As I’m sure everyone will know, Gordon Brown has resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour party (making Harriet Harman leader until a permanent replacement is elected), and David Cameron is now Prime Minister at the head of a coalition government. Cabinet appointments appear to be emerging tonight – Conservative Home is already reporting unconfirmed appointments of Hague as Foreign Secretary, Osborne as Chancellor, Cable as Chief Secretary, David Laws as Schools Secretary and Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary. Other rumours buzzing about are Danny Alexander to be Secretary of State for Scotland (that job must almost certainly go to the Lib Dems), and Paddy Ashdown as Defence Secretary (though Sky say Paddy Ashdown is denying it, so who knows if that one is true. Update – everyone seems to be backtracking on that one, ConHome says it is Liam Fox after all).

I’m putting up this thread for discussion of the change over, please try and keep it within the comments policy, so try to avoid dancing on Labour’s grave, gnashing your teeth over the horrors of Tory government, or berating the Lib Dems for what they’ve done or not done.


1,540 Responses to “Prime Minister Cameron”

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  1. @ Amber Star

    Dave will tickle his tummy & the 55% will be kicked into the long grass.
    _________________________________________

    Spot on IMHO :D

  2. John Fletcher – LOL. so now we have two quotes, one from a Tory saying it was all the Libs and one from the Libs saying it was all the Tories!!

    Welcome to coalition!

    Amber, sadly, I think that’s not it.

  3. Senior Lib Dems on Newsnight last night

    “It prevents a surprise attack on the Conservatives by everybody else: it is as simple as that” – Andrew Stunnell MP

    “You are right actually about previous Parliaments and you might be right about future Parliaments but this arrangement was made for this Parliament, to guarantee the stability that was required for this Parliament” – Lord Rennard

  4. There is some weakness of MAtt and Johns arguments

    There is nothing wrong with the coalition or the fixed term idea

    It is the 55% “Enhanced majority” that is the diffiuclty

    that is incredibly different from a fixed term or from a formal coalition arrangment..

    Conflating just makes the whole thing more obscure…

  5. Wow – People are now saying it was definitely requested by the Tories!!!

    I am astonished; they must be very afraid of enough Dems abandoning the coalition to bring down the government.

  6. No one has ever doubted the fixed term is Cleggie’s idea-

    whose idea is the 55% stitch up?

    They are not the same thing

  7. I don’t suppose we’ll ever truly know who wanted it. :D

  8. @ Sue M

    one from a Tory saying it was all the Libs and one from the Libs saying it was all the Tories!!
    ________________________________________

    To be fair it was the BBC that were saying it was the LD’s idea. So far I haven’t hear of any Tory comming out and saying it, but I am prepared to be corrected if you have a source.

  9. Matt – “That would make more sense”

    Why?

    Why is it more likely that the Libs wanted it to stop being dropped when it was expedient?

    Surely it’s just as likely the Tories wanted it so the Libs couldn’t vote against them?

    Good man for being against, whatever the truth though.

    Amber – Hague has been very insistent

    You mean you’d prefer it not to be the Tories!! ;)

  10. @Eoin,

    Weaknesses in my arguments? I’m confused, I have been against this change from the beginning, and have expressed as much. :D

  11. Are we to take it as a complete coincidence that

    1. The present coalition has 55% of seats?

    2. Tories on their own have 47% thus preventing all the rest from calling one?

    Complete and utter coincidence? Hmmm……….

  12. Oops no! It’s like a game of pass the [smelly] parcel… nobody is accepting responsibility for this one.

    Well in that case, I am going with my original theory. Dems wanted it to protect them from an early election.

    BTW – this is what we have to look forward to… Dave & Nick both saying it was the other guys. Henceforth this will be known as: “A big boy did it & ran away.”

  13. Matt,

    Yellow did not request the 55% clause

  14. @Sue,

    It benefits the Libs more than the Tories (arguably) – although it does benefit both, granted. As Amber said, it stops the Tories from calling a snap GE within the next year, if their opinion rating goes up.

    The Libs have more of an interest in showing that coalitions work than the Tories.

    In reality, the Tories probably didn’t object either though. That’s why it went ahead.

  15. This needs to be sorted out before Labour can have its leadership contest.

    The choice for party members would be different if the candidates thought their was a possibility of an earlier election than 2015..

    It is ruling out Alan johnson for instance….

  16. @ Sue, Eoin, Matt

    I have always said it was cooked up by both sets of negotiators but have never expressed a personal opinion about which side contributed which ideas.

    My comment about the BBC news was that THEY were trying to distance DC from the policy. The report was on fixed parliaments and 55%, and they did say that he had only been against FTP, but IMO the spin was clear.

  17. It benefits both parties. I think John Fletcher and others underestimate the significance of the Coalition being defeated or giving up on this issue, this means in two years time when all governments take their mid term hits, the Lib Dems could find an issue of principal and storm out the cabinet on, the Conservatives would then have the risk of a no confidence vote, dissolution and early election, or alternatively if he is high in the polls Cameron could call an election under the current rules and the Lib Dems could (to paraphrase David Steel) “go back to their constituencies and prepare for annihilation,” neither side could trust the other, both would fear the other walking away.

    If the Opposition can get this scrapped then it will give Labour a major victory and IMHO could mean the Coalition’s days are numbered and a strong chance of an election within three years.

  18. JF – That’s not a fair thing to ask from goldfish-girl here lol

    And I don’t know all their names yet, but I’m racking my brains to remember which Lib it was. It was definitely yesterday, but a day is an extremely long time in politics at the moment, lol

  19. h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/seealso/2010/05/daily_view_parliament_dissolut.html

    see this website on the 55% concoction

  20. Which party suggested it doesn’t matter anyway. What does matter is that it is undemocratic and both parties have agreed to it anyway – hence, they are both equally to blame. This is whole thing is wrong IMO.

  21. @John Fletcher,

    Yes, I agree. Neither side is blameless. They have both agreed to it (and probably suggested to it). They are both wrong to have agreed with it. No excuses.

  22. So – 5 years of “A big boy did it & ran away” government.

    Dave’s Team will phrase everything thus: “I agreed with Nick that we should cut NHS spending because it wasn’t ring-fenced in the LD manifesto & we couldn’t afford the coalition spending plans without making unplanned cuts elsewhere.”

    Nick’s Team will say, “Well we are the junior partner in this coalition. We tried to get the best deal for the public at the outset but we weren’t able to stop them cutting NHS spending.”

  23. @Sue M
    JF – That’s not a fair thing to ask from goldfish-girl here lol
    _________________________________________

    Sorry :-(

  24. @Amber,

    It does not look good for either of them agreed. The best thing to do is to put 4 year fixed terms to the electorate in their manifestos at the next election

    Not one citizen from the UK has voted on this.

  25. They are both wrong to have agreed with it. No excuses
    _________________________________________

    Agreed

  26. @Amber,

    Every party would have had to have cut NHS spending to some extent, and spending generally during this term anyway. That’s the truth. Anyone who tells you that 170 billion can be cut by reducing waste/cutting other departments except all the frontline ones is simply lying.

    That’s the problem with all the parties pre-election. Not one was prepared to tell the truth about the scale of the cuts. That’s why public confidence in politicians is currently so low.

  27. @ Éoin,

    A 5 year fixed term is also ruling out women!

    e.g. Yvette Cooper must commit to 5 years in opposition & 5 years as PM (if Labour win). That pretty much closes the door on having any children during that 10 years. Another problem caused by the male centred politics we have in this country.

  28. Amber, I have my own theory on why the Cons wanted it, but I SO hope I’m wrong :(

  29. Matt – Jolly well said.

  30. @ Amber Star
    A 5 year fixed term is also ruling out women!
    ________________________________________

    Would 4 year terms be ok for you?

    That would be my preerence.

  31. @Sue,

    I share your theory. Read more into Benjamin Disraeli’s career. You will be most intrigued.

    @Amber,

    Yes you are right. I had only though of older members like Harriet and Alan. But yes it would be the same for our younger women. Do you think is that why she is not putting her name forward, or might she still do so yet? :)

  32. Amber “Another problem caused by the male centred politics we have in this country.”

    In what way would female centred politics be different in the context of your comment?

  33. @Sue,

    “Matt – Jolly well said.”

    Thanks.

    Apologies if the standard of my posts has deteriorated somehwat today. I had a bit too much wine to drink last night. :D

  34. JF – I actually rather like the idea of 4 year terms actually.

    I was happy for interest rates to be taken away from politicians, and I’d be equally happy for election dates to be out of their control too.

  35. @ Matt

    RE: Spending cuts.

    1. Cuts required, it depends on how well the economy does.
    2. Nobody forced the Conservatives to “promise” a ring-fenced NHS budget.

    They had the same information as you & I when they made the promise. Those of us with a modicum of interest & intelligence knew it was a promise they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep…

  36. @Sue,

    Thanks. Rest assured that I would also fight against the changes if they went through. :D

  37. Matt – I think the standard of your posts is always excellent. I would consider voting for you myself.

  38. @Sue

    My ideal .

    Fixed Term 4 years.

    Only exception is a failure in a vote of confidence proposed by the Leader of the largest party not in government.

