Wednesday 18 August 2010

The first 100 days of the Coalition Government

As seems to be the political norm these days, whenever a new government or president is elected, we have to have the first 100 days progress report. Today it's the turn of our new Lib Dem/Conservative Coalition.

Do you remember during the election campaign all the warnings of how terrible a hung parliament would be? How it would lead to a weak, ineffective, and impotent government?

How things have changed. It seems we like this new form of collaborative government after all.

Have a look at this BBC slide show I found which details the first 100 days of the Coalition.

So what have we learnt from the first 100 days? Well I think this is as good as it could get for the Coalition. There's still that honeymoon glow about things, a sense of novelty about this new politics, but at other times it all feels quite natural.
You still hear stories and rumours of potential disharmony. Business Secretary, Vince Cable was meant to be struggling with having to work with Tories, although he has come out and denied all this.

I see deputy leader of the Lib Dems Simon Hughes as a potential 'troublemaker'.

Today he was calling for backbench Lib Dems to be allowed to veto policies put forward by the Cabinet.

In the Conservative ranks, you've got the likes of maverick backbencher David Davis, figurehead of the Tory right, referring to the government as 'Brokeback coalition' a slight dig at the political love affair between Cameron and Clegg.

So there's still loads of potential for increasing coalition tension and we haven't even got to the proposed spending cuts taking place yet.

We're in that phoney war period, a bit like in 1940 when the country was waiting for the Second World War to begin properly.

We don't have any German Luftwaffe planes about to attack, but we're all waiting for those spending cut bombs to drop. We know they're coming it's just a matter of when.

Later this year Labour will elect its new leader. I can confidently and boringly predict it will be someone with the name Milliband. We'll then resort back to more normal party politics when we have a proper Opposition, this will put the Coalition under more scrutiny.

I feel quite comfortable with the new Government at the moment, but I have this gut feeling that the Lib Dems have more to lose from this arrangement than the Tories.

The Lib Dems made the right choice by joining forces to prop up the Tories, but as the spending and benefit cuts start to bite it's going to put more pressure on the party.

It's telling that their opinion poll ratings are already significantly down on what they were earlier in the year. They may not have an easier 100 days in office as this.

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