The Coalition That Might Have Been
I missed the start of the debate on the banking inquiry in the Commons yesterday, so I did not hear the start of Ed Balls’s opening speech:
I rise to open this very important debate, and to support a motion that has been tabled in my name and that of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, and in those of the right hon. Member for Belfast North (Mr Dodds), the hon. Member for Dundee East (Stewart Hosie), the right hon. Member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Mr Llwyd), and the hon. Members for Foyle (Mark Durkan), for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) and for North Down (Lady Hermon). Five separate parties in the House—the Democratic Unionist party, the Scottish National party, Plaid Cymru, the Social Democratic and Labour party and the Green party—have all supported the case for an independent and judge-led public inquiry.
That was, minus the Liberal Democrats, the “rainbow coalition” that was the just-arithmetically-possible alternative to the stable Conservative-LibDem arrangement.
It reminds us of two things. One is how hard it would have been to manage a rainbow coalition. The other is that it was Nick Clegg’s decision to back the Tory position on a parliamentary inquiry – in contrast to his switching sides that gave us the Leveson inquiry – that decided the question yesterday.Tagged in: hypothetical history
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