Good God Almighty. The nightmare scenario of double the meddling from a no mandate leadership is looming like a big dour loomy thing over England. The BC option might actually happen.
It’s a truly depressing thought. The unthinkable might just become the possible; the barely credible could become reality. There, amongst the prawn cocktail dregs, stilton cheese crumbs and gravy stains, the terms of a Brown – Campbell power-sharing pow-wow has been scribbled on the back of a Lib Dem Harrogate Conference dinner napkin. Ming the power-mad opportunist reckons the dour Kirkcaldian might just need his help after the next General Election.
Ming thinks he and his party could be holding the balance of power aces in a hung Parliament – and has made it known that should new, New Labour Leader Brown be struggling to form a government, then he would be willing to throw his lot in with his Scottish conspirator.
It could happen I suppose. Brown is unpopular, miserable and uncommunicative – and thanks to Blair, Labour’s parliamentary majority will continue to whither, especially in England.
So the nightmare scenario could mean that the people of England will be ruled not by just one Scottish Leader with a Scottish constituency, but two. To be ruled by one Leader with no national mandate is a democratic outrage. To be ruled by two is like, having a laugh - but the joke is on us and it ain't funny.
But Ming’s complicity will come at a price. He’s proving he has got some scruples, even though they don’t work that well nowadays. He has set out 5 coalition tests that Brown must adopt in order to get the Lib Demmers on board. And do you know what? I’ll sort of bet my mortgage that not one of the 5 tests will include a commitment to give the people of England a national parliament. So let’s check –
1) End Labour's authoritarian attack on civil liberties. Identity cards will not stop terrorism, they won't stop illegal immigration, they won't stop fraud and they won't stop crime.
2) Grasp the challenge posed by climate change ...
3) Break open the poverty trap.
4) Trust the people.
5) Britain's foreign policy should not be set in Washington.
Hmmmm, can’t quite see the commitment to an English Parliament there, can you? I suppose the nearest to English empowerment is number 4, ‘Trust the people’ – (but not the people of England with democracy, obviously)