A new word for a new outlook from the Lib Dems – just don’t expect it to last long
Is that a typo? No, it’s a neologism. Some cleverclogs has taken the words “pro” and “coalition”, and – like a linguistic version of Dr Frankenstein – rammed them together to create an ugly new one.
And who on earth would do that? Somebody close to the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
And why would they do it? Because they want to counter the idea that the Lib Dems are undermining the coalition.
Where would people get that idea from? Oh, only the Lib Dems’ recent attempts to block a Tory-led redrawing of constituency boundaries.
What whiners. The Tories aren’t exactly blameless either.
No? No. They’ve all but scuppered Lib Dem attempts to make the House of Lords more democratic.
But if both sides don’t like each other, why do they still want to work together? Because they’d both do very badly if there was a general election tomorrow.
How badly? According to the most recent poll, only 32% of voters would vote Tory – and just 11% would vote Lib Dem. Labour are on 42%. What’s more, voters sometimes get annoyed about having to go to the polls too often, so any party that brought down the coalition might get even shorter shrift from the electorate.
Got it. But on the flipside, if they turn too proalitious, aren’t the Lib Dems in danger of losing any semblance of individuality? Yes. Which is why the proalition has already been given an expiry date.
And when will that be? The party conference season at the end of September, whereupon the Lib Dems say they will reimpose their unique, sandal-wearing identity.
Do you think it’ll work, this proalition business? History suggests not.
How so? This isn’t actually the first time the term’s been bandied about. Clegg’s people first used it back in May.
And then what happened? Then the Tories sabotaged the Lords reform, and the Lib Dems whacked the boundary review.
Do say: Proalition – often. If you say it enough, perhaps it won’t sound quite so weird.
Don’t say: “Noalition, more like!”