    The Tories funded the No campaign in Scotland and Labour fronted it for them. Alastair Darling, a Labour MP headed up the No campaign and addressed the Scottish Conservative Party Conference to rapturous applause and weird background grinding noises of artificial joints from all twenty of the delegates.

    The SNP is now sitting at least ten points up against Labour in all the polls for the Westminster GE and on target to annihilate Labour. Remember, Scotland is where Labour traditionally weigh their vote and could even put up a monkey with a red rosette and still win, until now. Some say that is their current bar, I mean below it, not above.

    Lsbour is on a sea voyage in their imaginary flat World and are about to fall off the edge. In Scotland anyway.

    • MikeHomfray

      If the alternative is backing the evil of nationalism, so be it

      • Shiprex

        Evil in what respect? Self determination? A move away from austerity and using the strength of the nation to build the economy? Drop Neoliberalism and it’s Reganist roots in favour of greater social justice and a regulated monetary system?
        That would never work just ask the Scandinavians.

  • lionsafterslumber

    What a crazy suggestion. i could not vote for Labour if a grand coalition was likely, and I am a party member. I’m in the party to get rid of the Tories and Lib Dems and reverse their austerity programme. Far better to espouse a positive programme of how different we are from the Tories.
    Promise good times instead of misery and austerity. I’m working for
    Labour because it’s the only way to get rid of the coalition MP in my
    city. If i was in Scotland or Brighton I would want to campaign for a Labour
    candidate who was trying to unseat a Tory.

  • Billy Pearce

    Is she serious? Following that logic, we should abandon elections and let MPs form a committee to issue dictats to the population.

  • Robert_Crosby

    I’ve often wondered what Gisela Stuart is doing in the Labour Party? I guess this drivel is a natural next step for her. It should be completely abhorrent to anyone else.

  • Sean Cameron

    If there is one sure fire way to guarantee the independence of Scotland and the rise of UKIP, this is it.

  • Redshift1

    FUCKING IDIOT

  • BillFrancisOConnor

    If that happens, my party card goes in the bin.

  • jimmy

    tHis is the most unhelpful dose of drivel that i have ever heard from a desperate Labour candidate – i have a few words for her
    First – FIght you marginal seat on the policies of YOUR party not that of the conservatives
    Second – IF your not confident that the polisies of your party can win the seat for you then stand down and leave it to someone who believes in the party and its aims and objectives
    Third – If you have any more disingenuous ideas that will seriously damage the party then leave and never come back !!!!

    • Brian Barder

      Thank goodness for a Labour MP with the guts and independence of spirit to voice a stimulating provocative idea, however misguided, instead of just reading out text messages from the Whips all the time. And those here who carry on about Ms Stuart’s country of origin should be ashamed of themselves.

      • MikeHomfray

        I think that its likely that she has raised this issue because of the German tradition of coalition and consensus – which has always incorporated the grand coalition

      • Chrisso

        But why do you think her suggestion that the Tories and Labour could form a coalition together is in any way stimulating? How is forming a coalition with a party that has shown it is still toxic post-Thatcher, indicative of any ‘independence’ whatsoever? She’s certainly misguided and provocative. But I do agree that her German origin is irrelevant.

        • Brian Barder

          I just think that her suggestion, however implausible and even objectionable it might be , does indicate a willingness to think outside the box, aka independence, and that since it has prompted this debate here and focused attention on a number of important issues (as well as exposing several daft misunderstandings), it can properly be described as stimulating also. It’s just rather sad that it has evoked so much crude abuse as well.

  • Ben Gardner

    The difference between the Germany and the UK is that Merkel and CDU are actually a moderate, sensible force for social democratic government. If you lined up their policies you’d probably find them to the left of the Labour party here.

