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A breathtaking day

Nick Robinson | 00:01 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

David and Samantha CameronThe youngest prime minister in nearly 200 years.

A coalition in power for the first time in 70 years.

The Conservatives ejecting a Labour government for the first time in over 30 years.

The events of Tuesday are enough to take your breath away, without the events of the previous five days since the election which nobody won.

Twenty hours ago David Cameron returned home wondering perhaps whether his dream was over, whether, at the last, Gordon Brown would outmanoeuvre him again.

Yet it is he who has now brought into being the partnership between two political parties which New Labour talked about but never delivered, he who has agreed to fixed-term parliaments and a referendum on voting reform, he who has made a man whose policies he attacked again and again in the prime ministerial debates his deputy prime minister and put four of his allies in the cabinet.

It is an arrangement which will either collapse under the pressure of competing tensions between and within the two parties or it will shape politics for a generation to come.

On the day the last youngest prime minister for nearly 200 years took office, the sun shone and optimism reigned, but, unlike Tony Blair, David Cameron took office on a cold dark night issuing a warning about hard and difficult decisions to come.

He did so in a manner, however, that suggested he is determined to shape events and not to be shaped by them.


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  • Comment number 1.

    The shambles of the last five days was a muddled mess. Just like the outcome of the general election.

    Voters had been left in the dark. But faced with the wrath and ridicule of the electorate, democracy has been rescued by common sense.

    The electorate was within a whisker of being shafted by spin. But it was the people wot won it. And the people will give the new government a fighting chance?

  • Comment number 2.

    Only in the election campaign did I begin to follow the BBC blogs so closely. Though there are many things about the politics of this election and aftermath I haven't liked, I must say a big thank you to Nick Robinson for always providing excellent analysis of events, and always keeping us informed of events, usually before they had actually happened.

    Also thanks to partisan supporters for the vast number of amusing posts explaining why Nick was totally biased towards the Conservatives... and Labour... and the Lib Dems.

  • Comment number 3.

    Brown, Labour to his core, and an operator to the last; Left office at the moment of his own choosing, with dignity, and humanity. And of course causing the maximum possible inconvenience to the incoming government. We wish him well!

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes Nick...and as I understand it, Nick Clegg has:

    agreed to an emergency budget within 50 days and to a Tory budget reduction plan including £6bn in cuts to non-frontline services in 2010/11.

    agreed a commitment to a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile system

    agreed to surrender the key posts of Chancellor and Foreign Secretary (ie economic and foreign and european affairs)to the Tories

    agreed to a cap on immigration

    agreed to not attempt to join the Euro or cede any more powers to Europe...

    so that's every central plank of the Lib Dem attack on the Tories abandoned for the titular title of 'Deputy Prime Minister' - with no commitment on what that means...

    all in all, a tidy few days' work for the Tory Party, but one which I think will provoke outrage and revolt amongst the Lib Dem membership and MPs...if they retain any commitment to what they told the electorate..

    BTW...I understand that since Cameron's appointment, the Labour Party online has been receiving 20 applications a minute to join the Party...

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Just heard Clegg talking about a new type of government.

    That's true enough.

    It's important to clear out the dusty cobwebs and shine a light in all the dark corners.

    A good start would be an end to the 30 Year Rule. Cameron and Clegg should insist all the files are opened now so we can find out what has really been going on. What 'bad news' did Labour bury? What was the truth behind all the spin and lies?

    Part of the reason for the 30 Year Rule is to spare the blushes of politicians who may still be in office or playing a part in public life.

    If this is a new era of government, it's time to end the culture of secrecy.

    The people have a right to know the truth. We should not have to wait 30 years.

  • Comment number 7.

    Probably the least bad and only workable conclusion from the election. I wish them well and hope it works. The thought of yet another indecisive election (coz that's almost certainly what will happen), with the economy/debt the way it is, is too scary to contemplate.

    I really really hope it works.

  • Comment number 8.

    The Conservative Party is no more!
    If David Davis had been leader instead of Cameron the True Conservative Party would have won the proper landslide victory it deserved.
    Instead we have an uncomfortable alliance of the centre left, the left of left and the I will say anything to get elected. Not a lasting or a happy solution.
    Does anyone seriously expect Meddlesome and Cambell to slink off into the sunset? They will hold Liberal Democrats over the flame of ridicule until they capitulate and resign.

  • Comment number 9.

    Thats one way to sum it up, Nick... But on a serious note, the times will be difficult ahead, but I feel a sense of hope on both sides (Tory and Lib Dem) that something good might come from all this.

  • Comment number 10.

    Is this history in the making?

    We, the public, voted for a hung parliament, so we should not be at all surprised that we now have a coalition.
    Doubtless there will be some MPs, the purists from the far-sides of the two parties, who will quietly, and then not so quietly, voice their anti-coalition views.

    Will David and Nick be able to lead their parties, and jointly lead the country forward through difficult times?
    Frankly, I cannot see a better pairing of fresh blood to drive this through.
    And wether they succeed or fail as a team, we have the government we 'deserve', as it is our votes that have brought us here.

    Political and electoral reform is not the issue. Strong but sensitive financial management is needed.
    Doubtless, the Tories alone would have reduced the deficit over time better than anyone, as history has repeatedly shown.

    But what appears to be on the table is a blend of fiscal focus and social conscience. Is this a new style of government for the UK?
    I hope so, because we need it. So let's hope they can make it work.

  • Comment number 11.

    Forgot to mention. If there is another election, within the year, I won't be voting. No point really because it would prove that the politicians are just playing with the electorate. If they don't like how we voted then maybe they shouldn't be in politics.

  • Comment number 12.

