Tag Archives: Labour

Decision time: will it be a Clegg-Cam union or a potentially disastrous blind date?

After days of flirtation Nick Clegg will soon choose a bedfellow for the Lib Dems. The man who is heading the party that David Blunkett has branded a “harlot” can now be seen as the kingmaker in this election. He is making an unenviable decision that will cause rifts with at least some of his party and its supporters, no matter what the outcome.

Passions are running high, with journalists and political commentators on over-drive after a remarkable few days at Westminster. The cracks certainly began to show yesterday when Adam Boulton picked a furious row with Alistair Campbell on Sky News; I only wish Campbell had gone so far as to wipe the almost tangible spittle from his brow as Boulton unleashed.

Still, as Clegg is continuing talks with both parties, he is holding his cards close to his chest and we are waiting with baited breath as all three parties sit in Westminster.

The real beneficiaries of the discussions should be the electorate, as all parties focus on policy areas that will be popular publicly, with PR and economic stability heading up the news agenda.

Yet stability is exactly what is it at stake if talks go on much longer and Clegg continues to play footsie with both parties. This eager excitement will undoubtedly lead to grumbling tensions as the potential of fruitful partnerships between the parties turn into memories of a regrettable fling.

All in all, it’s crunch time and eyes are firmly on Clegg holding the power card. This would have been unthinkable just a few months ago and for that fact, amongst others, this week has been a game-changer, altering the face of politics for decades to come.

Following Brown’s resignation yesterday the prospect of a Lab-Lib coalition became more realistic. This would, of course, be a coalition of the great unknown. With Brown successfully out of Number 10 (sort of) the scramble will soon commence to replace him.

Ed Balls as PM - a terrifying prospect

Whether it is Ed Balls that will eventually take the keys to Downing St, a resoundingly unpopular choice, David Miliband or of course, his brother Ed we do not know but no-one is staking a claim as of yet.

In any event, it is clear this will most likely effect Clegg’s decision. However what that may be, or when that come, is currently anyone’s guess.

The BNP’s presence on Question Time isn’t worrying, but the fearful response from opposing politicians is.

It is a welcome ruffle of feathers that follows any headline that involves the BNP; a sure-fire way to inspire public interest and debate. This time though, I am somewhat flabbergasted. The news that the Nick Griffin may appear on Question Time has been recieved in a pitifully fearful fashion, particularly by the Labour party.

The party, who have previously had a strict policy against sharing a platform with the BNP, have been shaking their fists at the decision from Auntie following “evidence of electoral support at a national level”.

Firstly, if the BNP’s previous performance in the media is to go by there really is nothing to worry about. Those members of the Labour party scurrying away from the prospect of Griffin’s appearance have clearly not spent much time actually listening to him – and don’t even get me started on their website (in the spirit of shining lights on cockraches I have linked here for educational purposes).

The public can be trusted in their reaction to Griffin.

The public can be trusted in their reaction to Griffin.

The majority of what they say is simply non-sensical and factually laughable. So, it is the fear of other potential panel members that they would not be able to highlight it as such which should send shivers down the spine.

Question Time is the perfect platform, for want of a better word, from which the BNP can display their warts.

The decision to exclude them is bordering on media censorship, damages an intelligent audience’s trust in the programme’s impartiality but also marginalises and victimises the party, which are far more dangerous consequences. More to the point, this restriction clearly hasn’t worked in the past, allowing Griffin and co. to swipe a number of Labour’s northern seats from under their noses and consequently settle their despicable rear-ends in Europe. On one hand a restriction on their presence stinks of totalitarianism, on the other it seems lily-livered and worryingly in their favour.

I am still hopeful that many of the people who voted BNP do not share their most extreme views, views which need highlighting on platforms exactly like Question Time where an informed public audience and opposing political representatives can shine a light on their policies. They have only acheived their recent successes by shrinking underneath public scrutiny and proper interrogation.

A pathetic Labour response has included word that they will not “force” any MP to sit alongside Griffin if they objected. Yes, Griffin might not be your first choice at a candlelit dinner party but it seems to me there are slightly more pressing issues here than the sensitivities of Labour members who may not want to sit next to Griffin on TV. They should be chomping at the bit to attack Griffin’s racist viewpoints.

Luckily, the proposal has also been received warmly by those who see the need for an uncomfortable democratic debate to take place. Iain Dale hit the nail on it’s head on his blog:

“People are elected who we would rather not deal with. Tough. The BBC has done the right thing, and if Labour empty chair the programme, it will say more about them than it can ever do about the loathsome BNP.”

The BNP have sidelined themselves and cried victimisation, fuelling curiosity and opening up opportunities for them to peddle their own interests on street corners with little in the way of scrutiny. It is only with responsible publicity and decent interrogation that their ridiculous and sickening policies will be shown for what they truly are. Allow them to dig their own grave.