Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dave New World?

So, it's finally happened. That oily little git Cameron has finally wheedled his way into Downing Street. But only, apparently, with the support of Nick Clegg and his band of mercenary 'liberals'. But right now I don't want to talk about him, I'd rather pay tribute to Gordon Brown. God knows, I've disagreed with him on a whole slew of issues, but I have to say that, in these last few days of his Premiership, he's played a blinder. I have nothing but respect for the way he's taken this election, not just down to the wire, but beyond it. His refusal to be hustled out of Downing Street in the wake of the hung parliament by the right wing press was admirable. His last minute announcement that he was prepared to step aside to accommodate a possible coalition with the Lib Dems was pure genius, throwing a spanner into the works of the Tories' attempts to negotiate with the Lib Dems. The subsequent revelation that the Lib Dems had already been two-timing Cameron by secretly talking to Labour will, with luck, sow the seeds of mistrust in the new coalition government, even before it takes office. Finally, his sudden resignation, forcing Cameron's hand, before he'd completed his negotiations with Clegg, was quite brilliant.

These past few days since the election have been fun - watching the growing frustration of the Tories and their media cronies as they were forced to observe the constitutional niceties of the situation has been a fine sight to behold. I particularly enjoyed Adam Boulton's meltdown on Sky News in the face of Alastair Campbell's reasoned arguments. I think Campbell's overheard off-screen comment - "Adam, you are a pompous little arse" - just about sums up the feelings of millions. Whilst, since the election, Brown has conducted himself in a dignified manner, the press have been a downright disgrace. But what's new? Anyway, getting back to Dave, (reluctantly), what can we expect? Well, if his new Lib Dem buddies honestly think that they will, in any way, be able to constrain the Tories' worst excesses, they are deluded. I suspect this coalition has more to do with Nick Clegg's personal ambitions than it has to do with actually implementing any of his party's core policies. Indeed, I can see him crossing the floor, when push comes to shove and the grass roots of his party finally rebel. Who knows, he could the next Tory leader. I think the most telling thing I heard today was supposed Lib Dem moderate Simon Hughes telling the BBC why talks with Labour failed. According to him, the Labour party was unwilling to budge on any of its main manifesto pledges, whilst the Tories had been far more flexible. Well, Simon, that tells us everything we need to know - that labour still has some principles it is unwilling to compromise, whilst the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are simply a bunch of unprincipled bastards who will do anything to gain power. But that really shouldn't surprise anyone.

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