The Labour Party’s latest attempts to form a new ‘progressive alliance’ are close to collapse after both Greg Lake and Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake and Palmer walked out of negotiations yesterday. Lake and Palmer follow the departure of ELP’s flamboyant keyboardist Keith Emerson on Tuesday after failing to land the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary.
This latest attempt to form ‘a shadow cabinet of all the progressives’ comes after Labour failed to woo Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats into a coalition government over the weekend.
Ministers remained publicly confident that a ‘prog alliance’ could still be formed; pointing out that ‘honest’ Phil Collins of Genesis has already accepted the post of Shadow Chancellor.
In private though, many were admitting that it was proving harder than expected to woo the veteran prog movement into ‘big stadium’ politics with Labour: “It’s like herding cats dealing with these progsters” confessed one of the Labour whips “Pink Floyd are way too socialist, in spite of being richer than the whole front bench put together, Fish from Marillion is insisting on devolution and Matt Bellamy of Muse refuses to meet with Harriet Harman, convinced that she’s actually a seven foot alien lizard in disguise.”
Last minute attempts to draft in members of hippy prog-rockers Gong and Hawkwind also fell into disarray. “They shunned the catering, bringing their own fudge brownies, which is jolly bad form if you ask me” commented one of the aides “then they just stood there all evening giggling. It was clearly not going to work…”
Labour’s big hope now is the full support of mystical prog megastars Yes. “Getting the classic 1972 line-up to form a coalition with us would be a dream come true” admitted Jack Straw “they’re still talking right now, though to be honest Bill Bruford is lobbying for a Jazz Fusion coalition and Rick Wakeman seems more interested in the beer and sandwiches. Failing that the only option left is to phone Radiohead, and none of us can face that…”