    Now that it has finally been decided, I wish the Con-Lib-Dem coalition the best of luck; they're going to need it both for internal and external challenges.
    However, I think you are overdoing the optimism reigning this evening Nick.
    Looked at through slightly less rosy glasses, one could not help but sense the absolute lack of euphoria in Cameron taking office compared to when Blair became Prime Minister. Of course there were true blue Tories crying into their milk on that day, but the country carried a sense of something new, something revolutionary. Most importantly, despite the fact that even Blair's landslide victory in the House of Commons did not reflect a majority of popular votes, nevertheless, one had the sense that his huge majority in the House gave him a strong mandate.
    In contrast, this marriage of convenience or necessity does not represent the same 'majority government' that Cameron must have dreamed of when he was so far ahead in the polls, before it started to slip from him. Although ironically, the combination with the Lib-Dems does give him a strong majority both in the House and the general popular vote.
    You paint a picture of a man who is willing to compromise, that may be true. But most people are willing to compromise when they have a gun pointing at their heads. If the Tories had failed to broker a deal and ended up looking at a Lab-Lib-Dem minority government, then Cameron might well have ended up making a resignation speech in the next few weeks. After all, Tories are quite good at axing their leaders as we saw with Hague and Duncan Smith. Cameron has played the only hand available to him, since a minority government alone would probably not even get its first week of parliament without a vote of 'no confidence'.
    As for Clegg, he has chosen between the devil and the deep-blue sea. His reward is supposedly deputy-leadership and some real potential power. A concept his predecessors for many decades have only dreamed about.
    I think the most significant thing here is not the fact that there are two young leaders, but rather that there are two leaders from opposing parties sitting down in cabinet together. Neither would have chosen this outcome willingly, but one has to wish them luck.
    As you say, the arrangement ". . . will either collapse under pressure of competing tensions between and within the parties or it will shape politics for a generation to come." One feels both Cameron and Clegg will do their best to make it work, after all their political careers depend upon its success. The real challenge will come from within their respective parties. I suspect Cameron will have a harder time here than Clegg, although he carries more power as the Prime Minister.
    Finally, Cameron was no doubt right to take office warning of the difficult times ahead. This was a leaf out of the Obama manual of accepting office. However, unlike Obama, Cameron has pledged himself to tough economic measures. Obama via Treasury and the Fed maintained the 'bail-out' philosophy that we saw their cousins in the EU finally adopt at the weekend, no doubt to the protests of Trichet. If Cameron is true to his word, then along with his Chancellor he will be undertaking some of the deepest cuts to the public sector this country has seen in ages. This of course is likely to put the economic recovery (if that's what you can call it) into jeopardy. The year ahead will prove whether David Cameron has the courage to keep to his guns; this would not be easy even if Cameron had won with 100 seat conservative majority. However, with dissenters from the first day, it will be a delicate balance to keep the boat from capsizing. The key issue will no doubt come down to trust, a rare element in the world of Westminster.

  • Comment number 13.

    Time for the poor to get poorer. The rich to get richer and public services to be either sold off or die. Welcome back tories.

  • Comment number 14.

    There is a large amount of anti Lib Dem and Nick Clegg comments, tweets and posts after this coalition agreement which I dont agree with.

    After the election there were only 3 possible outcomes:
    - Conservative Minority Government - Not a viable long term option to take on the big challenges and would have resulted in elections again in the autumn.
    - Lib / Lab / SNP / Plaid Cymru Rainbow Hippy Alliance - Would never have EVER worked as nothing would ever have got agreed due to the many conflicting interests and party politics. Do we REALLY want Gordon Brown still as PM?
    - Conservatives / Lib Dem Coalition - Only real option of a Government that could theoretically work. Lib Dems get their first taste of real power with influence and Conservatives can start concentrating on running the country and clearing up the financial mess.

    When we went to the ballot boxes we all knew we were never going to get anything other than a Labour or Conservative government.

    I think Nick Clegg and the Lib Dem negotiating team should be praised for getting as much as they have from the Conservatives and taking the bold step of putting the national interests first, not demonised as some kind of sell out.

    They were stuck between a rock and a hard place and were guaranteed to lose voters whatever they did. Now they have the chance to make a difference and we will actually see Lib Dem policies becoming law (who would have thought it?). Also they have the chance to prove the many doubters wrong and show that they are capable of competently holding office.

    Now is not the time for Lib Dem supporters to lose the faith. They will be stronger in the long run for this, as I hope will Britain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Nick, have a look at this. Lib Dem MP, Tim Farrow, put this comment on facebook and is suggesting that there may be a referendum on electoral reform!

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm sorry, Nick. Breathtaking? The whole fiasco could have been straight out of the pages of Gulliver's Travels. Party's failing to appreciate just how little faith the country has in any of them and plenty of back stabbing on all sides to scupper a deal that would guarantee electoral reform. For those of us who want real change, what we now have is the worst of all possible combinations - with the Tories and Labour no doubt plotting a strategy to secure an overall majority at the next election. And all of it in the name of what's best for the country.

  • Comment number 17.

    How can this be.

    The Lib Dems were losers in the election and they achieve cabinet positions. This is immoral and a slap in the face for the electorate. The Conservatives at least won pole position and have earned their passage to government. I am not at all sure that it was wise for the Conservatives to offer so much to Clegg who after all merely carried out a dutch auction. All he should have expected was recognition to some degree of the Lib Dems manifesto, not to sit beside the driver and share his position on the podium. Clegg and his mates have no mandate from the people to be anywhere near the podium. The last thing the electorate wanted was for Clegg to be king maker and to carve out positions at the top for himself and his mates.

    If the alternative would have been a deal with Labour, then so be it. In the final analysis it would have been curtains for Lib Dem and Labour in double quick time..

    David Cameron should be very careful that he honours the voice of the people and do everything with that in his ear. He really did not have to give so much away to a losing minority party on the way down.

  • Comment number 18.

    Having someone lay out the state of the economy and what's REALLY required would have been nice. Especially BEFORE the election. We vaguely knew what was coming, but details would have been appreciated.

  • Comment number 19.

    An historic day after what must have been the most stressful days after an election result!

    I think it's time for young blood, fresh ideas, innovative thinking, and putting old dyed-in-the-wool predjudices to rest.

    I hope David Cameron has been able to forgive Nick Clegg for the stab in the back from the Lib Dems. It certainly seems so, and the markets certainly should feel less jittery with Vince Cable (hopefully) lending his considerable experience and gravitas to temper George Osborne's less favourable impact.

    Some good, strong and steady hands at the tiller, including some who have handled these negotiations so incredibly well.

    I like what I have heard so far about the various compromises made-the idealistic from both sides has been made more realistic.

    All credit to Cameron and Clegg for forging this coalition. I honestly think they are our nation's best chance.

    I was also impressed by the dignity of Gordon Brown's final speech, even though I can't stand him!

    Maybe now, with a new leader soon for Labour, we will see a gradual abatement of the old grudges and predjudices.

    It might have been ushered in with less razzamatazz and more soberly than we are used to, but I really do think this is the dawning of a new era.

    A man who can compromise for the good of the country is a strong man indeed.

    A whole new era has been born tonight. Britain finally has a chance of getting the best of both, not the worst of one.

    Wow! Amazing times! Get stuck in chaps!

  • Comment number 20.

    @ 1. At 00:41am on 12 May 2010, theorangeparty wrote:

    ...faced with the wrath and ridicule of the electorate, democracy has been rescued by common sense.


    Could not be more wrong. Firstly I have voted LD in every local, European and National election since 1985. But that will not happen again after such a LibDemCon. Clegg has today led the LibDems, in the style of Ramsay Macdonald with Labour in 1931, to oblivion. Their agreement to take part in a coalition government is purely a suicide note, no less. Labour will bury them - and ironically so will the Tory right wing and eurosceptics. They may as well close down their LibDem party offices and call themselves what they are - Tories in disguise. Presumably they will not be contesting elections with the Tories for the next five years? That's hardly taking care of their roots.

    They never had to do this. But given an opportunity to act as 'honest brokers' holding the ring in Parliament and just providing a minority Tory administration with confidence and supply, they chose instead to fall for Cameron's easy charm and seize a few token levers of power for themselves. This is the great betrayal of their own supporters. And the PR referendum is now a dead duck (sadly): who is going to vote Yes on a free vote? - not Labour, not the Tories, and there now won't be any LibDem supporters left to express an opinion. Dangerfield wrote about the 'strange death of Liberal England' and in the 1920s Labour referred to their corpse 'encumbering the ground'. It seems that in the 20-teens they will finally be laid to rest rather than being revived into a serious political force. Their political dreams of a better society have been broken by their own hands and their hunger for power - based on less than a tenth of parliamentary seats. One last thing - since when did 'coalition' consist of just two parties? Not in British political history I think you'll find.

  • Comment number 21.

    I have always been a staunch Tory voter but I have to say that I think this outcome is absosutly the right from this election. I am putting my faith as I am sure many are in the both the Conservative and Liberal Democratic party to lead our country into a sustained and carefully planned growth out of the position we are currently in. This will mean cuts, it will mean efficiency savings, it will need support of fledging businesses, but as an expert in these matters (in the private sector) it should be and can be a piece of cake

  • Comment number 22.

    Tories have yielded a little, LibDems have yielded a lot: reasonable enough given the relative numbers in Parliament. That we're unlikely to face a full-blown return to the 1980s offers some crumb of comfort to those of us for whom there is still such a thing as society. Tory abandonment of their proposed inheritance tax giveaway and acceptance in principle of a higher income tax threshold offers something to those who believe that hard-earned subsistence income should be taxed more leniently than inherited assets beyond most people's reach: let's hope that LibDems are able to force more such One-Nation Conservatism on their reluctant partners.

    On a more quizzical note, do we know anything about the coalition allies' planned approach to the by-elections which will inevitably punctuate this Parliament? An electoral pact would have been necessary for any centre-left bloc, but Cameron-Clegg can ride out the customary losses without any such deal. So will we see rival coalition candidates campaigning against each other in support of the same government, or will there be an arrangement for the weaker local party to stand down? Has anyone addressed this anomaly given all the other business of the day? Interesting times indeed.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick, I would also like to say a massive thankyou to you and all the correspondents, reporters, presenters, camera operators and sound engineers who have spent days and nights standing around outside or dashing all over the London (and other places) keeping us fully up to the minute with what was happening, opinions, information, and so on. Not to mention having quality discussions whilst trying to make yourselves heard over protesters! All in the cold and always bright and cheerful. Loved the little factoids, focussed questioning-BBC 24 has been on almost constantly in our house for the last few days.

    I, for one am extremely grateful for the quality and breadth of coverage from all of you. Even poor old Hugh (love those ties, by the way!), yanked out of the studio and plonked outside no 10 to present the 10 o'clock news.

    Brilliant job (much better than Sky or ITV).

    Hope you all get a good night's sleep-heaven knows you all deserve it!

  • Comment number 24.

    We are now in a 'Con-Dem-nation'...let us hope that doesn't come true.

    I am quite positive about this new coalition. The coming days and months will tell how effective that will be. Best of luck to them all, I say!

  • Comment number 25.

    stephen lavin wrote about nick robinson

    "that you can reach the heights of fellow 'professional' such as Piers Morgan..."

    the auditions for comedians was on a different blog mate

    by god there are some bad losers on the net tonight, can't get over that the fact that the dark arts of Mandy and spinning & briefing campbell and whelan failed.

    They thought their demons had spiked the tories and isolated the libs, well this time they were out of their league, they were dealing with people of far more principle, something they can't comprehend so can't deal with.

    DC & NC will need to watch the press and opposition looking to report /exploit problems not successes.

    congratulations to DC & NC, hope you can make it work for all our sakes and our children / grandchildren.

    Who would have thought it 1st coalition in peacetime and its tory/lib because labour walked away from it not prepared to negatiate..

  • Comment number 26.

    Well if the Lib Dems have given up on the points they're said to have, the £6bn cuts this year, trident, immigration cap and allowing George Osborne in as chancellor, it's more like a sell out than a coalition.

    The next few days will tell us if the Lib Dems are finished as a party or not, when the fine details come out.

  • Comment number 27.

    Maybe its just me but the first real test for both these parties surely will come at conference time i'm sure theres a lot of angry Tories and Libdem supporters out there who will attend but will they have cooled off by then?

    I honestly cant see this lasting full term either way but i suppose time will tell

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    So, what happens in by-elections ?

    Will The Conservatives and Libdems stand against each other, or will one party give way ?

  • Comment number 30.

    #13 Gary, I think your comment refers to the last 13 years of uncontrolled public expenditure excesses resulting in national bankruptcy! Indeed you should welcome back the Tories because any more of the same Labour incomptence and we will be the next "Greek tragedy"! I hope that the Libdems and Tories do work together and moderate each other, the Tories stopping the luny left of the LibDems and the LibDems stopping the radical right of the Tories, in a perfect world that could be a dream ticket for the poor old voters who will have to suffer over the next decade for the incompentence of the last decade. My main hope though is that both Clegg and Cameron make decsions on their own merits as elected leaders and keep out the spin doctors and unelected Mandy types that have been at the core of Labour.

  • Comment number 31.

    Having read these blogs for 18 months I am disappointed to see a lack of the names I had come to recognise. I everntually decided to vote Tory as our local labour representative had been our mayor, and a bad job he had made of it plus the Lib Dem candidate could not give my email question a straight answer!

    So here we are with a coalition government, no bad thing in my book. A bit of compromise here and there never hurt anyone!

    What has really got my goat is that when you whatch Newsnight and the BBC news chanel and many other media outlets they are looking only to what can go wrong! The country spoke and it said we want a different kind of politics! So now the media need to let them get on with it, and everyone neeeds to STOP predicting it won't work!

    It has my blessing

  • Comment number 32.

    Nick sold out the country to be deputy PM and all our hopes for a fair government for the people has gone. Welcome to a Sheriff of Nottigham cabinet and see tax hikes for the poor to fund the champagne budget of the public school boys.

    Still saves me some eleccy turning off the news every night now to avoid looking at all the smug smiles that go from the lips immediately to the necks and 'upper class' accents.

  • Comment number 33.

    The merits of the agreement are for voters. However, I'd encourage the parties to learn from the New Zealand experience.

    As much as the words on paper, the day-to-day relationship is vital. Good faith, no surprises, and agree-to-disagree procedures are all essential is two distinct parties are to work together in government.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well done Mr Clegg. I think the decision made was the only workable option, and the negotiations delivered the goods, at least partially, and I think that is a result, the best that can be hoped for, not forgetting the Lib Dems did get only 23% of the vote.

    To those who say it's a sellout, please understand that firstly, there was no alternative, the numbers did not add up any other way, the hippy coalition was stillborn - not even the Labour party wanted it, so it just wasn't going to happen.

    Yes, I am uneasy about a partnership with the Conservatives, however, there is plenty of promise - the the numbers of the Conservatives combined with the moderating influence of the Lib Dems could well produce the balanced government that we, collectively, did in fact vote for.

