Published On: Wed, Jul 6th, 2022

Though appearing to come from Tory strategists, Labour “coalition of chaos” with SNP bogeyman is for Starmer Project; but don’t be held hostage: dead wood Scotland needs to be lopped off

If one has been looking at official political punditry over the course of May, June and then this current month so far, one will see that that there is agreement regarding the outcome of the next general election: Labour would form the biggest party in the Commons, but it would not be a majority. Estimates of the number of seats Labour could win range from 260 (or thereabouts) to 320 (and thereabouts), but never over the benchmark of 325 needed for a simple majority. How Labour would be able to legislate would depend on whether the party could reach 310 seats (or thereabouts) and whether the Liberal Democrats could win enough to carry the combined tally over the above stated finishing line without reference to any other party. In this case, the Lib Dems would join Labour in a formal coalition, or support Labour on a confidence and supply basis.

Of course, the scenario described above could only be possible if the Lib Dems were able to steal a sufficient number of seats from the Tories where Labour is unable to do so (this fundamental problem for the Starmer Project is discussed at length at this website – for instance, in the article linked to here).  In some predictions for Labour “success”, the party could only become the biggest party if the Tories were suitably pared down to a smaller size. It would then follow that the tiniest possible Labour result would rely on being complimented by the largest possible Lib Dem one – and this relationship is why any deal to establish a Kier Starmer premiership would be conciliatory to the Lib Dems in degrees based on the relative proportions of the parties, with the outcome – i.e. whatever is legislated in the name of being bargained for – being explained by the apparent fact of the Lib Dems holding all the cards that Labour wants.

Now, this site has already pointed out that there is a pact between the Lib Dems and Labour, and that is represents a full relationship that has already been decided upon – but it should be explained that this relationship hasn’t come about because individual parties are cooperating according to their mutual advantage; instead, they are being directed from above. Thus, there is no bargaining between Labour and Lib Dem arising from holding cards and wanting them. Ultimately, all that UK Government requires is that the outcome appears realistic given the circumstances – as if there had been horse trading. Likewise, the relationship between Labour and the Lib Dems will be used to explain decisions made by Starmer’s executive office, or to explain why policy promised ahead of the election must become blunted: because concessions have to be made to the Lib Dems. It’s a ploy that works very easily on the thick-as-crap British electorate, as evidenced in the lifetime of the parliament after the 2010 election.

In any case, everything that one hears at this time about how and if Labour will work with the Lib Dems is for manipulating people to vote and how to do it. For instance, when some senior Labour people speak against deal-making with the Lib Dems, it is to avoid a negative Tory reaction. As such,  while the Lib Dem and Labour coalition cannot help but emit a sense of being pro-EU, it will merely use that to draw support from people who know the parties that way, and thus have certain expectations. But across the top of that, Labour will undoubtedly pay lip-service to persevering with Brexit in another prong to attract would-normally-be Tory voters; in the end, continuing to foul it up (or fake it) – as Johnson’s lot has been doing – is something that can be blamed on the necessities of coalition.

As has been explained in these pages before, and as we will again see, would-be Tory voters switching to Labour are still a thing being sought after for the sake of forming a one nation government – and in doing so, forming a majority one (because there wouldn’t be the former without the latter). It is clearly the case that UK Government would have already invited instability and turmoil by installing a minority government, elected by a minority of the population on what can be called an extremist ticket, even before it tries to bring in unpopular legislation. Hence, it needs to be seen to have broader appeal. Ultimately, this why David Lammy, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, told Sky News that he thought there was no possibility of formal deals with the Lib Dems, and also the following  (as reported in the Mirror, on 26th June):

In the end, in the 22 years that I’ve been in public life, it’s clear to me that we have two major political parties – those political parties actually a coalition in of themselves – and for the Labour Party to form the next government we have to pick up votes from people who are considering voting Conservative.

That’s the basis on which will form the next government.

