On Being a Government Supporter 120

It appears very probable now we will have a Tory/Lib Dem coalition. That would put me in the extraordinary position of supporting the government, for the first time in my life.

I would still much prefer the Lib Dems to remain in opposition. To a large extent that is for pragmatic reasons – I very much fear a coalition with the Tories will be electorally disastrous for the Lib Dems. But will I resign from the party? No, I won’t.

Part of the reason for this is my revulsion at the list of dreadful authoritarian New Labour figures who have been coming forward to rubbish any Lib/Lab deal. David Blunkett, John Reid, Jack Straw – these people truly are enemies of liberty and I find them more repulsive than any of the Tories, even Jacob Rees Mogg.

The proof, of course, will be in what the new government actually does. I do not view AV as an improvement on FTPT, and it appears the Tories will not touch the real reform of STV. But there are other areas of democratic reform that would be real achievements – fixed term parliaments appear on the cards.

But what about an elected House of Lords? A House of Lords fully elected by STV might be a way of breaking the negotiating deadlock, with the Commons remaining on FTPT for now. But just how attached are the Tories to the patronage of appointing their donors to the House of Lords? Pretty attached, I imagine.

On the economy, I tend to the libertarian side myself and favour spending cuts more radical than anything we are likely to get, particularly in local government where bureaucracy and useless departments proliferate and pay scales are much higher than equivalent jobs in the national civil service.

You may be surprised, for example, that my views of the Sharon Shoesmith affair are that she was unfairly treated, that it is ludicrous that we should imagine government can stop all murder and evil, that the large majority of social welfare, youth and community oriented jobs in local government should simply be cut as they do no good, and that the real scandal is that the woman was on a remuneration package similar to that of the Permanent Under Secretary of the Treasury.

If you ask me how to rein back the deficit, I would say that you can make a start by looking at the career of Bill Taylor, a full time Labour Party apparatchik who made a fat living his entire career out of various Polly Toynbee type aspects of taxpayer funded bullshit – and rakes in even more now by doing it on a consultancy basis. Read through Taylor’s career, and then abolish throughout the UK all public spending in any area in any way related to any sector he worked in.


So you will gather I am not moved by the argument that the Tories must be resisted at all costs because of spending cuts. I like spending cuts. What to cut is, of course, the area of dispute. The Tories appear to be wedded to Trident, but will they kick it back a bit through a defence review?

It will be novel to see liberal ministers in office, but hard lessons have taught me not to expect too much from that. When the FCO was embarking on its positive policy of encouraging the gaining of intelligence through torture,


Peter Hain and Bill Rammell were both FCO ministers – and both have a genuine commitment to human rights. But somehow the system takes good men prisoner.

So, I wait to see if the coalition comes, and if so what it does. As I said before, if they halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US, that would be a good early sign.

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120 thoughts on “On Being a Government Supporter

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  • brian

    Think I agree about David Davis re: civil liberties.

    I know there will be some tensions with the tories regarding Europe, but I think the replacement of the human rights act with some sort of bill of rights in this country, which prevents the imposition of big brother legislation in the future, would be something that could unite many people of all political leanings.

  • ScouseBilly

    brian at May 11, 2010 7:20 PM

    Agreed but we do have the 1689 Bill of Rights Act and Magna Carta. It’s just too bad the way Nu-Lab ignored them.

    Wonder if this new alliance in government will influence the findings of Chilcot…

  • mary

    I’m appalled at this. Where are your principles which we have all admired along with your stands for justice?

    Goodbye and good luck.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    Come on – who is going to buy me the first pint?

    Coalition Lib/Tory – told you so, now I won’t have to buy anyone one…but please come on, just one pint…please?

  • Anonymous

    Courtenay Barnett

    Get yourself down to the city of london, the stockbroker boys are running around buying ferrari cars and £1200 bottles of champers to toast the lib dems.

  • brian

    ScouseBilly 7:24

    Good point, let’s reenact them, let’s have another bank holiday to celebrate them.

