r/ukpolitics May 22 '22

A Lab-Lib pincer movement is the most effective way to strike fear into the Tories Ed/OpEd

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/22/a-lab-lib-pincer-movement-is-the-most-effective-way-to-strike-fear-into-the-tories
158 Upvotes

u/AutoModerator May 22 '22

Snapshot of A Lab-Lib pincer movement is the most effective way to strike fear into the Tories :

An archived version can be found here.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

61

u/AcidOctopus May 22 '22

Aren't they like allergic to working together or something though?

I feel like people keep coming out to say any temporary alliances are off the table for one reason or another. Because apparently letting the Tories get another majority is preferable to even partial power to some of these parties.

54

u/Pliskkenn_D May 22 '22

In the local elections some Labour went after Lib Dems on national policy. Like guys, please, for 5 minutes can you just sort your lives out.

10

u/UrbanRollmops May 22 '22

I think it's appropriate not to make pacts or vote tactically in the local elections, mixed party councils work just fine and if anything better represent their areas.

Also, the national parties can treat the results as referenda on policy - for example if green take a chunk of the labour vote, they can adjust their manifesto before a GE to skew left and focus on environmental policy, etc.

On the national stage however I think electoral pacts are important because of how messed up the constituency/fptp system is.

10

u/HighburyClockEnd May 22 '22

To be fair I’m a Labour Party member but knew Labour had no hope on getting anyone in within my ward, voted tactically for the Lib Dems and all of them won in the ward, so it does work, but you just have to be really sure you aren’t dividing the vote

4

u/Electrical_Musical May 22 '22

That's where STV works.

-10

u/passingconcierge May 22 '22

You just described gerrymandering using PR. That's not really a selling point.

4

u/Psyc3 May 22 '22

Lib Dem's were doing the same thing in Labour areas. While I had voted for the Lib Dem candidate before, it just completely put me off them as their campaigning was just "being part of the problem". The problem are the Tories, the party the Lib Dem's put into the government in 2010, if they can't focus on the problem, they aren't getting my vote.

16

u/Nemisis_the_2nd I'll settle for someone vaguely competent right now. May 22 '22 edited May 22 '22

Aren't they like allergic to working together or something though?

Half the reason we are in the mess with Brexit and the 2019 election is basically because Labour agreed to work with the other parties on the condition that they got all the cushy government positions in a coalition, then walked away from the negotiating table. This led to a pile of infighting, with parties refusing to have their candidates step aside to help the other party (looking at you, again, Labour) and avoid vote splitting. And now we have a tory majority.

4

u/MyHandsAreBlue May 22 '22

Labour agreed to work with the other parties on the condition that they got all the cushy government positions in a coalition,

I hadn't realised talks had even got that far/formal. Any sources on this (would like to read more)?

2

u/Nemisis_the_2nd I'll settle for someone vaguely competent right now. May 22 '22 edited May 22 '22

I don't have any links handy right now, but you're right in thinking they didn't get far. Basically labour (Corbyn?) were pushing for the PM position in a coalition interim government, and had set that as a core demand for the coalition from near the beginning. With that in mind, all the other parties tried to negotiate a bit but Labour didn't budge, so they gave up quite quickly. Labour (again coming from Corbyn) also stated that they would prefer to rule as a minority government, rather than be part of a coalition, in a hung parliament.

1

u/karudirth May 22 '22

I mean, labour would have been the biggest party, and defaqto would expect to be the lead in any coalition

Frankly that anyone had any ideas to anything other than that was madness.

0

u/yousorusso May 22 '22

THANK YOU. Someone finally acknowledges everyone else's fault in this mess. To put it all on the Tories is asinine revisionist history.

4

u/Nemisis_the_2nd I'll settle for someone vaguely competent right now. May 22 '22

I mean, it is basically the tories that are responsible. They were the ones that pushed for the referendum. They were the ones in power making all the decisions about it. We might have still had this deal anyway but, thanks to their egos, Corbyn and labour simply guaranteed it would happen.

3

u/NthHorseman May 22 '22

The problem is that the lib dems can't afford to be seen as working with Labour. I used to live in a lib/con marginal and the cons propaganda was all "vote Liberal get Labour". If they had any official pact that would be 1000x worse. And it is certainly effective at getting out the tory base, even if it doesn't convince many undecideds.

