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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Che cosa ne pensate?

Fraser Nelson, he of the often quite interesting columns:

Wild ideas are discussed by wild people at Liberal Democrat party conferences, from the legalisation of heroin to the use of potholes to slow traffic. But as they gather in Blackpool this week, one proposal will be deemed too vulgar for debate: an alliance with the Tories.

Yet this is exactly what Vince Cable, the party's highly respected Treasury spokesman, suggested last week. The old left-versus-right division has broken down, Cable said, and a new pendulum of history may swing to a "coalition in some form" of Lib Dems and Conservatives.

Many Tories, too, would be horrified at the thought. Yet those who dismiss it outright have not been watching the direction of their own party's leadership debate. There is every indication that the Tories are considering a jump to the left - which would make possible a radical realignment of British politics.

Traditionally, the Lib Dems have been Labour's friends. The two are, most obviously, in coalition in the Scottish Executive and have been united by the label "progressives". They have been allies in the great political division of the last century: labour versus capital.

But now, Cable says in a pamphlet for the Fabian Society, new dividing lines are emerging and cutting across the old party divisions. The arguments could revolve around a new power struggle which is the 21st-century equivalent of labour versus capital: the individual versus the state. [cont., click title: free registration needed]