    Saying that; at the end of the day it’s the voters that will decide what type of government we have. If a grand coalition is the only viable option then Labour is left with the choice of either working with the Tories or plunging the UK in to chaos. If they choose the second option I think you’d find the voters punishing them heavily at the next election. Though i’m sure there are many zealots on here that would prefer a Tory government to a grand coalition as long as it keeps them ideologically ‘clean’.

    • Andy Ellis

      Whilst it is true that voters in the UK don’t really vote “for” coalitions because unlike Germany they aren’t that common in our political history, if our voters don’t deliver a majority outcome it is incumbent on the Labour party to at least TRY to come up with a progressive non-Tory administration. I’d say the electorate as a whole, and Labour voters in particular, will take a dim view of them walking off into the long grass and allowing the Tories a shot at forming a government in 2015, as they did in 2010 when Blairite & Brownite ultras killed the idea of an alternative coalition off even before it had been properly investigated.

      A Grand Coalition wouldn’t be appreciably better than a Tory minority government or Tory informal coalition with other minor parties; indeed in some senses it would be worse. A Tory minority administration would soon fall to a no-confidence vote and prove a 2nd GE. Labour need to keep half an eye on how their actions after May 2015 will play in the event of an early re-run.

      • Brian Barder

        Absolutely right. UK voters don’t vote for coalitions because in our system there’s no way to do so. (Which is not a criticism of our system, BTW: in my unfashionable opinion, it’s the least unsatisfactory system so far devised.)

  • Harry Barnes

    So will Gisela stand in Edgbaston on the platform of “Vote Labour or Conservative”? The two parties could then share their election expenses.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Red Tories? Blue Tories? Yellow Tories

    Gisela Stuart just states what we already know from the Better Together campaign that the colour doesn’t matter because Labour are no different now from the Tory party.

  • 07052015

    Gisela has always done her own thing -blairite eurosceptic ,supported bush versus kerry .

    Best ignored tbh.

    Tho the FT openly speculated about the grand coalition but that was in the context of two inconclusive elections interspersed with weak minority government .Best not thought about either tbh.

  • John Boodle

    Well………..I’m speechless.

  • denise clendinning

    if that happened i would leave the Labour party what a stupid idea

  • denise clendinning

    if that happened i would leave the Labour party what a stupid idea

  • Gordon Craig

    How the hell did she ever become a Labour candidate?

  • Carol Milner

    I’d never vote Labour again if you betrayed us by doing this.

  • Gary Barker

    Do you realise what damage this does to your party? Pushing this only proves you and the Tories are a collective ship of fools.

  • Ronny jones

    Crackpot idea

  • Martinay

    I joined the party when it had turned away from the tribalism that nearly destroyed it under Foot. Unfortunately the party’s efforts to get a Lib-Lab pact failed and the centre of gravity of British politics remained contested.

    Since the defeat of the party in 2010, Labour tribalism has re-emerged with all its ad hominem attacks, its narrow-mindedness and its emotional appeals to a re-imagined past.

    And Labour tribalism begets tribalism in other parties. The effect is popular disillusion with politics and ping-pong governments that undo most of what the previous government did.

    Britain is the loser. Britain becomes a loser.

    The party has to grow up… again.

    If we want Britain to move forward, then the centre of its political gravity has to move forward too. If that means a Grand Coalition (along the lines of our sister party in Germany and its coalition with Merkel), then OK.

    Let the debate begin. Don’t try to kill it off, LabourList.

  • Gary Barker

    So two parties in coalition protecting and promoting the interests of the
    corporations, banks and hedge funders, against the best interests of
    society.

    • Shiprex

      that’s right

  • Sionny

    I emailed her this morning. Email below:

    Good morning Ms Stuart,

    As a labour party member, I note with dismay your comments to the Financial Times this weekend regarding possible coalition talks following this summers general election. Your suggestion that labour should consider a grand coalition with the Tories is not helpful to those of us trying to motivate people to vote for Labour in May. Indeed, I feel it actively hurts our cause.

