Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Hidden Coalitions

I recently pondered the coalition permutations that might follow the forthcoming General Election in May 2015. Today I was considering the hidden coalitions in our current parties.

If these hidden coalitions could be unbundled, we might see some more appropriate permutations, which means more stable coalitions possibly with more support.

The hidden coalitions:

  • In the “Blue Corner”
    Reactionary right-wing xenophobic Tories
    What is referred to as “Christian Democrats” in Europe
  • In the “Orange Corner”
    Libertarian Whigs – “Orange Bookers”
    Social Democrats
    Green Local Liberals – “beard and sandals” to some
  • In the “Red Corner”
    Democratic Socialists
    Socialists
    Democratic Marxists and other “points left”
  • in the “Green Corner”
    Dark Greens – environmentalists that put the earth first and want a new economic system
    Light Greens – who are more inclined towards radical reform of the existing system

The “hidden coalitions” are the existing parties. The trouble with current coalition forming is that “party unity” means a whole “hidden coalition” gets hauled into coalition – often with people with acute political differences.

The current Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition (formed to address an economic crisis) is (on the above analysis) a coalition of five groupings:

Tories
Christian Democrats
Whigs
Social Democrats
Local Liberals

The two ends of this spectrum loath each other! Conversely the “Tories” above probably get on economically with the “Whigs” better than they do with the “Christian Democrats”. Likewise the “Social Democrats” probably feel more comfortable with the “Christian Democrats” than with other parts of the coalition. However the economic crisis in 2010 forced them all together. In 2015 trying to form a similar coalition may be too much of a force fit.

We need to break the ties holding these hidden coalitions in their near-permanent embrace. Unfortunately with the current electoral system they have to hang together. Party before Country.

If the ties could break there are a number of more stable coalitions which might command significant support:

A right-wing libertarian coalition:

UKIP
Tories
Christian Democrats (possibly slightly uncomfortable)
Whigs

A centre coalition (possibly formed in response to Labour losing a lot of seats to the Scottish Nationalists). This more narrowly based coalition would be more stable than a “Grand Coalition”

Christian Democrats
Whigs
Social Democrats
Green Local Liberals
Democratic Socialists

A centre-left coalition:

Social Democrats
Green Local Liberals
Light Greens
Democratic Socialists
Socialists

But it will never happen! The bonds holding the current hidden coalitions together are too strong and the vested interests involved are too great.

Pity.

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2 thoughts on “Hidden Coalitions

  1. Pingback: A Programme for the Majority? | Outside the marginals

  2. Pingback: The Activists, Members, Supporters, Voters, Us Disconnect | Outside the marginals

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