openDemocracyUK

The Disraeli Option

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
10 May 2010

The coalition talks between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are bringing to the fore what is now known as 'the Disraeli option'. For a good description of it from a Conservative point of view, see Peter Oborne's compelling description in the Observer. For a mediation on how it could benefit Cameron see Sunder Katwala's careful dissection of the multiple options with respect to introducing fair voting, Sunder does not consider the possibility of a Great Repeal Bill securing liberty after 13 years of New Labour as an immediate, progressive legislative outcome that would benefit Britain immediately. 

One aspect neither consider is the national dimension, as mapped out in his post below by Gerry Hassan. Shirley Williams has objected to a coalition as this might destroy the Lib Dems north of the border - forseeing their destruction if they put and keep the Tories in office. But as Gerry shows, the Tories are being prevented from enjoying single party rule thanks to the continuing collapse of their influence in Scotland, where Labour is resurgent. If they make First Past the Post and 'winner takes all' politics their sticking point, then this too threatens the Union, for much the best way to achieve it would be to dump Scotland. Cameron could argue that they  should agree to put PR to a referendum, because only with it can they have a long-term chance of saving the Union. Or, to put it another way, only coalition government based on PR looks likely to be able to hold together the fissparous units of the UK now diverging from each other strongly.

PS: I forgot to add that all this is a diuscussion of what I dubbed Yellow Toryism

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

Sign up to take part in a free live discussion on Thursday 13 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET

In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData