Had the Lib-Lab pact been put together on Friday it would have been JUST possible to put through a bill for electoral reform. Friday however was a very long time ago. The late Harold Wilson said that a week was a long time in politics. In the light of present events, the word “week” should be replaced with “day.” The situation has moved so quickly that the Lib-Lab pact now looks unsustainable to the extent that it is doubtful that they could even vote for their own Queen’s Speech! Labour MPs, now looking over the abyss that is the reaction of the British People to all this are sensibly coming very quickly to the conclusion that it is Labour’s interest to bring this to an end and to drop anchor on the ship that is the Labour party in the sheltered waters of opposition. The numbers do not add up any more – getting an Electoral Reform bill through the Commons was never going to be certain – now it is increasingly likely that not enough backbench Labour MPs will vote for this. It is clear from the comments of the senior Labour MP Sir Stewart Bell that an electoral reform bill that puts in place PR will not get through as insufficient Labour MPs will vote for it. Furthermore it has to be considered that such a Lib-Lab government will not be able to sustain itself for more than a fortnight after a Queen’s speech as the markets could well undermine it totally. Monsieur Le Clegg has managed to fall between two stools. By secretly negotiating with Labour whilst negotiating with the Tories, Le Clegg has undermined his position with them. The comments of Sir Malcolm Rifkind bear testimony to this. Cameron was always going to have a difficult task to sell the idea of the Lib-Dem deal with his right wing. Of course, Le Clegg’s duplicity was driven by the fact that he himself knows full well that any idea of supporting a Tory government is an anathema to large numbers of Lib-Dem MPs and activists. The plain fact is that the longer this goes on the more likely it will be that Le Clegg and the Lib-Dems will find themselves with nothing as Brown will find his position as PM untenable and will resign, forcing the Queen to call for David Cameron.
Since this on this very day in 1812 the then Prime Minister, Spencer Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the Commons – it would be a historic day for him to resign!
The British Gazette’s prediction regarding the stock market and foreign exchange markets has not come about – but the prediction is likely to come about if nothing is resolved before too long.