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  • 10 thoughts on what happens next


    by Shariq
    9th May, 2010 at 11:50 am    

    1) Given the state of the economy, I think having a government which lasts 4 years, is better for the country than having a minority government which might collapse after a year, triggering more uncertainty.

    2) A Lib/Lab coalition is nice in theory, but even together, they don’t add up to 50% of the seats. Also Gordon Brown being in power is a problem, and you can’t exactly have a new Labour PM without a new election. I don’t think Sunny’s idea of Nick Clegg as PM is feasible.

    3) The Liberals can’t argue for proportional representation and then not want to form coalitions.

    4) Just as the Liberals need to work in the national interest, so do the Conservatives. They have to give something substantial to get a coalition.

    5) I think Nick Clegg is right to put electoral reform fourth on his list of priorities. A reform of the economy, education and a fairer tax system are all more important than a change to how votes are counted.

    6) Its worth remembering that a Conservative minority government probably gives the right wing of the Conservative party more influence than if they are in coalition with the Lib Dems.

    7) Some people have dismissed Cameron’s initial offer. In a negotiation, you don’t expect someone to start off with their best offer.

    8 ) A Con/Lib coalition gives Labour a good chance to elect a new leader and figure out exactly what they want to stand for.

    9) This isn’t the worst time for the Tories to win. Whichever party wins is eventually going to start cutting spending and increasing taxes. The only ideological element to the debate is when and by how much we need to start cutting. This chart which Sunny linked to is informative.

    10) I was hoping for Vince Cable, but is there any chance we can get Ken Clarke as Chancellor?


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    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: 10 thoughts on what happens next http://bit.ly/9M8V3l


    2. Douglas Boyd

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: 10 thoughts on what happens next http://bit.ly/9M8V3l


    3. Carl Hodler

      Blog post:: 10 thoughts on what happens next http://bit.ly/9M8V3l (via @sunny_hundal)


    4. Leon Green

      RT @sunny_hundal Blog post:: 10 thoughts on what happens next http://bit.ly/9M8V3l


    5. One system to rule them all « Amused Cynicism

      [...] 2010-May-09 Discussing the Conservative - Lib Dem negotiations, Shariq at Pickled Politics says: 5) I think Nick Clegg is right to put electoral reform fourth on his list of priorities. A reform [...]




    1. badger — on 9th May, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

      Probably the most sensible set of comments I have read so far! We need more common sense and less posturing.

    2. Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice — on 9th May, 2010 at 12:22 pm  

      I think it would be a bit dumb for Nick clegg to even consider forming a coalition with Lab. Forming a con/lib coalition is the only way to go.

    3. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 1:58 pm  

      @1 Sensible to you, complacent to me. I think at the heart of the problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Tories - they are a long way from Labour ideologically and on social justice in particular. Jonathan Hari’s article in last week’s Independent said all you really need to know.

      http://www.johannhari.com/2010/05/05/welcome-to-cameron-land

      If the LDs prop up a Tory government, they will share a “moral responsibility” for all that happens next, and it will not be a minor divergence from New Lab I can assure you.

      Aligned with the Nats, the LDs and Lab could easily form a coalition, as they would under PR, which Clegg claimed to be in favour of. Yet it seems his toff ties are stronger than social justice.

      Brownie (of all people) blogged this well on HP - what we are seeing is a return of the Whigs, basically the party of the bourgeois. In the olden days it was just them and the Tories, the party of the landed gentry. Then Labour, the party of the workers (geddit?) came in to being and pushed them aside.

      I am proud (and, in truth, somewhat relieved) that when it came to it, I put my vote on Labour and chose the side of social justice. For all their “progressive” trappings my instincts were right, and the Lib Dems could not be trusted - so be it, when it comes to the next election the class lines will once again be firmly drawn, and I know which side I will be on.

    4. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 2:04 pm  

      Excellent points Shariq -

      Missed your posts on PP.

      I think Tory cuts on public spending would be more balanced with Lib Dem influence and I think public education would be a winner. The pupil premium is an attractive option and should not be put down as political posturing but a good public policy option that should be followed through.

      On the other hand, the Lib Dem eccentric policies on Defence, Europe and immigration would be muted with Tories at the helm.

      We need to tackle the deficit but we need to ensure that public services work - we need more powers to be devolved to local government while the central government ensuring that local government does not become spymasters on residents.

      This Labour Government has given spying powers and use anti-terrorism legislation to stop fly tipping and powers to everyone to snoop into one’s bank account.

      A progressive government would not have done it. So therefore, any chance of a progressive government led by Labour is simply unacceptable because of their record on civil liberties and command and control with targets from Whitehall.

      More importantly, the people of Britain rejected Gordon Brown and his cabal and the party he led has lost 89 seats - and although I am biased because I voted Tory for the first time, I believe Cameron has earned the right to attempt to govern.

      I don’t buy the Proportional Representation as put by the Lib Dems - because this is what happens when you have hung parliaments - not open transparent discussions but behind doors political manipulations including attempts by the losers to hang on to power.

      Final point, any coalition that involves SNP or Plaid would be bizzare - they want to break up the UK and you want to be in power with them just to shore up your own political fortunes. Jim Murphy would have much explaining to do to Scottish Labour party considering his party has to fight a Scottish parliament election next year against SNP. Imagine what concessions the crafty Mr, Salmond would want.

      Good post Shariq again.

    5. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 2:19 pm  

      Social justice is not a monopoly of labour - nor is it the monopoly of Lib Dems or the Tories. Since Clinton and Blair (yes those two) social justice has become a framework within which all modern political parties have to operate whether they like it or not.

      Social justice and supporting the most vulnerable in our society is undoubtedly a huge responsibility of everyone who aspires to political office however one must also pay attention to those who work hard, pay their taxes and want a living wage. Unfortunately, that part of the electorate liked Blair and not the Brown cabal and that almost deserted the labour party this time.

      Btw, if you run a business, and you hire someone and pay them 40K — how much do you think the Government takes from that 40K. the employee pays 40% + 12.5 % NI + Employer has to pay another 12.% which takes to almost 65%.

      Now, that is why the NI increase was so hated by the business people. On the other hand, lets have a progressive tax system where we do not stifle those who are earning between 20K - 70K (that is what has happened mostly in the recent times). Someone earning 10 Million should not mind paying extra 10 - 15% of taxes on incomes over 1 Million and some more on income over 5 Mill and so forth,.

      Cap Gains Taxes that has been proposed by Lib Dems would not hurt the investment bankers and the hedge funds it would hurt small businesses. So lets look at a true progressive tax system and not just go for populism which a lot of policies of Lib Dems look like.

    6. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 2:25 pm  

      Finally, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems share three key principles:

      1) Accountability

      2) Localism

      3) Individual Freedom

      And both the parties like to reject

      Bureaucratic Control - Centralised diktats - and erosion of individual freedom.

      So all those who argue about a progressive lib - lab alliance are not being very pragmatic.

    7. Sunny — on 9th May, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

      I disagree that how votes should be counted is not important.

      In fact it is likely to have the most far reaching impact of all, especially on how our political system works and what policies are pushed and how political parties benefit or lose out from it.

      Taxation and the rest can be pushed for afterwards. But if the Libdems don’t grab this chance now - it might not come again for another generation,

    8. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 3:05 pm  

      Shamit, the only thing you have established is that you’re a Tory. You probably didn’t read the link to the Hari article (or didn’t care) but here’s some exerts from a follow up I noticed on his site when I found the first.

      “Spending on public services has risen by 54 per cent since 1997, paid for by higher taxes. The result? Nobody is on a waiting list for more than 18 weeks – and the average wait is just a month. Nobody goes to school in buildings that are falling apart. Nobody can be legally paid less than £5.93 an hour. The poorest 10 per cent receive £1,700 in tax credits a year each – meaning their children get birthday parties and trips to the seaside, and parents who aren’t constantly panicked about how to buy food at the end of every week…

      “The Conservative Party opposed every one of these changes. Under them, all the horrors of the Labour years would have happened, plus some, without any of the progress. Even in an age of retrenchment caused by the global recession, the differences between the parties will matter – perhaps even more. Cameron has made his priorities plain: he will introduce a lottery-style £200,000 tax cut for the richest 3,000 estates in Britain, the people he knows best, while slashing his way through services for the rest. It’s a policy more extreme than anything Thatcher advertised in advance.

      “And it will worsen. Cameron says he wants to model his economic policies on Ireland’s, where the government has opposed any economic stimulus and introduced drastic and immediate cuts. As the economist Rob Brown explains, after they introduced this strategy, there began “an astonishing 15 per cent shrinkage in the Irish economy overall – the sharpest contraction experienced by any advanced industrial nation in peacetime”. Unemployment is close to the highest in Europe: Irish eyes are weeping at this full-colour reshoot of the 1930s headed our way…

      “The gap between Labour and the Conservatives is far too small, but a lot of people live and die in that gap. If you say this difference doesn’t matter, you are saying all these people whose lives have been changed since the sun rose over the Royal Festival Hall that morning in May don’t matter to you. You are saying to the call-centre worker paid five times more because of the minimum wage, the gay couple getting a civil partnership, or the old woman who doesn’t have to wait two years to be able to walk again – that difference in your life isn’t worth a cross in a box to me. ”

      http://www.johannhari.com/2010/05/05/what-do-we-lose-if-we-reject-labour

      What Labour have achieved is real progression, and the Tories hate them for it, not least because it makes people that little less afraid of falling ill or losing their job, because it makes them a little less afraid of their employer and, dare I say it, capitalism. That’s what they will now try their hardest to roll back, and the “irish-style” pain they will afflict on the most vulnerable will be part-and-parcel of it. You can just see George Osbourne and all his dreadful acolytes rubbing their hands in glee at how they will punish the “bloated” public sector, which as well as providing for the people has employed the people too and made them that less insecure and afraid of their capitalist masters.

      These are the people the “progressive” Lib Dems are cuddling up to, and that’s what all this guff re slashing red tape and localism actually means.

    9. KJB — on 9th May, 2010 at 3:11 pm  

      Anyone who wants to cheerlead for the Conservatives might want to read this:

      http://www.johannhari.com/2010/05/05/welcome-to-cameron-land

      (Whoops, Boyo posted it already! Never mind.)

    10. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 3:23 pm  

      I agree that the Labour party has made massive progress in government until 2007. And, I am no tory nor a labour party member nor a lib dem.

      I voted for tony blair each time and I supported the labour government and I was never against minimum wage and I was always for more investment in public services.

      I think the Labour government in its initial did the right thing by investing in public services and that was the right thing to do. However, they carried on by making the public sector too big and the 10 p tax was not progressive. The public sector is bloated and the front line services are being affected because of whitehall target control.

      I am not a Tory and neither a member of any political party and right now the numbers and the electorate have made it clear that they definitely don’t want a Labour government led by Gordon Brown.

      And I want quangos gone — and both Tories and Labour have been irresponsible about this. The growth of quangos take a huge chunk of public sector budget and most of it is not spent well.

      And, Gordon Brown cursed out Tony Blair when he went on National Television and pledged to invest in NHS as much as other European Countries. I liked the labour party under Blair but I do not like the Brown cabal. I like the Miliband brothers and people like Jim Murphy but can’t stand Ed Balls.

      I like Cameron and his instincts but I have no love for people like John Redwood. I like Nick Clegg, Vince Cable And Ashdown and Kennedy but I do not like quite a few Lib Dems.

      It does not make me a tory but an informed voter who likes to express his opinions.

      I believed in the minimum wage and actually I think London minimum wages should be higher than the rest of the country because poor people in London are squeezed the hardest. So before you attribute a particular label to someone think twice alright.

      And finally, history does not always define the future. Labour, after 1970s was considered incompetent and anti business and not trust worthy with the nation’s defence. Blair proved them wrong.

      Cameron is a different kind of tory - and i think he deserves a chance more than that back stabbing brown who put his own ambitions higher than the success of the government he served in under Blair. So good riddance to bad rubbish.

    11. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 3:29 pm  

      If the labour party had the guts to remove Brown and ensured Balls was not the next leader then many like me would have stayed with Labour.

    12. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 3:45 pm  

      Sunny

      I am not against bringing in electoral reform however, we have 650 elections and the winner of each election goes to the Parliament.

      And, going for a proportional system would be enabling political parties who can’t persuade people to vote for them in enough numbers an opportunity to serve in the legislature.

      That is my objection - just like I object to state funding of political parties because it only entrenches existing political parties. Why should we reward failure?

      Now, the Green win in Brighton (which I thought by the way was brilliant) was an example - a small party persuaded enough voters to look at them and give them an opportunity to be in the legislature. What is so wrong with it?

      On the other hand, I am all for Proportional representation in the House of Lords by party lists - that would ensure the House of lords is elected (at least the majority of them) and at the same time ensures the primacy of the house of commons.

      And I for one am not certain that I want to see the same horse trading after every election - where the voice of the electorate gets overwhelmed by political compulsions of political parties.

    13. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 9th May, 2010 at 4:01 pm  

      @7

      Something that’s pissed me off about all this Westminster village horseshit of the past few days is that people, children, will live or die on the basis of what happens, yet it’s being treated like a game of checkers. People really forget how bad things can get under the tories.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/poverty-by-a-thousand-cuts-1354214.html

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/rickets-tb-and-poor-nutrition-dickensian-diseases-return-to-haunt-todays-britain-1354173.html

      3) The Liberals can’t argue for proportional representation and then not want to form coalitions.

      I’ve seen a similar sentiment a lot over the past few days and perhaps I just misunderstand or am guilty of naivety. Surely under PR there wouldn’t be any ‘tories’ or ‘lib dems’ as we understand them now, there’d be smaller parties that actually represent people’s interests rather than parties being forced to erect massive tents and hoping they encompass ‘enough’ to get elected.

      Long story short - surely it’d be easier under PR for parties of any stripe to form a coalition, the spectrum would look more like a rainbow and less ‘red, yellow, blue’.

      5) I think Nick Clegg is right to put electoral reform fourth on his list of priorities. A reform of the economy, education and a fairer tax system are all more important than a change to how votes are counted.

      Surely the latter results in the former?

      Clegg is trying to play all sides, he doesn’t want to be seen to be grabbing at power at a ‘perilous’ time, unfortunately he’s sadly mistaken if he thinks voters are ever going to remember how magnanimous he was.

    14. Refresh — on 9th May, 2010 at 4:09 pm  

      Good posts Boyo. Hari is very good especially this striking comment:

      ‘The gap between Labour and the Conservatives is far too small, but a lot of people live and die in that gap.’

      Clegg will forever regret falling in with the Tories. There are substantial numbers who voted LibDem to keep the Tories out; and those tory supporters who were tempted by Clegg ran straight back into the arms of the Tories.

      And Clegg should think again about all the Tory newspapers who worked overtime to bring him down.

      Brown should work towards a coalition to include Plaid, SNP, Green and then watch Clegg dither.

      Stuff this ‘moral’ argument - when you have the mainstream media who went out of their way to bring Gordon Brown down, where then morality?

      And in the end has anybody yet pinned down what they didn’t like about Brown’s government? And I don’t mean the baggage left by the mendacious Blair.

      Cameron led a dispicable campaign, it led on personality - specifically Brown’s personality. And not on policy or substance.

      What does middle England want? A smirking clown or someone who is serious?

      As for the sodding deficit - think about where that money went. In areas which were seriously deprived in the previous 18 years of Tory rule. Wasted? No. Invested.

      For New Labour to achieve all they did, they bribed middle England by giving them a huge range of public sector jobs especially as consultants in every sphere of the economy. Do not think the regional development agencies are run and services they deliver resulted mainly in jobs for natural labour supporters.

      Let Cameron run a minority administration. But if Clegg joins him in a pact, the Lib Dems are finished.

    15. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 5:11 pm  

      I think Cameron is a really nasty piece of work. I found it absolutely outrageous how during the debates he would say things like GB should be “ashamed” of scaremongering for example, when the Tories had done little else over a hung parliament or the economy (backed up by their Fleet Street kennel).

      There has been little or no analysis of what the Tories will actually do, we can only judge them by the likes of Hari’s article, and I thought the real Cameron came through when a woman facing losing her home or some such who complained to him on a walkabout was told “well if you don’t like it, you can stand for election, can’t you.” The sneering swine - as if we all had the advantages of him and his ilk. As Paxman (hardly a lefty) said after their interview “smooth bastard”.

    16. chairwoman — on 9th May, 2010 at 5:35 pm  

      They’re going to ‘save’ us back into recession.

      And that’s not a joke.

    17. AbandonedTracks — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:13 pm  

      With regard to 4; the economy probably should be a priority, but I think something concrete on electoral reform is vital for the LibDems. Just imagine the hypothetical scenario of a relatively successful LibCon coalition and increased support for the Tories. It is possible that the Tories could come away with a stronger mandate under FPTP if there is a quick election.
      Unfortunately I don’t see the Tories offering much.
      With 8, Brown does have to go for the sake of the Labour party, they need to have a good look at themselves and Brown clinging on could further damage the party.
      And 10, I think Clarke counted himself out a long time ago, he’s knocking on a bit. Well, he’s got a few years on Cable…

    18. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:32 pm  

      “The poorest 10 per cent receive £1,700 in tax credits a year each – meaning their children get birthday parties and trips to the seaside, and parents who aren’t constantly panicked about how to buy food at the end of every week…”

      They should not be paying taxes anyway and did not until Gordon Brown brought in the 10 p tax rate - and then after he taxes them, he wants to return some of that money through tax credits - in the process creating a huge bureaucracy. Now that’s not social justice.

      The poorest in our society must be supported and not only provided a safety net but a ladder so that each of them have an opportunity to grow. Government must be a force for good and anyone denying that is foolish and idiotic - anyone who thinks that the Cameron government with Lib dems is going to be against the very poor are not being genuine.

      Now, we have failed in child poverty targets not because the Government or opposition was against it and not because of lack of resources. And, I don’t think Cameron and Lib Dem would do anything otherwise.

      So, again Social justice is not the monopoly of the Labour party.

    19. Ravi.Nk — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:37 pm  

      And, going for a proportional system would be enabling political parties who can’t persuade people to vote for them in enough numbers an opportunity to serve in the legislature.

      How exactly does Nick Clegg’s proportional system works? From what I’ve read here and elsewhere, MPs would be selected based on the proportion of the votes their party gets nationally.

      This would mean that the BNP would get 12 MPs because they got 1.9% of the national vote. But what 12 constituencies are they suppose to represent if their support in any constituency is extremely low?

