Saturday, 8 May 2010
I can't help wondering how cynical the offers to Clegg of anything related to proportional representation really are? The previous attempt to review this was by Labour in 1998 and is gathering dust.
It wasn't exactly earth shaking in any case, cautiously recommending that 80-85% of the elected reps should still be on the old basis and small amount of correction could then be selectively applied.
You'll struggle to find the recommendations in the report available here, amongst the waffle.
Even before this, the previous offer was ages ago from Ted Heath to Jeremy Thorpe to look at the same issue.
The big parties don't want this to succeed because it dents their own power. I suspect the latest offers are just as manipulative as any episode of 'Yes Minister' or 'The Thick of It' and in the case of Brown there could also be 'the old switcheroo' where he offers something before perhaps Mandelson stealthily presides over the rotation of Brown from leadership. We can speculate on rumours of David Miliband, John Cruddas and Ed Balls as successors but all of whom are all resolutely silent at the moment.
My own theory is that these "reform" offers have a proportionality based upon a desperation for power and an influence half life measured in days, whilst creating a distraction value measured in years.