Friday, 21 May 2010

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Few can dispute that Labour’s negotiations with the Lib Dems were undermined at a very crucial stage by a succession of the party’s backbenchers and former big hitters. David Blunkett and John Reid did their utmost to strike a hammer blow to the coalition before it even had chance to take flight. Similarly, north of the English border there was an outright rebellion to any notion that Labour MPs could be part of any alliance featuring representatives of the Scottish Nationalist Party.

The Parliamentary Labour Party failed those of us who are against having a Tory government. They failed to protect ordinary people against the wave of big cuts that are on their way. Yes, a Labour-led government would have had to cut too, but people in Wales remember what Tory cuts feel like, and that's why 74% of people voted against them.

After seeing Tuesday's Newsnight, I hear that the negotiating team from the Labour Party only went through the motions in their meetings with the Liberal Democrats and failed to engage in any meaningful way that was ever going to result in success. Take a look at the Jeremy Paxman interview with Shirley Williams , about 33 minutes in. Labour refused to make concessions, but the Tories were prepared to compromise enough to satisfy the Liberal Democrats. The deal was done.

Labour never had the appetite to oppose the Tories.

May they hang their heads in shame.

1 comment:

gmobme said...

I'm with you on this Leanne. We don't know enough about the will of the Lib or Lab negotiators either way but anyone in their right mind could see that the deal was scuppered by the orchestrated onslaught by the old Blairites led by Blunkett, Reid and leadership candidate Andy Burnham. As for the LibDems, they just did what we expect them to do in the circumstances.