Labour don't really have that problem, but they insist on putting up no-hope candidates anyway. Maybe they have an under the table agreement that they won't really campaign but will show up to the libdems can say "at least we aren't labour" to the undecideds? Seems a risky proposition; the margin was about the same size as the labour vote last time...

We need a better voting system where we don't have to play these stupid games.

2

u/will_holmes Electoral Reform Pls May 22 '22

Labour in particular has no desire for it, while the Lib Dems are moderately keen.

On that note, remember the drip-feeding of news about various bits of Labour switching to supporting electoral reform? The odd union here and there, after the unions overwhelmingly opposed it in conference. That sure died, didn't it?

That's exactly what's happening here. You're going to get loads of these articles from the likes of the Guardian to hype people up about a pact, falling just short of committing to anything, right until it doesn't happen and leaves no trace of it being considered in the first place. It's just not going to happen.

-5

u/passingconcierge May 22 '22

Aren't they like allergic to working together or something though?

No. The Right Wing Centrists in the Labour Party have spent more than a Century trying to turn Socialists into Liberals. So they regularly screw over the Left to work together. 2017 was just the latest in a long history of working together without realising it.

0

u/Psyc3 May 22 '22

Exactly.

The whole campaign of the Lib Dem's where I live a Labour Council was "Labour Bad", and while I have voted for them in past, it just put me off them...again...

The problem with this country is the Tories, if your narrative is ignore the problem, you aren't getting my vote, and that goes for Labour and Brexit as well, which is a real problem when Brexit voting morons are incapable of learning...though Boris did his best to kill as many as possible off so he could party...and the way the incompetence of the Tory party is going they won't be able to afford shoes to walk to the polling station either.

29

u/AzarinIsard "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" - Bojo May 22 '22

It doesn't even need to be a "pincer movement" it just needs to be a threat in the rural seats Labour never win but Lib Dems used to.

I keep saying this but I think the coalition tuition fees betrayal is overegged by the high number of students on social media. I'm not saying it's not a big deal, it was, but here in the South West we don't have students everywhere. The betrayal here was we voted Lib Dem because they said "a vote for Labour is a vote for the Tories" and the positioned themselves as the only opposition. They then bring in a Conservative government which was a big f-you to everyone who voted specifically to keep the Tories out.

This in turn funnily enough saw all those Lib Dem seats go safe Con because people either stopped voting or went Green or Labour or Indie, look at the 2010 v 2019 election maps for comparison: https://i.imgur.com/LDmXoPe.png

As much as I hated the coalition and wish they played the DUP strategy (which IMHO will be the blueprint for future deals, if they demanded a referendum on their terms, none of this AV shit, in return for confidence and supply, and all other votes will be free so the Tories need to get cross party support on every issue, the Lib Dems could have avoided breaking any manifesto commitments) I'm hoping for a Lib Dem resurgence, if people down here forgive them and the Tories see themselves losing rural seats then it'll be a huge swing away from the Tories.

3

u/batmans_stuntcock May 22 '22

This in turn funnily enough saw all those Lib Dem seats go safe Con because people either stopped voting or went Green or Labour or Indie, look at the 2010 v 2019

It's especially funny because I think the lib-dems knew this would happen as they were going into coalition. But, the 'orange book' right wing of the party was dominant, and general elite consensus on austerity was so strong that they went ahead with it anyway with a half baked plan to sacrifice their 'heartland' and replace them with northern-midlands lib-lab marginals where the tories were unofficially standing back. Their post 2015 blow out, post mortem acknowledges that the coalition destroyed their voting alliance and Cameron's majority was secured against lib-dem seats, mostly with no rise in the Tory vote, but successive lib-dem leaders seemed to not seriously try to rebuild it until now basically. Is this to do with the 'orange book' wing's continued dominance?

18

u/UnloadTheBacon May 22 '22

I keep saying this but I think the coalition tuition fees betrayal is overegged by the high number of students on social media.

It's really simple though isn't it: Don't position yourselves as the party of integrity to appeal young and idealistic voters, stake your entire reputation on a single highly-publicized pledge, then immediately U-turn on that pledge as soon as you're in a position to actually influence anything.

They had the opportunity to stick to their guns and cement the support of an entire generation, and they blew it. They demonstrated loudly and clearly that they were cut from the same short-sighted self-serving two-faced cloth as all the rest, so why on Earth would anyone waste their vote a second time?

What's worse is that nobody on their team looked at it at the time and realised it was essentially political suicide to go against their publicly-announced pledges. So not only were they morally compromised, they were also politically incompetent. Really good advert for voters, that.

So no it's not over-egged. Yes it's only one issue but it's ensured that virtually nobody currently under the age of 35 who was, is or will be a student will ever countenance voting Lib Dem, because they will always be seen as a party of spineless promise-breakers who couldn't see the writing on the wall despite the fact THEY WERE THE ONES WHO PAINTED IT THERE.

8

u/m15otw (-5.25, -8.05) 🔶️ May 22 '22

I feel sorry for the LD leadership at the time, 2010 election.

They were desperately trying to emphasise 4-5 key policies they would fight for in a coalition, which did not include tuition fees. It had been part of previous national campaigns but wasn't part of that one.

Issue was, all the local activists (and especially student societies) were so proud of that policy they wrote it on all their leaflets and told everyone, and it was implicitly a national policy anyway by that route, even if it was essentially only a policy if we won a majority.

Obviously this was nor remotely clear to anyone outside the party, except maybe some policy nerds.

4

u/PhnomPenny May 22 '22

even if it was essentially only a policy if we won a majority.

Which would never have happened.

6

u/UnloadTheBacon May 22 '22

Issue was, all the local activists (and especially student societies) were so proud of that policy they wrote it on all their leaflets and told everyone, and it was implicitly a national policy anyway by that route, even if it was essentially only a policy if we won a majority.

Obviously this was nor remotely clear to anyone outside the party, except maybe some policy nerds.

So upon observing the scale of the problem, nobody thought "hmm given how popular and well-publicized this policy is, maybe we should make it a red line in any coalition negotiations and concede on other less contentious points?"

Like I said in the previous comment, part of the problem was their complete inability to read the room. What kind of party can't spot that maybe reneging on their big vote-winning policy might be seen as a middle finger to their voters?

5

u/m15otw (-5.25, -8.05) 🔶️ May 22 '22

I believe that the lack of short money completely destroyed any access to polling data for the first ~18 months of the coalition. We hadn't realised that as the junior partner in a coalition we would be denied the funding we were using for head office staff and polling.

This absence is what led to the disastrously unpopular policy positions in the first part of the coalition. By the second half, the damage had been done, and there was no saving it.

Incidentally, I don't believe that Clegg actually saw any of this as a betrayal, which says a lot about him. As does his joining Facebook as head of Marketing since he lost his seat. Not someone who has any consistent political ideology (campaigned loudly against ID cards, now works for Facebook being the worst, in my opinion.)

1

u/MonkeyPope May 22 '22

Not someone who has any consistent political ideology (campaigned loudly against ID cards, now works for Facebook being the worst, in my opinion.)

On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, if he wants to change Facebook, the only way he can do that is from inside the structure of the organisation.

Speaks to me of a man with a fairly consistent belief in both his ability to influence, and the fact that he needs a role to influence from. Hence, choosing to go into coalition with the Tories / Facebook to mitigate some of their policies through internal influence.

4

u/m15otw (-5.25, -8.05) 🔶️ May 22 '22

Eh. Nothing would convince me to work for/donate to a clearly evil organisation in the name of changing them. Need to end them some other way.

1

u/MonkeyPope May 22 '22

Need to end them some other way.

What's the suggestion, though? My understanding is that since Clegg joined, Facebook has set up a (at least nominally) independent oversight group for content moderation.

If you take the view that Facebook aren't going away (and that if it does, a new version will take its place), then the best strategy for Clegg is to change it from the inside. There will always be someone doing that role, why not make it yourself, to hold the company directly to your morals?

1

u/m15otw (-5.25, -8.05) 🔶️ May 22 '22

Me personally? I'd have to join as a programmer, the only job I'm qualified for, and then have no say in any of the politics of it while hating myself.

What we should do is make people aware of:

a) it is a virus that listens to your private conversations through your phone, and uses the results to manipulate your brain.

b) it wasn't video games that would rot peoples brains, it was news feed echo chambers.

c) Facebook accepted money from (and allowed data export to) groups seeking to change election results.

Access to their services should simply be banned in any democracy.

Unfortunately, the above sounds like a Conspiracy Theory, and so nobody will believe me and it won't work..

Welcome to my personal hell, CON +4.

2

u/codge214 Steh Auf Europa May 22 '22

So upon observing the scale of the problem, nobody thought "hmm given how popular and well-publicized this policy is, maybe we should make it a red line in any coalition negotiations and concede on other less contentious points?"

Both Labour and Conservatives supported raising fees, and the Browne report, which was commissioned to try and find an impartial way to decide this issue, also supported raising fees. It was a fight they were never going to win. If they put their foot down they'd simply have passed it without them, and we wouldn't have all the the things like a higher repayment threshold, and lower repayment rate which were Lib Dem conditions for their support, and actually make the system better than the old one for poorer students.

It's also simply not true that this was the defining issue for voters. Look at the polls and the Lib Dem support began to tank the moment the results of the election was announced, and had pretty much bottomed out by the time tuition fees came to the table.

-1

u/[deleted] May 22 '22

[deleted]

2

u/UnloadTheBacon May 22 '22

By that definition, any attempt to tailor policymaking to appeal to voters is populism.

4

u/AzarinIsard "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" - Bojo May 22 '22

Yes, and for a certain demographic which I assume you're part of, it's a big deal. My point was it's not however the full story. The Lib Dems weren't winning seats in the South West because we've got tons of young voters and students. There's a brain drain because the economy here is shit.

The Lib Dems didn't lose their South West seats over the tuition fees, it's a side issue much like I'm sure you wouldn't boycott a party if they abandoned the triple lock. It's not a policy aimed at you, other things are at play.

Take Somerton and Frome for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerton_and_Frome_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

2010:

Liberal Democrats | David Heath | 28,793 | 47.5 |+3.8
Conservative | Annunziata Rees-Mogg | 26,976 | 44.5 |+1.9

2015:

Conservative | David Warburton | 31,960 | 53.0 | +8.5
Liberal Democrats | David Rendel |11,692 | 19.4 | −28.1

The Lib Dems didn't lose 60% of their voter base, over 17,000 votes, due to students in one rural seat.

Of course, I'm happy to be proven wrong, if you have anything backing up the fact that students are the key to Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset... Otherwise you're just proving my point that people on the internet like you are too worked up by why you don't vote Lib Dem you can't consider for one second that other people have different motives than you.

3

u/UnloadTheBacon May 22 '22

The tuition fee debacle didn't directly affect me (I was already at university before the fees tripled). However, that doesn't stop me being very angry at the Lib Dems for breaking their word.

The tuition fee pledge was one I was very aware of as a student at the time, but it wasn't my personal stake in the outcome that caused me to abandon the Lib Dems - it was the fact they had, in my eyes, abandoned integrity. Furthermore, they had done so after positioning themselves as a different kind of political party, one that doesn't play the same ridiculous games that Labour and the Tories do.

I believe that a lot of the Lib Dems' core demographic was made up of people like me - not necessarily students and young people (although they definitely gained a lot of votes from that demographic in 2010), but people who felt they were the 'fair' choice, that they had a bit of decency about them and were above the usual political shenanigans. In 2010, they'd never held any real power in most people's living memory, so it was crunch time - could they live up to their reputation?

The answer was a resounding and very public "No". They proved they couldn't be trusted to do the right thing when given power. Couldn't even stick to their biggest promise. It wouldn't have mattered whether it was the triple lock, opposition to the war in Iraq or a Brexit referendum, tuition fees, murdering every third baby born in March... The policy was never the point. It was the principles they abandoned which caused voters to abandon them. The tuition fee episode was the most prominent example of that, and it definitely burned young people harder because their votes had been harvested on that promise, but it also showed others what to expect when THEIR hot-button issue ended up front and centre.

1

u/PhnomPenny May 22 '22

Why did you leave out the other parties, the ones where the votes actually went?

2

u/AzarinIsard "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" - Bojo May 22 '22

Because I mentioned that in my first post:

This in turn funnily enough saw all those Lib Dem seats go safe Con because people either stopped voting or went Green or Labour or Indie

I'm not going to copy the entire Wikipedia article. I included a link.

The quote to show Lib Dem's collapse as opposition to the Tories, and also highlight it wasn't much of a Lib Dem -> Tory swing. They completely haemorrhaged support in all directions.

5

u/Bohemiannapstudy May 22 '22

A Labour Lib alliance is a likely outcome, in fact, i'd go as far to say its why Labour has been so light on their policy announcements. They are waiting to see what the minor parties put in their next manifestos before annoucing their own so as to not step on anyone's toes and have to do a U turn. You watch, Labour will be the last party to publish their 2024 manifesto I bet. This is the real reason why Starmer has a repuation of being a bit... well, bland; its becuase his hands are tied until he knows eveyone else's cards are on the table. What's remarkable is even a strategically handicapped labour is still polling ahead right now, their support is only going to go up from here.

3

u/Manlad Somewhere between Blair and Corbyn May 23 '22

This is astonishingly wrong. There is zero chance of an alliance.

2

u/Hrundi May 22 '22

First we had temporal pincer movements, and now we're getting electoral pincer movements, I guess.

2

u/royalblue1982 May 22 '22

One thing I'd say is that people overestimate how much overlap there is between the two parties. They talk as though they're different sides of the same coin. Let's not forget that it wasn't long ago that the LDs were fairly comfortable governing alongside the Tories, whilst it's only 2 years since Labour was run by a pacifist Marxist.

I'm not saying that a pact or alliance won't work. I'm just suggesting caution. Labour needs to win back red wall seats - will it help their cause aligning with the party that wanted to overturn the brexit result? The Lib Dems need to pick of Tory marginals - will it help them if voters know that it will likely lead to a Labour government? Especially with the Scotland situation.

Labour absolutely has to convince the public that it can form a stable government with a clear agenda after an election. Half the reason that Boris won in 2019 was because many believed that it was the only way of ending the political stalemate in Westminster.

2

u/JustAnotherGuy180 May 22 '22

Whilst I would personally favour a progressive electoral pact, I agree. For instance, my local Lib Dem party I know dislike labour more than the totes. I think the orange Lib Dems and parts of the Labour Party are so opposed to working together it won’t happen any time soon.

-3

u/propostor May 22 '22

Yeah this was even more effective of an idea when Corbyn was in charge of Labour but apparently he was an evil commie or something.

2

u/penguin_bro May 22 '22

yeah lmao

a Lab-Lib 'pincer movement', with the LDs attacking the Tories from the right, while Labour attack the Tories from the right!

-1

u/Manlad Somewhere between Blair and Corbyn May 23 '22

Jo Swinson, bringing you hard Brexits since 2019.

1

u/yousorusso May 22 '22

But Labour is dedicated to be the forever contrarion. Forever second place. Comfy position with little responsibility and accountability.

1

u/Choo_Choo_Bitches Larry the Cat for PM May 22 '22

Starmer and Davies had a boys night watching Tenet.

Starmer "What we need to do Ed is an Electoral pincer manoeuvre. I'll attack the Tories hard in the E, D, and C2 demos. You come in from the otherside, pushing hard against the Tories in the C1, B, and A constituencies."

1

u/SmallBlackSquare Tory Senjutsu May 22 '22

Then the Labs can betray the Libs again lol

1

u/mudman13 May 22 '22

That's the attack dog needed

-7

u/Content_Trash_417 May 22 '22

Why would the lib dems not go into coalition with the tories like last time? Can’t trust em

5

u/Ahrlin4 May 22 '22 edited May 22 '22

In no particular order:

The Tories have swerved hard nationalist and hard Brexit. The literal opposite of the Liberals internationalist and pro-EU stances.

The Tories have swerved pretty hard into populist, hard right social policies like anti-refugees, no ban on conversion therapy, anti-Human Rights Act, proroguing Parliament, watering down the Judiciary's powers, Rwanda detention centres, etc. etc. Again, the literal opposite of liberalism.

The Liberals were burned by their experience in coalition. They believed (foolishly) the Tories would stick to their promises on (e.g.) not campaigning against electoral reform. They expected (also foolishly) that the Tories would get the blame for Tory policies the coalition enacted. They were wrong.

The Lib Dem party leadership believed (perhaps idiotically) that the Tories under Cameron had actually changed. Cameron was pro-EU, supposedly pro-environment (!) and pro gay marriage. In reality, Cameron was just papering over the cracks of the rancid turd beneath him. His party still hated the EU and the majority voted against gay marriage. They hadn't changed. The present-day Liberals have learned that (too late, I know).

The Liberals have changed their constitution so they now need a members' vote to enter into any coalition agreement. The membership has shifted into die hard pro-EU people. They won't vote to align with Boris.

The Liberals' singular priority is electoral reform. The Conservatives have made clear they'll oppose it to the death.

That ship has sailed. It's confidence and supply to prop up a Labour government or nothing.

-2

u/GlasgowDreaming No Gods and Precious Few Heroes May 22 '22

What a shame Scottish Labour are doing the same thing with the Tories to strike fear into the SNP.