If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


There's a lot going on, dissecting the latest moves and rumours, so I will leave that to others. All I can say here is that I feel a sense of optimism. Cameron seems to have got the important stuff agreed with Clegg, and the good stuff from the Lib Dem manifesto has made it onto the table too. The best of both worlds, in a way.

I'm going to put my natural cynicism on hold for a while, and see how things turn out. Watching the two of them giving their news conference today, I saw two guys who genuinely seemed to get on together. Perhaps they're just good actors, but I sensed that their co-operation was genuine and the talk of a new kind of politics may not be just a lot of wishy-washy nonsense.

If Cameron and Clegg between them can get the deficit under control, make some sensible decisions on tax, and make a start on repealing some of the avalanche of repressive legislation from the last 13 years of statist control-freakery, then I can see the coalition being a great success. ID cards stopped on their first day in power - a good sign.

They have both played a blinder. Clegg has got some significant pledges on the table, himself as Deputy PM, four colleagues in the Cabinet, and 20-odd (or should that be 20 odd?) MPs in the Government - not bad for someone who had a minority party in the last parliament and actually lost seats at the election. And Cameron has locked the Lib Dems into a long-term arrangement, secured his power for five years and kept the most important Tory manifesto commitments. And when the cuts start to bite, as they surely will, and the losers start to squeal, as they surely will, it won't be those eeeeeevil Tories eating working-class babies. He will be able to point to all those Lib Dems in significant positions of power and say it was them too.

This could potentially put Labour out of power for a very long time.

Or it could all last a fortnight.

We shall see. But, for the first time in a long time, I feel that I have a Government that is on my side and will take decisions in my interest. It's very unusual to feel that - and rather pleasant.

I wish them good luck. They will need it.

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