Coalition cracks appearing towards the end of a long hard term…

It’s worth reading Danny Kruger’s oped in the FT today if you want to get grips with Cameroonism from the inside out:

All that Conservatives hold precious, the virtues of responsibility and independence, the habits of tradition and good order, the inclusive dignity of our institutions, are opposed; the benefit we derive from them is threatened by a league of philistines and profiteers, deluded do-gooders and residual socialists, not to mention the more overt social enemies who desecrate monuments and chant hate at the royal family. They need to be fought and defeated, intellectually, practically and politically.

These are good old fashioned English Tory values, not the neo Whiggism of the Thatcher years when the Conservative Party in part hawked many its old money values to the highest bidder in the market. It remains to be seen how long it takes Labour to come up with a credible counter phase.

My only quibble with Danny’s bríomhar account of Cameron’s prime virtues is one line in his final paragraph, where he notes the stupidty of the Lib Dems in promising not to bring in Tuition Fees (Clegg fought against his party on it, but lost): “Mr Cameron would never have got into the unreal policy commitment in the first place”.

More accurately Mr Cameron made his ‘unreal policy committments’ over Europe (leaving the EPP, and reneging on his promise of a referendum on Lisbon), which few of yer actual British electorate care about anywhere near as much as having to sub a child through their higher education.

What should concern those Tories who are still genuinely committed to the Coalition, is this unusually discomposed Cameron riposte to Nigel Dodds’ Fifa devious little ringer in which Mr Cameron seemed to imply that – on this subject – his partners the Lib Dems were an organised hypocrisy

Undoubtedly, Cable was ‘stung’. But clearly too, he’d been drinking a little too much of his own cool aid for his or his party’s own good.  The reality is that neither party in this coalition can really afford these gaps to open up further.

Danny’s piece sounds a little like he’s reading out his party’s pre nup statement… A reminder perhaps to the Lib Dems that this 5 year agreement may not be as binding as they thought after all…

, , ,

  • Linking this post with Brian’s shortly before, the fact that Cable has not been cut completely may an attempt to prevent Nick Clegg becoming exposed to a power surge.

    The reality for the Lib Dems is that they are stuck where they are. An election now would mean devastation at the polls.

  • These are good old fashioned English Tory values,


    Out of interest, what is good about them?

    On tuition fees there is absolutely no real evidence that Clegg fought against signing up to the Lib Dem pledge to abolish them and lost, indeed, if there is a shred of truth in this newly created legend, it means Clegg is one of the most dishonourable individual to have held high office, for it would mean he not only lied when making the pledge, but new dam well if events flowed his way, his words in the infamous election broadcast, where lies dam lies.

    By the way, you should give yourself a yellow card for passing on guido type gossip, what a nasty slur.

  • Alias

    Electing low standards to high places is not a uniquely Irish affliction, nor is the collectively self-destructive process of making excuses for them.

  • Mick Fealty

    @Organised Rage

    You miss the point. English folk like yourself do not seem to understand the ‘organised hypocrisy’ that is coalition politics.

  • More accurately Mr Cameron made his ‘unreal policy committments’ over Europe (leaving the EPP, and reneging on his promise of a referendum on Lisbon),

    Except of course that

    a) he followed through with his commitment to leave the EPP (whether it was wise is another matter), and

    b) a referendum on Lisbon after it entered into force would have been impossible – the only option available after the fact would have been a referendum on leaving the EU, which the Tories have been consistently against. There was no hypocrisy involved.

  • “You miss the point. English folk like yourself do not seem to understand the ‘organised hypocrisy’ that is coalition politics.”


    Perhaps Irish folk like yourself, who choose to live amongst us could enlighten us?

  • What the DT did was not mainstream journalism, but then what is that any longer? Probably a question for another day. How different is it to TV capture of Sarah Ferguson or those politicians pre-election.

