The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Course Of Coalition Love Never Does Run Smooth

Posted by The Futility Monster on May 7, 2010 @ 16:15

Could a coalition actually happen after all? Both Lib Dems and Tories will be distinctly uneasy about it. How much will they trust their leaders that they’re doing the right thing?

But if the negotiations begin, they will be extraordinarily delicate. I observed them at a close distance in 2007, in the aftermath of the Welsh Assembly election. It was extremely cloak and dagger. Everyone had their own agendas. It takes a truly intelligent person to draw up a document that pleases all the parties. And yes, there was much partisan bickering. It’s only natural. We’re party animals.

Here is the interesting part though.

The Tories and Plaid Cymru got very excited when they realised that they, plus the LDs, could topple Labour from power.

There was much frantic rushing around. Radio silence began, including between MPs and their own staff. We couldn’t be trusted not to leak or damage the negotiations.

Then there was the drafts. The endless drafts of the All Wales Accord. Top secret. Invariably left in places where they could be found.

But in the end, it was all a merry dance.

A merry dance led by Plaid Cymru.

They knew that once they had the coalition agreement in place, it was the perfect bargaining chip.

They turned their back on the agreement they’d signed, and went to Labour with an ultimatum.

Work with us, or you’re finished. And possibly for a very long time.

It worked. Labour gave them everything they wanted. Plaid were very happy. Power at long last.

Of course, it hasn’t worked out too well for Plaid, but the moral of the tale is obvious.

Coalition negotiations are incredibly long, incredibly boring, and incredibly complex. Nudges and winks here and there mean everything. It could all actually be a ruse, a careful scheme by Nick Clegg to see if Labour can trump the offer.

There’s a lot still to play for here, even though all the voting is over.

And that’s what makes this so fascinating.


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