… and it won’t save the LibDems.
It used to be said that Britain’s nuclear deterrent was there to frighten the Soviets. It was kept to convince the Americans, to keep a British voice at the top table.
Its parliamentary equivalent, the LibDem inspired and grossly-offensive 55% proposal, wan’t put up to cow the Commons: we are universally assured it’s not to prevent votes of confidence. It’s there to keep the Tories on side, to keep the LibDems at the top table.
It will not work, any more than the Soviets were convinced by a couple of British submarines crawling the seabed, carrying (it was alleged) concrete placebos of nuke war-heads.
The line in the sand?
Meanwhile, here’s Fraser Nelson’s take for the Times:
One does not hear much from disgruntled Tory backbenchers nowadays, which is extraordinary given how many are spitting tacks. “This coalition won’t last a year,” I was told by a newly appointed minister. “The party won’t wear it because the country won’t wear it.” Depending on which bookmaker you visit, the odds on another election this year vary from 2-1 to 6-1. It is a bold MP who ignores such odds. So while Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg may hope for five years of stable coalition, their MPs will be working out how to savage each other when the time comes.
Nobs rally to the Noto55 cause
With that One does not hear much from disgruntled Tory backbenchers, he obviously trawls in shallower waters than Andrew Grice in the Indy:
Richard Drax, the new Tory MP for South Dorset, said he had grave concerns about how long the agreement would last. Although he could see why it had been made in the national interest, he added: “I have severe reservations about how long a coalition with the Lib Dems can last and about the consequences for our party in the long term…”
Ian Liddell-Grainger, Tory MP for Bridgwater, said the coalition would do well to last two years. “I think if it lasts a couple of years, this Government has done well. The Lib Dems will find it more difficult to take criticism than we will. Their history of being in government is pretty sad,” he said.
He added that he had “never trusted the Lib Dems”, and was scathing about their support for electoral reform. He said: “Electoral reform means hung parliaments, and MPs that you neither know nor see.”
For what it’s worth (not much) “Richard Drax” is a flag-of-convenience, as the Daily Mail relishes in telling us, for:
Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, and he lives in a vast Elizabethan stately home.
He is not only MP for South Dorset, he owns at least 7,000 acres of it. He has connections at a stellar level:
He [first] married the sister of former Royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke – and his grandfather was the inspiration for Bond villain Hugo Drax.
Like all well-bred aristocratic families at least two marriages are de rigueur: his current lady is:
Eliza, is described in the society bible Debretts as the ‘youngest daughter of Commander James George Greville Dugdale’.
The Mail seems to be wrong about the gent’s schooling. The article names Eton, whereas elsewhere:
Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax was educated at Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill, London, England. He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Coldstream Guards. He has one other child.
Is that final sentence in some code?
The family’s money was honourably acquired from Irish estates and slave labour on the sugar plantations of Barbados.
Ian Liddell-Grainger is no common bod, either:
Liddell-Grainger is a great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, as his great-grandmother was Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and he is thus 323rd in the line of succession to the British Throne. He is also a great-grandson of the 12th Earl of Lindsey.
He claimed a total of £166,109 in expenses, including for office, staffing and travelling costs in 2007-2008, on top of the annual salary awarded to MPs which increased towards the end of 2007 to £61,820.
Cameron needs to be careful : these grandees are no “turnip taliban”.