    I think the best thing now is to give the coalition some time, to come to grips with itself and its new position of power, and give it a chance to work. We all know, the last guy in Number 10 didn't do such a great job, and we all know we wanted a change. Well, we've got one, so now is not the time for complaining, or rumblings of dissent, or rumour-mongering or needless criticism.

    In the end, the electorate voted for compromise, and in a compromise, everyone has to give some ground. This means we all need to let go, at least a little bit, of whatever hopes and dreams we may have harboured and accept the will of the electorate, and the government it inevitably produced.

    Rather, now is the time to put in some hard yards, as a team, to clean up the mess left by the last 13 years of incompetence and betrayal. This coalition might not be perfect, but it can't get much worse than the previous effort, and it does contain plenty of potential. Yes, the Tories might shaft us... they might not as well. Who can tell? Better to take the offer at face value, at least for now. There is a country to run.

  • Comment number 35.


    Yes, it has been a breath-taking day in the United Kingdom; And, also a busy and interesting time also...


  • Comment number 36.

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  • Comment number 39.

    I for one am happy with the outcome, I think it is in the best interests of the country. The coalition can work as long as the leaders can temper and control the more extremest elements of there own parties, I also believe they will temper some of the more non sensible policies both have had in there manifesto's.

    Cameron has gone up in my estimation in his attempts to make this coalition work rather than trying to form a minority government which in these uncertain times was and is not the right way forward. Any minority government would struggle to pass the cuts necessary to balance massively over stretched public finances.

    Like every home we have to balance our own budgets, if we over stretch ourselves on credit then at some stage the party has to end and this is the point we have reached, like it or not. There has to be massive cuts to government spending and like it or not public services need to face the reality we cannot afford the current budgets they have. There are some real fervent labour supporters on these blogs that decry any cuts to public spending, yet cuts in spending have to happen, yes they will be painful. I for one would not like to see a health service decimated, yet the massive budget the health service gets ("The budget for the NHS in England in 2010-11 is forecast to be just under £110bn") we do not get the service we need in this country so cuts and efficiency savings HAVE to happen.

    I for one am dismayed at the praise of how Gordon Brown handled himself with dignity.. Even till the very end that it became clear he could not hang on to power any longer, he tried to outmanoeuvre the potential Liberal Conservative coalition with what seems to be an insincere attempt to woo Nick Clegg away from the Conservatives. It has been widely reported that the labour party did not offer the Liberal party any concessions or make any real attempt at a coalition. It seems to come across as more of a spoiling action than any attempt to serve the countries best interests. Even at the very last minute GB went back on his word and announced his resignation before a formal coalition was announced between the conservatives and liberals, when he had promised he would remain Prime Minister and work to provide a stable and secure government to the UK. It just goes to show how self serving the man is and what an unmitigated disaster he has been for this country.

    I do wonder what now in the coming weeks? Will we get a Greek moment of honesty saying er oops our finances are much much worse than the previous administration ever admitted too or will some of it remain under wraps to avoid a market backlash? Interesting times ahead. Personally I think there has to be honesty and face the harsh realities of what a mess this country is really in and how bad the deficit and PFI obligations really are...

    I would also like to applaud the BBC coverage both online and tv, both have been exceptional, even if at times the guess work in the lack of hard facts got very close to sensational and maybe should have been tempered a little. I would also like to congratulate Nick Robinson for his insightful views on this election.

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    I would like to thank the BBC for their coverage over the last 5 days.I have never been that interested in in politics but you coverage and pictures have kept me glued to the television. It was more exciting than that Who shot JR in Dallas soap episode many years ago. I admire the way presenters whom we the public see reading the news from an autocue, Live outside interviewing political big hitters thinking on their feet and were not overwhelmed by these politicians. I love the way Nick has all his SNOUTS within Parliament who slowly let the cat out of the bag.Great stuff guys.Must go gotta hide more cash under the matteress before Cable grabs it.......Oh dear hes overlooking the Banks as well......Tin Hats must be worn......Glass of Pinko anyone.

  • Comment number 42.

    Is the real truth not something along the lines that:

    More and more Labour MPs began to realise that they were incapable of sorting out the absolute mess they and their previous illustrious leader has left the economy in. Better to spend time in opposition and leave the mess to the tories, let them take all the unpopular decisions that sorting the economy out will involve. This realisation and the false pleas of "accept we lost, the public wont accept it if we remain in power", became much bigger and stronger than their leaders determination to hang on to (literally) the keys to number 10. Brown may well have been allowed to "go with dignity" in the medias' eyes, but I have no doubt he was forced out kicking and screaming. Standby for New Nu Labour to reinvent itself again! No doubt many Labour MPS believe the best place to be for the next couple of years is in opposition, whilst all the tough decisions are made by others, and hope that come the next election the public will have forgotten about their waste and spin and how they changed almost every rule and procedure and made everything so damn complicated in order to justify their actual existance.

  • Comment number 43.

    No referendum on Lisbon/"EU" = no respect.

  • Comment number 44.

    Two men prepared to compromise - all well and good and necessity is the mother of invention. Let's hope they are not as compromised and muddled as the electorate have been. Simon Hughes sanctimoniously harped on with typical Lib dem fervour about the poor and the needy as if it was the sole province of his party and they have some divine right to sainthood. I sincerely hope that it is not the shape of disagreements to come and that David Cameron will be as good as his word and will prove that the values of essential goodness and a caring, economically secure society is the province of the 'New' Conservatives, as I believe it is. No government can uphold or execute those values without the money to do so. We got what we asked for - be careful what you wish.

    Good luck to them. I hope it works even if it's not what I wanted.We desperately need it to !!

  • Comment number 45.

    It seems that Mr Brown left on his own terms and delivered several digs to Mr Cameron along the way. Instead of waiting for the morning he timed his exit on his terms - 7.15pm at night, saying only that he wished his successor "well", in what was an emotional and heartfelt speech. He then seemed to have a dig at DC at Labour HQ, completely unnecessary, and took credit away from his Downing St speech. This left DC to see the Queen in the next hour or so, then to make his accpetance speech on a cold night in the dark. No spring morning launch for DC. Then again with timing or perhaps just circumstance, DC would eventually retire at No. 10 for the evening in what would still effectively be Mr Brown's surroundings, upstairs and down.

  • Comment number 46.

    A lifelong Tory voter, but this time round I really didn't know what to do and thought long and hard. About 6-12 months ago it would have been Tory, but more recently there were some aspects of policy and party I wasn't entirely comfortable with. The only alternative for me personally was LibDem - but there were things I disagreed with there too: hence the dilemma. In the end I stuck with my 'roots' and voted blue again, though with some concerns and reservations... and in fact, where I am in a safe Labour seat, it was rather academic anyway.

    It was undoubtedly time for a change in my view - government of any flavour after a long period in office goes 'stale', and it's as true of Tories as it is of Labour.

    Now we're in the uncharted waters (in recent times) of the coalition. While it's probably too strong to say I'm optimistic, I am certainly hopeful. Wherever our allegiances traditionally lie, I feel we have to be... hopeful that our new government will somehow be able to pick its way through the many minefields ahead in the best way possible, as our nation and the type of future we face depend on it. Maybe it's over-simplistic, even very naive, but my thinking so far is that, obliged to work in concert, the Tories and LibDems may each slightly temper the more extreme right and left factions/policies of the other. Only time will tell if the rather fractious nature of both parties will hold together, and it may all end in tears as so many are predicting, but I say give 'em a chance and wish 'em well.

  • Comment number 47.

    31. At 02:32am on 12 May 2010, sadlydeskbound wrote:

    Having read these blogs for 18 months I am disappointed to see a lack of the names I had come to recognise. I everntually decided to vote Tory as our local labour representative had been our mayor, and a bad job he had made of it plus the Lib Dem candidate could not give my email question a straight answer!

    So here we are with a coalition government, no bad thing in my book. A bit of compromise here and there never hurt anyone!

    What has really got my goat is that when you whatch Newsnight and the BBC news chanel and many other media outlets they are looking only to what can go wrong! The country spoke and it said we want a different kind of politics! So now the media need to let them get on with it, and everyone neeeds to STOP predicting it won't work!

    It has my blessing

    I bet Cameron and Clegg are relieved about your blessing. With Cameron it's a case of getting into Government at any price.

  • Comment number 48.

    Considering the shambles of the election last Thursday, the state of affairs over the last week, and the flippant comments emerging from left right and centre in the last 48 hrs, I think that this is perhaps the most satisfactory outcome for Britain as a whole.
    I'm genuinely pleased that the combination of two exciting, fresh and dedicated young men are to lead our country.
    Hopefully the level of diversity that the two leaders and both parties can bring to our new government will be a step in the right direction, and our country may once again be a prosperous place to live in and somewhere we can be proud of!

  • Comment number 49.

    Let's hope it works. Good luck to them. Thanks to the BBC for wonderful election coverage.

    We have almost what we voted for. An improvement would have been a sprinking of Labour talent in the government, Mandy for instance!

    One final thought; if coalitions work so well in Germany then we should be hopeful it will work here. After all each party is a coalition and therefore each government is really so too.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thank you for all your hard work and excellent unbiased analysis during the election period. Take a good break you have truly earned one.

    I feel confident that the end result is exactly the strong fix required to tackle the deficit and put broken Britain back together again.

  • Comment number 51.

    At 01:07am on 12 May 2010, Gary wrote:

    "Time for the poor to get poorer. The rich to get richer and public services to be either sold off or die. Welcome back tories."

    Sounds like a description of the last 13 years of Nu Labour if you look at what has ACTUALLY happened to the gap between rich and poor and how "PFI" initiatives have "mortgaged" hospitals and schools, etc. for years to come without showing the true cost in the books.

    (Although I do agree with your final sentiment :-)

    I was opposed to the idea of a Con-Lib coalition after Cleggs attempt to go behind Cameron's back. - Not so much that he did negotiate with Labour (It would have been irresponsible not to) but the secretive way he went about it.

    However, given Cameron's magnanimous response, I am now thinking "This could actually work" - We all need to give it a chance. I find Cameron's emphasis on "The Big Society" and responsibility encouraging. Perhaps we can find a true Third Way after 13 years of New Labour spin and no substance.

    After despair at seeing Brown back in No 10 on "Brown Friday", I now have some hope for the future.

  • Comment number 52.

    A breath taking day not only in politics but also in broadcasting. Congratulations to Nick Robinson and the entire BBC team who have given such exceptional coverage over the past few days. To have kept pace with the post election confusion, unfailingly reported fairly and explained brilliantly and, yesterday in particular, been in the right place at the right time is nothing short of miraculous.
    If the politicians are tired the BBC team must be exhausted. Britain may not have a political system to be proud of but our Broadcasting Corporation is a national treasure.

  • Comment number 53.

    What was that arguement again? The Libs will take the edge off the excesses of the Tory budget? No Nick will just become the apologist for it and take over the mantle of David Steele's famous Spitting image puppet! The Libs will be awarded all the wee 'diddy' jobs in the cabinet (why exactly do we still need a Scottish Secretary of State when we have a Scottish Pariliament?) and those where the need a patsy to explain the cuts in jobs/ services for David

    Vote Lib Dem, get a new style of politics, get a fairer Britain, get rid of Trident etc, etc, etc...

    Get the Tories!

  • Comment number 54.

    Nick, I second the thanks for all your hard work and excellent unbiased analysis during the election period and the aftermath.
    It has been excellent and factual commentary keeping us all up to date. I now hope that the country will come behind David Cameron and Nick Clegg in their efforts to bring our country back where it should be, both economically and socially.
    I am Conservative through and through, but I have actually always liked the 10,000 tax break so I welcome this concession and I was never so sure about the inheritance tax break, so think this is a good one to give up in return. Good move!
    I hope the nation gives a resounding NO to AV, but a reduced parliament and and some other changes will be welcome.

    Keep up the good commentary and I will be following you and your blogg with much interest over coming months.

  • Comment number 55.

    Goodbye and good riddance Brown the most immoral prime minister the country has ever had.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well, given the circumstances, thank God that commonnsense has prevailed!!

    A two-loser pact/coalition was plain stupid and would never have won public approval. 'Late again' Brown should have done the honourable thing last Friday. Somewhat surprised that he has gone from PM to leaving politics altogether - a bit like a spoiled child really who wants to take his ball home after losing.

    Politics will NOT be the poorer for his passing!!

  • Comment number 57.

    It sounds like most people are of the (glass is half empty) type.
    Try being the (glass is half full) for a change and give them a chance.

    As a long term floating voter i would like to say thankyou Nick for an unbiased and well thought out commentry

  • Comment number 58.

    The thing I hope for all this is that they are given time to succeed or fail. It is going to be a tough time. The key point is the fixed term Parliament. That will change politics quite radically.

    First of all it forces the public to see if coalitions work, no snap elections. The main argument against PR is that coalitions in this country can't work. If they are seen to work, then that gives a change in the voting system a better chance of being approved.

    Secondly it gives the defeated party longer to reorganise. There is no rush to find a new leader. One of the reasons why Maggie and Tony got re-elected was because there was a weak and disorgainised opposition. Party leaders usually get replaced because they lose an election - both parties have messed it up in the past and chosen unelectable leaders. Labour has got time and so it needs to sort itself out. My timetable would be an elction in 18 months time once they have sorted out their battles and then set up a government in waiting. This would give time for trust to be rebuilt and for the public to know who these people are. Blair did it in the run up to 1997 and Cameron has done it now. Even if they don't get it right they may have set up an effective but constructive oppostion which will benefit the country.

    The main destructor of the Brown government was Tony Blair. Poor Gordon was handed the leadership at a time when a Labour defeat at the ballot box was very likely. Making up lost ground and the looming election blighted the Brown premiership. Brown is probably a very good close range fighter and a very poor long range fighter so he was not prepared to risk an election in 2007. Who knows how he would have conducted himself if he had had five years. My point isn't a defence of Brown, but to say that three years of election fever was not good for the country.

    On a completely different point. I don't know what people expected of Glegg. I presume he believed in the LibDem manifesto and wanted to get as much of it as he could into government policy. He had to bargain. Some people call that shabby. If you see a house you want most peole will offer less than the asking price or say that there is another house which they really like which is cheaper etc etc. If Clegg had not briefly talked to Labour he may never have got as much as he eneded up with. The secrecy was nothing to do with keeping the public in the dark, it was to keep their own activists from making statements which would have made the deal impossible.

  • Comment number 59.

    Brown "outmanouvered Cameron again??" Cameron has consistently outmanouvered Brown, most notably at "the Election that never was". When did Brown ever outmanouver Cameron?

  • Comment number 60.

    Well done Nick for excellent coverage. I hope that this new regime may also herald a new style of British political interviewing from your colleagues with the adversaria style becoming old fashioned and outdated and not in the countries intellectual interest.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    First of all - good luck to the Tories and LibDems in our first coalition for a long time, they will need it

    Secondly - I thought Gordon Browns speech at No10 was probably one of the most heartfelt he has ever delivered, for the first time in a long time I believed what he was saying and felt emotion from him

    I also thought he looked as though a heavy weight had been lifted from him, his demeanor looked brighter and his smile more natural - I think the change will do him a lot of good and that he may (privately) be glad to spend some more time with his family

    I hope the coalition can get on with each other and not resort to the standard tribal politics of back stabbing and jockeying for position, I would like to see them work together to sort out our problems

    I hope the Labour party renews itself with a new leader and returns as a strong and effective opposition (preferably not Ed Balls though) but they need to have a clear out first, Mandy has to go along with all the other old cronies who I feel led to them being in this position - they will come back stronger from this

  • Comment number 63.

    At 03:49am on 12 May 2010, branditony

    Your analysis may well be correct. But it's a very high risk strategy as a political party. Just imagnine if this coalition actually works, and of course there's no guarantees that it will, and the country is returned to prosperity and, to aue a cliche mad great once again, how would Labour ever again be able to grasp the reins of power.

  • Comment number 64.

    Those who think having so many LD in Ministerial posts mean Camera-on has given away too much have a superficial point.
    It means that it will be all but impossible for the LDs to walk away from the deal and it’s going to be hard for them to do so in 2015 if that means they will leave Govt for the rest of their lifetimes.

    In short, the new ‘wet’ Conservative Party will absorb the ‘L’ part of their coalition partners and Labour the ‘D’ faction for the next GE - we might well be nearer to two party politics than we have been for a long time.

    The Thatcherites will be the ones to watch - if they don’t get their fair share of posts and policies, they will be tempted to form a sensible UKIP grouping - particularly as they did so well at the last EU elections, which are due to coincide with the next GE.

    So…. if the coalition settles down and the 2 parties stop thinking of themselves as ‘Con’ or ‘LD’ and start thinking of themselves as ‘The Govt’, then the whole face of British politics will have changed - probably forever.

    Not one single LD candidate last Thursday ever thought, in their entire parliamentary career that they would ever, EVER get into Govt - now around 50% of the current intake ARE.

    That’s going to change their whole mindset and outlook - to break away from this coalition means they will forfeit that FOR EVER - and the red boxes and ‘Yes Minister’ etc etc are very seductive - even for mature, experienced, level-headed people and LDs are rarely, if ever, that!

    Given that Labour now need to purge the Augean stables of the past 15+ years of corruption and dissemination, they might, just might, rebuild themselves as a party of the Centre-Left, with the Conservatives as the Centre-Right party. There would then be a place (particularly under AV) for two other parties - a Socialist one and a Thatcherite one (probably both anti-EU).

    Two options, therefore - a collapsing coalition in 6-18 months and bitter recriminations (possible, but the LDs would be slaughtered) or a full-term parliament and a fundamental re-alignment of British politics at the end.

    I’d bet on the latter, whilst keeping an eye out for ‘Events, dear boy, events’

  • Comment number 65.

    At 05:17am on 12 May 2010, MaxG wrote:

    With Cameron it's a case of getting into Government at any price.

    Not sure how you work that one out. More the other way I would have thought. It is clear that the Lib Dems have sold the soul of their party to take up positions in Government. i.e. deficit, immigration, defence - all the policies of the tories will be implemented.

  • Comment number 66.

    4. happyboy wrote:

    "BTW...I understand that since Cameron's appointment, the Labour Party online has been receiving 20 applications a minute to join the Party..."

    I've no idea if what you say is correct, or have reason to doubt what you say - but I'd be more inclined to attribute the rush to join the Labour Party to the fact that Gordon Brown has gone as PM and party leader, which happened only minutes earlier ....

  • Comment number 67.

    First Cameron/Clegg success _ persuade Brown to resign on a false hope of a deal. Second success _ consign Mandleson and Campbell to the dustbin. Keep it going boys ! Brilliant !

  • Comment number 68.

    The Labour Party must be secretly quite chuffed about all this. They were heading for defeat in this election a long time ago but they could never have dreamt that it would turn out so well for them. Out of power, but still with a reasonably sizable presence in parliament, they can now put all their efforts into opposition whilst rebranding themselves and watching their two main rivals slowly tear themselves apart. The Tories can barely stay in office for a full-term without falling out amongst themselves - how they are going to cope trying to get along with Liberal Democrats?

    And what happens at the next election? How do either the Tories or Lib-Dems campaign against each other when they'll have been implementing the same policies for 5 years? Both will be in a tricky position come the next election and Labour will be the only main party able to legitimately campaign against what will be an inevitably unpopular government (because of the decisions they'll have to make) and will be the only change option. And that's assuming the coalition lasts the distance - if it doesn't the electorate will judge them very harshly.

    Mandy and Campbell could not have engineered a better situation for Labour if they'd tried!!

  • Comment number 69.


    Best outcome for the country as a whole.

    Two teams of politicians able to overcome the braying and tribal whining from within their own parties to do the right thing even with a wobble.

    Now time to make it work and show us all why PR actually works and produces a better society and better government.

  • Comment number 70.

    "David Cameron took office on a cold dark night" Don't forget the rainbow that appeared during the transition.

  • Comment number 71.

    I'm old enough to remember tee shirts with the legend, "don't blame me I voted Labour".
    What are we to wear now? How about, "don't blame me I'm one of the disenfranchised anti-Tory majority".
    Too long? Perhaps a simple, "don't blame me the politicians stitched me up" accompanied with a nice black flag motif.

  • Comment number 72.

    As a Lib-Dem voter really frustrated and angered by Clegg's sell out.It woul have been beter for the Tories to go it alone.Lib-Dem voters won't forget this political manouvring with th tories.

    Remember the words 'Education,education and education' not so long ago.

    Well let us replace that this morning with Nick Clegg's own self interest and egotistical nature: BETRAYED,BETRAYED,AND BETRAYED.That is how a lot of Lib-Dems feel.
    The sequel to this will be COLLAPSE, COLLAPSE AND COLLAPSE.

    Nick, you really are a tory in disguise!

  • Comment number 73.

    A For what it's worth I have been amazed at the last few days. I think it is good for democracy to have a situation such as this. Wether I agree with the outcome is another thing. I am concerned that I voted Lib Dem and seem to have voted for an immediate choke on a struggling economy of £6bn. Not really what I had intended. Time will tell.

    As far as Nick Robinson is concerned, as commented below, … yes, I feel he is at times a little too partisan for my liking but for real parisanship one only has to look to Sky's Mr Boulton and his outburst the other day. Very amusing and telling I thought. The BBC has remained absolutely professional, as it should, and has been a pleasure to watch this past week.

  • Comment number 74.

    55 writes:

    "Goodbye and good riddance Brown the most immoral prime minister the country has ever had."


    I really do doubt that.

  • Comment number 75.


    How on earth did that happen? Nick Clegg came last, & he is deputy PM. Is that democracy?

  • Comment number 76.

    What's important to remember is that now we have a government, for the first time in post-war history, that was put into office by a genuine (and sizeable - 59%) majority of the voting electorate. OK, not everyone who voted Tory or Lib Dem wanted it, but it's time to accept the reality that no party won the election and work together. If the Lib Dems want to have any claim to be a true centre party and third force, they MUST be prepared to work with the Tories - otherwise they are just Labour Lite.

    I will be honest and admit to being generally left of centre and thinking nothing could be worse than a Tory government - but we haven't got one, we've got a Tory/Lib Dem government, which may turn out to be quite a different thing. Both parties have already made significant compromises but still retain some of their core policies as well. The Tory right wing is no doubt just as unhappy about it as the Lib Dem left - especially given Cameron's first act as PM, which was to *praise* the outgoing Labour government for making things better than they were just after the last Tory government left office... astonishing (and actually true). If he's genuine about what he says and can deliver it, we really are seeing a totally different type of politics in this country, a far more mature and inclusive one. I never expected this given the posturing in the campaign.

    Give them a chance.

  • Comment number 77.

    At last it's sorted. Hopefully Cameron & Clegg will not face any problems during their term of office that will require an instant response, given how long they have taken to reach a conclusion that was obvious on Friday morning.

    It will be interesting to observe how they get on...

    But even more interesting to see some real news again. Wonder what's been happening in the world over the past few days while we've been swamped in political antics to the exclusion of all else?

  • Comment number 78.

    So, I wonder where all the Tories commenting on these blogs will go when the guts are ripped out of the BBC for the benefit of Dave's Murdoch pals.

  • Comment number 79.

    I could not disagree more profoundly!
    If the coalition lasts (and it will) then the next GE will be fought under AV with UKIP, 'National Party' and Labour as the candidates (possibly with 'Socialists' as well if Labour has the brains to split).
    Who will vote for a return of the disastrous authoritarianism and deceit of the last 15 years? The whole 'Labour' name has been poisoned - outside Scotland, where a degree of fiscal autonomy and a drastic reduction in Scottish Westminster MPs will make that benighted region an utter irrelevance to the rest of us, living outside the People's Socialist Republic of North Britain.

    Labour is now forever toxic after the Wilson/Callahagn economic and social disasters (my youth) and the Bliar/Brown economic and social disasters (my adulthood).
    No-one, but no-one will ever, ever trust them again in power unless and until they become Social Democrats (whatever they call themselves)

    Labour needs a new leader, sure, but every single name the public know is contaminated - they are out of power for at least 2 leaders and 2 (probably 3) GEs

  • Comment number 80.

    In the PM's speech he outlined the public's advocating need for a change in government, he spoke of tough decisions to be made by the public, recognition that we will need to make sacriifes and compromise all in order to be a better country.

    I think it's fitting that this new government has demonstrated that they themselves were willing to accept the need for a change in party politics and representation by forming a coalition; it's clear very tough decisions were made along with sacrifices by both parties and compromise was key. How could Cameron have faced us with a minority lead in The House if he couldn't even have shown his own party could manage all of the above for the good of the country? Perhaps the events of the last few days have served to underline the political service and the new regime, not undermine.

  • Comment number 81.

    I have voted Lib/LibDem all my working life, and have had the same empty feeling after each election. My constituency has swung back between Labour and Conservatives, and nationally my vote has counted for nothing. Well guess what, I finally feel like I have a voice in the running of the country rather than being one of the disenfranchised 6 million. With any luck this will be the last time that an overall majority is achieved by anyone and the country can grow up politically.

  • Comment number 82.

    Now will be the time of course when " Nice" Cameron finds out who actually runs the Tories.

    The "Real" suits will sweep past him muttering, " Nice one diddy, suckered them all!"

    "1st on the agenda, set the Banks free again, 2nd Cut the Army,Navy, Air Force and Police to the bone; we don't need them; nobody ever attacks the countries where we live and our security is top notch on all of our residences and we NEVER walk in the streets!"

    " Do the CHOICE thing again, tell them how slashing the NHS and ENCOURAGING private medical insurance is just giving them EVEN MORE choice than we did with the Utilities swindle, the Telecoms swindle, the Railways swindle; its MORE competition so it has to be better, just like directory enquiries!"

    "Back pedal on the immigrant thing though, we need them, we brought them here and we don't want to have to start paying proper wages and have stable workforces that might get organised and a bit shirty at us getting 100% rises every year when they are on a 3 year pay freeze"

    " Big noises now on LAW and Order but don't actually do anything that might cost money; reduce the police force by a quarter like last time we're all safe and sound in our gated communities its only Poor on Poor so just keep making the noises."

    "what do you mean this isn't what you thought you were getting into No. 10 for ? You want to make a difference! Don't be stupid, We are the Rich, we like it like that!"

    " Now run along and bother a Liberal like a good little boy."

    They will have him for an Amuse Bouche.

  • Comment number 83.

    "BTW...I understand that since Cameron's appointment, the Labour Party online has been receiving 20 applications a minute to join the Party..."

    Probably all spammers.... like the phantom "voters" who "saw the light" about the proposed tory changes to various benefits last year and those who came on here and said "I'm no fan of Gordon Brown, but...."

    Either that, or they're all from overseas. Non domiciled prospective donors perhaps??? LMAO!

  • Comment number 84.


    Yep. Always someone elses fault, isnt it?

  • Comment number 85.

    32. At 02:35am on 12 May 2010, Doms14 wrote:

    Nick sold out the country to be deputy PM and all our hopes for a fair government for the people has gone. Welcome to a Sheriff of Nottigham cabinet and see tax hikes for the poor to fund the champagne budget of the public school boys.

    Still saves me some eleccy turning off the news every night now to avoid looking at all the smug smiles that go from the lips immediately to the necks and 'upper class' accents.

    God, is that all we're going to get now, all this bitter drama queen crap??? Good grief....

  • Comment number 86.

