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Lords reform

The obvious tactic for Mr Clegg is to try to cut a deal with the Labour leadership, over the terms of the programme motion to limit the times of debate. If that can be done then the right wing of the Conservative Party becomes irrelevant on the issue. The question is do the Labour leadership care more about implementing their own constitutional reform agenda or undermining the coalition by playing partisan games?

Coalition breakup

In 1922 the Lloyd George coalition, of Liberals and Conservatives, broke up because Conservative backbenchers and junior ministers had had enough of the Welsh wizard. The Tories repudiated the pro-coalition leadership of Austen Chamberlain, at the famous meeting at the Carlton Club (commemorated in the name of the 1922 Committee, the caucus of Tory MPs).

During the 1930s the Conservative right wing resented being marginalised by the need for the National government. However Stanley Baldwin had the political skill and popularity to manage his party, so as to avoid the government being blown up by a Tory rebellion.

The question is, will Cameron be more like Austen Chamberlain or Stanley Baldwin? I suspect the answer is Chamberlain, but we will see.

by Gary J on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 03:55:03 AM EST

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