It’s a tried and true solution!


When a conservative party has trouble meeting the demands of a progressive future, they never consider compromising with the liberals: they always reach back and compromise with the most backward idiots they can find. The Tories in the UK fail to form a majority in the recent election, so what do they do? Revise their policies to be more in line with the electorate? Don’t make me laugh. They decide to form a coalition with the crazies. The DUP. Ian Paisley’s rotting corpse. This party:

It reminds me of how the Republicans in the US are making hay with an unholy union of Libertarians and the Religious Right. It just leads to greater decay.

Comments

  1. cnocspeireag says

    I suppose the other parties had more sense. Nick Clegg more-or-less destroyed the LibDems by propping up a Tory minority government and few people have forgiven them. His party has almost disappeared and he got his just deserts by losing his seat this time. The DUP bunch of evil/crazy/ignorant voters won’t care unless they fail to get enough from the pork barrel.

  2. specialffrog says

    Apart from the DUP’s general odiousness, bringing them into government tosses Westminster neutrality in Northern Ireland out the window at a time when the break down of the power sharing agreement and the possible hardening of the border with Ireland are already putting the current peace agreement in jeopardy.

  3. Zeppelin says

    @cnocspeireag re LibDems:
    Same here in Germany, really. Our centre-left party SPD is happy to be the junior partner in a coalition with the centre-right party (CDU), or govern with the capitalism party (FDP) or the capitalists-who-buy-organic-groceries party (Greens), but categorically refuses to enter a coalition with our actual left-wing party (Linke). They also have a century-old tradition of signalling left and then turning right whenever it comes down to it.
    They are at a loss to explain why they hemmorhage more votes each election despite those credentials.

  4. rietpluim says

    That’s a good observation, PZ, and I wonder how it works.

    Perhaps – just a guess – they are afraid to loose profile (and thereby electorate) when they cooperate with a party on the other side of the political spectrum, even if that party is relatively closer.

    Also, wingnuts tend to draw a large and consistent number of voters nowadays.

    Anyway, I don’t think it is for political-ideological reasons.

    @Zeppelin – Same in Holland. The Labour Party categorically refuses to cooperate with the Green or the Socialist Party.

  5. mod prime says

    It’s annoying about the Lib Dems. They got gay marriage passed (Tories voted against, Labour was split, Lib Dems for – their numbers tipped the vote), they got the AV referrendum – but one broken promise and the electorate turns their back on them.

    The Iraq war, everything the tories done – never enough to turn voters off in large numbers for the other parties….

  6. jazzlet says

    Northern Ireland doesn’t have the same parties there are on the mainland, the DUP is the nearest political equivilent to the Tories and has traditionally voted with them so it’s not remotely surprising that they are propping up the Tories. They are also the nearest the Unionist terrorists have to a political wing.

    @mod prime I would say the Lib Dems broke rather more than one promise and they enabled far too much. I don’t think they have any political principles in general, I saw them promise to do all sorts of things and promise not to do all sorts of other things to get in to power in Wolverhampton back in the eighties, then promptly break every single promise. I’ve seen them do the same repeatedly over the years in different places and come to the conclusion they will say anything in a manifest to get into power, but not feel bound by it once they win.

  7. Holms says

    When a conservative party has trouble meeting the demands of a progressive future, they never consider compromising with the liberals: they always reach back and compromise with the most backward idiots they can find.

    I think very often it is the other way around: they usually can’t strike a deal with anyone principled, because they have no pricipled deal to offer.

  8. stormcloak says

    @Zeppelin
    That’s not true. The SPD (of which I am a member) is currently in a coalition with The Left in three states, including Thuringia where the SPD is the junior partner to a Left minister-president. There are plenty of SPD members who’ve advocated forming a coalition with The Left on a federal level. But I point you to this year’s Saarland election as an illustration of the difficulties of such a coalition. It doesn’t go down well with the vast majority of west German voters – it’s very much possible that aiming at or even forming such a coalition on federal level would end even worse for the SPD. At some point we have to and should try it (I voted against the Grand Coalition in 2013 because I would have prefered either Red-Red-Green or opposition), but it’s much more difficult than you make it sound.

    Your assertion that the SPD has a “century-old tradition of signalling left and then turning right whenever it comes down to it” is a new allegation, never heard of it before – and it’s utter nonsense.

    In Germany too many people expect their party to do exactly what they promised – which is laughable in a parliamentary system with proportional representation. You (almost) always have to form coalitions and find compromise – i.e. an SPD led government will always disappoint most of its voters. That’s true for all parties. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s supposed to be like that.

    Infact, looking at the USA, I would argue that it’s precisely our coalition based system that makes Germany look like a “sane haven” today.

    I agree that the SPD should try to form a left-wing coalition including The Left, but I dislike this negativity and contempt for realism that way too many people hurl at the party.

  9. colinday says

    Would the LibDems have accepted such an offer if it were extended? They still had two more seats than DUP.

  10. Zmidponk says

    colinday:

    Would the LibDems have accepted such an offer if it were extended? They still had two more seats than DUP.

    Short answer is ‘no’. They categorically ruled out a coalition with either the Tories or Labour, as they are an anti-Brexit party, and both the Tories and Labour are pro-Brexit. The Lib Dems want a second Brexit referendum held when the full details of the Brexit negotiations are worked out to let the British people decide if that’s what we want, and are basically seeking to use that to reverse Brexit completely – they think that, once the British people see the actual detail of the best deal that can be worked out, enough people who voted to leave the first time will be persuaded that the whole thing is a bad idea that the result will go the other way. As it wouldn’t require very many to change their minds, they may even be right, if they get a second referendum.

  11. blf says

    The DUP is also, not too unsurprisingly, slimy. What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince? (May-2017) is a complicated story of a massive (for N.Ireland) donation to the DUP of “£425,622 (€530,000) from a mysterious organisation, the Constitutional Research Council”. No-one knows who or what that organisation is, or who the ultimate donor(s) is or why it is (for the DUP) “so important to keep their identities secret.” The DUP is required, by law, to know who the ultimiate donor(s) is, albeit in the weird and wacky world of N.Ireland, they don’t have to publicly reveal who. However, the DUP apparently claims they don’t know and don’t need to know.

  12. Zeppelin says

    @stormcloak:

    Your assertion that the SPD has a “century-old tradition of signalling left and then turning right whenever it comes down to it” is a new allegation, never heard of it before – and it’s utter nonsense.

    The slogan “Wer hat uns verraten? Sozialdemokraten!” is about a hundred years old. Erich Mühsam wrote “Der Revoluzzer” in 1907 and it mocks the way social democrats will uphold the status quo when it comes down to it. Regardless of what you think of its accuracy it’s a very old accusation indeed, and if you’ve never heard of it before I’d say you need to get out more, politically.

    As far as I’m concerned the SPD leadership are using well-meaning people such as you for their own advantage. In reality they have no intention to pursue meaningful social-democratic policy and will take any excuse not to. That’s why I’ll only vote SPD if they promise me Red-Red(-Green): it’ll take away their main excuse to avoid implementing left-wing policies.

  13. Zeppelin says

    Basically, you say the SPD are being realistic in their compromises, I say the party is run by unprincipled opportunists. I accept that the line between the two can be blurry, but as far as I’m concerned they’re waaaay on the wrong side of it. Just getting an SPD-led government is clearly not enough if I want social democratic policy: I haven’t forgotten the Schröder years.

  14. stormcloak says

    >>> As far as I’m concerned the SPD leadership are using well-meaning people such as you for their own advantage.
    >>> Basically, you say the SPD are being realistic in their compromises, I say the party is run by unprincipled opportunists.

    The SPD has almost half a million members who elect their leadership. Saying that the party is “run by” some bad guys doesn’t make any sense. It’s not how things work. In 2013 70% voted to form a Grand Coalition and while I think it was the wrong decision, it’s what the vast majority of SPD members voted to do. And that coalition isn’t doing so bad after all.

    You’re making another mistake with those statements: You inflate the importance of the guys you see in the media (i.e. the leadership). But the SPD has thousands and thousands of elected politicians in parliaments on federal, state and local level. What you see in the media – all those talking heads in TV shows etc. – is mostly campaigning, it’s not politics. If you want to know SPD politics, if you want to know what you would get when you vote SPD, you should turn your attention away from the campaigning and look at what the thousands of politicians are actually doing. (Which requires one to see beyond the media stories, i.e. getting in contact with politics first hand. Maybe attend city council meetings or visit Bundestag Ausschüsse or get an internship with an actual real politician. That’s how I got to join the SPD – I saw politics in action being an intern for a state representative.)

    >>> and if you’ve never heard of it before I’d say you need to get out more, politically.

    I didn’t think you were refering to communist propaganda, but yeah, I can understand it now after reading your posts. The communists of yore made the same mistake you’re making: They didn’t look at actual politics, but kept their heads up in the clouds of ideology and campaigning.

    Look at the USA to see the difference: PZ sometimes comments on specific local Republican politicians and it seems clear to me that in the US there are way too many incompetent Republicans in elected positions – not just in Congress or the White House, but on all levels, even education boards and things like that. The situation in Germany is much better. Yes, we have fools too, including Social Democrat fools, but the vast majority of our politicians is doing a good job.

    I sometimes make the same mistake, for instance when I read about some idiocy Seehofer said. But then I take a step back and try to look at the big picture. And I see that most CSU politicians are sane, decent people working hard for their constituents. If the CSU leadership was representative of their party, Bavaria would be a hellhole. It’s not, quite the opposite.

    It’s ironic that you tell me to “get out more, politically”, given that you are confusing politics with campaigning. A common mistake. Look beyond the media filters!

  15. chrislawson says

    mod prime@5: yes, the Lib Dems achieved a few valuable things, but it was hardly “one broken promise” that destroyed their electoral base. They basically formed a coalition with the Tories and then refused to fight for their own political principles, which overall meant that Lib-Dem voters were turned into Tory voters overnight and against their wishes. There were several ways they could have handled their situation better.

    1. Recognise that holding the balance of power meant they could form government with either party and choosing the party closer to their political platform rather than the party with the most seats in Parliament.

    2. Strike a tough deal with their coalition partners so that the worst of the Tory agenda was off the table.

    3. Dissolve the coalition once it became clear that the Tories would not moderate their agenda.

    4. Renegotiate with Labour now that its new leadership had a chance to settle in.

    5. If they decided they could not form a working relationship with Labour either, to abandon all coalition deals and leave Parliament with a minority government that would have to negotiate each bill on its merits. Which is not the end of the world.

    The Lib-Dems did none of these. They just sucked up their ideals and let the Tories run wild. So, you know, the Lib-Dems might be anti-Brexit, but they directly enabled the chain of idiocy that started with Cameron deciding to have a cleansing referendum. (And remember — Cameron and May were both anti-Brexit. If you’re going to let the Lib-Dems off the hook for that disaster just because they were philosophically opposed to it, you’d better excuse Cameron and May too.)

  16. gc128471993 says

    @mod prime Errmm how were Labour divided on gay marriage? Both Labour and Lib Dems officially supported it, and their MPs voted 91% and 92% in favour respectively. And the Conservatives weren’t against it – they were officially neutral. The leadership and most of the front bench supported it. A small majority of MPs voted against, but 48% voted for it, so the party who were divided over it, not Labour. But they weren’t officially against it as a party. None of the major parties were officially against it. So Lib Dems did not tip the vote.

  17. gc128471993 says

    @mod prime To clarify above, I meant 48% of Conservative MPs vote in favour of gay marriage, and they were officially neutral as a party. So they were divided, with a small majority against, but not officially or fully against.

    Labour was officially for it, with a tiny minority voting against. Ditto for Lib Dems.

  18. Zeppelin says

    @stormcloak:

    [The socialists and communists] didn’t look at actual politics, but kept their heads up in the clouds of ideology and campaigning.

    Whereas the SPD’s sensible, clear-headed pragmatism and refusal to co-operate with the KPD against the fascists famously won them a landslide victory against the forces of reaction. Thank you for your help leading the Weimar Republic to a bright future.
    Your party’s current surging popularity can in large part be explained by its loyalty to this tried-and-true strategy.

    So fuck the SPD’s “pragmatism”. It’s turned them into technocratic administrators of a status quo created by others. German social democrats didn’t stop the Nazis, Russian peasants had to. And German social democrats won’t stop neoliberalism either, not unless we can force them to take an ideological stand. You can’t counter a powerful ideology like neoliberalism with “pragmatism”, you need an ideology of your own, some big and, yes, utopian goal to pull you forward.

    And I see that most CSU politicians are sane, decent people working hard for their constituents. If the CSU leadership was representative of their party, Bavaria would be a hellhole. It’s not, quite the opposite.

    I’m not surprised that you’d have more scorn for Weimar communists than for the CSU. Like I said, when it comes down to it the SPD always turns right. But now that you mention it: Since the CSU is doing such a bang-up job with Bavaria, I guess we don’t really need the SPD…

    It’s ironic that you tell me to “get out more, politically”, given that you are confusing politics with campaigning. A common mistake.

    Forgive me for taking politicians at their word and measuring them, and the parties they were elected to lead and represent, by it. I will endeavour to be more pragmatic in the future.

  19. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    It’s not about serving the people – it’s about winning at any cost.

    Of course it’s about serving the people. But not raw, the people have to be properly cooked first! What do you think the pigfuckers are, peasants?

  20. kevinalexander says

    I think it makes perfect sense. If it’s fear that makes you conservative in the first place, any setback would frighten you more and cause you to go more conservative as a response.

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