From the FT’s leader Cameron changes the landscape

“On policy, understandably, there has been some give and take. This is on balance positive. The good bits of both parties’ programmes have largely survived the process intact, while some more suspect ones have been jettisoned. The coalition’s programme is strong on restoring civil liberties for instance. The Tories attractive plans to reform education remain in place, as do proposals to look at structural reform of the banking system”

This is put more strongly in Old pledges end up on the bonfire

“But both party leaders have also found the need for “compromise” to be a convenient reason to lighten the load of policy pledges that are often more cherished by party activists than the nation at large”

and by Phil Stephens in the alarmingly titled Cameron risks his career, Clegg his party

“The tortuous post-election negotiations, the wheeling, dealing and double-dealing had been nothing but a ploy to secure the acquiescence of Tory swivel-eyes and Lib-Dem sandal-wearers”

As an opponent of both nutty wings, I applaud.  As Tim Montgomerie said to Michael White on today’s Guardian Podcast, ‘It’s the inlawss, rather than the marriage, that is potentially the problem here’.  Please, someone find me a marriage photo where the groom’s family wear sandals, the bride’s all have swivelly eyes*.

Finally, to file under furious thinkers of the Left who don’t like it one bit: Seumas Milne, who writes

any idea that the new Tory-Liberal Democrat government represents a challenge to Britain’s power structure, or even a break with some of the most shopworn politics of the past decade, was swept away as the ministerial carve-up was revealed.

And please bookmark Gerald Warner in the Telegraph, his furious outpourings from the swivel-eyed side of the church are hilarious:

It may well be that is all it is. It is possible that sneaky Clegg, sniggering over having secured Gordon’s resignation, will yet waltz off on Dave’s arm. But he now has an insight into Cameron’s desperation. Like all blackmailers, he will return to demand more. As a pantechnicon delivered a large consignment of brown trousers and bicycle clips to the back door of CCHQ, Dave sold out his party by offering Clegg a referendum on the AV voting system … Dave brought all this upon himself by making his party unelectable with his modernising infantilism: the men in grey suits know that.

This is what it was all for.

* Can I really be the only person thinking of the Arrogant Worms and the excellent Liberal attitude they show in their important song, Killer Robots from Venus? Why can’t we all just get along?

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8 thoughts on “Coalition quotes

  1. I did enjoy seeing one of the Lib Dem MPs on the Channel 4 news last night admitting that they had been quite gleeful about jettisoning the immigration amnesty. I imagine the Tories felt the same about the Inheritance Tax pledge. With some of these dropped maifesto policies it’s not been so much a question of tough compromise as opportunistic withdrawal.

    I have to admit, there’s some deep, wary part of my reptile brain that is unnerved by just how pally Clegg and Cameron have been.

    1. But this all sounds good, including the unnerving of the reptile part. Dr Pangloss is smiling

  2. The FT’s analysis seems pretty close to the point. I had thought that David Cameron would be quite glad of some cushioning to his left to keep the foaming mouthed loons on the right quiet.

    Poor old Gerald Warner -I rather think that the only government he could sign on to would be that of the Papal States at the absolute depth of their obscurantism in the early 19th century.

  3. There is more downside risks for the LibDems than the Tories. Anything they do that does not go down well with the Tory base will be blamed on the LibDems, and not Dave. If it all ends in tears the Tory base will have no difficulty in blaming all those sandal-wearers in government. In fairness to Dave, it does look like his liberalism is real and he wants to rid himself of any leverage the Tory swivel-eyed lunatic fringe might try to exert. However, their outrage is always such fun to read. The permanently angry will be apoplectic with rage by Christmas.

    1. It is a real hobby of mine – watching the permanently angry. I might keep open a permanent comment thread here for people to post their favourites.

      You are right about the LD risks. But also the upsides. Having no liberal in power for 70 years (well, maybe Jenkins) was becoming a bit of a pain. And I hate pure protest groups …

  4. This certainly has been a wild ride. From the high of polling in the 30s after the first debate, to the low of the exit poll and Lembit Opik and Evan Harris etc, and then the swing back completely in the other direction as Lib Dems enter government, and, as I read someone say earlier, Nick Clegg becomes the most powerful liberal since Lloyd George.

    The most surprising part of this deal, particularly if its not just a fig leaf, is a commitment to reform party funding. Never mind PR for the Lords – what possessed Cameron to agree to that?!

    If this stuff actually happens, Cameron could no longer be derided as the “heir to Blair”. He would instead have become a true moderniser, who’d learned what Blair did not in 1997.

    [I have to say it’s a little unfair to talk about “both nutty wings” – the swivel-eyes in the Conservatives are surely quite crazy, while I’m not sure exactly what’s nutty about the sandal-wearers (out of interest, anyone know who came up with that stereotype anyway?), but then I’m not a member of the Liberal Democrats.]

  5. Talk about being angry, much of it was evident on Question Time last night. How irresponsible of some on the panel to suggest that the Conservatives ought to have been left to govern as a minority government just so they would fall in a months to come. Putting aside my own sentiments of the Conservatives, how would the national interest have been served with this strategy? The economic recovery would be set back and people’s livelihoods further put in jeopardy.

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