Political commentator Iain Dale, who is rather too partisan to be able to commentate accurately on anything much, has written this naive little article on why a Hung Parliament would be a bad thing.
By extension we are, I think, meant to conclude that a Conservative government is the only desirable option, but let’s leave that aside and look at why his argument against coalition governments is so wrong.
First of all, as many commenters on his blog have pointed out, he had to look back nearly a century to find an example of an ineffective coalition, which is pretty willfully blind when it was a coalition government that saw us through the Second World War.
But even more glaringly, his example is useless for this reason: it is not 1922 any more. Lloyd George may well have been riding a two-headed donkey, but that image is simply not relevant any more because in principle the main parties all want the same (they all want to get us out of recession, blah blah blah), and where they disagree about how to achieve it they also disagree amongst themselves (nobody – nobody – seems to have a fucking clue what they’re talking about).
Iain says that with a coalition government ‘postponement and indecision become the order of the day’. It’s the order of the day now – have you seen how many bills there are outstanding compared to the ones this government has actually passed? Another comment on the blog says that a coalition government won’t be able to handle the economy; um… insert your own joke here.
Personally, I’m all for a Hung Parliament. I doubt it’ll be much different in reality to any one of the parties gaining power, but maybe, just maybe, everyone will stop bickering and ride that damn donkey in an actual direction for once. And even if they don’t, it’ll be highly entertaining watching them on all in the saddle.