    At a time when the behaviour of members of Parliament has increased public distrust of politicians to the point where a chain smoking, over-drinking, far right bigoted, public school educated, ex-banker seems more trustworthy to people than the Labour party, your comments run the risk of pushing more people away. We already face a massive task in Scotland to try and bring voters back to the Labour cause where they have fled in droves to the nationalists. In the north of England and even in the former seats of such Labour figures as Keir Hardy and Nye Bevan in Wales, our core voters are flirting with UKIP, and also the marginal Tory seats in the South of England which we have targeted so as to get a majority, we are not polling anywhere close to being guaranteed victory; and you have done nothing but make this worse this weekend with your ill timed and badly phrased commentary.

    On the labour doorstep, we constantly face challenges from voters of “you are all the same”. Please Ms Stuart, explain to me how we can challenge this when ordinary voters read in the paper that a Labour MP has said we should think about going into a coalition with the Tories? I recognise that there was more nuance to your comments than this, but people who aren’t actively involved in politics aren’t going to think about this in great detail. They are going to read and digest the headline – a headline which hurts and insults.

    I know we come from different ends of the political spectrum, and I personally do not think you are at all representative of most of labour members or voters, but I accept that the party members in your constituency made the decision to chose you to contest the seat. But I beg of you to consider what you are saying to the press, and the damage you are doing to the rest of the party. If you are comfortable upsetting the membership with your comments, I ask that you consider whether you belong in the party, or if there is perhaps a better place for your views?

    kind regards,
    Sion Hopes

  • Carolekins

    I think that you’re being a bit hard on Gisela Stuart, Mark. Although she knows our political system very well, obviously, she comes from a very different political background. An electoral system that the Allies set up after the war to be as fair as possible (see also Northern Ireland: for some reason the English don’t deserve it), with two votes in parliamentary election: one first past the post and one proportional.. This means that results in Germany are very close to what voters want. This will not be the situation here after the general election.
    Personally I think that we are completely mad to sign up to the Tory austerity plans. It was doing something similar in 1997 that ended up with insanity like PFIs, which everyone (I hope) now bitterly regrets. We should now be looking at an ending of the neo-liberalism of New Labour

  • ColinAdkins

    Normally I would welcome a German import as they are invariably well-designed, engineered and manufactured. This suggestion is the exception to this rule.

    • Brian Barder

      Oh, for heaven’s sake! Ms Stuart has been in Britain since 1974, studied at Manchester Polytechnic, graduated from London University, was a law lecturer at Worcester College of Technology, did research for a PhD in trust law at Birmingham University, and has been an elected member of parliament since 1994. How much more British has she got to be to stop these xenophobic gibes about having been born in Germany?

      • ColinAdkins

        For your information I was born in Iserlohn, Germany. My comment was light hearted and pointed out the virtues of German engineering. The German import (‘This suggestion ..”) was a coalition between conservatives and social democrats not Ms Stuart herself. My comment is in no way xenophobic. If you had any sense you would withdraw this suggestion but the content proves that you do not have any so none is expected. Anyway who appointed you moderator of this site?

        • Brian Barder

          If your reference to Gisela Stuart’s German origins had been an isolated occurrence in this thread, it wouldn’t have struck any of us as offensive. But it comes after a number of sneers — by others — relating to her German connection, some of them expressed in especially unpleasant language. In that context your own comment, once again purely about her German origins, gave every indication of being in the same category as its predecessors. Your subsequent explanation shows that it was different, which I fully accept, and accordingly withdraw my earlier remarks.

          I hope you will similarly withdraw your suggestion that I have been behaving as if I thought myself “moderator of this site”. I neither have nor wish for any power to remove offensive comments from the thread; but I have as much right as anyone else to express my disgust with some of the smears and insults to Ms Stuart that others have been chucking at her. I value LabourList greatly — which is why I sometimes contribute articles to it — and it saddens me when others try to devalue it by mistaking crude insult for argument and debate. I can’t believe that you would disagree.

