Coffee House

Cameron and Clegg locked in staring contest on boundary reforms

5 November 2012

10:31 PM

5 November 2012

10:31 PM

Nick Clegg and David Cameron still can’t agree over the future of the boundary review, and their continuing stalemate led to legislation on individual voter registration being shelved indefinitely in the House of Lords. An amendment to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill tabled by Labour’s Lord Hart and backed by Lib Dem Lord Rennard would have delayed the changes until 2018 – in line with Nick Clegg’s pledge of revenge this summer that the review be delayed until after the 2015 election.

The problem is that Cameron didn’t know about the amendment until his staff read about it on Paul Waugh’s blog, and he apparently lost his rag with Clegg as a result. The two men continue to disagree over the boundary review, with Cameron wanting to push it right to a vote, and Clegg agreeing with Labour that now the Lib Dems have decided to scupper the changes to constituencies, the Boundary Commission should stop its work. The Tories continue to suspect that something will turn up to catch Nick Clegg’s eye and push the changes through; the Lib Dems call this attitude ‘delusional’. Lead of the House Lord Strathclyde told peers this afternoon:

‘All those involved need further time to reflect before this House is invited to take a decision either on the admissibility of the amendment or on its merits. It will not surprise the House that those involved include senior members of the Government and that until their discussions are concluded the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill will not proceed further in committee.’

But tonight the Lib Dems are saying that when the Bill does come back to committee, they will be voting for the amendment ‘whenever it comes before the House’. It will be interesting to see who blinks first in this staring contest between the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

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Show comments
  • barbie

    How the Tories must be regretting getting into coalition with the Lib Dems, its one thing after another, and their blackmailing ways. One says one thing about the coalition agreement and one says another. What they should have done is publish the agreement in full so the public knew what was agreed and what was not. This would have made both sides more honest and be found out if they were lying or not. I don’t think the Tories agreed to changing the Lords in the coalition agreement, it was agreed to look at it that’s all. The Lib Dems are changing things to suit themselves and hoping to get away with it, and lying won’t gain them friends. I think, now we have had two and half years of their antics many Conservatives realise what a mistake it was to pursue them in the first place. Trouble is they are stuck with them, that was another big mistake setting the coalition till 2015, it effectively put the millstone round the Conservative necks.

  • dorothy wilson

    The Conservatives need to go vocal in a big way over this and start to enlighten the general public on just why Labour and the LibDems are playing silly devils over this.

    • Michael990

      They have no power to do so. The BBC controls all.

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Just imagine for a mo if you will, that Cameron gets these boundary changes, to be fair it will help to cushion the kicking the useless incompetent is going to get, but lets say it lets a few UKIP candidates into the HoC……mmmmm delicious

  • dalai guevara

    yawn…Clegg looks like he’s on anti-depressants, DC shows signs of memory loss and our special friend Balls needs to find a better barber.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700430683 Tony Webb

    The LD’s have been utterly contemptuous on this matter. The Tories broke no agreement, the coalition agreement was followed to the letter as it clearly stated that they would set up a committee to look at Lords reform, and then report which they did.

    If Clegg never rammed said committee with his own, a report that was acceptable may have been presented, but nowhere in the agreement does it say the Tories were bound by any bill.

    And where does it state that the boundary review was tied to Lords reform? It wasn’t.

    The LD’s claim to stand for fairness when in fact they stand for opportunism…

    • Fergus Pickering

      You mean contemptible. I don’t think the poor dears do contemptuous. They so love to be loved and they can’t imagine why they are not.

    • Andy

      The LibDems are liars, but we all know that. You can never trust them to keep their side of any agreement as has been shown over and over again.

      Cameron should stop pussy footing round this load of rubbish and start and tell them a few home truths. He should also exact a very heavy price from them for their dishonesty. Make them suffer.

    • telemachus

      I read this somewhere.
      “Personally I think Britain has always been governed by an elite. It’s just that the elite of landed aristocracy who were integral to society across the nation have been replaced by an elite of urban-located professional politicians, bureaucrats and . . . what? How does one define that class of professional busybodies who have risen through the public sector, fake charities and “causes” to become the cabal of vociferous, self-elevating, champagne socialists so bent on telling everyone else how they should lead their lives, what they can and can’t do and now even what they can and can’t write, say or think? That vanguard of liars who, with boasted good intentions and dodgy statistics, have so undermined our freedoms and liberty, our individualism and our true diversity.

      On to this rather top-heavy and mainly unpleasant elite have been grafted the extra burdens of European government – which also consists of all three types – and an “enhanced” tier of local government which has flexed muscle in recent years from just providing necessary civic services and waffling in town halls to jumping on the nanny bandwagon in order to control what people do and to disseminate largely socialist – “communitarian” – propaganda. We live in “communities” but from the bumf churned out they apparently consist entirely of “vulnerable” minorities, often alien to what once passed as the average or norm and who still exist and struggle, silently.

      Of course this heavyweight deluge of government control and propaganda needs an extortionate amount of tax and borrowing in order to fund all those jobs and schemes and “initiatives”. And when things are tight and “the money is all gone” one can hardly expect the turkeys to vote for Christmas. So instead there is yet more sleight of hand on the abacus and yet more inventive methods of squeezing the blood of tax money from the stone of ordinary living without appearing to do so.

      But it doesn’t stop there. Around this monstrous construct are the clamouring media, flip-flopping between their own double standards and hypocrisy and the double standards and hypocrisy of the ruling elite, whilst worshipping the vacuousness of “celebrity” in a way that is the very definition of the mixed message. Crass yet grave. Puerile yet sanctimonious. Cruel yet mawkish. But loud, always loud and invariably in your face 24 hours in the day.

      Of the two models, ancient and modern, I think that I prefer the ancient for its rough honesty and lazier pace. There were bad eggs then but probably less greasy pole climbers, bullshit artists and chancers rising like scum to the top. There is now little evidence of any benevolent paternalism, responsibility or duty providing protection and no-one seems to know their place. Opportunities for protest, resistance and rebellion have been reduced by the ramping up of law, regulation and police powers. Tyranny and blandness beckon.”
      Do the LibDems represent tyranny or blandness

    • telemachus

      I read this somewhere.
      “Personally I think Britain has always been governed by an elite. It’s just that the elite of landed aristocracy who were integral to society across the nation have been replaced by an elite of urban-located professional politicians, bureaucrats and . . . what? How does one define that class of professional busybodies who have risen through the public sector, fake charities and “causes” to become the cabal of vociferous, self-elevating, champagne socialists so bent on telling everyone else how they should lead their lives, what they can and can’t do and now even what they can and can’t write, say or think? That vanguard of liars who, with boasted good intentions and dodgy statistics, have so undermined our freedoms and liberty, our individualism and our true diversity.

      On to this rather top-heavy and mainly unpleasant elite have been grafted the extra burdens of European government – which also consists of all three types – and an “enhanced” tier of local government which has flexed muscle in recent years from just providing necessary civic services and waffling in town halls to jumping on the nanny bandwagon in order to control what people do and to disseminate largely socialist – “communitarian” – propaganda. We live in “communities” but from the bumf churned out they apparently consist entirely of “vulnerable” minorities, often alien to what once passed as the average or norm and who still exist and struggle, silently.

      Of course this heavyweight deluge of government control and propaganda needs an extortionate amount of tax and borrowing in order to fund all those jobs and schemes and “initiatives”. And when things are tight and “the money is all gone” one can hardly expect the turkeys to vote for Christmas. So instead there is yet more sleight of hand on the abacus and yet more inventive methods of squeezing the blood of tax money from the stone of ordinary living without appearing to do so.

      But it doesn’t stop there. Around this monstrous construct are the clamouring media, flip-flopping between their own double standards and hypocrisy and the double standards and hypocrisy of the ruling elite, whilst worshipping the vacuousness of “celebrity” in a way that is the very definition of the mixed message. Crass yet grave. Puerile yet sanctimonious. Cruel yet mawkish. But loud, always loud and invariably in your face 24 hours in the day.

      Of the two models, ancient and modern, I think that I prefer the ancient for its rough honesty and lazier pace. There were bad eggs then but probably less greasy pole climbers, bullshit artists and chancers rising like scum to the top. There is now little evidence of any benevolent paternalism, responsibility or duty providing protection and no-one seems to know their place. Opportunities for protest, resistance and rebellion have been reduced by the ramping up of law, regulation and police powers. Tyranny and blandness beckon.”
      Do the LibDems represent tyranny or blandness

    • Dimoto

      The LibDems are, exactly to the contrary of what they always claim, the least democratic party in the UK. Clegg is just a puppet of his unelected peers – a cruel irony.

      But the biggest irony is that they are clearly manoeuvring for a future coalition with Labour. It will be interesting to hear their squeals of frustration and disappointment when Balls tells them to get stuffed.

      Still, they’ll probably decamp en masse for Eurotopia.

      There won’t be an agreement with Cameron. They would only settle for a deal which gives them the permanent balance of power. That will not be on offer from either of the other parties. Labour has seen what happens if a party is crazy enough to offer these opportunists a share of power.

  • Russell

    Cameron needs to grow a pair and tell Clegg that he will introduce a bill for an in/out EU referendum next year and attach a confidence vote to it unless Clegg agrees to the new boundaries.

  • IRISHBOY

    For one moment there I thought the two ghastly inanimate heads were simply, as in former times, perched on the edge of London Bridge!

    • Heartless etc.,

      Two heads, dissociated from bodies, spines, a sense of national pride,
      or anything else of any worth. And indeed, yes, they should be on
      spikes.

  • Robert_Eve

    The Limp Dems are beneath contempt on this.

    • alexsandr

      you mean ‘The Limp Dems are beneath contempt’ surely?

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