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Camerclegg in Wonderland

Graham Stringer, Blackley MP: a personal view on stuff and nonsense in coalition land

Published on May 24th 2010.

Camerclegg in Wonderland

“Stuff and Nonsense,” was Alice’s curt reply when the Queen of Hearts turned legal logic on its head and demanded, “The sentence first - verdict afterwards”

This coalition is not a good thing for the country it is an assault on our democracy. To declare that you need super majorities rather than a majority of one in the House of Commons, before the electorate can be consulted again is redolent of East European Governments of the 1980s who used to ‘lose confidence in their electorate’

The electorate should have the same response to Nick Clegg’s equally perverse announcement of the Lib Dem/Tory coalition ‘manifesto’ a fortnight after the election. You’re right Nick we have never come across a manifesto like this, every other manifesto has been shown to the electorate before the election.

The excuse for this subversion of the normal electoral process is that this coalition is in the national interest and will bring stability. More stuff and nonsense.

This partnership is about self interest not what is better for the country. It is bound to lead to greater cynicism about the democratic process.

The central issue during the General Election was the economy and jobs. At every hustings I watched on television and took part in as a candidate, the Lib Dems agreed with Labour that we were in danger of going back into recession if early cuts were made.

Instead of keeping this promise to the electorate Lib Dem MPs have accepted ministerial salaries and limousines and will soon be voting to cut jobs, services and child benefits.

But these cuts will not be the £6 billion worth of cuts that the electoral row was about but ten times that amount. Hidden away on page 35 of this 36 page post election manifesto is the real figure for cuts, £60 billion; and these cuts will have to be made before any new policies are implemented.

A hundred years of electoral failure have left the Lib Dems obsessed with changing the voting system. This is not surprising. What is shocking is that to achieve electoral change they are prepared to ditch electoral promises, back the Tories, and bring unnecessary poverty and misery to hundreds of thousands of people. It is a comforting thought however that now people have witnessed the machinations that a hung parliament necessarily produces they are unlikely to support novel voting systems that virtually guarantee hung parliaments.

Voters, and I agree with them, have the quaint and commonsense view that who gains power should be decided by them and not by shoddy deals after the polling stations have closed.

LibCon coalition cabinet

It’s obvious what’s in this for the Lib Dems but what about the Tories? They have the same aching desire for power and ministerial limousines but there is a deeper reason. Cameron is despised by the majority of his back benchers and many of his ministerial team. He is seen as a failure for letting a 28 point lead in the opinion polls slip and as a sell out on Europe and Human Rights. He therefore needs the Lib Dem votes to neuter his right wing.

This was beautifully exemplified by his take over of the Conservative back bench group of the 1922 Committee.

This coalition is not a good thing for the country it is an assault on our democracy. To declare that you need super majorities rather than a majority of one in the House of Commons, before the electorate can be consulted again is redolent of East European Governments of the 1980s who used to ‘lose confidence in their electorate’.

We shouldn’t want to move further into this looking glass world.

Usually when parties lose elections as Labour has done this time it can look forward to four or five years of boredom – trooping through lobbies in the Commons and losing every vote.

This time is different however. I don’t believe that a majority of Lib Dem MPs will have the electoral bottle to carry on supporting the Tories against the wishes of their voters.

When the deep and unnecessary cuts come will Gordon Birtwistle of Burnley vote to further destroy the fabric of that long suffering town, or will John Leech of Withington have the hypocrisy to vote to put the many public sector workers who supported him out of work?

No. And I look forward to these and other Lib Dems MPs snivelling through the Lobby with the Labour Party and destroying this coalition of self interest.

Graham Stringer is one of the more interesting, outspoken and intelligent MPs. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of Manchester Confidential.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NeilMay 24th 2010.

Now that is pure nonsense. The fact is that the Tories won the most seats so did a deal. Labour would have loved to have done the same deal and with no mandate at all and would have been a luaghing stock. The Lib-Dems have wanted an influence over national politics for years and now they have one. And, the usual petty gripes about 'ministerial limos'; they've gone today to help address the massive waste that this new government (of whatever questionable make-up) has inherited. Maybe it's a symbolic cut but it's one that Labour didn't have the foresight to do in 13 years.

ADMay 24th 2010.

"Graham Stringer is one of the more interesting, outspoken and intelligent MPs..." after his little rant you might want to add bitter to your list.

Stuart BamberMay 24th 2010.

Please, never give this clown column inches again. I voted for John Leech, yet can see the obvious straw men that Stringer has created above. Given his ridiculous views on Dyslexia, I'm amazed Confidential are publishing him.

AnonymousMay 24th 2010.

Stewie's angry today isn't he? Bless him.

AnonymousMay 24th 2010.

Stew's a lib dem who's stewing because he knows they are in a pickle

Karen HMay 24th 2010.

Great to have you back Stringer, you controversial MP you

CityGirlMay 24th 2010.

To AD. According to the published election results, Mr Stringer won the biggest percentage share of the vote of any Labour MP in Greater Manchester and increased his majority. No small achievement in the circumstances. The voters clearly like him - no doubt at least partly due to the fact that he puts them first, even when that means publicly disagreeing with his own party nationally and/or locally. He has no reason to be "bitter" and the article certainly doesn't come across as such to me.

Johnny TaskerMay 25th 2010.

Thanks Mr. ' I have no political ambitions outside this City ' Stringer.
I am no fan of the current administration in Westminster but for any
new liarbour m.p to lecture anyone on a manifesto is laughable.
Think Lisbon Treaty , or whatever they are calling it nowadays.........
and all the other lies. Yes Mr. S. , I know you staged the odd half hearted attempt to show what a rebel you were . you still accepted
the new liarbour whip. A long period of quiet reflection is required from you and your ilk , I think . ( all small case letters are there for a purpose.

MadelaineMay 25th 2010.

Words of sense Mr Stringer, good to read them, at a time when Coalition mania is running riot. Great to see you on Confidential

Neville BanksMay 25th 2010.

Agreed Madelaine. Or rather with having Stringer back but not about the coalition. We need to give it a bit of time, to see whether it works.

John HarrisMay 25th 2010.

Interesting and outspoken maybe, but there's precious little sign of intelligence in the article above. Mr Stringer has some credibility for standing up to his own party on occasion, but his pronouncements are more often eccentric than inspiring. The rant above comes across as rather sour grapes.

AnonymousMay 25th 2010.

Out of my interest, could anyone let me know which Alice book has this picture?

Johnny TaskerMay 25th 2010.

Slightly off topic , I note that M.C.C. have placed several ugly planters , filled with not particularly attractive plants , at the junction of Princess Road and Greenheys Lane West ( near Asda )
Aother legacy of Mr. Stringer ? certainly a nu liarbour tactic of
spending the petty cash before the coalition government axe falls.
ALL m.ps and politcos need a sharp lesson in who works for whom and where
the money comes from .

AnonymousMay 25th 2010.

Has 'The Grump' recently emerged from a coma? Can't think of any other rational explanation for his/her bizarre comments. Graham Stringer hasn't been involved with Manchester City Council for over 13 years so the planter question/issue should surely be directed at Sir Richard, who has been the Leader since June 1996. And his public opposition to the Labour Government/Party's congestion charge proposal could hardly be described as "half hearted".

L HowittMay 26th 2010.

Great stuff Graham, keep this up. We will see through the Coalition in a year or two. Or six months. Churchill was ignored with his warnings about the Nazis as well.

Johnny TaskerMay 26th 2010.

Thanks Anonymous , was merely seeking to illustrate a nu liarbour habit . A legacy is just that , something left for the future to inherit
and we now all know what that is , don't we , anyone else worried about their job ? or is it just me ? I was not particularly refering to Mr. Stringer's opposition to the " congestion charge but to his other skirmishes with the whips. Now , back to sleep for me , lets see if
the nu liarbour nightmare is still with us . They were always far to far to the right for my taste .

John HMay 26th 2010.

I agree with Graham.

Christopher BryanMay 26th 2010.

the Grump really stirring up feelings about the big political issues there. Planters at Asda. wow.

I'd like to know what the hell Mr Stringer thought was the more just outcome given the election results? What were the better options?

Johnny TaskerMay 26th 2010.

Its your money CB .

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