          • ColinAdkins

            Thank you for your reflection. I similarly withdraw my comment about you acting as though you were moderator of site.
            I too appreciate Labour List and as far as I can accurately recall have agreed with most of your previous posts.
            Seriously my fears about a grand coalition is that it may open the doors to an insurgent party and in this country I believe this would be of the right rather than left.
            I see myself as a left-wing social democrat.

  • driver56

    This just shows how out of touch some of the party MPs are. Sack her. The party is losing credibility by the day. we should be miles in front but we are just holding on. We are in dire straights as a party. we have the ammunition but no big guns to fire it.

  • Michael Carter

    Typical of Labour’s thinking! Anything for power.

  • mkpdavies

    I say Labour and the Tories must make this happen NOW. Formalise the joint platform you have been running on for decades now and rebrand as the European Union party, so that people can see who you think should call the shots now. Also ditch any fake notions of democracy or self-governance and embrace your unelected overlords from Brussels & beyond.

  • Robert_Crosby

    No.. Typical Gisela Stuart “thinking”! She doesn’t speak for anyone I know. The woman’s an idiot.

  • Robert_Crosby

    No.. Typical Gisela Stuart “thinking”! She doesn’t speak for anyone I know. The woman’s an idiot!

    • Brian Barder

      Is that meant as a persuasive argument? A tiny dash of common courtesy might make it more so.

  • David MacKinnon

    Non-story. Labour look set for an electoral wipeout, so any pre-negotiations for some hairbrained LabCon coalition are just a complete fantasy. Lib Dems are not going to be immune to this punishment by ballot either. Come on you UKIP

    • Andy Ellis

      Not automatically true by any means. Historically Scots MPs have made little difference to Westminster GE outcomes, so even if every Scots MP were labour it wouldn’t guarantee you victory. Your party, just like the Tories, needs to win this on the basis of English seats; if you can’t do that, then (as people often observed in 2010) it’s no use complaining about the false consciousness of the electorate.

      Thankfully UKIP are unlikely to make much impact since their horrifyingly large % of the vote is diluted across the whole country. All the polling evidence points to both Tories and Labour struggling to get much above low 30’s %, which strongly suggests another hung parliament. With luck the SNP (possibly with the Greens & SDLP?) will have enough MP’s to keep the Labour party honest – it’s about the only hope we have of anything approaching a progressive government.

  • The Emperors New Clothes

    It would confirm what many have been thinking LIBLABCON is a single party.

  • oopsilaffatatory

    How to lose friends and influence people not to vote Labour

    I would like a categorical refusal from the leadership refuting this statement and reassurance that Labour won’t jump into the sack with the Tories
    For God’s sake they haven’t even changed the sheets from shagging the Lib Dems EWWWW nasty bodily fluids.
    You don’t know what sort of nasty stuff you might catch

  • Beryl Oldroyd

    It would be the end of my long membership if this happened. Despite many trials and tribulations in the past I have never contemplated leaving the party of my parents and grandparents. The population of this country have really been taken to the cleaners by the condems. How could we possibly do that to them?

  • Andy Ellis

    They say it isn’t possible to kill a bad idea, and the alarming persistence of the Grand Coalition idea seems to prove the point! The fact that it keeps popping up, even if emanating from semi-detached party figures like Gisela Stuart or Lord Lewis Moonie who can be plausibly dismissed as “off-message”, bears all the hallmarks of a trial balloon from the policy wonks desperately trying to figure out how things have all gone so wrong.

    The concept, and the equally ridiculous calls on Labour Hame in Scotland for the party to explicitly rule out ANY deal with the SNP, show just how far the sense of existential fear has paralysed your party. No approach is too far fetched, no political gamble is too risky, for it not to be floated as a way of preserving the deeply repugnant New Labour project.

    A Grand Coalition, in the unlikely event it ever got off the ground, would ensure your extinction in Scotland and begin the same process in much of northern England. If you want to ensure the Tories and LDs are locked out of office, ensure you keep your lines of communication to the SNP open. All the signs in the polls and the betting odds are you are going to need them!

  • Joe Buckley

    How about the BNP? Can we safely assume she’d rule them out?

  • Fred Rose

    If it looks like a Tory, and sounds like a Tory, it might as well be a Tory !!

  • Dave Postles

    What would be Labour’s red lines before entering into this agreement?!

  • Jo Storie

    Voters keep telling us we’re all the same . This would prove them right !

  • Chris Watts

    Don’t think we need to ask Nick Clegg on how a coalition with Tories is political suicide. If the Libdems are still around Labour can always have them as whipping boy, at least the Tories show how Labour should run a future coalition taking all the credit while placing all the blame on their coalition partner.

  • Colin Hunter

    Only one HUGE problem that I can see is that it wouldn’t be a left / right coalition like Germany, it would be Right (Tories) and “not quite so right but there’s damn all in it” (Red Tories AKA What used to be Labour) Labour will be Routed in Scotland as they were seen to collude with the Tories over the Independence Referendum. There is only ONE true, left of centre party remeining in the UK now, and that’s the SNP! I feel sorry for you guys in England, because you literally have NO CHOICE. Tories (Conservative), Red Tories (Labour) or Failed Tories (UKIP). Poor choice!!

  • Grouchy Oldgit

    I do not believe this will ever happen, and sincerely hope it won’t, but if it did it would be a betrayal of the millions that vote Labour and would ensure that I for one never voted Labour again.

    • RegisteredHere

      It would be a betrayal of the millions who vote Labour and the millions who vote Conservative, but if a LabCon coalition is remotely likely then it would be a bigger betrayal of the electorate if it happened in a closed-door deal after the votes are cast.

  • RegisteredHere

    I’ve joked about a LabCon coalition (mainly to wind up on-message supporters admittedly), but if there’s the remotest possibility that this could actually happen, then Cameron and Miliband need to come out and say it before the election so that us plebs can vote accordingly.

    I understand that the major parties enjoy some significant privileges through our Zimbabwean electoral system, but to play to these advantages and then betray the electorate with a LabCon coalition after the votes are cast would be beyond the Pale (no offence meant to any Fenians).

    • Brian Barder

      Don’t panic. It’s not a serious proposition, at any rate while the Labour party has its present leader.

      • RegisteredHere

        I hope so. Betting odds are now down to 18/1 on a ConLab coalition.

  • Jane Manby

    anything as long as they get to keep their glittering seat on the gravy train, even a coalition with the Tories

  • Peter Garland

    She is being honest. Labour have everything in common with the Tories; Austerity, welfare cuts, protecting the union.
    In Scotland they don’t call Labour, ‘Red Tories’ for no reason.
    Centre left has left the building.

  • Derek Barker

    Isn’t this the same MP who advocated a second term for G.W. Bush, citing the democrats as too weak to deal with the axis of evil.

  • June Helm

    This woman is talking out of her backside. Never would Labour supporters go for a coalition with the enemy. This has to be thrown out straight away with no debate it is utterly ridiculous

    • Brian Barder

      Thank goodness we live in a society where those who disagree with someone else’s suggestion have no power to “throw it out straight away with no debate”! To try to shut down debate in a forum like LabourList whose whole purpose is to encourage debate — and to do it in unattractively coarse language into the bargain — is surely the ultimate irony. Debate away, chaps!

  • Michelle

    This would be the nail in Labours coffin.

  • June Helm

    I can’t understand why people are saying that Labour is as right wing as the Tories. The Tories are so far right they are almost fascitis. If the Tories get back in the young of this country should try and emigrate, the disabled and elderly will just have to take their chances and hope the Tories don’t kill them off.

  • Jack Back

    Any deal with the Tories would kill Labour. It was an utterly stupid comment and she should resign.

