These are idle musings on the scenarios now developing in Westminster.
First, don’t expect Brown to quit until Clegg tells him to do so.
Second, what Cameron said to the Lib Dems was, as far as I could see, no offer at all. I think he made a gesture, and an arrogant and poor one at that. He wants to be in a minority. He will have 307 seats when Thirsk comes in in three weeks. The DUP’s eight seats are his. That’s 315. Sinn Fein don’t vote. Nor does the Speaker. A majority is therefore given with 320 seats. The Lib Dems and Labour together can’t most of the time bring him down. He will forma minority government.
But behind it all he knows he won’t be able to do things without consensus – he can’t even be sure as prime minister he could call an election as the Lib Dems and Labour could form an alternative government with minority support at any time. It will be impossible for him to deliver electoral reform.
But it is highly likely he could get a budget through – Lib Dems would not appose it. Cable is a deficit hawk.
So we will get a government and a potentially stable one – for a while because Lib Dems and Labour don’t have the cash to call an election and Cameron can’t be guaranteed he’d be granted one (I do like that bit).
Labour will sack Brown.
David Milliband will take over. Jon Cruddas as deputy.
The Tories will be allowed to last as long as is needed for things to get very much worse in the economy – Europe will deliver that soon enough for us, don’t worry – an epic crisis is developing there which will, incidentally, make UK gilts look like the sweetest investment of all time. We’ll have no problem in selling debt, I am sure.
And in two years Labour and Lib Dems will pull Cameron down – with unemployment up a million and every NIMBY in the country hating his cuts.
Labour and Lib Dems will agree on a platform for electoral reform before that next general election.
We will get STV PR.
You can call me an optimist if you like.
I don’t mind.
The above works for me.