    I think one of the truly breathtaking things of the past 2 days is the manner in which certain so-called objective journalists exposed their true (party) colours. The fear and outrage amongst them on Monday afternoon after the Brown announcement (to be replaced within 4 months and to attempt to form a progressive coalition) was palpable. The most obvious example of course was Adam Boulton humiliating himself live on Sky News in his discussion with Alistair Campbell - television gold which should be watched by any would-be TV reporter in how not to do it.

    But it was also really disappointing to watch Nick Robinson's anger at the 'affront' of Gordon Brown to try and agree a coalition with the Lib Dems. It appears now that this was doomed from the start, but Robinson clearly didn't think so as he scrambled to find any means to criticise Brown, constantly repeating that he was attempting to 'cling onto power' for 6 months (and very bad maths there Nick). Anyway, you can calm down now - you got what you wanted.

  • Comment number 87.

    Bonkers! On every possible point, at every possible level.
    Even Spitting Image had brains behind it.

    Johnson has just ruled himself out:
    a) because in his late 50's he's too old (??? - I prefer wisdom to enthusiasm)
    b) because he implicitly accepted that it will be 2 full parliaments before Labour has any chance of a win.
    So 2020, minimum?
    I reckon, in all seriousness, it will be 2030 before Bliar/brown has slipped enough out of the public memory and public finances

  • Comment number 88.

    13. At 01:07am on 12 May 2010, Gary wrote:

    Time for the poor to get poorer. The rich to get richer and public services to be either sold off or die. Welcome back tories.


    Oh for gods sake... another drama queen. Get over yourself.

  • Comment number 89.

    #78 John

    Where exactly do you get this type of information? It's just gutter sniping at best. To be honest the BBC could easily lose some money from its' budget and still turn out quality

    It's vastly over funded and highly wasteful of the license money it gets. I'm not advocating blindly slashing expenditure as i'm a fan of the BBC, but it is bloated and tries to be all things to all men. It should focus more on core activities

    What is it with Labour and Murdoch? I remember well the last couple of GE's where the press were firmly in Labours back pocket - the press will go wherever they can sell papers, it's not all a big conspiracy you know...

  • Comment number 90.

    I think this is the logical result of last week's election. A minority Tory government was the only other acceptable option, but may not have been as stable and widely accepted.

    I was however a little worried by the spectacle of senior Tories arguing over silly hand kissing rituals on the BBC. Somehow it smacks of public school boys back in charge of the playground. Let's hope they show more common world sense in the coming months and years.

  • Comment number 91.

    Where on earth are the usual suspects on this blog?

    And what are those poor (or rather, lately very well paid) "Government Advisors") now going to do? Stop writing blogs perhaps and look for a job in the real world

    And Saga, stop sulking

  • Comment number 92.


    If you refer tot he Ben Bradshaw incident, then Adam Boulton was right to react as he did

    NR and Boulton excellent


  • Comment number 93.


    You seem a little bitter about this - why not try to look forward instead of backwards?

    If you only focus on the past then things will never change, why not have a bit of faith and try to support the country instead of harping on to times gone by that most of us have left behind - you never know you may even start to feel good about life

  • Comment number 94.


    You are a cynic...and you know what is said about them

  • Comment number 95.

    71. At 07:34am on 12 May 2010, kevin colwill wrote:
    I'm old enough to remember tee shirts with the legend, "don't blame me I voted Labour".
    What are we to wear now? How about, "don't blame me I'm one of the disenfranchised anti-Tory majority".
    Too long? Perhaps a simple, "don't blame me the politicians stitched me up" accompanied with a nice black flag motif.

    How about.....I am the village idiot?

  • Comment number 96.

    Morning Mr Robinson and others in great Britain.
    Well nick the bunting should have broken out on the streets of blighty this morning in celebration to embrace a new opportunity to put the economy back on track after all you have waited thirteen years for stability two return i notice with some reservations that quite a few liberal supporters are not entirely happy with their lot may i offer my opinion to them ?you may consider returning to the lab our party a lot of you came from or continue with a new alliance with the Tory's?After all you had little or no chance of taking up office in no ten and this is a grand opportunity to achieve some of your goals after conceding the loss of some on both sides.
    Congratulations on allowing commonsense two prevail.
    The markets can now return to some form of stability and the nitty gritty of the problems start to come under attack with a few new heads at the helm.
    First priority is to return the troops to the shores of the united kingdom and stop the parades in Wooten basset.
    I would like to remind the good people of GB that remember you are and always will be an island Hitler found this out after failing to put jackboots on our shores in the war years.
    The only enemy you have to fear is the enemy within,There is no need to go looking for him on foreign soils,
    Replace good boarder controls like there once was.
    Radar kept us informed of any threat from the air and still exists
    I notice with some reservations that British airways is about to sercome to a little trade union disruption well you remember Mrs thatcher don't you ?don't let this sort of thing stop progress in the long long struggle
    to wards stability there are enough problems already.Morning all.

  • Comment number 97.


    Good government from the election result

    Cameron is a good leader, and as I said the other day, has been extremely dignified

    The Conservatives, far from resisting change, have embraced it, and are now leading it

    Interesting that even on day one, the cynics are here in force

    The Lib Dems who say they will never vote LD again, as they didn't want coalition...yet do want PR astonish me

    The death bed conversion of Labour to PR will be undone


    I wish it well, and predict good things

    IF they lay out the true financial picture, warts and all, then it will be hard for labour to oppose effectively

    They will only be able to play on the fears you mentioned the other day, even if they are utterly false on this occasion

    Cameron's speech last Friday was the game changer speech

  • Comment number 98.

    Fistly, thank you to all three political parties for mking this the most interesting election in my life time. Secondly, congratulations to the Beeb. Like many others, I've been glued to their coverage for the past 5 days. Lively comment and great debates.
    Thirdly, congratulations to both the Tories and the Lib-Dems for taking the decision to work together. Like many others, I too would have liked an outright victory for any party other then Labour, new or otherwise.
    If this coalition is really going to put the frail, elderly and vunerable as a top priority, perhaps they could start with the public sector pensions cost of living increase? Brown and Co have ensured that millions of retired nurses, teachers and lower graded public sector worker pensioners have not had any increase this year. These people are not rich and often live below the breadline. Poor actions to support the poorer sections of society. Come on David and Nick - put this right and you will have millions more support.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm intrigued by the local election results and the fact that I've seen almost no mention of these amongst all the punditry and analysis. It is frequently the case that the sitting government does poorly in local elections if the electorate is unsatisfied with their performance - often referred to as a sort of protest vote with voters returning to the party fold for a general election.
    It looks as though the Labour party did really well in the locals in England, gaining control of some councils for the first time in years, yet this support wasn't carried over to the parliamentary election. I would suggest this doesn't augur well for the LibCons in the next election. Discuss.

  • Comment number 100.

    So there are some people in the labour party, such as John Reid, that have some dignity.
    What though of the spiteful Mandleson, Adonis and Balls, who tried in vein to stop the conservatives from forming a government. Surely Mandleson at the very least should resign, but I expect this loathsome character will carry on as though none of the defeat was his fault.


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