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What unites Cameron and Clegg

Nick Robinson | 13:10 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Nerve.

That is what distinguishes those politicians who shape events from those who end up shaped by them.

David Cameron and Nick CleggIt was vast reserves of nerve which allowed both David Cameron and Nick Clegg to run for, and win, their parties' leadership against far more experienced opponents; which allowed them to take on their parties and challenge some of their long-held assumptions and which yesterday led them to take a huge jump into the political dark.

It was - as Danny Finkelstein has written in The Times - a far bigger call for them than Tony Blair's much hyped decision to scrap Clause Four.

In the early hours of election day I sat at the back of David Cameron's campaign bus with the Tory leader as he began a long night of campaigning. The polls and the pundits were predicting a hung Parliament but he'd been told by his campaign team that he would get a majority and appeared to believe them.

Twenty-four hours later came the early signs that that prediction was wrong. Twenty-four hours after that, despite exhaustion, disappointment and confusion about the way ahead, the Tory leader made a decision to go for broke - offering the Liberal Democrats a full-blown coalition and ignoring most in his party who were calling on him to govern as a minority. Many thought that he was just going through the motions; even his close allies, and perhaps Mr Cameron himself, thought the Lib Dems would not have the stomach to take up his offer.

In that election week I also had the chance to chat at length to Nick Clegg. Though he was a sceptic about so-called Clegg-mania and fearful of the classic pre-polling day two-party squeeze he clearly believed that the only way for him and his party was up.

When he too faced the grinding disappointment of losing not gaining seats he had the clear-headedness to focus on the opportunity which presented itself. And also to ignore the cries of betrayal of those who'd assumed that he'd not meant what he said when, prior to the election, he said that the party with most seats and/or votes would have a mandate to seek to govern.

The result of Cameron and Clegg's nerve is a deal that still has many scratching their heads or angrily denouncing them.

What they ignore is what unites them. They are both bright, confident public-school-educated young men who are surrounded by others like them.

Cameron is the first socially liberal Tory leader in a long time and Clegg the first economically liberal leader of the Lib Dems. Though there is much that divides them there is a great deal on which they agree. Both regard parts of their own party with disdain.

There is one last thing that our new prime minister and his deputy share - a desire for power.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Well put Nick R.
    Though bold and brave would also have been aposite.

    Fortes fortuna adiuvat - Fortune favours the brave.

    They certainly have both been brave - let us hope they are fortunate.



  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Two great blokes who will do a great job. Forget it, doubters, the country is on the up again - not before time !

  • Comment number 4.

    Did our new Foreign Secretary really use the word 'slavish' when referring to his Government's relationship with the Obama administration?

  • Comment number 5.

    Fair comment Nick. We shall see, shall we not?

  • Comment number 6.

    Norman Smith very interesting on WATO. Missed mentioning Cable when talking about new Cabinet. Talked about other new faces. But no mention when considering them in the round of the price paid by the LibDems.

    A high one, I think.

    Meanwhile, old New Labour still spinning furiously; ie, "Nick Clegg was imposing unacceptable conditions on us". Those who have lived by spin are now dying by it. More spinning to be done - in the grave?

  • Comment number 7.

    We have become so cynical about politics that we might be ignoring another possibility. Maybe the thing that unites them is a sincerity - a shared belief that they could not make a worse job of it than recent predecessors but possibly - just possibly - they can do a whole lot better if they can put aside narrow party interests.

    Too much to hope for? Time will tell.

  • Comment number 8.

    NR: 'There is one last thing that our new prime minister and his deputy share - a desire for power.'

    Oh dear, any chance of remembering representational politics?

  • Comment number 9.

    NR: 'Both regard parts of their own party with disdain.'

    Oh dear! If true, not a very good sign.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi All,
    I've just come up with a great name for the new party.

    The 'Con-Dem' party. The Conservative Democrats.

    Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector).


  • Comment number 11.

    It's a hell of a job running the country. I personally think that Clegg and Cameron will be mutually supportive of each other. It is clear that most people wanted Conservative government but i think the Liberal contingency will actually enhance it. I didn't think that when Clegg was moonlighting between the honourable Conservative negotiating team and the vile henchman Labour spewed forth - the unelected Campbell and Lords Mandelson and Adonis. Labour do have such a thuggish image.

    We have a new politics. I would say that 90% of the voters are behind it.


    We the public have a duty to them to sustain and support them in office and to hope that the long and difficult years ahead will reap the benefits we all so badly need in this country. Labour ruined it, this Conservative / Liberal coalition will rebuild it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Clearly the leaders are key to ensuring that the coalition remains on track.

    I still can't understand why some Labour MPs are sulking about having lost power - the latest being Ben Bradshaw who is spreading doom and gloom about the prospects for the Con-Lib coalition.

    He should remember that he and his colleagues have brought this on themselves by not having changed their leader when it was obvious to everyone that there was a strong anti-Gordon Brown in the country ahead of the election.

  • Comment number 13.

    POSH BOYS RULE OK. THE COMMAN MAN HAS BEEN LET DOWN.

  • Comment number 14.

    Every political party is a coalition of divergent views so when two political parties are put together you still have a coalition of divergent views. The problem is not so much the views, but the tribe in which politicians have necessarily forced themselves to fit.

    The Liberal Conservative coalition is likely to work better than the Blair Brown coalition which has just left office - Cameron and Clegg are much closer than Blair and Brown ever were.

  • Comment number 15.

    Good for them.

    But I wonder which policies they will compromise on?

    A lot of LibDem policies are more left-wing than Labour. Hard to see how the Tories can swallow them.

    And vice versa.

    I think we can expect to see a rise in UKIP support as voters on the right move away from this alliance.

  • Comment number 16.


    Too much on the process and not enough on the outcomes. Too much personality and not enough policy. Too much dust to settle. But that's the new politics for you.

    Quite a lot of give and take. But 20 odd LibDems in government jobs and Clegg as deputy PM is a high price to pay for a deal.

    There is a strong will in the country to make this work. People want the economic mess sorted out and to get on with their lives.

    But people generally voted for a party, its leader and its policies. What they may end up with is something that satisfies no-one.

    The narrative today is a new era. United we stand. A new dawn has broken. But it may well end as a new dawn is broken?

    http://theorangepartyblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-dawn-is-broken.html

  • Comment number 17.

    From the picture what unites DaveNick is Dave's left shoulder and Nick's right. Normally these types of twin (conjoined) share a heart but as they're both politicians I think that can be ruled out.

  • Comment number 18.

    Nerve - or sheer bare-faced cheek?

    Politicians seem full of arrogance and unwilling to listen to their employers, the electorate... are these two lads going to be any different? Or do they prefer to cut their private deals and not worry if that is what we want them to do?

    We said Conservative government, please. And without a majority, so they need to work at it. The closeness of the deal made between the 2 parties means that we now have an administration with a large enough majority to force things through without the need to convince anyone of their merit... we've had enough of that and look where it's got us.

  • Comment number 19.

    If David Cameron were to tragically "fall under a bus" or equivalent, would Nick Clegg as DPM automatically succeed as PM? Surely not.

  • Comment number 20.

    I had not realised until now that Nick Robinson is a "bright, confident public-school-educated young man himself", past President of Oxford Uny Tories, past National Chair of the Young Conservatives, etc. So - a Tory through and through. Following this 2010 election Wikipedia has said "In the ongoing aftermath Robinson has received criticism for showing bias towards a Con-Lib coalition, against the BBC political coverage policy of impartiality."

  • Comment number 21.

    God Nick you sound as if you really are wetting your lips at the prospects of this twosome cleansing the country. You feel a rendition of Jerusalem should play reading this blog.

    C'mon are you sure you actually work for all of the taxpayers?

    Nerves of the purest steel they have Nick.

    Honed in the horseplay and japes of Eton and Westminister. Surrounded by their p-school chums: not one of them ever having to worry about how to make ends meet (except when their allowance ran out) and telling the rest of us what tough tough sacrafices WE have to make. You couldn't make it up. Well you could sadly. England and its love affair with its public school chaps.

  • Comment number 22.

    Maybe I am missing something, but has this agreement and commitment to long term cooperation demonstrated that First Past the Post is an anachronism and that some form of proportional electoral system is both feasible and desirable. All the scare stories were just that, generated by the power hungry. Roll on democracy.

    One other point about historic milestones, specifically 30 years since a labout goverment was voted out. Nick, this is silly. It has only been a possibility since 1997, 13 years. It was a Tory government for the 18 years before that.

  • Comment number 23.

    ...hope you can hear this against the background of crying babes in the local library !!!
    OK.
    So we still have a coalition of losers,some more than others.voters will be vexed at Labour's apparent intransigence.

    Already we have confirmation of the future of UK politics.David Cameron congratulation. you have long talked of the kind of things you have ambitions for the country and in your first important speech highlighted the neeed for responsibilites.

    I presume you mean indiviuals groups and governemnt.(who was it said ''With greatness,comes responsiblity.''.WC.I think.)

    Approx 0830am on radio4 Mr William Hague was asked about cuts to come.''Won't they be called Tory/LibDem ''cuts''''. No, he said ''they were Labour's cuts'' from years of ''gross mismanagement''.

    THIS IS A COMPLETE ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES.

    Is it the case that Labour are Still* in power??
    To think this person has been given the Foreign Office job!!

    (European convention at Tempo House*,...
    ''Well,It's a,..it's a,...William Hague here. This is not Britain speaking, its Iceland/Greece/Ireland....)

    Will william Hague be giving credit to Labour also for other policies which I presume you think is improving the situation ???

    COMPLETELY RIDIUCLOUS, PATHETIC AND DISGRACEFUL.

    ...the foolocracy remains.

    [*Disorder,Joy Division;
    ''I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand...''.

    The Fall,Tempo House.]


  • Comment number 24.

    All I can say nick is good luck to the pair of them they deserve a chance both young and enthusiastic
    They need nerves of steel to take the bull by the horns and do right by the country .
    They are fully aware of the pit falls that confront them but with a great deal of help from the other sages in the party's .They have every thing to gain and prove the end of the world brigade have no foundation what-so ever.
    They have an nigh on impossible task of putting the mismanaged nulabours policies on the bonfire heap where it belongs.
    PS the trunks taken out of the back door to number 10 were in fact reams of paper work they didn't want any one to find when taking up residents

  • Comment number 25.

    1. It certainly is an historic day if the worrying report from the BBC is true re at present for a vote of no confidence in Parliament you need 50% of MPs + on; yet one of the first acts of this Government of Losers may be to increase this to 55%! - "The price of democracy is eternal vigilence." 2. Favourite quote so far (Vince Cable to George Osborne in the recent televised Chancellor's Debate) "you only want to get your snout in the trough to help your rich friends" - will the new Treasury Minister be helping the new Chancellor to facilitae this process?

  • Comment number 26.

    Some years ago, when I first saw an Ann Summers shop I wondered what impact this would have on the wider British culture.

    Now we know.

    Clearly what unites Cleggmaniac and Cameron is an infatuation with power. Every politician be they Tory or LibDem appear(from their interviews) drunk on power,... and this is only ''Day One''!!!
    (I thought they were supposed to be working for the country,instead they are glued to the TV or outside Buckingham Palace, stuck fast.
    This is not Friday 07, it's Tuesday 11+.)

    OK.So some people think it's all over(like a rash?)...some people think it's like a football league, some people think it's like a horse race,
    .............some people think it's like a rowing match..................

    ''Hey you on the left. If we pull together,we can provide a strong,stable ....''.

    Unfortunately, what they have missed, is the obvious to the omnipotent. They are rowing upstream*1 not downstream(single party majority),(both sides in the wrong direction*2).

    It only needs a strong current, or an approaching waterfall...and the boat is on the rocks.

    This is not in the national interest.

    [Joy Division:
    *1 Candidate
    *2 New Dawn Fades'''directionless so plain to see'']

  • Comment number 27.

    I agree

    The last paragraph an excellent precis

  • Comment number 28.

    For the first time in years i feel really positive about this country again. I am delighted that Nick Clegg gets a position his campaign performance deserves. I genuinely think that each party will prevent the worst traits in the other coming to the fore, and vice versa allowing eachothers good ideas to be promoted.

    How long will it last - lets wait and see, but it looks like a good start, and i'm sure the very tough measures to come will be carried out with as much care as possible.

  • Comment number 29.

    ...(cont.)
    so what should we call this new* mongrel of a party ??
    ...the Grayling Party ?? (mix orange and blue)

    ....the Green Cross Code Party ??? (look right,look left,look right again)

    You decide!!

    [Joy Division:Novelty..''What are we going to do when the novelty has gone.?''.]

  • Comment number 30.

    "Con-Dem wrote:
    Hi All,
    I've just come up with a great name for the new party.

    The 'Con-Dem' party. The Conservative Democrats.

    Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector)."

    You mean you are employed by the Public Sector - nobody "works" in the public sector!

  • Comment number 31.

    Has sagamix done his conkers on his pre-election gamble for the tories to win by 19 seats?

    Or is he too shamed by the new centre-right alliance?

    I think we should be told.

    RIP sagamix

  • Comment number 32.

    #3. riosso
    'Two great blokes who will do a great job. Forget it, doubters, the country is on the up again - not before time !'

    How delightfully jejune!

  • Comment number 33.

    "10. At 1:53pm on 12 May 2010, Con-Dem wrote:
    Hi All,
    I've just come up with a great name for the new party.

    The 'Con-Dem' party. The Conservative Democrats.

    Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector)."

    Well, you're employed by the public sector.

  • Comment number 34.

    Can someone explain how the fixed term policy will work? They're proposing to increase the threshold to carry a motion of no confidence to 55%. But it is trite law that Parliament cannot bind its successors, so couldn't a simple majority just repeal the Act if they didn't have the sufficient 55%?

  • Comment number 35.

    19. At 2:06pm on 12 May 2010, BeantownTom wrote:
    If David Cameron were to tragically "fall under a bus" or equivalent, would Nick Clegg as DPM automatically succeed as PM? Surely not.

    You think Gordon Brown can drive a bus?

  • Comment number 36.

    To be honest, I still can't believe we have a Cameron-Clegg coalition! Clegg spent his whole campaign preaching about how he was different from the 'old parties'. And his beliefs on Trident and a fairer tax system appeared encouraging. Yet, he betrayed the electorate by making deals with the right-wing conservatives - a party whose manifesto is completely different from the LibDem's.

    Surely, it would have made more sense for Clegg to form a Lib-Lab coalition considering the Labour party probably holds more similarities with the LibDems than the Tories do - they were a socialist party, after all, and Clegg's policies did seem quite left-wing. Instead, Clegg became a complete sell-out. It would seem that he is just as power-hungry and arrogant as those 'old parties' he tried to distance himself from. Disappointing stuff! Certainly, the LibDems have lost my vote and I'm sure many other people in Scotland will not be too happy with the situation.

  • Comment number 37.

    While many may have doubts about Cameron and Clegg there will be even more who will reflect that it's a damn sight better a combination than ones before, like Blair and Brown, Blair and Prescott, Brown and (Harridan) Harman - or Brown and Balls. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 38.

    "13. At 1:58pm on 12 May 2010, Wizardsixr wrote:
    POSH BOYS RULE OK. THE COMMAN MAN HAS BEEN LET DOWN."

    You want the Primary School down the road.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm looking forward to watching this work. I think their MPs are the least of their problems, more will come from their former MPs and of course the activists out in the constituencies.

    And what about their backroom staff, as when companies merge will we see some costcutting as back office jobs are shared? What a fine example to show the public sector how costs can be cut. I somehow think not!

  • Comment number 40.

    Watching the double act one was inevitably reminded...........

    Maybe given the weather they should hav edanced off to 'Give me sunshine.....'

    I'm sure Nick can provide the lyrics for today

  • Comment number 41.

    10. At 1:53pm on 12 May 2010, Con-Dem wrote:
    Hi All,
    I've just come up with a great name for the new party.

    The 'Con-Dem' party. The Conservative Democrats.

    Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector).

    ====================================

    Correction - you're paid by the public sector. Posting on here is definitely not work. Or maybe it is for you.

  • Comment number 42.

    10. At 1:53pm on 12 May 2010, Con-Dem wrote:
    Hi All,
    I've just come up with a great name for the new party.

    The 'Con-Dem' party. The Conservative Democrats.

    Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector).
    ----
    Nice. Gallows humour.

  • Comment number 43.

    Where are the women? We seem to have gone backwards a 100 years. It's just about public school boys' pursuit of power, nothing to do with what the people and the country need - that's purely incidental.

  • Comment number 44.

    #1

    I don't see anything particularly brave about Cameron and Clegg, nothing more than one wouid expect from a party leader. I think they are skillful fighting their own corners getting the maximum power they could summon for their own (party) interests - all the talks about 'in the national interest' are not genuine.

    #10

    'Con-Dem' Party? Seriously apt.
    There is no way two ideologically distant parties could be in bed for long. Not necessarily mean that they'll part company, but if they don't, that will only be they becoming it:

    "Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - Animal Farm by George Orwell.

  • Comment number 45.

    They both have strong thoughts on individual liberty. They will steer a fairly neutral course I imagine....exactly what the country voted for. I sense a lot of dealing with Brown's incompetence and a lot less dog whistle politics for a while. The referendum on voting reform (if it happens) will be interesting.

  • Comment number 46.

    Good question, BeantownTom, and the correct answer too - surely not! The Tories are the dominant partner in the coalition, and the leader of the Tory party - whoever that is - will be the PM throughout its existence.

  • Comment number 47.

    If David Cameron is forced in to electoral reform, I hope he has the nerve to tackle the West Lothian question whilst he's at it.

  • Comment number 48.

    20

    All bow down to wikipedia........what popycock

    NR is NOT biased, neither is the BBC

    It is perception

    Which is in the view of the person making the accusation

    SOmetimes he is accused of favouring either main party, so they can't both be right

    Some NR has been dross in this election, not much

    THIS article is of the highest quality

  • Comment number 49.

    Nick, have asked about transport? Fairly important to the prosperity of the UK but not mentioned. Please let us know.

  • Comment number 50.

    Very impressed with the organisational skills in putting this coalition together.

    There is no point in any of the voters complaining for this is what they voted for although there was no vote on how it would fall.

    I must admit it is something I have long advocated but never thought our politicians would ever have the guts to carry through.

    No one party would ever have been able to carry the country with them when the difficult decisions start but we now know there will be no cover up when competing parties have both seen the same figures.

    I would expect the Labour party to also support these actions for the fact that as it was they who left the mess in the first place then it would be hypocritical if they didn't.

  • Comment number 51.

    They do share one thing... a long standing visceral hatred for each other and their respective parties, values and beliefs

    Cameron's favorite joke - "Nick Celgg" - BBC 12 th may 21010

    CON-DEM nation

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    What do they have in common? How about the fact that no one voted for their deal except those who would most directly benefit from it.
    Some comments here remind me of the old school working class Tories who belived the country was best run by those "born to lead". Pass the sick bag!

  • Comment number 54.

    "SSnotbanned wrote:

    Approx 0830am on radio4 Mr William Hague was asked about cuts to come.''Won't they be called Tory/LibDem ''cuts''''. No, he said ''they were Labour's cuts'' from years of ''gross mismanagement''.

    THIS IS A COMPLETE ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES.

    Is it the case that Labour are Still* in power??
    To think this person has been given the Foreign Office job!!"

    And the Labour party never once made mention of 18 years of Tory misrule? Or blamed things on the previous Government?


    I think it is pretty much taken as a given that any cuts can be blamed on the out of control spending policies of the Labour government

  • Comment number 55.

    Why can't you and the rest of the media stop pulling together all the negatives you can find and let people intent on putting the country first (and not giving you a new headline each morning like your old friends) get on with it.
    The S.S Great Britain was steered toward the rocks: Then the travellers wanted it to go in a new direction. The captain left the bridge and already jumped in to the lifeboat while the bosun's mate and the officers fought on the quarterdeck for who could get the four stripes.
    You can now blog to your heart's content on the leadership of 'the other party' including one probable candidate who finds it difficult to put words together in sentences; and let The Government bravely sort out the mess britain is in.

  • Comment number 56.

    "They are both bright, confident public-school-educated young men who are surrounded by others like them"

    So just what can they possibly know and understand about real people in this country.

    Blinded by the light from one-another's halos they will propose middle class solutions to a baffled community while their wealthy business sponsors increase the margin between rich and poor.

    GOBRO help us!

  • Comment number 57.

    Nick

    The coalition agreement indeed has been a courageous act on both sides. The Tory party has shown in the past that it is quite merciless in deposing it's own leaders if the grassroots/MPs are unhappy with them. In fact both parties have a common theme in that effectively they are umbrella groups of polarised opinions.

    What will make or break them is not policy differences but the need to act decisively and clinically: proactive versus reactive. An example is the election shambles including postal voting, running out of ballot papers, 14 year old boys voting, or polling stations closed early. The Electoral Commission (a quango set up by New Lab) has vociferously claimed it's innocence: yet it is accountable to no one. Bonkers!

    This is what the electorate want to see: the government sorting stuff out.

  • Comment number 58.

    It would appear to me that, based on the Cabinet appointments so far, that there's more than that to their talents.

    1. Putting Mr Laws as Chief Secretary to the Treasury is a masterstroke. He worked in the City, a safe pair of hands if the City were a bit worried about Osborne and less likely than Cable to differ radically with his superior. Big brownie points there for the PM and, if appropriate, to his deputy.
    2. Mr Cable as Business Secretary will let us see whether Mr Cable can be a builder as well as a satirist, a critic and an expressor of concern. I think that he can be.
    3. In a Cabinet lacking prior experience, Ken Clarke's wisdom will be useful. I'd be extremely surprised if the new PM didn't also take the chance to take counsel occasionally from John Major and Mr Heseltine.
    4. Theresa May as Home Secretary is an interesting one. It's important to see a competent woman in one of the great offices of state and Mrs May now has the chance to show whether she is that woman. I hope she can do it.
    5. Mr Osborne, Mr Hague and MG learn that, when the stakes are highest, that Mr Cameron is a loyal master.
    6. Chris Huhne at energy is a bold one. He will face tough, tough choices and I truly hope his colleagues support the decisions which will need to be taken. Real office for a real politician.
    7. No surprise to see a LibDem as Secretary of State for Scotland. It might be interesting to see a Tory in Wales. Nurturing of dynamism is what Wales needs, so a one nation Tory who inspires respect might be what is needed there......

    All in all, despite all the naysayers, I am cautiously optimistic about what is unfolding before our eyes........

  • Comment number 59.

    23. At 2:23pm on 12 May 2010, SSnotbanned wrote:

    Approx 0830am on radio4 Mr William Hague was asked about cuts to come.''Won't they be called Tory/LibDem ''cuts''''. No, he said ''they were Labour's cuts'' from years of ''gross mismanagement''.

    THIS IS A COMPLETE ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES.
    ---
    You are right - Hague was being uncharacteristically sloppy and going for a sound bite. He should have explained more clearly that cuts are required in order to sort out labour's years of gross mismanagement, irrespective of the complexion of the government. Once again, though, labour escapes having to mop up its own mess and can blame those wicked Tories/Lib Dems for having to administer the medicine.

  • Comment number 60.

    CamClegg. What a lovely couple. So comfortable together and reassuring. But not enough for so many journos whose jaws are still on the floor. Yes, it's the first coalition in a generation, yes it's Tory Lib Dem. We want change, they want change, everybody got change.

  • Comment number 61.

    23

    What a strange way you have of looking at the world

  • Comment number 62.

    Forgive me but was I dreaming when I saw an option to vote Conservative on my ballot paper? If voters had wanted to vote in a conservative govt they had that option. The reality is that only 39% of voters voted Conservative and between them the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party got 53% of the vote - so how does Clegg justify his actions in forming this coalition with the Conservatives. For a man who belives in proportional representation he should have realised that more people voted NO to the Conservatives as a majoritya dn he should not ahve helped them into office.
    I think we should call them teh ConDems - it just about sums it up!

  • Comment number 63.

    So much doom and gloom. These guys have bith given up a lot to do this. I think we just need to give them a chance

  • Comment number 64.

    Ans that last word is what it's all about, isn't it Nick - power. And if there's one thing that history has taught us, it's that power is a very dangerous thing when it's in the wrong hands, especially when those hands belong to Eton-educated Tories.
    As for Nick I-Sold-Out-For-The-Good-Of-The-Country Clegg, he and the Lib Dem elite may be lapping up their new jobs and titles now but they're kidding themselves if they think the country won't punish them at the ballot box. A lot of their constituencies are a straight fight between Tories and Lib Dems but why vote Lib Dem if you're just going to end up with a Tory administration anyway?
    The Thirsk and Malton bi-election should be interesting.

  • Comment number 65.

    12. At 1:57pm on 12 May 2010, ARHReading wrote:

    Clearly the leaders are key to ensuring that the coalition remains on track.

    I still can't understand why some Labour MPs are sulking about having lost power - the latest being Ben Bradshaw who is spreading doom and gloom about the prospects for the Con-Lib coalition.

    He should remember that he and his colleagues have brought this on themselves by not having changed their leader when it was obvious to everyone that there was a strong anti-Gordon Brown in the country ahead of the election.


    If it was such a "strong anti-Gordon Brown feeling in the country" then David Cameron should have got into Downing Street without LibDem help.

  • Comment number 66.

    What unites Cameron and Clegg is power, conviction, energy and the fact that they seem to like each other.

    We'll need all of the above after the wreckage they have inherited from newlabour.

    Hurrah.

    Goodbye progressives, hello progress.

  • Comment number 67.

    Perhaps Cameron and Clegg have reflected that Gordon Brown was elected to Government in 1997, when the UK economy was financially stable. New Labour's elected dictatorship then allowed him to spend 13 years sabotaging the UK's economy and work culture. Perhaps we can begin the recovery when the full extent of Brown 's financial incompetence and off balance sheet accounting becomes transparent.

  • Comment number 68.

    So how do we address the new coalition - the ConDem's? Are we now Con-Dem'ed to a fate worse that death?

  • Comment number 69.

    It may have been that those with more experience had no desire to jump into the cesspool of political and governmental corruption. I am sure some will step forward once the dirty work has been done. When the options for power are all negative the takers are few. It is hardly an attractive job at this time.

  • Comment number 70.

    Unemployment figures up.
    Didn't Brown during the debates say they were coming down?

    On Nick's impartiality, I'm on record as criticising him in the past for being too easy on the Labour government but I have too agree with a few disgruntled Labour supporters that he has changed his tune somewhat lately. I suppose that's what gets him the front row seat at press conferences. Maybe he was a Tory sleeper during the New Labour years!

  • Comment number 71.

    Just watched the No.10 garden party. Most suprised that no one questioned the proposed 55% majority that would be needed to bring down a government. Cameron's party alone have more than 45% of the seats(approx 47.5%). So if the coalition fails he would still be secure for the balance of the proposed five year term. In other words once that piece of legislation goes through the Cons will no longer need the help of any party and would be able to follow their agenda and the Lib's will be so much extra baggage. Or, hopefully, I've got it wrong?

  • Comment number 72.

    The coverage of this process by the BBC has been disgracefully biased towards Cameron. The levels of sychophancy is outrageous and somewhat misplaced given his hostility to the BBC.

  • Comment number 73.

    25. At 2:32pm on 12 May 2010, Barry Ewart wrote:

    1. It certainly is an historic day if the worrying report from the BBC is true re at present for a vote of no confidence in Parliament you need 50% of MPs + on; yet one of the first acts of this Government of Losers may be to increase this to 55%!


    So First Past The Post is dead?

  • Comment number 74.

    The 55% rule would be both undemocratic and ultimately unworkable. If a situation arose where the ruling party commanded something like 48% of MPs they couldn't be voted out, but they also couldn't pass any legislation at all. There would be a lame duck government and no mechanism to remove them.

  • Comment number 75.

    I thought they were going to kiss at one point

  • Comment number 76.

    What unites clegg and cameron?

    Willingness to do or say anything so long as it results in power.

  • Comment number 77.

    It's working already!

    The 3rd runway at Heathrow is cancelled.

    Well done you two!!

  • Comment number 78.

    #23

    Agree completely.

    I am a regular listener to Radio 4 and I find Radio 4 (and perhaps BBC generally) is giving an unfair overcoverage of opinions from William Hague. He is the most skillful speaker politician who is capable of arguing for just about anything right or wrong. Listen to the umpteen interviews he defended questions about Ashcroft, they are examples to the extreme of what master of economic of truth in speeches could be - you cannot brand him a liar, but would you trust him? Certainly not me.

  • Comment number 79.

    31. At 2:52pm on 12 May 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:
    Has sagamix done his conkers on his pre-election gamble for the tories to win by 19 seats?

    Or is he too shamed by the new centre-right alliance?

    I think we should be told.

    RIP sagamix

    =================

    EH? sagamix was, and I quote, "praying Gordon would do it". He may well have done his conkers, but his conkers were on Gordon pulling it off. He might have pulled something off, but it wasn't an election result...

  • Comment number 80.

    31. At 2:52pm on 12 May 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:

    Has sagamix done his conkers on his pre-election gamble for the tories to win by 19 seats?

    Or is he too shamed by the new centre-right alliance?



    The silence speaks volumes

  • Comment number 81.

    The full text of the Conservative Lib-Dem deal makes interesting reading:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677933.stm

    Section 10 deals with Civil Liberties. It mentions "A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill."

    I trust this will include the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). Who knows what the original intention behind this Snoopers Charter was? But in reality it gives local councils unprecedented powers to spy on citizens, allowing them to intercept phone calls and emails for such heinous crimes as 'dog fouling' or putting rubbish in the wrong wheelie bin.

    Repealing RIPA would also fit in with another commitment of Section 10 which says there will be "Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation."

    The new government must restore Civil Liberties and dismantle Labour's Nanny/Surveillance State.

  • Comment number 82.

    rockinrobin..

    You must feel a little redundant with New Labour gone?


    Taxi for Robin.

  • Comment number 83.

    10#

    Yeah. A public sector joke if ever I heard one. Unfunny and a waste of taxpayers money.

  • Comment number 84.

    re Con-dem

    we've all thought the same thing there haven't we... our little fat fingers couldn't go fast enough!

  • Comment number 85.

    The Conservative Lib-Dem coalition agreement is in reality a new joint manifesto, setting out the policies of the new government.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8677933.stm

    Section 10 (Civil Liberties) includes:

    "The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency."

    Good idea.

    Why not start by ripping up the 30 Year Rule that prevents citizens from finding out what politicians have been doing. Why should we wait 30 years to find out the truth?

    What was the truth behind the dodgy dossier? What was going on in the 'cash for honours' row? Why did the Labour government use 'leaks' when it suited them, but call in the police when other leaked against them? What other 'bad news' did they try to bury?

    The new government should end the 30 Year Rule.

    Open the box!

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    "10. At 1:53pm on 12 May 2010, Con-Dem wrote:
    Hi All,

    .......Ha ha. (I work in the Public Sector)."

    ********************************

    And you've obviously got too much time on your hands.

    Surely there must be a wheelie-bin somewhere with its lid open you can inspect!!

  • Comment number 88.

    Amidst all the difficulties, there are are at least two positives. First, and most important, this government has enhanced democratic credibility, because it represents nearly 60% of votes cast. This is unique in recent history. Second, the Lib Dems provide some genuinely talented figures for the ministerial team which give options not available from Tory ranks alone: think Danny Alexander as Scottish Secretary. These factors will perhaps enable it more easily to take and sustain the difficult decisions ahead than a traditional one party government with a popular mandate of only about 40%.

  • Comment number 89.

    #20 chrisso

    Going back through these blogs, there are many right wingers who feel Nick is too left wing.
    Similarly, there are many left wingers who have claimed he is too right wing.

    This in itself suggests Nick is very well-balanced and objective - unlike many of the other contributors here.

    Interestingly, the Labour party has complained for years about 'the Tory press'. They didn't seem to mind when The Sun supported them - but how they howled when that paper went back to the Tories. Labour weren't too pleased when the Guardian switched to Lib Dems either.




  • Comment number 90.

    Just to clarify....'The price of greatness, is responsibility''
    is a more accurate quote from Winston Churchill.

    Why WC thought it/there was a ''price'' I do not know.

    If one thing comes with/follows the other, AND HAS A PRICE, does this not automatically, make it ...not ''great''. In other words why/how does something with a price, be ''great'' ??

    Surely there is a burden there.what's great about that.

    Isn't forinstance, freedom great ???

    Also, can one be (Call Me*1)Irresponsible*2 and Still*3 be ''great'' ???

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    So,
    I prefer, ''With greatness, comes responsibility.''

    Clearly then, in a directional sense,it is not....

    'with responsibility, comes greatness.'.

    I do hope Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron know the difference.

    wink.

    [*1Blondie:Call Me
    *2F Sinatra/J Garland/F Astaire ???: Call Me Irresponsible
    *3Joy Division: Dead Souls]

  • Comment number 91.

    NR "There is one last thing that our new prime minister and his deputy share - a desire for power."

    So, they are no different to the rest!

    Let's hope it is more than a desire for power that unites them and has allowed them to sacrifice principle and election pledges.

    I have enjoyed your blog during the election Nick but I fear I am now going back to being disinterested in politics.

  • Comment number 92.

    You've got to laugh.

    ''Both regards parts of their own party with disdain ''.

    How many Mrs Gillian Duffy's are there in the country???
    ...
    you get what you deserve.

    ... the foolocracy remains.

  • Comment number 93.

    Here again, I sense a problem to come for the future of this coalition. In this first press conference Cameron and Clegg had today. It seemed to me that Clegg was taking a lot of the glory for this new alliance, the so called new politics, in what he said. Power struggles between leaders often turns any alliance sour. However, yes the parties appear to be close at the core, but what about in the wider party, how are they feeling?

    Here is the real problem though. Take Scotland, the Holyrood elections will happen in 2011. Now if I am normally a Lib/Dem voter, who am I voting for this time, Lib/Dem or Conservatives. They are in a coalition, so therefore by definition I am voting for them both. Chances are I will decide to vote for another Party altogether as the Conservatives have never gone down well in Scotland. However I guess only a Scottish person can answer that one.

    Here is another one. The EU is very prominant at the moment, a lot of decisions are being made. It was Darling who actually went to the last financial one being held during the 5 days of indecision in Britain. What exactly is the policy of the coalition on the EU, with one party being pro the other being anti. Dose anybody know.

    There are many questions I would like to know the answer to as a voter, before I could give any endorsement to this coalition, however they seem to have been ignored.

    Another interesting development for me is certain top people in the Labour Party seem to be ruling themselves out of the contest for Labour leader. At the moment it is looking like only the Milibands will stand. Does this suggest Labour are already getting their act together quickly in anticipation of this coalition failing?


  • Comment number 94.

    Never knew abouts Nick's true blue credentials until recently. Pity - on re-reading some of his posts you begin to see the oh-so-subtle leaning towards his old chums.

    On reading the above I noticed a pragraph slipped in near the end -"What they [Dave & Nick] ignore is what unites them. They are both bright, confident public-school-educated young men who are surrounded by others like them." So, here we have an example of a socially inclusive (not!) cabal of individuals bent on "a desire on power" (to quote our Nick) installed in government and who are are going to get us (the proles) out of the mess caused by their (public school) chums in the city. That's OK then.

    Their professed modus operandi, I thought, was the creation of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. However, the unspoken reality would appear to be "Let's not include those dullards whose parents couldn't afford a private education. After all, they are not one us. Have you seen the state of their hands, it must be from that thing they call work that they seem to spend so much of their lives doing. I don't understand it myself, can't see the attraction. Best, all round, to pretend we can't see them. It will make our task of managing their future livelihoods so much easier. Got to be able to take tough decisions, and don't want to be troubled by undue sentiment".

    One can imagine the conflation in their minds, when it comes to wielding the fiscal axe, of the great unwashed masses with an old and faithful working hound, knackered from overwork & who no longer cuts the mustard. You can almost hear them saying "too expensive to keep, much better to have them put down, especially if they get sick - have you seen the cost of Vet's bills these days? Better in the long run for all concerned, and plenty more where they come from. So we'll cut the Vet's bills, and the kennel costs, and anything else we think they can to do without - that'll leave so much more for us to spend on ourselves. Pass the port old boy. Bottoms up!"

  • Comment number 95.

    50. At 3:20pm on 12 May 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    I would expect the Labour party to also support these actions for the fact that as it was they who left the mess in the first place then it would be hypocritical if they didn't.

    ==========

    Are you really suggesting that the labour party would try to avoid being hypocritical?

    That would be a first!

  • Comment number 96.

    #43

    Well put Kate and you are perfectly right. 50% of the population and one in the cabinet is that right? Theresa May? I think Theresa May is a woman and if that is so then only one yes. Public school boys like DaveNic are used to same-sex environments

  • Comment number 97.

    29. SSnotbanned wrote:

    "...(cont.)
    so what should we call this new* mongrel of a party ??
    ...the Grayling Party ?? (mix orange and blue)

    ....the Green Cross Code Party ??? (look right,look left,look right again)

    You decide!!"


    How about 'Not the Labour Party'? That's a good place to start.

  • Comment number 98.

    62. At 3:37pm on 12 May 2010, Access_for_all wrote:

    Forgive me but was I dreaming when I saw an option to vote Conservative on my ballot paper? If voters had wanted to vote in a conservative govt they had that option. The reality is that only 39% of voters voted Conservative and between them the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party got 53% of the vote - so how does Clegg justify his actions in forming this coalition with the Conservatives. For a man who belives in proportional representation he should have realised that more people voted NO to the Conservatives as a majoritya dn he should not ahve helped them into office.
    I think we should call them teh ConDems - it just about sums it up!
    -----------------
    I'll join the other tens of those commenting that more people voted Lib/Con combined than voted Lib/Lab combined.
    Indeed more vote Lab/Con combined than any other combination - but that would be just silly - wouldn't it!
    Anyone who voted Liberal and who truly embraces the concept of PR will appreciate that an election will be followed by negotiation. As a Lib Dem voter, they give the party leader authority to pursue the best means to achieve the party aims. This, nick Clegg has done, with the backing of all MP's and all bar one of the Federal Executive.
    You may not like it but it is fundamentally a case of democracy at work.

  • Comment number 99.

    "Access_for_all wrote:
    Forgive me but was I dreaming when I saw an option to vote Conservative on my ballot paper? If voters had wanted to vote in a conservative govt they had that option. The reality is that only 39% of voters voted Conservative and between them the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party got 53% of the vote - so how does Clegg justify his actions in forming this coalition with the Conservatives. For a man who belives in proportional representation he should have realised that more people voted NO to the Conservatives as a majoritya dn he should not ahve helped them into office.
    I think we should call them teh ConDems - it just about sums it up!"

    I am not sure I get your point, you are talking about nobody having voted for a Lib-Con coalition and then make the comment that between them 52% of people voted for the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party.

    Well obviously I saw a different ballot paper than you did, because where I voted the Lib Dems and Labour stood as two different parties. The Lib Dems had to choose between two parties and they chose the Conservatives who had more votes AND seats than the Labour party.

    Clegg justified his actions because he said BEFORE the elction that he would deal with the party that won the largest mandate from the voters - which was the Tory party.

    If the Lib Dems sided with Labour you could have switched the names of the parties in your above post and said exactly the same thing.

    Just because the Lib Dems didn't chose your prefered option doesn't mean that they ignored the will of the voters. More voters voted for the Conservatives than the Labour Party, the SNP, the Greens, PC, etc put together.

  • Comment number 100.

    25. At 2:32pm on 12 May 2010, Barry Ewart wrote:

    1. It certainly is an historic day if the worrying report from the BBC is true re at present for a vote of no confidence in Parliament you need 50% of MPs + on; yet one of the first acts of this Government of Losers may be to increase this to 55%! - "The price of democracy is eternal vigilence."
    -----------------
    The devil is in the detail as they say. One would hope that this will be a case of "If the Government tries to dissolve the Parliament then it needs 55%; if the opposition tries, it needs 50% +1"
    My original take on this was that it was to prevent Prime Ministers calling elections when it suited them - and I hope (pray) that this is what they intend. If it is then it clearly is there to ensure that this parliament runs its full term rather than being dissolved when the Tories might be in a position to ditch the Lib Dems

    Perhaps NR can put the point for clarification of intent?

 

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