If like me, you are an incurable Labour voter, scanning the headlines at the moment is either :
A) Unspeakably Depressing
B) Hysterically funny.
I have been mystified by the "strategy" of both parties in the coalition. Clegg's seems to be hurtle headlong into electoral oblivion, whilst telling anyone of a vaguely pinkish hue that his Brave New Party is no "ghetto for disillusioned Labour voters." I feel confident in claiming that is the first time I've ever heard a senior politician say that he doesn't want certain votes. The funniest tweet I've seen for some time was doing the rounds a couple of days ago "Clegg claims his party is stopping the Tories from being too right wing. What would they be doing without him? Sterilising the poor?"
Cameron for his part, despite not winning an overall majority against a 13 year old government facing the worst economic crisis for a generation with a leader about as popular as Herod, decided to square up to the 1922 committee as though he had a majority of 179. Since, he has seemed to go out of his way to poke his backbench dinosaurs out of extinction. At the same time, Conservatives are managing the seemingly impossible task of not being right wing enough for their party, whilst Osborne slashes about the place, being WAY too right wing for the country.
Chaos abounds, and you don't have to be a leftie to acknowledge this. Where shall I start? First there was Gove's school building fiasco, the child benefit announcements are "unworkable" the CSR is an "enormous gamble" the HB cap looks set to shunt poor people out of wealthy areas in the tens of thousands, the immigration cap is damaging business, Control orders look set to stay after all, the EU budget will remain exactly at the 2.9% Labour negotiated, and prisoners look likely to get the vote. From a LibDem point of view, Tuition fees will treble, Nuclear Power Stations will go ahead full steam, VAT will, indeed go to 20% and 16 year old's will not get the vote. I could go on (and on and on) but I'm sure you have your own favourites.
I've honestly never known anything like it.
This morning, I decided the strategy must be exactly what it says on the tin. Somewhere, in a dusty drawer, there must be another coalition agreement. One in which Clegg promises that he will only support policies that go completely against the beliefs and hopes of his Party and Cameron will not countenance anything the right wing would approve of and in fact, will go out of his way to support policies that infuriate them. Perhaps in those frenzied 6 or 7 days, they dreamt up a daring plan for the Conservatives to ditch their right wing and the Libs to ditch their Dems. They would forge a new (fouth?) way where absolutely no-one is happy and everyone feels betrayed. (Obviously there are 6 or 7 Orange bookers and a handful of Cameroonians who think it's all jolly spiffing, but no-one knew they existed before May 11th and none of them know any poor people.)
Or is this simply the inevitable manifestation of the relentless opportunism of both Clegg and Cameron in opposition? Did they jump on so many bandwagons, that, in the end, they saddled themselves with unworkable alternatives, unreasonable solutions and unhelpful innovations?
Unfortunately, just as I'm having a good chuckle at the latest batch of confusion, indignity and humiliation, I remember that they're not hapless graduates or eager apprentices. They are the Government and are responsible for our future. The lunatics appear to be in charge of the asylum and I wonder if we all ought to be getting very worried indeed?
When I find myself wishing Maggie was back or hoping that David Davies takes over, I know something has gone very seriously wrong indeed.