    20. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:41 pm  

      “anyone who thinks that the Cameron government with Lib dems is going to be against the very poor are not being genuine.”

      I think you are deluding yourself, frankly. All the evidence suggests otherwise.

    21. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:43 pm  

      i have to say that i was a bit of a fan for PR, but my naive assumption had been that the Liberals would tend to vote with Labour. Seeing a form of the reality has been a bit of a wake up call - after all there is no reason why the Liberals should act otherwise under PR.

    22. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:45 pm  

      Mind you, at least by then the people who voted for them would know what their getting, so comparatively speaking I would image much of their vote would either go “home” to Labour or to the Greens. The Lib Dems will just become a fringe party like, the “trendy” end of the Tories, if you like.

    23. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

      Seeing how they’re currently acting, I would guess they’d already done themselves considerable damage, whether they deal with the Tories or not. No one in the future will seriously vote for the Lib Dems with the intention of “keeping the Tories out”. They’re already finished.

    24. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 6:50 pm  

      E finalmente, who would have thought this would have been the result?! A reinvigorated Labour Party, the end of the Lib Dems, and a possible PR future with a Green-Labour coalition. Sounds very Euro, doesn’t it.

    25. Ravi.Nk — on 9th May, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

      They’re already finished.

      Didn’t you say that GB was finished because of bigot-gate? :)

    26. boyo — on 9th May, 2010 at 7:38 pm  

      He is! Only he doesn’t realise it yet, like a ghost.

    27. Ravi.Nk — on 9th May, 2010 at 8:05 pm  

      He is! Only he doesn’t realise it yet, like a ghost.

      But not because of that incident, wouldn’t you say?

    28. Refresh — on 9th May, 2010 at 8:06 pm  

      Cleggs machinations reminds me of how the Social Democrats & Liberals clubbed together to ‘prepare for government’ only ending up keeping Thatcher in power long enough to irrevocably damage the country. And we are still on the path to recovery.

      Cameron’s DIY society will be more of the same. We’ve all been there, when we all had to club together just to survive the ravages of Tory abuse.

      Clegg had better wake up. He is now only useful for one thing - to deliver PR.

    29. Refresh — on 9th May, 2010 at 8:13 pm  

      Anyway, does anyone know where I can get a ‘Step outside posh boy!’ T-shirt?

      I’ve sat on my hands long enough, my anti-Tory campaign starts today.

    30. Shamit — on 9th May, 2010 at 8:19 pm  

      “I think you are deluding yourself, frankly. All the evidence suggests otherwise.”

      What evidence - they are not in Government yet?

    31. Joseph — on 9th May, 2010 at 10:01 pm  

      Clegg should stop sitting on his arse and pandering to Tory nonsense. Had all this hysteria about the libdems being the deal breakers in a hung parliament not been present we would ALL have said that the libs are much more akin to labour, regardless of the intricacies of policy differences. Only because the tories have won the greatest share of seats and trumped Labour are we now considering the prospect of a LibCon government. Its as if we are assuming that the conservatives should be included by default.

      Lets not forget that a great share of Lib dem votes came from disaffected labour voters (not Tory- discourse suggests that Tory voters were traditionally always Tory or rather fresh new ones)- however many who didn’t like Brown shifted to Lib dem and this is evident from the constituencies where significant swings occurred.

      Yes labour didn’t have an incredible tenure (towards the end) but this seems to be by and large a result of our abysmal global ‘conquests’ and a by-product of the recent recession. Brown should be held accountable and the decent thing to do would be to delegate a suitable replacement, simultaneously the Lib dems should seek engagement with labour. It seems to be the most logical way forward.

      http://www.curiousjoseph.com

    32. shariq — on 9th May, 2010 at 10:14 pm  

      The Johann Hari article is excellent. However there are some practical issues to consider. Firstly, I think in more than half the Lib Dem seats, the Tories are in second place so its wrong to assume there is a clear cut progressive mandate, even assuming that Labour is progressive. If there was a Lib/Lab coalition, or even a Tory minority govt, its possible that in the next election, people like Chris Huhme lose their seats.

      In terms of economics, we can’t exactly criticise a lot of the growth under Labour as being a mirage created by the banks, and then justify the levels of spending which were funded by increased tax revenue.

      Everyone agrees that cuts need to be made, so the Tories being in power isn’t as big of a deal. One issue is whether cuts need to be early, or we need to ensure the recovery first. America is large enough to fund a large deficit without causing panic, while Greece clearly isn’t. I think the UK is in between and its not clear exactly which side we trend towards. Probably the US, but its not clear cut.

      Another issue is which departments cuts are made in. I actually don’t like the tory idea of just protecting the NHS. I think the Lib Dems were much more realistic in saying that they didn’t want to ringfence any one department.

      Let me say that the reason I didn’t vote tory is because I think they would generally raise revenue by increasing regressive taxation, rather than progressive taxation and make more cuts than necessary.

      However, given the results of the election a Tory/Lib coalition seems fairest.

    33. Chris Baldwin — on 9th May, 2010 at 11:44 pm  

      A Conservative government is always and forever a bad thing.

    34. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 12:33 am  

      Greece and UK have another fundamental difference -that of being able to control monetary policy. Strictly on economics, today we had the EU finance ministers pretty much agreeing to create a 500 billion EUR stabilisation fund to protect the Euro.

      Also today, Vince Cable is reported to have said following briefings from the Treasury, that our books are in worse position than expected and the crisis of confidence could expand from the Euro zone into the UK.

      IFS, in its pre election analysis had suggested that Tories are looking for a 57 Billion cut in the life of this new parliament, while Lib Dems would reduce spending by 51 Billion and Labour was supposed to reduce spending by 47 billion - while Tories were expected to raise 17 billion in new taxes - Lib Dems 20 billion and the Labour party 27 billion. Not much difference in the bigger scheme of things.

      full details here: http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/35987

      However, with the wind of debt crisis affecting us, and the structural deficit in worse position than expected, it is important for the new Government to tackle this fiscal crisis asap.

      SNP, who believes in strong public sector and does not believe in any cuts, on Friday declared a freeze on senior public sector pay and most likely would have to raise some form of taxation (within the 3% allowed) to balance books in Scotland. Wales & N. Ireland are not fairing much better either.

      So cuts are inevitable and interestingly none of the parties provided much details on where the cuts would come from and/or where the taxes would be raised. And a lib Con coalition or Tory minority Gov with outside support from Lib Dems might just balance out the extremes as I would hope.

      Interesting argument from Shariq about Tories being regressive on taxation. In my opinion, the two most regressive taxes in our country, are the fuel duty and the VAT which hurt the poorest sections of our society the disproportionately. Even when the VAT was reduced during 2008 - the poor benefited the least while the rich benefited the most.

      An SUV which costs say 60,000 quid - a 2% reduction in VAT would net a person 1200 quid - a poorer person buying a school uniform for their child say 30 quid would not be getting a 60p reduction. I don’t know about you but 60p does not buy much.

      So that was regressive. As has been the increases in fuel duty over the years especially for trades people and others who need a vehicle to earn their living. That was regressive too.

      On the other hand, the Labour government refused to bring in a TOBIN Tax which both Lib Dems and the Tories support irrespective of what happens outside and are most likely to bring in as law. On the other hand, the Labour Government refused to act on it until there was an international agreement - guess what President Obama did not think twice to bring in wide ranging reform proposals for the Wall Street as soon as the Health care legislation was passed.

      So, regressive taxes again not a monopoly of Tories are they?

    35. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 12:35 am  

      On public sector spending, I do not think anyone can predict how the new Government would look to cut spending except in the obvious places such as no one in local and or Central Government can earn more than the PM.

      Freeze public sector pay and try to reform the public sector pensions which drain our finances and also cut in bureaucracy. But efficiency savings alone would not be sufficient so either in the next 2 years we need excellent growth over 3% per anum or we need cuts.

      Where would you cut funding especially when we are still fighting a war?

    36. Vikrant — on 10th May, 2010 at 4:04 am  

      Cameron’s DIY society will be more of the same. We’ve all been there, when we all had to club together just to survive the ravages of Tory abuse.

      It sounds like an obvious idea to me, especially given that we have been in an economic decline for a long time. We can’t sustain the welfare system. Its not the states job to mollycoddle anyways!

      I like the Miliband brothers and people like Jim Murphy but can’t stand Ed Balls.

      Really Shamit? That sanctimonious idiot David Milliband?

    37. boyo — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:15 am  

      Shamit, re evidence, well why not read the first Hari article I mentioned. Also, the Tories are big on rhetoric and low on delivery - they champion the family, for eg, but the broad expectation is, in the name of “localism” they will get rid of all ring-fenced budgets that go to local authorities at the same time as slashing their grants by 20 per cent because of the recession. That will see all the family-targeted initiatives (most of which I suspect you will never have heard of) go to the wall.

      Another piece of spin is targets. They’ll remove targets from the NHS, thereby “freeing” it. Actually, this will also serve the purpose of obscuring NHS failures re delivery which will inevitably take place as they drain it of resources. But like I said earlier, no one has interrogated their policies, and few seem to care.

    38. boyo — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:25 am  

      On the issue of a “mandate” - 37 per cent voted Tory, 52 per cent Lab-Lib.

      I find it depressing to read some of the comments here because they are ill-informed. What is “bureaucracy”, for example? I live in Italy and believe me I can tell you about that. In many ways Italy represents the nightmare Cameron portrays, not England, and actually even here it’s not really so bad.

      I work in England however so I see both sides, and I have public and private sector clients. The public sector is what has stabilised the economy and ensured a smooth landing - begin slashing it and that’s where you get your double-dip because (as the really intelligent retailers like Tesco understood, hence their refusal to be drawn) these are the people who use the private sector. Tra-ra!

      It’s said it is not the role of the state to provide jobs etc. Well, that’s a viewpoint. But it depends what kind of state you envisage - the less equal it is, the less of a public sector there is as a rule.

    39. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 8:20 am  

      How does the state create wealth? Without creating wealth, how can it create jobs except for taxation?

      Is it the job of the state to create wealth?

      No one is denying the need for a public sector however, when the public sector becomes 52% of your GDP you have a problem.

      “That will see all the family-targeted initiatives (most of which I suspect you will never have heard of) go to the wall. ”

      Did you look at egov monitor?Our audience is the public sector dude - so calm down on what I know or don’t know

    40. Boyo — on 10th May, 2010 at 8:46 am  

      “No one is denying the need for a public sector however, when the public sector becomes 52% of your GDP you have a problem.”

      That’s arguable, surely. What is the proportion of public sector in France for example.

      “Did you look at egov monitor?Our audience is the public sector dude – so calm down on what I know or don’t know”

      Dude, fair point ;-)

    41. cjcjc — on 10th May, 2010 at 9:53 am  

      Hope those of you who support PR are enjoying this, as this is what would happen after every election…

    42. boyo — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:14 am  

      You do have a point, but actually is that so bad? I quite enjoy the spectacle of politicians being humbled.

    43. cjcjc — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:19 am  

      Is that so bad?
      Well, you tell us as you live in Italy!!

    44. boyo — on 10th May, 2010 at 11:07 am  

      Brownie’s article at HP is good on this.

      http://hurryupharry.org/2010/05/10/your-whig-is-showing/

    45. tory — on 10th May, 2010 at 2:32 pm  

      The biggest loser of all this uncertainty is the case for PR. It only ever had any support because of a rather naive view that anything was better than FPTP. Electoral reform is a dead issue away from the pages of the Guardian and blogword. There is no mandate for electoral reform because the only party promising PR finished a poor third.

      Guardianistas like Sunny only now support PR because they want to stop the party that won the election forming a government. Its pure Banana Republic stuff and Labour men like Atlee would be shocked at the way New Labourites are willing to whore away the partys principles in a desperate bid to cling to power.

    46. Refresh — on 10th May, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

      tory,

      No political party won the election. They ALL lost.

      Only ones to win were the electorate. Cameron should get off this ‘moral’ high horse.

      Its not his to ride!

    47. Don — on 10th May, 2010 at 6:52 pm  

      Nobody got a mandate, now we have to hope for a least-worse scenario although I’m not sure what that would look like.

      My heart says a Lab/LibDem accommodation with real progress on voting reform. My head can do the arithmetic. Theoretically possible, but a seriously difficult balancing act to carry off for a couple of years. Progressive Alliance sounds good, but it would surely be a hostage to too many minority special interests.

      The worst case scenario would be the LibDems propping up the Tories (and losing a hell of a lot of grass root support as well as blowing any chance of being seen as reliable partners in any progressive movement). It seems Clegg has drawn back from that but at least he can say he gave Cameron a chance to come up with a deal. If he couldn’t or wouldn’t make adequate concessions on reform Clegg can reasonably look elsewhere.

      The Tories got most seats and votes, but not a mandate. The best they could ask was for constitutional convention to be suspended to give them first shot at carrying parliament. They got that and couldn’t do it. (So far, touch wood. And I ain’t even superstitious.)

      Six months - even six weeks - ago I was anticipating a Tory landslide. Now it looks likely that Cameron will not make it to Number Ten. If he doesn’t his party will eat him, it’s what they do. They are already preparing the marinade.

    48. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:10 pm  

      Nick Clegg overplayed his hand today and he did not expect Gordon Brown to go out and announce that formal talks with Lib Dems. And he resigned. A brilliant political move. I am no fan of Gordon Brown but now Nick Clegg is looking like he was playing both sides.

      Secondly, a deal with the nationalists who want to break up the UK to govern the UK seems like a bit idiotic and would have backlash. And they need the nationalists without whom the numbers are not there.

      Thirdly, the Conservatives have made their final offer and now Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are the only ones looking like they don’t give a shit about the national interest but their own political interest. Now, if they vote down a Tory minority Government we would have an election but Nick Clegg and his party are looking like prats.

      Fourth, whether we like it or not, the Tories are looking like the most mature party - they have not reacted to Gordon Brown resignation and neither have they said anything about the Lib Dems. And we would most likely have an election and don’t be surprised if Nick Clegg and his party gets wiped out in this election.

      Five, AV is the best Tories are going to give and that too only for a referendum. So, Nick Clegg and his party turned their advantage and the “people’s” favourite to becoming the political screw ups.

    49. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:12 pm  

      Don - don’t be too sure = with Nick Clegg and his party looking like backstabbers and dodgy - Cameron would now get the entire Tory party behind him. His MPs are now squarely behind him including those on the far right such as Redwood.

      Cameron has come out of this entire episode as the most responsible leader so did Brown and Clegg is looking like prats.

    50. Ravi.Nk — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:26 pm  

      Don – don’t be too sure = with Nick Clegg and his party looking like backstabbers… Brown and Clegg is looking like a prat.

      Oh, let’s not make heroes and villains out of those three - they are neither. Cameron must be truly naive if he thought Clegg would not want to know what Labour has to offer.

    51. Kulvinder — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:27 pm  

      Are the Lib Dems actually capable of making any decisive decisions? Fate has given them the opportunity to get everything they’ve ever wanted and they’re just flapping around like…like libdems

      In the words of Malcolm Tucker

      Clegg doesn’t know whether to shit or have a haircut.

    52. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 7:41 pm  

      Ravi -

      Labour does not have the numbers they would have to depend upon Alex Salmond and Plaid to deliver a government. You want to govern UK with the help of the people who want to break it up and also ensure ring fenced funding for Scotland and Wales while England faces cuts.

      So going to Labour means putting together a losers’ coalition - Clegg went to Labour to squeeze Tories but Gordon Brown called his bluff and now he is looking like a prat.

    53. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 8:03 pm  

      Finally, labour party has offered Mr. Pratt a poisoned chalice - voting reform without a referendum. So Lib Dems only like to listen to people when they agree with them.

      And also how is that in the national interest? But it is in the Lib dem interest and also that would ensure Lib Dems continue to hold this power over national destiny. So they fail to persuade people in constituencies - we have 650 elections and the winner of those go to parliament and so want to get in parliament through the back door.

      Talk about overplaying their hand and completely out of depth in real world serious politics - and he was completely caught off guard with Brown announcement.

      So now he has to go to the Tories - if he doesn’t they will brand him not wanting the people’s verdict - if he does then Labour would say not serious and against progressive values.

      I am actually feeling bad for Nick Clegg now.

    54. Don — on 10th May, 2010 at 9:38 pm  

      Shamit,

      You could be right (although the prat meme is getting a little tired) or I could be right, or more likely both of us could be wrong.

      I don’t see how anyone could be caught off guard by the announcement that Brown doesn’t see himself as PM or party leader by the autumn.

      Backstabbers? To a few conservatives maybe. Who cares? Pretty soon it will leak out what was asked for and what was offered. A deal could not be reached. I hope it was on points of principle, because there are gaps there that I couldn’t see being bridged.

    55. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 9:59 pm  

      Don -

      Apologies for the pratt bit - but whenever a politician sets himself/herself up as “holier than thou” and talks about a new kind of politics and transparency - and keeps on going about national interest but then acts or is forced to act in the most tribal manner possible then you are most likely to term them something which is not very nice.

      And unfortunately, Mr. Clegg has been forced into a situation by his party where he can’t really accept any deals and he would be blamed for the failure sooner or later.

      Especially since, yesterday, Lord Ashdown (a Lib Dem giant) went on TV to praise the Conservatives on their flexibility and openness and their genuine attempt to work with Lib Dems and he went so far as saying David Cameron has shown “considerable degree of leadership”.

      And Michael Gove went on TV to say he would stand aside for David Laws in the cabinet and what I heard from both sides - (and I know a few people on both) - it seemed Lib Dems were happy to take it to the MPs and Nick Clegg had the backing of the shadow cabinet to do so.

      At the same time, while the entire nation knew that Lib Dems and Tories were talking Mr. Clegg and his party went on secret negotiations with the Labour party. What would you have called them? Nothing nice I presume. But the Tory leadership has kept mum about all the developments today - they just made a final offer which traps Mr. Clegg.

      On one hand you have the Labour party which is saying we will create the rainbow coalition (which by the way Labour die hards don’t like and many MPs feel that is disrespecting the electorate) and force the voting reform on the public - on the other hand, they got pretty much everything they wanted with the Tories and now they have a promise for referendum on AV.

      Mr. Clegg is not a prat, by any means, but his party’s stance is making him look like that and to be honest rather irresponsible which I am sure Nick Clegg is not.

      I like Nick Clegg - he even wrote for us when he just got into parliament and I liked him since then. But his party is acting bizzare and whichever way you look at it - if there is a rainbow coalition, Gordon brown remains PM and Labour remains the primary power in Government.

      As Dianne Abbott has said today (btw, I hardly ever agree with her) “elections have consequences and lets accept the verdict that we have lost” -

      The deals are pretty much already known - may not be exact wording but text messages and emails have been flying around all day. Btw, even until 1 pm today, Lib Dem press office was saying that they have no information that secret negotiations between Lib dems and Labour was going on. When pressed they said - no one has briefed them yet but Nick Clegg has met with the PM.

      What does that tell you?

    56. Don — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:06 pm  

      At the same time, while the entire nation knew that Lib Dems and Tories were talking Mr. Clegg and his party went on secret negotiations with the Labour party. What would you have called them? Nothing nice I presume.

      I dunno. Is ‘pragmatic’ a nice word?

    57. Don — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:20 pm  

      if there is a rainbow coalition, Gordon brown remains PM …

      For a few weeks. He’s effectively resigned and is asking for a little dignity to go out on.

      Dianne Abbott said ‘we’ lost. I suspect she was talking about the Labour party. Which they did. But the Tories didn’t win and the rest of us have not yet lost.

      Actually, I’m a bit concerned that ‘We have not yet lost’ is the best slogan I can come up with.

    58. Refresh — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:29 pm  

      I have to say the biggest disappointment in all this was Mr Clegg playing the populist, and wanting Brown’s head before he would talk. It was stupid, stupid, stupid.

      Believe me there was no great push to get Brown - and the results showed it.

      The LibDems made a huge mistake wanting to ride the Murdoch wave. I am so cheesed of with the manner of Brown’s going, I just dare not type.

      Even now no one has explained to me (or to anyone I can think of), what it was that made Brown so disliked - apart from being the man that kept Cameron out. Perhaps it was because he is a Scot, a bit like the way the handled Neil Kinnock.

      Calling Neil Kinnock a welsh windbag was the equivalent to what has gone on in this election.

      Perhaps we should see what Kinnock’s windbaggery was really about.

    59. Refresh — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:33 pm  

      ‘Neil Kinnock’s speech in Bridgend, Glamorgan, on 7 June 1983, rates as one of the finest speeches ever made in British politics:

      If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as prime minister on Thursday, I warn you.

      I warn you that you will have pain–when healing and relief depend upon payment.

      I warn you that you will have ignorance–when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.

      I warn you that you will have poverty–when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.

      I warn you that you will be cold–when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

      I warn you that you must not expect work–when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.

      I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light.

      I warn you that you will be quiet–when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.

      I warn you that you will have defence of a sort–with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding.

      I warn you that you will be home-bound–when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up.

      I warn you that you will borrow less–when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

      If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday–

      - I warn you not to be ordinary

      - I warn you not to be young

      - I warn you not to fall ill

      - I warn you not to get old. ‘

      http://www.owen.org/blog/326

    60. Shamit — on 10th May, 2010 at 10:51 pm  

      Now I am going to say really something unpopular -

      Well the country wants a PM like Blair - otherwise neither Cameron nor Clegg would have come so far. That is exactly why their parties elected them and both of them made some changes to their party’s thinking.

      Interestingly, Cameron is left of the party’s core right wing and Clegg is right of the party’s core left leaning group.

      And, the way Brown and his cabal ie Balls, Ed Miliband forced out Blair and their complete sense of Brown’s and his cabal’s entitelement - that particular sentiment and how they forced Blair out, got a kicking this election. The reason Blair won not once not twice but thrice and the third time most of the media was against him was because he could take the floating middle of the road voters with him.

      This time the Labour party got its core vote and no matter how much people want to deride Mandelson and Campbell - they know how to run election campaigns and guess what they pulled Labour from the abyss; but brown got a kicking from the middle of the road voters in England. Its got nothing to do with him being Scottish - its got everything to do with their behaviour and their sense of entitlement without winning a single election.

      Leaders need to be able to make decisions - sometime grossly unpopular - and on that front Nick Clegg is losing the battle to Cameron. Cameron, despite his party’s resentment made a broad sweeping offer to the Lib Dems which the shadow cabinet was quite happy with but Clegg could not deliver his party.

      Blair put his own job on the line many times and he won - people like winners and people like decisive leaders. Today, a lot of people would suddenly gain sympathy for Brown and at the same time, the middle of the road voters, the real King makers probably have lost a bit of respect for Mr. Clegg.

      We might all deride Thatcher - but she was decisive and pulled the country back from chaos and anyone who denies it is a fool. Yes she screwed up on other things but when she first became PM, the country was almost ungovernable. And she put her career on the line and the country on the line with the Unions and she won and whether we like it or not the fact is the country is better for it.

      Now, I better get padded up because the brick bats would come surely.

      This is fun.

    61. Refresh — on 10th May, 2010 at 11:07 pm  

      No brick bats from me. You can put the helmet and cod piece away.

      You are just plain wrong.

      How many wars since and including Thatcher?

      How many industries closed and jobs lost?

      How many communities decimated?

      How much ground lost on community cohesion?

      How many lives pushed into a cul-de-sac?

      How many potential brain surgeons and space scientists ended up serving fast foods?

      You know little of what you speak.

    62. Kismet Hardy — on 11th May, 2010 at 2:41 am  

      The next election will be in front of a live audience with a phone vote. The candidates will be given a series of tasks by bruce forsythe. It’s the future

    63. Kismet Hardy — on 11th May, 2010 at 12:01 pm  

      Crikey. I’ve just found out from facebook that we have no government. I expected you lot to tell me. Shame on you and your obsession with that fat griffin bloke from Family Guy. Anyhoo, no government. Does that mean I am an anti-chrrrrist? I am an anarchist? Does it? Can I piss on the gates of buckingham palace?

    64. Kulvinder — on 11th May, 2010 at 9:55 pm  

      I for one welcome sunny and don in this pact with the devil; had that soiled, greasy and dazed feeling yet? a bit like when you’ve been awake for over 24hrs without sleeping or washing?

      s’ok you’ll get used to it, well ok you won’t, and you’ll be embarrassed to say who you voted or campaigned for, but look on the bright side the markets approve

    65. Vikrant — on 11th May, 2010 at 10:30 pm  

      Neil Kinnock’s speech in Bridgend, Glamorgan, on 7 June 1983, rates as one of the finest speeches ever made in British politics:

      Seems a bit over the top if anything, given that we experienced Lawson boom in mid to late 1980′s…

    66. Kulvinder — on 11th May, 2010 at 10:54 pm  

      nb anyone know what happened to the fox hunting bill? afaik cameron had to offer it being overturned to satisfy the tory right; so what happens now?

