Friday, May 01, 2015

More fear and loathing in the UK

Today's fear and loathing from the UK election: Labour leader Ed Miliband declaring that he will never do a deal with the SNP:

There will be no Labour government if it involves a coalition or a deal with SNP, Ed Miliband has said.

The Labour leader said he "couldn't be clearer" there would be no deals between the parties.


With polls suggesting Labour could lose a number of its seats to the SNP on 7 May, Mr Miliband was repeatedly asked whether his party would work with Nicola Sturgeon's party.

"I am not going to have a Labour government if it means deals or coalitions with the Scottish National Party," he said, ruling out a so-called confidence and supply arrangement.

"It's not going to happen... I couldn't be clearer with you."

He added: "If the price of having a Labour government was coalition or a deal with the Scottish National Party, it's not going to happen."

Which probably plays well with English voters who view the Scots as a subject people, but makes a rod for his own back. Because while the two parties are still pretending that majority government is achievable, and acting as if they will be restored as elected dictators like they used to be, the polls are clearly saying that its not going to happen. And while Labour won't have to deal with the SNP to form a government - the Scots will back them on confidence and supply over the tories any day - they will have to deal with them on policy. And by ruling out any cooperation upfront, they both make that job more difficult, and allow themselves to be portrayed as liars when they bow to the inevitable. Really, these people have no fucking idea how a mixed Parliament works...

(There's some comments here from the Guardian's Martin Kettle about the realities of government without a single-party majority, but the advice - that Labour should just play chicken with the SNP on every policy - is simply stupid, and the suggestion that the SNP pre-emptively forswear another independence referendum really shows that he still thinks the world revolves around Westminster, whereas the SNP's revolves around Holyrood).

And again, if being the foreign ogre used to scare racist English voters into line is what "better together" looks like, the Scots are better off out of it.