Well. This is a turn up for the books. Who would've believed way back on April 6th that we'd have a Tory-Lib Dem coalition in office? Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister? John Cleese in his rightful place in the Ministry of Silly Walks at last? Me either. But guess what? We're there!
As I've said before, I would have preferred a Lib-Lab pact. But Nick Clegg's gambit of reaching out to Labour on Monday proved that Labour would not have been a stable coalition partner even before considering that the numbers just didn't work out. Their MPs were already briefing against it by Tuesday morning and my mind was then made up that support for the Conservatives was the only way forward. Alas.
The rumblings of discontent are far less than they were at the weekend. I think Clegg's Labour deal gambit (very well conceived) brought the Progressive Left Coalition people (like me, but more enthusiastic) back to reality. Some members, councillors etc. will, I'm sure, defect. I just hope they don't defect to New Labour whose record in office in attacking civil liberties and war mongering renders such defections morally suspect. Defect to the Greens people. THE GREENS! At least they have souls.
Anyway, I for one won't be defecting, or even moaning that much. This is our chance to prove our way of thinking and to move beyond mere partisan politics. To be grown up about Government and maybe, more personally, move beyond my tribal hatred of Tories. If we can take some of the rough edges off the Tories policies and sneak a few of our own in too, all the better. My major concerns from what I've seen so far are:
1) the marriage tax breaks are still going ahead (with Lib Dem MPs abstaining). This annoys me greatly but it's only a small matter (£3 a week wasn't it? HA!)
2) the referendum on AV. It's not really even a step forward is it? But it's a change in the political language which I hope people like TakeBackParliament can exploit as we all continue our fight for real electoral reform.
I'm broadly positive, yes I said it, positive that this new Government may lead to some really good changes. No ID cards will keep me happy for now, and I hear rumours of an STV elected House of Lords. And this is NOT a Tory Government. It's a coalition!
Let's look to the future, be constructively critical and keep a beady eye on the right wingers in the Tory party... and cross our fingers that this leap into the dark is the good decision I'm beginning to believe it is.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist