05 May 2010

Will Gordon Brown offer Nick Clegg the ultimate prize?

Brown makes another passionate speech, the tax credit scare stories continue and the Cabinet send out mixed messages over the small matter of tactical voting.  But the polls are not moving and 38% of voters (an unlikely high figure) are saying it was "quite possible" they would still change their minds.  So, what will happen on Friday afternoon if the Tories cannot form a government on their own, but there is a clear majority for a centre-left coalition.

Brown returns to Downing Street, makes a little speech and then disappears inside to have chat with Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary.  Sir Gus advises Brown that he should make his intentions clear without delay, the markets are getting nervous and the Tories have already spoken to the Lib Dems.  Brown decides to ring Nick Clegg.

GB: Hi Nick.  Congratulations on a fine campaign.  Our two parties have a majority.  Only Labour can offer you electoral reform.  We have the opportunity to realign politics.  The Tory party cannot do this.  Can you pop in for a chat this afternoon?

NC:  I cannot give you any assurances at the moment.  My people have already met Cameron's team and they are considering what we have said.  Besides, you have to take this on board.  The show-stopper is your leadership.  There would be uproar if I did a deal with Labour with you as leader.

GB: I know this.  I decided last weekend to stand down and this is known to few close colleagues....

NC: There is no way that I will agree to another unelected Labour leader becoming Prime Minister.

GB: But, we could get over this.  You have been elected...

NC: OK, I will come and see you in an hour.

Gordon puts down the phone.  An aide enters to confirm that Balls has lost his seat after 5 recounts.  Mandelson, who has been sitting in the corner of the room, smiles to himself and and leaves to speak to David Miliband.

Meanwhile, Shirley Williams has just been interviewed by a stunned Jeremy Paxman and proposed that Nick Clegg becomes Prime Minister in a coalition with Labour.

A media frenzy breaks out.


  1. Writing fantasy fiction is fun so I'll continue your story if I may.

    June 2010

    Vince Cable retires from British politics to head the IMF. Brown is seen wandering around London looking angry. Nokia stock market value doubles.

    July 2010

    The unions wouldn’t give Labour any money (because they paid for the last election but got Clegg) so the Labour party is officially made bankrupt.

    'Labour 3.0' (as the replacement party has branded itself) has 200 MP's, which together with Clegg's 120 enable Clegg to a govern as a minority government.

    The Labour left split off in disgust at the idea of being led by a LibDem PM - years of being led by the Tory Blair were about as much as they could stand.

    August 2010

    Clegg, who was briefly (for two weeks) the most popular PM since Churchill, now holds the opposite distinction of being even more unpopular than Brown. His 100,000 pound 'mansion tax' to pay for the income tax cut and 25% VAT to pay off the debt are very unpopular. Clegg blames Vince for getting his sums wrong.

    September 2010

    Ed Balls wins a by-election in Vince’s old seat. Ed Balls immediately takes over as leader of 'Old Labour'. Peter Mandelson blames Vince for the loss of the seat and announces that he too will re-enter parliament in a by-election. Clegg keeps quiet.

    October 2010

    There are riots in the streets as the new petrol and flight taxes become law. Clegg blames Vince for the green tax policy.

    November 2010

    Paddy Ashdown, the defense minister, announces that the British army is pulling out of Afghanistan because we can’t afford it anymore. Clegg blames Paddy. Paddy blames Vince.

    December 2010

    The EURO referendum fails with a 90% no vote. Nobody is surprised. Clegg announces ‘British notes for British banks’ and blames Vince for the EURO policy.

    January 2011

    The immigration amnesty bill becomes law. 2 million illegal immigrants become British citizens. 4 million new illegal immigrants enter the country via France. Clegg blames Vince for the immigration policy.

    February 2011

    The government becomes even more unpopular as he announces the cancellation of the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes. Clegg blames Vince for being old.

    March 2011

    Clegg is forced to go to the country because he loses a confidence vote on scrapping Trident and replacing it with a British alternative that costs twice as much and does not actually work. Clegg blames Vince for the Trident policy.

    April 2011

    Clegg failed to get his voting reforms through the Lords. Clegg blames Vince and promises that this will be the last ever first-past-the-post election and he will change it when he gets re-elected.

    May 2011

    'Labour 3.0' are initially declared winners with 95% of the vote, but after 70 million postal votes are disqualified Boris Johnson’s Conservatives romp home with 70% of the vote. He only manages to get a working majority of 3 seats due to boundary changes.

    Apart from the union sponsored 'Old Labour' (which have 20 MPs) the country is back to two party politics.

    The SNP gained all the seats on Scotland as the LibDems and Labour were wiped out. The independence bill is expected shortly. (Note: I was going to say that the Tories gain all the seats in Scotland, but that was a fantasy too far).

    Speculation is rife that 'Labour 3.0' will formally merge with the LibDems as they only have 4 seats (Alan Johnson, David Milliband, Peter Mandelson and Harriet Harman). HH storms off in disgust and refuses to join. AJ is elected leader of the Labour Party. Peter Mandelson announces he is to quit parliament and go back to Europe.

    June 2012

    Osborne finally gets a look at the books and calls in the IMF. Vince arrives from the IMF, smiles to himself then refuses to bail out the country blaming Clegg.

    A media frenzy breaks out.

  2. Would it be such a disaster for Labour if they let Clegg be PM? HH would be interim leader and we would get a reasonable length of time to elect the successor.

    In the meantime the Tories might well start hammering on the big red button, disappear off to the right, and when the next election comes along it could be a two horse race with a centrist labour party picking up disillusioned centrist Tories (the same people who voted for Blair) and the LibDems positioning themselves on the left - Labour gets to hold the sane centre

    Just sayin'. Let Cleggy have his chance, get the LibDems into the mainstream. Not too bad for the country or the Labour party