    “” 7:38

    Appreciate the sentiment, but alreadyit looks like the Libs are going to stop the IHT give away to the wealthy, good work already.

  • MJ

    Don’t go Mary. Wait and see what happens. I’m sure that within 24 hours of the new government Craig will be fulminating again.

  • eddie

    How the world has turned upside down. Craig Murray a Tory supporter!! Well I never!

  • Anonymous

    Craig’s hatred of Jack Straw and getting out of power has unhinged his political balance and common sense.

  • Larry from St. Louis

    ScouseBilly, are you now spreading pro-Scientology crap? It’s not enough that you believe in silly 911 conspiracies – you’re now pushing Tom Cruise crap?

    So tell me about Bigfoot and Roswell! What about the moon landings?

  • Anonymous

    ‘anonymous coward’


    Was it not you that was asking OTHER people to give someone on here ‘a good kicking’, not upto yourself, coward

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Interesting, eddie, don’t you think? When I suggested to Alfred a few days ago that it would be prudent for him to consider standing on his head in order to view the world in a different light, this was not exactly what I had in mind.

  • ScouseBilly

    Larry from St. Louis at May 11, 2010 9:12 PM

    Hi Larry,

    No, that is a profesor of psychology, in praise of Prof. Thomas Szasz’s work and seminal work, The Myth of Mental Illness. Absolutely nothing to do with scientology or Tom Cruise; whether or not they agree is irrelevent.

    Watch the video, Larry.

  • Anonymous

    Scousecoward/Larry from St. Louis/Mental Illness

    That would explain a lot.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    We don’t have much choice but to accept the results of the election and the subsequent coalition negotiations – and i don’t like the results one bit.

    Craig – i think you’re being a bit one-sided in seeing all social work as pointless – many social workers do a lot of good.

    Would like it if the new government scrapped the upgrade to Trident and looked at some new anglo-French or EU nuclear deterrent in future to spread the costs a bit. The Lib Dems will need to threaten to end the coalition over it to stop the Conservatives going ahead with an upgrade though.

    Despite being on the left in general i think the EU needs some kind of nuclear deterrent. CND argue it would only make the EU a target – but having no nuclear weapons didn’t stop Hiroshima or Nagasaki being targets – and isn’t stopping Iran from being one. The only way to stop nuclear war is for every side to have a nuclear deterrent – and Iran is entirely on its own.

    If Scotland goes independent it wouldn’t need nuclear weapons – and the UK on it’s own can’t afford them any more.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    As to civil liberties i’ve as little time for Blunkett and Reid as you do – but the Conservatives will be just as bad (unless the Lib Dems fight their corner hard)

  • Chundernuts

    Lib Dems looking forward to another century in the political wilderness?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    don’t see what the Lib Dems have gained from going into coalition without getting a referendum on PR though. AV isn’t going to gain them many seats – and coalition with either main party is going to cost them votes – only PR would make up for that loss and still get them more seats.

  • Roderick Russell

    When it comes to civil liberties, my own experience aptly demonstrates that a Conservative – Lib/Dem coalition cannot be worse than Labour. Hopefully the new government will value rule of law as a fundamental right and stop toadying to criminals in the high establishment. I’m not holding my breath though.

  • Anonymous

    BBc news

    Forget the £10,000 threshold, tories won’t wear it. lib dems have said to tories, OK we will scrap it.

  • chrisentia


    Everyone having nuclear weapons does not guarantee no nuclear war, since war can happen by mistake.

    No-one having nuclear weapons does on the other hand guarantee no nuclear war, as well as saving many billions of dollars.

  • Chris Dooley

    It is very disappointing that PR is not on the table… but maybe the Lib-dems can show that the coalitions that may come under future PR can actually work and make it more palletable to the sceptic voters. I’m also hoping that the Lib-dems will neuter the more extreme ideas that may put forward by the Tories, and the comming cuts are as fair as possible across the board.

  • Clark


    I hope you’ll stay and continue to contribute. Your research is excellent, and will be as important as ever with this change of government.

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