MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
It is quite extraordinary that the first past the post system delivered a PR outcome.
Yes – lots of emails against coalition with the Tories. Yes – lots of emails supporting coalition.
I could never have imagined a long week ago in politics – the outcome that has now arrived – coalition with the Tories.
I was very keen on opening up talks with Labour as, like many others, I had a long cherished vision of a realignment of the left of politics and a progressive alliance. Those talks were opened on that request.
Given most people will now have seen the events unfurl – it became clear that Labour either didn’t wish to realign with us or were not capable of doing so – even though Gordon Brown stepped aside to make it possible. To all those who are angry about a coalition with the Conservative – why not email Labour to ask why they didn’t want to offer a viable alternative?
A huge disappointment – leaving on the table the Conservative offer. In policy terms the offer is just about as good as it could be – short of PR! Sadly – that was not achievable with either of the other parties.
But if you believe in PR – then it is about working with other parties. No – not in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) did I ever think this would be the end game. But it is.
There is a spirit of hope and cooperation – and yes – compromise on both sides. To those who hate this outcome – perhaps some comfort in having LibDems in coalition to temper any worst fears.
This is uncharted territory – and all I can say is that if low earners are taken out of income tax, our children in Haringey get fair funding, we move to a sustainable green economy and politics is reformed – then that is a deal worth doing.
And meanwhile, whatever the challenges and dangers we encounter in order to gain these measures and a stable government to hold the country safe as we pursue recovery – they are challenges that we must meet.