Saturday, May 8, 2010

"England's difficulty could be Ulster's", Scotland's and Wales' "opportunity"*

Labour dismissed the SNP's progressive alliance suggestion as a desperate attempt by Mr Salmond to make himself look relevant
OK, the Scottish wing of their party probably feel justified in rubbing El Tartanissimo's nose in it, but if the Lib Dem/Conservative deal fails, Gordon Brown will try to form a government:

Labour and the Lib Dems together is not enough even with the support of the 3 SDLP MPs and Ms Long, the new Alliance MP who is allied to the Lib Dems. Together that's 319 votes.

With the support of the nationalists from Scotland and Wales they would reach 330.

Both the DUP and Lady Hermon are singing from the same hymn-sheet as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in demanding financial preference for their particuliar regions of the UK (with little regard at the negative side of the equation, ie who they expect to pay for those priviledges). Knock in the new Green MP and the grouping would have 338 votes in the Commons, more than enough to govern with ease.

So, despite the Labour bluster, the SNP, along with the DUP and Plaid Cymru, still remain very relevant until any final deal is done and delivered.

The effects of such a coalition, however, of the pork-barrelled, regionalist willing (including not just the SNP but also Plaid Cymru and the DUP) could well be disasterous for the long-term health of the Union, a potential scenario I have already dealt with here, over at the English Free Press.


*A senior DUP member purportedly made this outrageous comment to the BBC's Mark Robson. Not too Unionist a sentiment you'd probably agree, which is probably why it's now been changed (under Dupe orders?) from "England's" to "Westminster's difficulty". Even with the new version, it's very difficult to get the head round the idea of "Unionists" seeing parochial gain as more important than the difficulties and confusion presently being suffered by their nation due to the uncertain political situation.

7 comments:

andrewg said...

Everyone keeps acting surprised when the DUP turn out to be Ulster Nationalists and not "proper" Unionists. You'd think it would be common knowledge by now...

Chekov said...

England, the biggest member of the United Kingdom. Westminster, the seat of the Union.

transfattyacid said...

The Maths work out as 191 English Labour MPs, 43 English Lib Dems and 1 English Green - with an opposition composed of 297 English Conservatives.

Or put another way roughly 10 million people will be enforrcing legislation, that in large part do not apply to them due to devolution, on 50 million.

Hardly democratic or progressive.

MancUnionist said...

I think you might be overstating it to say that the Rainbow Coalition could govern 'with ease'. I reckon the Liberal Democrats and the smarter heads in Labour realise that having their government entirely dependent on regionalist MPs during a time of swinging budget cuts would devastate them in England. It might be electoral calculation rather than Unionist principle that draws them back from that particular brink, but they'd be taking an enormous risk to try it. It wouldn't produce long-term stable government anyway, not a 7 party coalition.

Also, the DUP in a coalition with the SDLP? Is that likely?

Stephen Pol Haydon said...

The Unionist suffered a huge defeat, Robinson and Reg Empeys defeats were humiliating. Im not a Unionist,I am a nationalist from Antrim I feel I must point that out, however it does not taint my view on politics. Its about time we take our power back from Westminster, there is much to benefit from being in control of your own destiny, dont you think?

It was a rubbish night for unionism, with Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew holding on to Fermanagh/South Tyrone.

O'Neill said...

“Everyone keeps acting surprised when the DUP turn out to be Ulster Nationalists and not "proper" Unionists.”

Andrew, no, it’s not news. The disturbing fact that over 160,000 voters still need convincing.


MancUnionist said...

“It might be electoral calculation rather than Unionist principle that draws them back from that particular brink, but they'd be taking an enormous risk to try it.”

You may be right, depemds on how much people want to hold onto/grab the reins of power.

“It wouldn't produce long-term stable government anyway, not a 7 party coalition.”

Self-interest often trumps what should be logical, it would be stable as long as it remians in each party’s interest for it to remain stable.

”Also, the DUP in a coalition with the SDLP? Is that likely?”

They have no problems being in coalition with Sinn fein!

andrewg said...

Andrew, no, it’s not news. The disturbing fact that over 160,000 voters still need convincing.

I rather think those 160,000 voters know fine well what the DUP are about, and they like it. The blanket term "unionist" has always been a cover for both integrationism and Ulster Nationalism, and a wide spectrum in between. The problem with UK Unionism was that it took the "Unionism" more literally than the general public.