    That said, Cable acted poorly. He met in a constituency environment and there is enough to show Liberal Democrat influence on the current agenda to be positive without bragging self-centredly on a) his own importance to the project and b) his attitudes to specific aspects of his ministerial brief. Shows academic arrogance and poor grasp of real politics and the dignity of office.

  • lover not a fighter

    The Tories may orchestrate a new election and go for the overall majority.

    The Liberal Democrats are dead ducks and Labour have not yet decided if Rupert Murdock will allow them to have Ed Milliband as leader.

    Opportunity knocks and all that !

  • Brian Walker

    Now Mick. Tory philosophy is so flexible that it can mean almost anything short of the fully corporate state.

    But Revolution? What revolution? Remind me Danny, what part of the welfare state was ever local, since the Board of Guardians? When was the supply side ever part of Tory doctrine, as suddenly now, unheralded, with the NHS?. Which Tory councillors are lusting to take control of cash-strapped local services? (there are some, but give it time, before the May elections).

    And by the way, is E Pickles the appealing Peoples’ champion? Note well that Cameron, above the fray, yes, standing well above his own pet policies, wary of unpopularity already, before the deluge.

    Most of this stuff is economic liberalism Bentham would have recognised And oh yes, that reminds me. Where, oh where is the Big Society?

    Thatcher ‘s USPs were bashing the overmighty unions (someone to blame for savage deflation) and the big one, selling council houses. What then is Dave’s? No..? I thought not. What key Conservative policy have the Lib Dems frustrated?

    The little paen Mick quotes , although careful to eschew a new class war, displays the mildly pathological state of Conservatism shorn of the sense of history and nostalgia it needs to work in a Spectator-ish sort of way. Nothing here for the squeezed middle. “Let us be fierce in defence of the gentle.” Don’t make me laugh.

    So sorry Danny, nice try. Or rather not so nice, really. Nothing here can disguise the shape of Blair Mark 2, plus cuts.

  • DC

    Dissenter – good description of Cable and his attitude and changed character, changed in the sense that he has been something smug ever since he donned that hat of his – and took on power and office!

    The tape just proved this. He’s right about Murdoch though.

  • andnowwhat

    I think things will only get interesting after the AV vote.

    From what I have heard on the occassional vox pop and talk radio I think it could well be dead in the water.

    Looking at the comments on the Guardian also seems to show that the vast majority of LibDem supporters are furious. What is the number of party members that resigned in the first months after the coalition was formed? I forget but I remember it was substantial.

    On another noter, Labour are a disgrace in opposition. Ed seems a lovely fellow and I’d happily let him look after my catif I went away for a fortnight but he does not have what the leader of an opposition needs. IMHO, that is a very dangerous thing for the nation

  • DC

    Cameroonism as described above reminds me more of the old Prussian aristocracy – the sense of duty and obedience to the state and to order.

    Michael White in the Guardian reminded me of the connection:

    So the Telegraph project here is to break up the Lib-Con coalition, which the Prussian wing of the Tory party vehemently dislikes for giving the government a sliver of liberalism in the mix

    But mind you they wrapped up the state of Prussia after WWII and with it that identity and those characteristics – still the world turns; same fate for Cameroonism then?

  • pippakin

    I can’t see what the fuss is about. Is anyone surprised a) to find some libdems are not thrilled to be where they are or b) that where they are has given others an inflated opinion of their own importance.

    I’m not even sure its acceptable journalism. It looks to me as though some in the Torygraph thought the government was not tory enough, time to put the boot into the the most popular members of the libdems?

    The Telegraph is going to have to do better than this to shake the coalition.

  • Brian,

    Finally you have liberated your pen, good stuff.


  • john123

    Anyone recall y dkruger was dumped like a hot potato from
    contesting sedgefield by Howard hardly a month out from the last
    general before last? Apparently, he informed a public meeting that
    “Britain’s public services needing a Schumpeterian “period of
    creative destruction””. His time certainly has come.