Saturday, 19 February 2011
Labour and the Lib Dems
This morning's Week in Westminster on BBC Radio 4 included a fascinating discussion about relations between Labour and the Lib Dems. When Labour thought that the Lib Dems were easily wooable, they weren't interested in doing much wooing. But now that Labour realises that Liberal Democrats in government can find other coalition partners, their pursuit of Lib Dems has become both more determined and more desperate. Of course, it's partly about wanting to make Labour appear liberal (some hope), win over Lib Dem voters and attack the Coalition. But it's also about Labour's fear that, having assumed for decades that Liberals would automatically work with them in a hung Parliament, they've been proven wrong. Also interesting in this piece was the suggestion that the 2015 General Election won't be about spending cuts, because the cuts will have been and gone by then and the economy will probably be growing - it will be about tax cuts. This is a timely reminder to all Lib Dems that the next General Election will be fought in a very different context from that of 2010, and is still more than four years away.