Tuesday, August 07, 2012

So What Fate Awaits The Liberal Democrats In UK?

Lib Dem's Leader, Nick Clegg
Well, from the onset of the Coalition in 2010, it was clear the Liberal Democrats (LibDem) were going into government for whatever they can get. In the stalemate they caused in May of 2010 negotiating with the Labour Party on one hand, and the Conservatives on the other was vividly clear and beyond repulsive. It was a clear trading by barter.

Of course, the elite team of Conservatives was desperate for power too. Compounded by the personal hatred of Gordon Brown by both young, ambitious and hyperactive bunch in the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, it was no surprise what we ended up with: a Coalition of power-hungry ambitious young millionaires tasty to massage and satisfy their egos.

And on the crunch, the claim that the deficit is bringing them together is yet to be successful as instead, an unstable economy, the fluctuation in GDP and the ever-rising borrowing is yet to improve. The said deficit is yet to be significantly halved and the entire country is taking a battering with those on receipt of State benefits continuously on the rise. What else?

You dont have to go far to find them; national institutions are gradually becoming shadows of themselves: the NHS is costing more to run than it costs to save lives; and the British Military that was once in the elite of the world's military is now reducing to a ghost of itself. Yet, it doesnt stop there as, for the first time in history, a UK government budget is reduced to a caricature with unquenchable reverse of almost everything that was in it. It cant be more shameful.

And now this; the biggest party in the Coalition has threatened the smaller by blatantly and openly dumping an agreement to reform the House of Lords (this is the somewhat upper House of UK parliament which is presently unelected but by appointment of specialist experienced professionals and retired politicians and largely under through kindness of the Prime Minister). Since it was the Liberal Democrats (small party in the Coalition) that is pushing for this reform, they are now threatening to scupper another national issue - Boundary Changes - which their partners in government is pushing.

But as is clear, the two parties are using national issues as guarantors for their continued ambition to govern, just for the sake of it. After a fight to reform electoral system, which [also] failed in favour of the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats - the crowd-pleaser of the two - want one more politically-correct action; the reform of the House of Lords. But that isn't working as finally, the Conservatives have woken up to the gimmick, and bravely for the real first time, called the bluff on their smaller partner, the LibDems.

So what is the fate of the LibDems now? Every sensible analysts thinks this is LibDems precious opportunity to redeem their image from this reputational damage to have joined the Coalition in the first place and should not walk away. But instead, the LibDems, adamant and blinded by their want of power, is instead responding with a threat to scupper the Boundary reform proposed by the Conservatives which they claim is for the advantage of the Conservatives to get a majority. Are you kidding me?

Does it mean that this fence-sitting LibDems were really working hard to support the Conservatives gain a majority through Boundary changes? Only a fool will believe that or only the LibDems are the fool to do that anyway. If they do, doesn't that mean they would be annihilated out of government since they are only there due to the said Conservatives not having a complete majority?

Without going into the full analysis of the last two years, it is obvious that what the LibDems need now is a damage limitation. To achieve that, all they need to do is use this opportunity to walk out and save what little face is left for them. Continuing to remain in the Coalition and threatening to damage their Coalition agreement will further show them in bad light to the Left and Right spectrum of UK politics both of which they currently are not loved in.

The above is made even worse because all the issues LibDems are gunning for with their once-in-a-lifetime taste at governance are issues that have no direct impact to the 'ordinary' or general population; House of Lords Reform, Electoral Reforms and other constitutional matters. Who really cares about these issues? They are issues you deal with when no direct national crisis are hovering in the cloud, like the deficit and weakening national institutions. While people are worried about their State-guaranteed healthcare and its depletion, the last thing they want to be bothered about is a system that although not perfect, is tolerable and delivering some niche protection.

The LibDems should call it quits now; in this week and not wait any longer. They should do it and trigger a general election so as to be clear where their fate lies. Then they can concentrate of proposing a proper manifesto on these issues and others.

This attempt to use threat to stay in power can only be interpreted as one thing; the LibDems are simply trying to elongate their time in governance because they strongly believe there will never be another time; at least, not in this generation or anytime near it. But, the more they hide behind this blind, the stronger the doors will slam in their face at the next election.

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