12 April 2010

Hey, Nick Clegg nicked my idea!

Nick Clegg, short on ideas of his own, had to borrow one from giroscope:

In an interview with the Observer, the Liberal Democrat leader says he fears "serious social strife" would break out on the streets if a government with limited support at the election on 6 May then raised taxes, laid off public-sector workers and froze wages.

Right on, bro. It's a very good point. In fact to be fair to Clegg, it's one of the best interviews I've seen with him since he took over as leader. Strip away the Thatcherite crap about "militant trade unions" and you've got a reasonably progressive policy stance.

But I still worry that - like Tony Blair, his obvious role model (or is it Dave Cameron?) he's better at finding the right soundbite than assembling coherent policy.

Still, the social unrest point is well made. It makes me laugh that Dave and the other defenders of FPTP say that a hung parliament could create social unrest. In fact, an unrepresentative Labour majority could be much worse for that. (The same would be true of an unrepresentative Tory majority, but that's more or less impossible given the current bias in the electoral system - if you take "representative" as winning 40% or more of the vote, the Tories will pretty much HAVE to do that to get a working majority - whereas Labour could get a majority on less than 35%.)

The lesson? A big tactical vote for the Lib Dems will be A Very Good Thing at this election.

Personally I'm voting for the Greens because the new Witham constituency is such a stitch-up that Robert Mugabe could probably get elected as long as he was wearing a blue rosette. (and it might yet come to that). But I would be voting Labour or Lib Dem if I were in a constituency where either of them had a cat in hell's chance of winning the seat.

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