If What The Guardian Says Is True…


Then it looks like the new coalition government will essentially be adopting the Lib Dem manifesto in almost its entirety.

I don’t like the Tory welfare ‘reforms’ one bit, and will campaign against them. Likewise I think immigration caps a disgrace, and my main priority over the coming months is to change Lib Dem policy on immigration to be more actually liberal. But even when it comes to immigration, we have an end to child detention.

Look at that list, the ‘manifesto’ they set out, and tell me that’s not ‘progressive’…

I don’t know how it’s happened, but if that’s true, the Tories have essentially given in on *EVERYTHING*… it’s just… I don’t understand…

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16 Responses to If What The Guardian Says Is True…

  1. Jennie says:

    We’re still in that parallel universe, I think.

  2. I’m still confused about whether the referendum is going to be on an alternative voting system (which could be STV) or on the Alternative Vote system (which isn’t STV). Jennie says the former and the BBC say the latter.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Grauniad say the former.
      Either way, AV would be a big step forward – moving from AV to STV a relatively minor step in comparison. But at this point, with Clegg specifically in charge of this, I’m betting we’ll get STV.
      They’ve essentially thrown away their manifesto and taken ours instead…

      • It does look pretty good. The Tories will have a hard time campaigning for a No vote because the “coalitions are bad” argument will involve them rubbishing their own government. Fixed term parliaments was a nice surprise too.

      • Just seen the full text on the BBC website. The referendum will be on AV and not STV for the Commons, but the second chamber will be PR.

  3. TAD says:

    Does it bother you that the party that came in 3rd place is essentially driving the bus right now, in terms of policy?

    British voters definitely did *not* vote for that, in the big picture of things. Strange democracy you have there in the UK.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      They didn’t vote for *anything* in particular, and the Tories could always, as largest party, have formed a minority government without us.
      I’ve seen a *LOT* of speculation from informed people that actually Cameron wanted to ditch most of the Tories’ manifesto anyway, but needed an excuse to keep the rabid right-wing on side, which we gave him.

      And 56% of British people voted for one of the two parties in the coalition – and many *very specifically* wanted a hung parliament and this negotiation to take place, though possibly not the result.

      But yes, our democracy *is* broken, badly, and has been forever. One of the first things we’re going to do is fix it.

      • TAD says:

        One thing I’ve always admired about British politics is how the Prime Minister goes to the House of Commons and engages in a lively debate. We don’t have anything comparable here in the US.

  4. Kieran says:

    What have they given in on? All the Lib Dem proposals I see there are either Tory ones too (elected Lords, constituency equalisation, banking reform, human rights restorations and the pupil premium) or unlikely to happen: there’s no timetable for lower-income tax relief and the Tories have already admitted they’ll be campaigning against the measly electoral reform they’ve offered.

    Meanwhile the cuts, the “welfare and school reform”, and the employer-side reduction in NI rises all seem to be going ahead. If the liberals can soften those blows, *then* they’ll have achieved something.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Seriously, compare the two manifestos to what’s there.

      Full text of the deal is here, and there’s all sorts of interesting bits – like the fact that the referendum for AV will also be the referendum for the Tories’ changing of constituency sizes, so we can’t get one without the other – and neither can they. Either way, all we wanted is a referendum. And we’re getting a proportionally elected Lords.

      Here’s a list of Lib Dem policies that have made it into the agreement. I’d say that restoring the earnings link to pensions, ending child detention of immigrants, getting rid of the third runway at Heathrow and blocking further expansion of London’s airports, getting rid of ID cards and ContactPoint and a pupil premium (which *wasn’t* Tory policy) are a pretty good start, just for a few.

      There *is* an agreement to start moving towards the 10k tax relief, in stages, starting April next year.

      Then there’s the things that were in the Tory manifesto but *AREN’T* happening – such as repeal of the Human Rights Act…

      Given that we were in a horribly weak negotiating position, we’ve done remarkably well…

  5. Kieran says:

    I’m going by this graph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01632/venn-diagram-big_1632966a.gif which suggested those were already Tory policies, if that’s wrong then it is indeed remarkable.

    In any case that’s great news about the referendum, if they managed to reduce the number of MPs under a fptp that’d distort fptp so much we could’ve been looking at a permanent Tory government. Ditto on the human rights act.

  6. Phil Masters says:

    Alternatively, the Indie attempts a breakdown of the declared policies at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/department-by-department-what-the-new-government-plans-to-do-1972268.html – and scores it four games each, with two score draws. Which is still a respectable result for the LibDems, I guess.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      They’re giving stuff to the Tories that just wasn’t in their manifesto, like the restoration of the pension earnings link. And things like this:
      “However, the Liberal Democrats won safeguards over the project. Originally, Mr Gove planned to allow the “free” schools freedom from the national curriculum while introducing a traditional curriculum for others. Now all schools will gain these freedoms.”
      ‘those freedoms’ in this case being what the Lib Dems wanted to do – scale back the national curriculum and allow for curricula to be set more on a school by school basis.

      There’s a lot of face-saving going on in the way some of this stuff’s being presented.

      Also important is that there *are* a few Tory policies that have made it through unscathed – but the Lib Dems are allowed to speak against them and abstain, which means that a couple of Tory rebels and those policies don’t happen.

      It’s not perfect – far from it – but it’s a *HELL* of a lot better than anyone could have expected.

  7. Kieran says:

    Oh that curriculum thing is excellent too, and the tory’s pretending to hold such positions all along will hopefully marginalise their right wing.

    The bit I’m going to be paying closest attention to is the great repeal bill, which has the potential to do both great good and great evil. Liberal influence there will be crucial.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I’m assuming it’ll be near as dammit the one that the Lib Dems drafted last year, in which case it’ll be ‘great good’…

  8. Mike Taylor says:

    So … how did that work out?


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