I had planned to write my weekly article about Britain’s forthcoming election. However, when I heard the tremors of a political earthquake in the province where my mother was born, I opted to focus my attention on Alberta. Given last night’s results I am glad I did.
Nevertheless, I do want to comment on the British election which will take place tomorrow. Frankly, I don’t think it matters whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband resides at 10 Downing Street. No, I have no enthusiasm for Red Ed, but Cameron isn’t my cup of tea either. He is way too chummy with President Obama for my liking. Chummy enough to personally lobby Senators to support a nuclear deal with Iran. No wonder Obama calls Cameron his “bro”.
Cameron is no friend of liberty or freedom of speech, either. In 2013, his government banned Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from speaking in Britain. Of course, Geller and Spencer have been in the news in recent days because of the attempted terrorist attack at the Muhammad art exhibit in Garland, Texas.
Nor have I been impressed with Cameron’s attitude towards Israel. In July 2010, he condemned the IDF for boarding the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish sponsored flotilla aimed to stop Israel and Egypt’s joint embargo of Gaza. Cameron described Gaza as “a prison camp.” Well, last I checked, Hamas had the run of the place.
Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, Cameron proposed legislation that would ban encrypted data which would have Britain join the ranks of Russia, China and Iran. This from the country which gave us the Magna Carta.
Whoever forms the next government will likely have to do so once again with a coalition. For the past five years, Cameron has relied on the Liberal Democrats led by Nick Clegg. But the LDP is on the verge of collapse. Where do the Tories turn? Will the UKIP and Democratic Unionist Party have sufficient numbers to help him form a coalition?
As for Labour, it cannot form a majority government without Scotland. Under the circumstances, Labour will be lucky to win a single seat as the Scottish National Party under new leader Nicola Sturgeon could win 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons. Scotland has long been a Labour stronghold. (I got a good taste of Scottish Labour politics when I interned for the late Labour MP Jimmy Wray two decades ago). But as the Tories in Alberta found out, all things must come to an end.
For his part, Miliband has ruled out a coalition government with the SNP. But by doing so, he has effectively ruled out moving into Number 10 Downing.
If neither the Tories nor Labour win a majority and neither of them can find the coalition partners necessary to form a government, could Cameron and Miliband form a Tory-Labour grand coalition a la Winston Churchill & Clement Attlee? Well, Cameron is no Churchill and Miliband is no Attlee much less Nye Bevan.
If the Tories & Labour do form a grand coalition it really would prove there is really no difference between Britain’s two largest parties nor would it matter who wins tomorrow’s election.
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