The suggestions from the Labour MP Gisela Stuart and the Conservative peer Lord Baker for a Conservative/Labour coalition in the event of a hung Parliament strike me as problematic. But before we all laugh too loudly we should consider the alternatives. The Labour Party is apparently willing to contemplate forming a Government that would be dependent on factions in the House of Commons that are opnely anti British.
It is not that it would necessarily be a formal coalition – nothing so honest and accountable. There would instead be Government by nod and wink with those running our country beholden to those who wish to destroy it.
Sinn Fein have five MPs. At the moment they don’t attend the House of Commons. Might they be persuaded to do so? Pat Doherty, the Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone said of a deal with Labour that Shadow Cabinet ministers have been keen to push it:
“They bring it up quite bluntly and it’s always dealt with in the same way.”
When the Belfast Telegraph asked a Labour spokesman the Party “refused to deny the talks”. It does not seem likely there will be a deal – but that is because of Sinn Fein rather than the Labour Party.
There is Plaid Cymru with three MPs. They cautiously suggest that Welsh independence might not be viable in the short term. But they would hardly claim to be British patriots. Their ultimate objective is for the UK to be broken up. Their leader Leanne Wood has already written to civil servants to go through her demands of a minority Miliband Government.
Then there is the Green Party – at the moment with just one MP but hoping for more, of course. I don’t think many of their members would claim to be in a patriotic party. Evicting The Queen from Buckingham Palace is one of their ideas. Getting rid of the British Army is another. They also to destroy our free enterprise economic system – confusingly claiming to be anti austerity but also anti growth.
But if Lord Ashcroft’s polling is any indication the really big anti British wedge in the House of Commons later this year will come from the Scottish National Party. They only have six MPs at present but the Ashcroft Poll – a snapshot not a projection of course – would mean 56 SNP MPs in the House of Commons in just over two months time if the voting pattern is reflected in the General Election.
The SNP seem willing not only to put Ed Miliband into Downing Street but to vote through a Labour Government’s programme on English only matters – on health, education, housing. That scenario that might seem extraordinary but which the Labour Party are willing to indulge. What would the SNP want in return for imposing Milibandism on the English?
This morning Ed Miliband spoke to the Scottish Labour Conference. The big question was whether he would take the opportunity to rule out a deal with the SNP. He didn’t.
I think most Labour MPs are patriots. They want the United Kingdom to prosper – although they are misguided about how to achieve this. But how do they feel about relying on the enemies of the United Kingdom in order to achieve power.