On the other hand, the views given by the likes of Peter Mandelson (who, like Himmler, needs no introduction or explanation), when he says that Starmer could rule by a “governing coalition of social democrats, liberals and greens” get to the bottom of what the likes of Lammy are being coy about in that this arrangement may well not be sold to the public as being formal, but it won’t stop it happening nor being concrete. Again, as this site has pointed out, it already is these things.

If it’s the case that, despite best efforts to disguise its existence, there is too much public awareness of what is hereabouts called the overt and simultaneously covert coalition, a new talking point has emerged in the last few weeks which is expressly designed to have Tories overcome reservations. On the surface, the notion of a “coalition of chaos” between Labour and the SNP – which would be caused by neither Labour or the Lib Dems doing as well in the general election as they need – appears to come from Tory strategists in order to win support against Starmer. Indeed, the meme is a reprise of that which was employed for the 2015 general election, when voters were frightened with the prospect of Labour having to make a deal with the Scottish Nationalists, and being compromised so as to have to agree to certain abhorrent anti-British demands, as the situation can easily be portrayed to a people as dumb as live in these islands. However, in that case it was actually about moving support from UKIP to the Tories, or indeed sending Labour support to UKIP (so in fact, the start of the demise of Labour can actually be pinpointed to this year), and in this new case it is about moving support from the Tories to Labour.

Quite clearly, certain – and many – people in England are supposed to see the SNP as a bogeyman, because of the threat to their supposedly beloved United Kingdom or, if they aren’t royalist, the country of Great Britain. This is why UK Government evidently thinks the party is the supreme motivator to have at it at the ballot box to be produced: it threatens a final straw, the weight of which would break that which shouldn’t be broken. The intention of making the bogeyman loom large in imaginations this time around, with the idea firmly set in the minds of the English electorate that there will be no other outcome in a general election than some win or other for Labour, is to introduce another idea that the way to guarantee against a partnership with the SNP is to help Labour win convincingly. This is why in May, Douglas Alexander – who the Express reminds in its reporting, “was chair of [Labour] general election strategy in 2015 and lost his seat to the SNP” – said the following:

My own instinct is that Labour can deal with the issue [of Labour’s position in relation to the SNP] early by saying clearly in Scotland and across Britain that the way to get a Labour government is straightforward … vote for a Labour MP.

However, all this is dishonest, because it’s not likely that the SNP is going to endanger a weak Labour executive branch by demanding all sorts of things that Labour MPs can’t be seen consenting to. Indeed, concessions to SNP would be more reasonable to explain when they happen much later, and as being in return for allowing Labour to govern with stability until such time Starmer could hold another election with the intention of strengthening his position. Moreover, despite what the received thinking says, if the Labour party faces a Tory resurgence in the “north” (as the punditry divide the political map of the country) without recovering itself – irrespective of what the Lib Dems do – it is quite possible that it won’t meet its own requirements for being in office.

In any case, whether the SNP is actually placed and then used to bring about UK Government agenda (because the Crown will still rule Scotland whether it is “independent” or not), the bluff has to be called by people who have decided that it is in their best interest to make parliament illegitimate by not voting (in other words, refusing their consent to be governed by it). In short, they are not to be held hostage. The truth is, it’s long past due that England was freed of the dead weight of Scotland (and after that, the rule of London) – which is not to say that all of North Britain would be good riddance to the English: folks that wanted to secede from Scotland and bring their town and district to England should certainly be encouraged and welcomed. Anyway, the point is not to allow what are indeed UK Government shock tactics for manipulation to put one off one’s resolve, but instead decide to invite UK Government to do its worst: when the chips are allowed to fall where they may, there’s little chance that they will accord to any well laid UK Government plan where a predicted response has been counted on. At any time, if UK Government finds another outcome – one that is beyond its control – in the place of one where it had intended an Hegelian dialectic new order corresponding to its intricate tune, this is entirely to its accumulating detriment, and a situation that is to be looked for.

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