Posts Tagged ‘coalition political strategy’

What the Lib Dem response to the News of the World meltdown tells us about the government’s political strategy

08/07/2011, 08:29:12 AM

by Atul Hatwal

For the moment, all eyes are on News International. Over the coming days, the focus will broaden as the political implications start to be fully felt.

At this stage, it’s difficult to tell definitively what the political fall-out will be, but one small political development has become apparent which will potentially have major consequences for Labour.

Note the position of the Lib Dems. They’ve staked out a distinctly more hawkish stance than Cameron, calling for tougher action, Rebekah Brooks’ resignation and a judge-led enquiry.

This follows on from a few weeks where Cameron and Clegg, last year’s political love birds, have been engaged in some seemingly sharper public exchanges.

The new mood was first evident on June 20th, when David Cameron subjected himself to the forensic questioning of Steve Wright in the afternoon on radio 2.

Out of the blue, he broke new political ground when he said that the Tories would have been tougher on immigration and welfare without the Lib Dems.

Apparently piqued, Clegg fired back two days later on his visit to Brazil saying that without the Tories the Lib Dems would have been tougher on the banks.

Looking at the change in tone, it’s easy to view this as a part of a linear process that starts with flowers in the Number 10 garden and ends in a bitter split. The New Statesman‘s Rafael Behr declared,

With the prime minister now attacking his deputy openly on the radio, it’s clear that the early truce is over. How will the two parties convince voters that coalition is still a viable option for 2015“?

The Lib Dem position on hacking would seem to back this up. It has certainly been written up as such.


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