Would accepting this be the end of Ming?

Would accepting this be the end of Ming?

guardian lib dem plan.JPG

    Should the Tories be cheering such a development?

Reproduced above is part of the top political story in the Guardian this morning which, if true and implemented, could change the face of British politics.

For Ming Campbell and the Lib Dems such an offer could appear to be very tempting and for Brown it would be a way of showing from day one that his approach is going to be vastly different from Tony Blair’s.

    Yet such an offer if accepted by Ming could tear his party apart. For the last thing that a significant section supporters and a activists want is a move designed to keep Labour in power.

A challenge is that there are too many bad memories of previous efforts by the Lib Dems and the former Liberals of such initiatives. Paddy Ashdown took a major risk in 1997 when he agreed to a relationship with the Blair government and then got stuffed by Labour over PR. In the late 1970s the then Liberal party propped up the ailing Callaghan administration and got next to nothing in return.

Such a move would give a huge amount of ammunition to the Tories in areas where they are fighting with the Lib Dems.

I might be wrong but I cannot see Ming going for this and without the enthusiasm of the leader such a move is not going to go through.

No doubt he will be recalling the reaction to his Harrogate speech in March which was interpreted as him saying that a post election deal with Labour was possible – but not the Tories. That was a debacle and a senior party PR person moved on.

Mike Smithson

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