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Monday, March 12, 2007

Black And White And Red All Over

"Q: What's black and white and red (read) all over?" asks the Christmas cracker quip. "A: A newspaper". In the case of this morning's Guardian, a Black day is forecast for Labour on Wednesday by Michael White, the well-known Red. Under the banner "Blair Forced to Rely on Tories for Victory in Trident Vote", White demonstrates his typical Trotskyite inability to perform simple maths. The poor man must have attended a Hackney secondary school!

"Labour whips are working hard to reduce the threatened 80-strong backbench revolt on Wednesday night - one of the biggest in the Blair decade" reads his article, "but the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, came close to conceding that there would be more than the 34 defections needed to reverse the government's working majority of 67."

What a load of polonium-210. The current state of parliament is 196 Tories plus 10 DUP and UUP, 352 Labour plus 16 nationalists and independents and 63 LibDems. A total of 637 (plus 5 SF non-attendees, 1 Speaker and 3 Deputies making a total complement of 646) which gives Labour a basic working majority of 67 and an effective working majority of 83. Even if the rebellion is as large as predicted and all Labour's nationalist and independent allies also vote against together with all of the LibDems (that would be a miracle - Emperor Ming achieving a 100% effective party whip!) the figures still do not mean Labour depending on the Tories or their allies. We would have 352 - 80 rebels = 272 against 80 rebels + 63 LibDems + 16 nats/independents = 159 - a majority of 113!

A computer can select the Cabinet on the basis of skills and sexual prowessSo... victory is not dependent on Tory votes. The Government will win the Trident replacement vote even if every Tory and Unionist MP wanders into the bar and not one of them wanders into the lobbies.

On the other hand... if the Tories and their allies were to vote against, the vote would be 272 against 365 - a 93-vote defeat.

Which should explain to the numerically challenged readers out there exactly how it all works. YOU SIMPLY ADOPT CONSERVATIVE POLICIES, thickos! That way you never have to rely on Tory votes to win the day because they never vote against you. Simple! No more battles in the House. As President Merkin Muffley once famously said: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

Linda. Hey, Linda. Can you come and check this bit for me please, before I hit "publish". There's something not quite right here and I can't figure out what it is.


Derek Melbourne said...

Yeah, but look.. what happens when the Tories start adopting Labour policies then, eh? That'll stuff your maths up where the sun don't shine.

dr strangelove said...

Derek darling, you need to learn to relax! Nukes never done me any harm.

Anonymous said...

Bomb Islington!!!

Luke Akehurst said...

I don't have a problem with that. It would sort out Corbyn.