  39. @Amber.

    I agree. But to be fair I think that all parties would have been unable to have kept their promises. The huge deficit means that we ‘require’ massive cuts across the board. The problem is that the Cons/Libs/Lab all didn’t want to reveal where these cuts would happen. :D

    That’s why no one trusts politicians of any party – they know massive cuts are coming, regardless of what they say.

  40. @Sue,

    “Matt – I think the standard of your posts is always excellent. I would consider voting for you myself.”

    Thanks. Likewise. :D

  41. @ MIKE N

    We do not elect the PM. Therefore leadership contests should be run as a dual ticket. Not a leader & deputy – but a definite commitment that they are partners in leadership.

    That would also have stopped all the nonsense with GB & TB standing aside for each other. They could’ve had an aknowledged joint administration.

    This idea that we can only have strong leadership if all is vested in a single individual is nonsense; it flies in the face of our having two leaders already, the PM & the Monarch.

  42. Amber – Re Cuts. Last night we were hearing probable VAT rise, budgets all to cut 15%, welfare, etc.

    I know the 6 billion has been agreed, but they were saying Vat rise could happen “almost immediately”

    I’m confused. Does this mean the emergency budget will propose a few billion more cuts for this year, or is 6bn this year all? Definitely. No more?

    Surely of all the tax rises, VAT would harm recovery?

  43. @Matt/Amber,

    I disagree.

    I think there is a perception among some that reds were unwilling to make the necessary cuts. This played against them in some respects but as cuts are accelerated and become deeper, voters will differentiate between how the coalition is going about it and hwo reds would have gone about it.

    Expect the watch word to be “I know we needed cuts but Labour would not have cut this badly”.

    The biggest risk for blue (which cropped up in the Paxman interview) is that blues are seen to relsih cutting or cut for ideological reasons…

  44. John Fletcher. I agree.

    I would even have thought it less controversial if the figure was set at half of Libs +1 voting against the Tories with others (whatever that is)
    Then, in effect it is more like 50%+1 in reality.

    I still wouldn’t have been very impressed though.

  45. John,

    “Only exception is a failure in a vote of confidence proposed by the Leader of the largest party not in government.”

    Do you want to look at that again ?

    I think I know what you mean, but it should either be:

    Success in a vote of no-confidence proposed by the largest party not in government; or

    Failure in a vote of confidence proposed by the government.

    Paul

  46. @ Éoin, Matt

    That is why I mentioned cuts will depend on how the economy is doing.

    If growth exceeds expectations ConDems will keep cutting anyway.

    All the manifesto tax cuts will be made, none of the Dem’s proposed compensating increases will be implemented & the cutting program will go on & on until public sector workers crack under the strain.

  47. @Amber

    Yes I agree with that. To all is no more.

  48. @ Paul H-J

    Failure in a vote of confidence proposed by the government

    ________________________________________

    No, because this means that there is no change.

    This means the Pm will still be to cut and run when he wants, which means we will still have the short termisum that has caused so much damage over the years.

  49. @Eoin,

    “I think there is a perception among some that reds were unwilling to make the necessary cuts. This played against them in some respects but as cuts are accelerated and become deeper, voters will differentiate between how the coalition is going about it and hwo reds would have gone about it.”

    I always believed that the reds would have made the necessary cuts. They would have had to to sort the
    economic crisis out. I think most people realised that massive cuts were coming, regardless of who were in power.

    “Expect the watch word to be “I know we needed cuts but Labour would not have cut this badly”.”

    It’s easier to say what you would have done when you are not in power, as the Tories will find out. You can promise the earth then. :D

  50. Eoin – I thought about that VERY much last night, but wasn’t sure how much leeway AW was actually giving us.

    I think I’ve been involved in politics for so long, sometimes I do forget the reality of some policies.
    What I mean is, if GB says we ought not to cut, it’s OK by me. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just a partisan point, but hey, I’ve got a job to do, lol.

    But what if GB was right? Plenty of economists seemed to think he was and many other country’s approach to the crisis.

    6 billion is probably neither here nor there, but will place a little strain.

    But what if it becomes 15 billion? Or 22 billion? Or 34 billion? What if the measures put in place to prop up home-owners or workers or industry are cut? What if VAT goes up? What if GB was right?

    What happens if growth starts to falter, repossessions rise, unemployment goes up etc? Surely the debt actually gets BIGGER as the growth can’t pay it down and our credit rating is even more in jeopardy?

    Surely they have to stick to 6bn this year?

    (On a totally separate point – I will miss two extra things about GB – the way he says “constituencies, missing the second “t” and the way he always said “billions” not billion

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