Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The bravery of Nick Clegg...

Spidey yesterday wrote an excellent blog post based on a Tweet she'd sent saying that Ed Miliband could never be Nick Clegg because he: "isn't that brave or honest".  One sentence in particular jumped out at me: 

"So yes, what Clegg did was remarkably brave and I don’t think that Ed Miliband or any other member of the Labour party would have had the guts to do the same thing."

I've been racking my brain (along with browsing Google - but please correct me if I'm wrong) and I can't remember David Cameron and Gordon Brown or any high ranking official from either party discussing even the remote possibility of working together - I can't remember any political commentator even suggesting it!  

Obviously any good Government needs a decent opposition in order to hold them to task if they do something fundamentally wrong however surely, given the state the country is in and was then that there was enough overlap in each of their manifestos to warrant a phone call and see if they thought it may be in the national interest to work together (even for a short time) to handle the country's debt (and deficit) problem.

This I think highlights the difference between the Liberal Democrats and the other two major parties, we believe in pluralism.  Even if you do not agree with someone they may still have something to offer and it is unlikely that you will disagree on everything.  Although we'd obviously love to govern alone we are willing to put aside our differences to do what we feel is best for the country no matter how strongly we oppose some of their ideals we know there may room for compromise.  After all a political party is always a coalition of people, however like-minded there will be differences; we are already set up to deal with discussions amongst the ranks, in a coalition there is just a wider range of ideas.

I for one am glad Nick didn't shirk away from the responsibility when, like it or not, the country needed him - they needed a stable Government and that has been delivered.  If we hadn't I'm in no doubt that there would have been another election already which would have been even more disruptive to the economy and the City.  Credit must (grudgingly) go to Cameron for his determination to form a coalition rather than seek support for a minority administration and for all of the concessions that they have made.  The easy option would have been to settle for a confidence and supply agreement -  but that would have been the weak option.

Personally, I love politics, however the argy bargy of Prime Ministers Questions and the likes ends up with all of the MPs involved coming across like school boys, just aiming for petty one-upmanships.  I therefore like the fact that in a coalition most of the disagreements are behind closed doors and either a united front is put forward or a respectful one that doesn't just aim for meaningless sound bites for the media - something else I don't feel Labour could do.

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