Congratulations to David Cameron, our new Prime Minister. There’s so much bitterness already on the Internet tonight about the coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, but it was the only smart choice. It gives a chance to the party that gained the most votes and seats in the General Election. It also gets rid of a Labour Government that trampled all over our civil liberties, took us into an illegal war, and landed us with an astonishing level of debt.
I’ve got a good feeling about the coalition. I like Clegg, Cable, Huhne and Laws, and a number of Lib Dem policies. So the idea that their best policies will be cherrypicked and implemented alongside the Conservative’s programme for Government, with the sandal-wearing lentils rubbish ditched, makes me very happy. It’s the best of both worlds, and as we all know, that was the best episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Anyone still rueing the missed opportunity of a Lab/Lib coalition can blame the outcome on Labour’s own negotiating team, for showing the same mindblowing arrogance that their administration has too often shown over the past 13 years, refusing to compromise and instead just plonking their manifesto on the table and saying “deal with it”. But credit to the Labour MPs with sense who railed against the Mandelson/Campbell efforts to cling to power last night and today. It’s notable that the Lib Dems and Tories had more than one party meeting during negotiations to keep their MPs up with the state of play. Labour had none. And that says it all. Opposition will be good for Labour. I look forward to seeing them restyle themselves, getting a good new leader, and coming back to challenge the new Government.
Many difficulties lie ahead, but I hope that even those who are vehemently anti-Tory will at least give this new coalition a chance before condemning it out of hand. Britain is a country of fair play, after all. It was good to hear Cameron specifically mention helping the poor in his opening statement, and given the praise heaped upon the Conservative negotiation team by the Lib Dems, let’s hope that this really is the new politics that everyone has been banging on about for the past few weeks.
The next few months and years will contain many necessary tough choices on public spending and taxation, but despite this, I feel optimistic. Here’s hoping for a bright new future.