by Kevin Meagher
In 2015 I want to see a majority Labour government. I certainly don’t want to see a majority Conservative government. I can live with a Labour-Lib Dem government.
This, in essence, needs to be the calculation as Labour approaches the next general election. Opening up a dialogue with the Lib Dems around themes of mutual attraction is an act of utility; a contingency in the event of another inconclusive election result.
After all, a valedictory Tony Blair warned that the age of tribal politics is behind us with “rampant cross-dressing” increasingly the norm. There is plainly more that unites Labour and Lib Dems around issues like Europe and House of Lords reform than divides the two parties, so why not look for areas of overlap?
Especially when it has the potential to drive a wedge between the coalition partners. So an insurance policy for the future and a means of peeling the Lib Dems away from their cruel suitors in the bargain. What’s not to support here?
The alternative – sitting and waiting for the outcome of 2015 – risks repeating the mistake of 2010, as Labour’s team went naked into the chamber to negotiate with Clegg’s people, before a better-prepared Cameron swept in with his “big, open and comprehensive offer”. The rest is history.
Surely we aren’t going to risk a repeat?
Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut