I forgot to plug my Comment is Free article which was published yesterday. In it, I give pretty short shrift to the ideas that Nick Clegg has just announced his intention to form a coalition with the Tories and that the Lib Dems should be bending over backwards to spell out their terms for a coalition of any kind:
There is no enthusiasm within the party for co-operation with the Conservative party, but working with Labour is almost as unenticing a prospect. To be seen propping up a government which has just lost the election after 13 years of office would cost the Lib Dems almost all their political capital.
For the party to put its neck on the line in this way, it would need some pretty concrete guarantees. Sunder Katwala of the Fabians has made a list of necessary policy changes that would be a good start – but thus far Labour isn’t offering any of it. The idea expressed by some other Labour supporters that the Lib Dems should be offering them some sort of blank cheque to carry on as usual on the simple calculation that the Tories would be far worse is simply laughable, and typical of the sort of pigheadedness that has got Labour into the mess it is now in.
Read it in full here.
Both Labour and the Tories keep claiming that every single idea the Lib Dems have ever had is awful and something that they would agree to over their collective dead bodies (leaving aside the ones they periodically ‘borrow’). Until that tone changes, I suggest we all take it at face value and stop worrying about coalitions – they aren’t going to happen. In that respect, it doesn’t matter what Clegg says; what matters is what Cameron and Brown are saying.