Jeez, the man is desperate

28th April, 2015 12:49 pm

David Cameron Downing St Number 10

When Bob Hawke was fighting his first General Election in Australia, the then Conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser claimed that if Labor was elected voters would have to “keep their money under the bed”. Hawke’s caustic response was: “You can’t do that because that’s where we’re hiding the commies – Jeez the man is desperate”.

That desperation has clearly gripped Cameron, Crosby, Sturgeon and the Murdoch press – with their wild claims that the SNP will dominate the next Labour government, block Labour Budgets, end austerity and stop Trident.

Of course the Sun in Scotland is happy to be on the Nat bandwagon while the London edition goes into ‘tartan scare’ overdrive.

It’s designed to panic the alienated white Tory pensioner vote back from Ukip, but it’s not only dangerous and unpatriotic – it’s also political and constitutional nonsense. That is why it is getting short shrift from arch-Thatcherites like Norman Tebbitt and Michael Forsythe – and why it is rumoured many Tories in Scotland are considering just this once voting Lib-Dem or Labour.

Let’s be clear – only the Government can propose taxation or spending measures to Parliament so the SNP would have to react to Labour’s proposals (many of which they claim to support).

And after all their assertions about each other in the last few weeks, on which issues will the SNP and the Tories combine and how would they explain it to their supporters?

While the SNP hierarchy may secretly hope for a Tory Government – in a Trotskyist “worst is best” position – the problem they face is if they put the Tories back into Downing Street they would face internal and external carnage.

And remember next year the SNP have to face Holyrood elections and the Tories will have local government elections (especially for the London Mayor).

The same goes with Defence Minister Michael Fallon’s hysterical claims about the threat to Defence. The SNP – with Plaid and the Greens – could put down a motion against Trident. They did so a few months ago and lost comprehensively. Unless the Tories voted with them they would lose again, and we know many backbench Tories were unhappy about the delay in submarine orders at the behest of Nick Clegg.

Also, on the MOD planned spending, MPs could only vote to reduce the overall budget. Would Cameron, or rather his successor, vote to actually cut Defence? And could he coral his MPs to follow him? So let’s hear less of this hysterical nonsense and let’s get back to discussing the real issues facing this country – as Ed Miliband is doing by relentlessly focusing on what matters to working families: supporting the NHS and tackling living standards and the housing crisis.

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • Not really a good day to put this piece up when Ed M has been chasing Russell Brand round town to beg him to endorse Labour.

    • Kieran

      And what a frantic chase it was eh. Going to his house. To do an interview with someone who has over 1 million subscribers to his “news” channel. Not nearly as desperate as how tories are reacting to it. But, but, he went to someones house! to talk to them! and that persons not even a donor!!

    • Graemeyh

      What has that got to do with article? Nonsense.

    • Canarydan

      Looks like Cameron’s desperation has spread the the below-the-line right-wing army.

  • LordElpus

    Of course the claims that the next government, should it be red, will be dominated by the SNP are wild. Ed’s already said that a future Labour administration would have nothing to do with the SNP.

    That is what he said. . . isn’t it?

  • Heidstaethefire

    “And after all their assertions about each other in the last few weeks, on which issues will the SNP and the Tories combine…?”

  • Hugh

    It’s a bit difficult to follow your argument but it seems to be that if Labour form a government then only they can propose legislation and the SNP will have to vote on it (and risk allying themselves with the Tories if they vote against it). Is that it?

    If so, it’s unconvincing. Labour can talk to the SNP before putting legislation forward to ensure they’ll support it or SNP-friendly amendments can be tabled. So how does it stop the SNP “holding the government to ransom”? Certaintly not by being afraid to be seen to agree with the Tories. Both could easily vote against legislation for different reasons, the SNP because there’s too much austerity, the Tories because there’s not enough.

    • Canarydan

      And the government would fall. Another inconclusive election would follow (which features hundreds of thousands of SNP voters livid that their party opened up a door to a possible Tory government).

      Such a scenario would sign the death warrant for FPTP. Could the Tories risk that?

      • Hugh

        I’m pretty sure that, yes, the Tories would “risk” voting against a minority Labour government and seeing it fall. It seems an odd question frankly. Do you seriously think the Tories would spend their time in opposition propping Labour up?

        • Canarydan

          It depends on how much they’d like to risk losing two things that aren’t far behind the old four pillars of Toryism in importance to them; Trident and First Past the Post.

          They would bring down a Labour government yes. What do they gain? They’d get another election yes, but another election that could see an increased Labour haul if the SNP voters switch back to Labour to stop the Tories getting in. They may see Trident vanish and the electorate would be far more inclined to ditch an electoral system that does not appear to be able to function. Most non-politicos are sick to death of this election as it is (my daughter’s godmother hasn’t watched the news for a week and won’t buy a paper until the election is over), they are not going to be enamoured at the prospect of frequent elections and collapsing governments. The life-support machine that is currently sustaining FPTP would be unavoidably switched off.

          • Hugh

            “What do they gain?”

            Another chance at an election they have lost. I very much doubt they would simply assume a second election would get the same result. In fact, I very much doubt the same result would occur. Yes, the SNP might get squeeed second time. Perhaps more likely, since the SNP could have seats to show for its votes, UKIP would likely to squeezed as well.

            I also think the idea a minority government failing would inevitably bring the death of FPTP is untrue. It certainly isn’t so obviously so that the Tories would be certain to avoid it. (They may also ask if they haven’t been able to get a majority for two decades whether it’s such marvelous system for them anymore anyway.)

            Anyway, I’m afraid I’d still be more than willing to bet my house that the Tories would have very little hesitation in voting against a Labour government. Yes, they might wait for their time, but there isn’t actually any compelling reason why the Tories would effectively support a Labour government. And they’re pretty obviously not going to do so for fear of people thinking they agree with the SNP.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I doubt that the Conservatives will have a big enough block of votes, without the support of several other parties, to trigger another general election. I doubt even the DUP would be willing to vote down a Labour minority government too readily. And when votes on Trident and such like arise, where Labour couldn’t get support from the SNP, well, the Conservatives would appear rather opportunist if they failed to support a Labour minority government seeking to renew/upgrade Britain’s nuclear arsenal wouldn’t they. Plus, considering the economic convulsions further premature general elections would visit upon the nation don’t you think the country would be rather cross with a Conservative Party which was seen to trigger another general election too soon simply because they were hungry for another crack at power?

            Additionally would David Cameron actually remain a lame duck loser leader if he failed to return the Tories to government after one term? If he chose to step down, which I’m pretty sure (as a puffed up bully) he would do in short order, the Conservatives would have to elect a new leader who might choose to surround himself/herself with a new shadow cabinet (hopefully getting rid of sundry lowlifes like Michael Fallon and Grant Shapps et al).


          • Hugh

            “I doubt that the Conservatives will have a big enough block of votes,
            without the support of several other parties, to trigger another general
            election. I doubt even the DUP would be willing to vote down a Labour
            minority government too readily”

            We’re talking in the context of situations where the SNP aren’t supporting them. Yes, the Tories are likely to enable them to push through Trident. Their tax and spending plans – not so much.

            Given Labour have signed up to the Tory’s first year spending plans, they might be able to get support for these from the Tories. After that, the SNP, if they have the seats, are fairly obviously going to be in a strong position. Also, while you might be angry with the Tories refusing to support a government that’s likely to have gained a third of the popular vote, I think you probably over-estimate the likely anger in the population as a whole.

            The argument seems to be that a minority Labour government wouldn’t need the support of the SNP because it could rely on the support of the Tories. This seems a little counter-intuitive. Or can we count on Labour’s support if the Tories form a minority government?

  • wolfman

    It’s politics…..When power is at stake cheap shots aplenty abound. The problem is the posh boys are better at getting low than we are.

    Say what you want about Blair and his government but they didn’t have the lightweights poor Ed has to carry !!.

    You’d have to be a stauch Labour supporter like me to know who half the shadow ministers are.


LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends