Better off together than apart

 
Nick Clegg and David Camerob

It was not perhaps the most romantic of locations to renew their political vows but today, in a railway depot in Birmingham, David Cameron and Nick Clegg did just that.

Insisting, once again, that they, their parties and the country were better off with them together than apart.

The prime minister rejected my suggestion that they resembled a warring couple who've tried to reassure people they were staying together for the sake of the children.

Today was all about emphasising what they do agree on - what David Cameron calls their shared purpose, mission and agenda. First and foremost it is economic but embraces the reform of health and education too.

They refused, though, to answer hard questions about what they do not agree on - in particular, how to resolve the row about reforming the House of Lords which has led the Lib Dems to make increasingly uncoded threats.

If the Tories don't deliver, they warn, they'll retaliate by refusing to vote to shrink the size of the Commons - a reduction in the number of MPs which would, it's estimated, make it easier for the Conservatives to win an election on their own.

It is that which is leading some on both sides to talk about divorce.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 40.

    39.nautonier
    "Clegg still holds the ace ..."
    ====

    Interesting view. Given the ineptitude of the coalition govt, I doubt very much anyone will be voting for more of the same in the future.

    Remember Cleggmania ? Tried it, didn't work. I doubt we'll see a repeat. Whatever the future holds, I don't think Clegg will be part of it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 39.

    With no political party having a clear political vision or public perception of delivering anything better than the other parties - Clegg still holds the ace & will become very popular with the other parties immediately before the next gen. election - this will also regain the lost margin in the opinion polls for the Lib Dems - this is reality with all trying to hold middle gnd & means 'COALITION'

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 38.

    Meanwhile, potential Olympics disaster.....on the horizon. Tell me are there any connections with G4S aka Tory, Libs, Nulabour...or anyother captain of politics? Seeing as it's a monetory connection I'm looking for I'm sure one will be found....aka a poor Lord propping up one mediocre expenses!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 37.

    Both Cameron and Clegg increasing have the look of being "yesterdays men" about them. No energy, no direction and not much support either.

    The coalition govt clearly isn't working, and I doubt that either of them will still be leader of their parties for much longer.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 36.

    re#23 LeftieA pt2
    I think nautonier could be right - more Coalition after 2015 or earlier.

    It may be with UKIP having a say, though, because I think the LibDem 'acquired' vote (grumpy conservative voters, disenchanted Labour voters) will disappear and they could be back to a handful or two of seats or maybe well into double figures, say, 15.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 35.

    Strange how the captains can smile while May & gang set the bar at new standards of incompetence in the engine room

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 34.

    IF the coalition lasts through to 2015 & IF the Tories manage to get through Bounday Changes (if this is electorally 'fair' then I've no objections) then I'm not sure 15 or so extra MPs will make too much of a difference

    The economy will still be flat-lining right through 2013 and so 'austerity' can not be lifted this side of a GE The irony of Labour as largest party in coalition with Lib Dems!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 33.

    The marriage will end one day, of that there is no doubt.
    It is to be hoped that when it does it is not a messy vindictive divorce with dysfunctional children, rather it be a happy prosperous family and a legacy of which Cameron and Clegg can be rightly proud.
    For the moment at least, the raison d'etre of the Coalition is that politics should not interfere with Economics and good governance. .

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 32.

    Snuff@27
    The dilemma facing the electorate is an unconvincing opposition or a barely competent coalition. It's hard to pin your colours to either bandwagon with any conviction.

    None of them offer the grand vision to galvanise the economy, investing in infrastructure/house building as means of getting things moving whilst pursuing greater efficiencies in the Pub Sec - a new deal for today.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 31.

    Bring back Tony & Ali.

    At least they lied with conviction.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 30.

    12.Up2snuff - "Think you have missed that that is where the current tensions lie: Dave having to pursue LibDem policies."

    Which implemented policies would those be? Tuition fees? NHS reorganisation? 5% tax cut for the already wealthy?
    Dave pursues Nick's policies by mouth only, making sure they are stitched up, watered down, or sunk before fruition.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 29.

    It is interesting to think who will vote Lib-Dem at next elections, the people they have upset the most is their own voters, namely the cloud cuckoo brigade who believe the state should provide for us all.

    The Tories need to harden up and stand up for what the working people want put into place

    Not a good relationship but at least they are trying to solve the huge mess Labour left behind

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 28.

    No doubt, there are re-shuffle planning lists on both sides of The House.

    Perhaps to move the discussion on and get ahead of the politician's and media manipulations - what do other posters here think who should be shuffled off?

    Let's face it, there are huge disappointments concerning our elected representatives, whatever our political persuasions.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 27.

    re#23 LeftieA pt1
    But what is EdM offering? Daftness. His understanding of banking is feeble to non-existent judging by his statements last week. He's like that on other things. He's a soundbite looking for somewhere to happen.

    The electorate are not stupid, assuming enough will come out vote in future. They won't want to trust him with their hard-earned ...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 26.

    Clegg and integrity in the same sentence - the 2 cannot co-exist!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 25.

    On the big issues, the coalition are doing a good job. The things they have been criticised for are minor in the overall picture. The deal will last because the country needs it. The alternative of Labour is too awful to even contemplate. Britain dislikes Miliband's astonishingly hypocritical dishonesty. And it fears living under the jackboot of Labour's union paymasters.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    Funny thing is, the LibDems need to support the equal consituency size reform on its own merit.
    The current arithmetic is very pro-Labour and for there to be a Lab/Lib Dem coalition, Labour would be way behind the Tories in the popular vote, and in that case the Lib Dems would be seen to be propping up the losers. Not good.
    Check out the popular vote in 05 and 10 versus the number of seats won.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 23.

    #19 Up2snuff
    If the Tory backbenchers succeeded in ditching Cameron for their favourite even more right-winger, they've lost the 2015 election.
    The coalition will collapse, they will be seen as being more interested in their own obsessions than facing the country's problems.
    Go for it boys, please.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 22.

    @ 15 Tez, who said:
    "Nick - please do stop trying to drive the LibDems into the arms of Labour "

    At the next defenestration, Labour will neither want or need what's left of the Lib Dems.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 21.

    I'll give til xmas! This is doomed, and to be honest I'll be glad when this farce of a govt is over, as will the sick and disabled, the poor and needy, the young, and elderly. Everyone this shower have doomed to a life of poverty!

 

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