David Blackburn

Clegg must resist Brown’s sweet nothings

Clegg must resist Brown’s sweet nothings
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Gordon Brown is usually at his most patronising when confronting Nick Clegg. Last week, however, hectoring gave way to affection. Brown was almost tender. Of course, this sudden change has an obvious explanation. Brown and Clegg are brothers in arms: devotees of electoral reform, or so the Road Block would have us believe.

Robert McIlveen laid counter-arguments against Brown’s opportunism and Boris Johnson repeats them in his Telegraph column today, concluding:

‘There is one final and overwhelming reason why Britain should not and will not adopt PR – that it always tends to erode the sovereign right of the people to kick the b––––––s out.’

The Lib Dems have been caught between their principles and Brown’s expediency. PR and AV empower minority parties at the expense of those with a larger mandate; the temptation for Clegg to submit to Brown’s indecent proposal and claim a spot in government is palpable. Not that I’m in favour of electoral reform but Brown’s last gasp attempt to cling to power will damage the cause. If Clegg values his party’s long-standing commitment to electoral reform he should reject Brown’s cynicism.