According to The Observer – and confirmed by James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday – "Ed Miliband has banned the shadow cabinet from using the word "coalition" to describe the government because it sounds too moderate and reasonable, and fails to convey what he says is its true "ideological, rightwing agenda"." It continues:
"In a memo to his front-bench team, obtained by the Observer, the Labour leader's director of policy, Greg Beales, says that from now on they must use the term "Conservative-led government" to describe the alliance of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats… The intention is also to portray Nick Clegg as largely powerless to affect the direction of coalition policy. Labour believes that, if it can promote a sense that Clegg is in the pocket of the Tories, this will fuel doubts among ordinary Lib Dems about their place in the coalition and undermine its stability."
In this week's New Statesman Mehdi Hasan had prepared the ground for Mr Miliband (perhaps he suggested the tactic?). He said that Tories were in charge of every key ministry. He said that Conservatives hadn't had to swallow the key of u-turn that LibDems made on tuition fees and, also, "more humiliation" was to come for Lib Dems on, for example, control orders. Like Paul Goodman on Friday, Mehdi concludes with a historical observation:
"Conservative-Liberal coalitions in Britain tend to end up being dominated by the Tories. As the constitutional historian Vernon Bogdanor wrote on these pages in May: "The Liberal Unionists of 1886 and Liberal Nationals of 1931 were swallowed whole by the Conservatives, while the independent Liberals left the Conservative-dominated national government after just one year in 1932, in protest at an imperial tariff." Why should it be different this time around?"
> ConHome's stock-take of concessions between the Coalition partners shows that Tories have given significant ground on issues.