June 21, 2007

The Liberal Democrats and Mr Brown

Gordon Brown's offer of a cabinet job to Lord Ashdown is being hailed in many circles as a triumph- though James Lundie in the Guardian expresses some interesting doubts about the degree to which this might make a prospective coalition at the next election difficult. What is interesting though is how the whole incident reflects the impact that Iraq has had on British politics. Essentially people like James Purnell from Labour argue that this demonstrates how inclusive Mr Brown is- its interesting because inclusivity and consultation in Labour party terms always have meant over the last ten years including and consulting with the Left. What is fascinating about this move therefore is the sense that Brown by offering these jobs to the Liberals is seeking to look more left wing- a sign perhaps of the way that the left in the UK is becoming more middle Class and less tribally Labour, more orientated to special interests and causes.


Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Or showing that he's more inclusive than Blair.
I'm not sure that left and right mean too much these days, but Ashdown is certainly a little more to the left of the current centre of gravity in his party.

Vino S said...

I am not sure that Brown inviting Lib-Dems to join the government is a sign of being on the left. Perhaps he is merely trying to give the impression of being a politician not constrained by party lines.

As I say in my blog, there is also the possibility that he could be bowling the Lib-Dems a googly. Perhaps he wants to try and split off the most pro-Labour Lib-Dems from the rest (or perhaps he hasn't thought as cynically and deeply as that).