MILIBAND SIGNALS CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY DEAL IS BACK ON THE TABLE

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BY Christian Wright

Updated 17 April 2015

Last night’s UK opposition leaders debate, hosted by the BBC, presented us with a moonwalking Miliband who with great solemnity and gravitas declared the would be no coalition with the SNP.

Now it won’t escape readers attention that coalition was never on the table last night having been rejected by the SNP and by Labour some while ago. It was theatre and all about the optics for our Ed.

On April10th we heard from Ed that in addition to no coalition, there would be no confidence and supply deal either. Yet strangely, that critical codicil was never articulated/reiterated in the debate.

Last night’s “Non” was not a rejection by Miliband it was an invitation. Confidence and supply appears to be back on the menu.

Let’s look back and then look forward to consider the imperatives if the SNP holds the balance of power on 8 May.

This earlier update appeared in this blog 10 April.

Well, presumably with an eye on the no deal with snpEnglish marginals, Labour has now firmly ruled out any deal with the SNP. No siree Bob. Uh-uh. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances.

Sigh. Seriously?

“ED Miliband and Ed Balls arrive in Scotland today to capitalise on Labour’s growing poll momentum by intensifying their economic attack on the SNP and underlining a post-election deal of any kind with Nicola Sturgeon’s Nationalists has now been ruled out.

Two parliaments, two prime ministers, one house. That’s where this bit of machismo leads. 

The response of the SNP should be to say, uh, OK we’ll not bring your government down. We will support you in the initial confidence vote so that you can form a minority government. We will support you in the event of a no confidence vote should one be tabled at any time.

We will support you in matters of defence and foreign affairs (unless you propose something daft, like renewing Trident). We will support you in those votes where Scotland’s vital interests are at stake.

Other than that, in the case of English-only legislation, being mindful of the inequity perceived by other members of this House and the English electorate at large, we will continue our time-honoured practice of abstaining from voting.

The effect of this strategy would be:

1. To have in UK matters, Ed Miliband calling the shots, installed as British Prime Minister in the UK Parliament, propped up by the SNP,

2. In EVEL matters, where  the Tories have a majority, David Cameron, de facto Prime Minister of England in an English parliament.

Two parliaments, two prime ministers, one house. And we all know that a house divided against itself cannot stand. 

My inner Yoda tells me Miliband by the short and curlies Sturgeon has.

YES is a dish best served cold

by Christian Wright (@christainwright)

osborne

Osborne: Another trust-funded public school Hooray Henry with a cartoon understanding of history to match his Mickey Mouse grasp of macroeconomics. Just what we need, five more years of inflammatory race-based jibes by Gideon at the expense of the sweaty socks.

Chancellor of the Exchequer during budget speech: “… a strong leader defeated an ill-judged alliance between the champion of a united Europe and a renegade force of Scottish nationalists”

Hello, George? Uh yeah, about that . . . the Scots weren’t actually at Agincourt, old fruit. As the FT notes:

King_Henry_V_at_the_Battle_of_Agincourt“It was actually the English invaders’ crushing victory there that spurred a warming of the “Auld Alliance” between France and the then-independent kingdom of Scotland.

Scottish troops sent to help the French crown defeated English forces at the Battle of Baugé six years later, killing King Henry’s brother.

“You could see Henry as a king who came to grief because he antagonised his neighbours both in Europe and on the British Isles,” said Michael Brown, a medieval historian at the University of St Andrews.”

Hard to escape the conclusion that the Tories othering of Scots goes beyond the imperatives of this election, to a genuine deep-seated racism. The ONLY thing we could be certain of getting after the indyref NO vote was further cuts and the Bullingdon wide-boys sneering contempt. In that respect they have not disappointed.

Perhaps it’s all worked out for the best. Dissolution of this moribund Union should be an ordered affair devoid of rancor and bitterness. Now that Smith has been gutted even
before its ritual emasculation during the legislative process by Red Tory and Blue Tory MPs, the only remaining alternatives are dissolution of our union with England, or incremental FFA.

Which is to say independence before the next parliamentary term is done, or independence some time later (FFA is inherently unstable when kludged on to an unreformed unitary state). Despite all their provocations, their fear-mongering, their belittling, we best be patient.

For like revenge, YES, is a dish best served cold.