    67. KJB — on 11th May, 2010 at 11:23 pm  

      s’ok you’ll get used to it, well ok you won’t, and you’ll be embarrassed to say who you voted or campaigned for, but look on the bright side the markets approve

      Ironically, that is almost exactly what my current FB status is…

    68. Shamit — on 12th May, 2010 at 2:42 am  

      I hate to say this but all those who have been telling me I don’t know what I am talking about - News Flash the exact points I had mentioned in 48 & 55 seem to be holding true.

      And especially if you listened to any one of the radio phone in programmes this afternoon - Nick Clegg is not trusted anymore and any time he says new politics he sounds like a true hypocrite.

      Gordon Brown looks like a statesman, and while I am no fan, he acted gracefully and so did the Labour party by accepting defeat. Also rejecting the SNP deal was the right thing to do politically as well as for the nation. (I mentioned that too in my points)

      And Gordon Brown’s masterclass was calling Clegg’s bluff on Monday.

      Cameron and Tories come out of this looking magnanimous and responsible - While Nick Clegg, and more than him, his party looks irresponsible & machiavellian - holding the nation hostage with only 9% of MPs and 23% of the vote and btw lib dems killed any chance of any electoral reform in a generation by acting like fools.

      I want this coalition to work and I think it would work but I think Liberal Democrats overplaying their own hand have started penning their own political obituary by entrenching the two party system.

      Three weeks from nation’s hope to national joke - all because he and his party reneged on a promise to act differently. They acted dishonourably and when you talk about old politics - it does not get any older than that.

      And Cameron, I believe would be a good Prime Minister - if all the other things came true then may be this prediction of mine would come true as well, I hope.

      Maybe I lack the sharp and insightful intellect like those who have been questioning mine - but I tend to open my mouth when I know what I am talking about unlike some others.

    69. shariq — on 12th May, 2010 at 7:16 am  

      Shamit, I don’t see any problems in how Clegg acted. His party would have revolted if they hadn’t even explored a coalition with Labour. That would have been seen as being anti-democratic and Clegg simply doing backroom deals for his own power.

      Going through that option seems like it also got the Lib Dems a referendum on alternative voting which I support.

      There seems to be a meme that the Lib Dems have just held the conservatives to ransom and its their manifesto which is going to be implemented. The majority of policies are still going to be conservative - the majority of cabinet posts including most of the key ones are still conservative.

      I don’t have a problem with that because the tories did get most seats and votes. But I also don’t think the lib dem reppresentation is out of sync with the share of the popular vote that they got. I do agree that Cameron came across well. Let’s see what happens next.

    70. Shamit — on 12th May, 2010 at 8:48 am  

      I agree with many of the policies that the Tories have accepted from the Lib Dems. I do not mind them having ministerial seats - what I do mind is the way he spoke to labour in secret?

      If he told David Cameron and the Tories that listen the party would want me to speak with the Labour Party no one in the Tories or the public would have had any problems. But the way he and his party did it was duplicitious.

      And trying to play both sides - many tories, many labour members have voiced out exactly the same opinion as mine as did the public. It is not new politics.

      Nick Clegg probably did not want to do it, I am happy to give him the benefit of doubt, but his party did act irresponsibly and why should the public trust them about their so called New politics?

    71. Kismet Hardy — on 12th May, 2010 at 11:14 am  

      Go Cameron! Glade festival cancelled. Let’s have some more Section 82 law and order. And god bless him for being backed by such free-thinking folk like Philippa Stroud…

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/02/conservatives-philippa-stroud-gay-cure?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    72. Ravi Naik — on 12th May, 2010 at 11:37 am  

      Nick Clegg probably did not want to do it, I am happy to give him the benefit of doubt, but his party did act irresponsibly and why should the public trust them about their so called New politics?

      Shamit, you can operate under your own assumptions. But the truth of the matter is that Nick Clegg was not under any obligation to form a coalition government with Cameron. If anything, his loyalty should be with his MPs and LibDem voters who most likely would never vote Conservative. The fact is that after 13 years of Labour, the public did not award Mr. Cameron a majority government, and no one should expect otherwise.

      I thought Brown, Clegg and Cameron came quite well in all of this. Brown had a graceful exit, and Clegg and Cameron came out with a coalition in a very short amount of time. To me that’s the narrative of this election. We wait to see what comes next.

    73. MaidMarian — on 12th May, 2010 at 11:57 am  

      Ravi Naik - Spot on. I am amazed at how many people have bought into this idea that the vote was somehow ‘unclear.’ The public voted for a minority Conservative government, there is no confusion.

      Where Clegg (and Cable, who seems to have gone very quiet) have their loyalties is for them to take up with the people who voted for them. They now have an opportunity to perform in government, and be accountable like it.

      The more interesting question is where the likely flashpoints between the Lib Dem ministers and the Conservative base will be - my guess is the environment.

    74. Kulvinder — on 12th May, 2010 at 2:32 pm  

      haha watching the news conference; they’ll soon come to blows in trying to ‘out statesman’ one another. Its going to be like a perpetual leaders debate.

    75. Kulvinder — on 12th May, 2010 at 2:36 pm  

      tbh this is like a pendu arranged marriage, the press are the inlaws and the new couple are being presented for everyone to question having barely met or talked before. Just break out the laddus.

    76. Refresh — on 12th May, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

      Break out the lattis I say. This sort of the promiscuity should not be tolerated.

    77. Kulvinder — on 12th May, 2010 at 4:52 pm  

      Steve Bell’s cartoon is inspired; that phrase has become my pet hate every election. Also reminds me of this.

    78. Shamit — on 12th May, 2010 at 5:31 pm  

      Their ultimate loyalty should be to the nation and deliver a stable government - that’s what Nick Clegg has been saying all along and I happen to agree.

      The numbers with Labour was never there and joining nationalists in UK Government is simply not an option for any political party.

      But anyways thats gone. As I have said before I like Cameron and I like Clegg as well. I like the agreement they put out and I think this government can do well. I sure am hoping so.

      It is Cameron’s Government just like the German Government is Merkel and I hope Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems realise that and work with the Conservatives and not overplay their hands.

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