    • Brian Barder

      Should every MP who utters a sentiment that you think stupid be made to resign? Stalin would have agreed!

  • John Mangan

    Yes because that worked out so well for the LibDems didn’t it who have been powerless to stop the worst, most vicious Tory government in history? I know Blair turned Labour into a Thatcherite party but this dumbass idea just lost you the election.

  • Riversideboy

    Its not too late for the Birmingham Edgebaston Constituency Labour Party to get rid of her. Act now and get a Labour person in post. She can find a nice Lib Dem seat.

    • Brian Barder

      A sure way to ensure that our MPs are grey obedient featureless slaves of their constituency parties and of the Whips. If any of them shows a spark of independent thinking, deselect her, quick! As Burke said to the electors of Bristol, MPs owe us their best judgement, not slavish obedience to every passing popular whim. Keep on speaking your mind, Gisela, even if your ideas are sometimes a bit off-message!

  • Brian Murry

    It’s always been like that, Vote Good Cop to save us from Bad Cop, the establishment carousel ensuring all financial roads go to London.

    You will always be poor as long as you vote for London Parties as you are reliant on them to throw a bone. The only way is to split the UK and have wealth distribution, not wealth retention held in one place (a monopoly)

  • Azzaam Abdul-Hakeem

    If it happens it shows Labour are nothing more than Red Tories, Neo Liberal Capitalist defenders and ideologues. They are not protectors ofthe working class, the middle class, the Proletarians, they are not Socialist with their pro Capitalist pro Austerity agenda, they mock Revolutionary Socialists as being of politics of the cave. Their supporters attack us disabled people and blame us for the murder of disabled people if we refuse to vote Labour, sorry I will NEVER vote Labour again. They never go after the real problems which, Blair helped create in 1997. Especially privatisation and more powers to the Bank of England what a mistake, nobody but the people should issue their own debt and interest free currency free of loans to private banks. We need to ditch Representative Demcoray for Direct Democracy, no more Party Politics, no more Representatives being voted in, we set up Peoples Congress local and nation and set up a Peoples Committee to implement not represent our will and then vote on laws and economics directly ourselves.

  • Lex Parsimoniae

    It’s a matter of Germany, OR Greece. In Germany, the grand coalition proved a success. But in Greece, coalition between ND and PASOK has effectively reduced PASOK to nothing. Rebell voters and MPs ultimately poured their support to SYRIZA instead.

  • It’s possible – and should be a riposte to anyone who says ‘vote green go blue’. I remember the Tory/Lab coalition in Hackney, and nationally, the reds and blues are aligned (and miles apart from other coalition possibilities like SNP & Greens) on the ‘big boy’ issues like Trident & the Union. They’re also – despite the bombast at PMQs – surprisingly close together on the NHS. Both appear to support (or have not explicitly opposed) a mixed economy of providers including private sector, so-called mutuals and charities, as well as personal health budgets (aka thatcherite vouchers). Most worryingly of all both have spoken of the need for a post electoral consensus approach on how much of an nhs we are really going to be ‘entitled’ to in the future (throwing in social care to muddy the water).

  • SensibleDave

    Based upon the current polls, we potentially face a situation where the Labour Party will, almost certainly, have no electoral mandate from the English in England and, almost certainly, no electoral mandate from Scots in Scotland, for the implementation of Labour policies in either country, post General Election.

    The Leadership will have one bit of clarity, post election, that being, a clear message from the electorate in both Scotland and England – i.e. that their policies are not wanted by the majority in either country.

    Whilst the above is a somewhat abrupt, and however hard it is to bear, I am sure you will agree it is the most likely outcome.

    Somewhere in all of this, there must be consideration given to what the electorate democratically actually vote “for” …. and the most likely outcome is they will not be voting “for” Labour policies in either England or Scotland. Can Labour seek to form a UK Government on the basis of a potential majority in Wales??

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