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The most extraordinary story

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Nick Rougvie | 17:00 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

"I don't think I've ever heard the phrase 'most extraordinary' used quite so often in quite so short a period a time. As the events of the last six days unfolded the political commentators, analysts and correspondents perhaps simply ran out of superlatives to describe the post-election political upheaval. '....most extraordinary events'; ....most extraordinary 24 hours'; '...the most extraordinary story.' In the realm of British politics this indeed was a momentous week.

When we came off air from our election special last Friday morning (was it really only five days ago?) we knew there would be a hung parliament. We knew talks and discussions would be held but it was the twists and speed of the turns which caught many off guard.

In the Newsdrive studio at five to five on Monday afternoon, we saw the lecturn being placed slap-bang in the middle of Downing Street. All of a sudden there was to be a statement from the Prime Minister and I don't think I'm giving away too many trade secrets when I say his resignation plans came as something of a surprise. Yet the negotiations continued between Labour and the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

Then Decision Day, as David Cameron himself had dubbed it. It became apparent the Lab-Lib talks were going nowhere but there was still no agreement between the unlikely bedfellows of Tories and Lib-Dems. It was Mr Brown it seemed who would make the move - the last political act from a thoroughly political man - to force the hand of his rivals and kickstart the final process to move New Labour out of Downing Street.

BBC Radio Scotland stayed on air, again, to catch the final hurrah of the minister's son from Fife. It was, not surprisingly, a very different departure from his predecessor.

This story is far from over though. Can the coalition last the planned five years? Will the Clegg/Cameron double act survive the ideological differences which sets them apart? And how, perhaps most importantly, will the electorate react? This story could continue to be quite extraordinary."


Nick Rougvie is one of the presenters of Newsdrive on BBC Radio Scotland.

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