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A New Dawn?

May 12, 2010

Is this a new dawn for UK Politics?

I have watched and ranted for the past few days at the TV and with friends about the way politics have been of late.

It’s not been easy that’s for sure to watch my party, the Liberal Democrats, form an alliance with a party I admit to not liking. See for me, the Tories last time they were in power, saw my Dad loose everything.  I vowed at the tender age of 13 I would never ever vote Tory.

So a few years later at the great 1997 election when New Labour came into power with an overwhelming mandate, I helped, my vote brought them in. But from that moment on, especially after 2001, I have lived to regret it.

Some of the most profound actions taken by Labour swayed me to walk away from them and at the same time as I was getting older and learning more about our politicial landscape and understanding where I stood on my views, I have found myself swaying to the Liberal Democrats, a move that has seen me watch this party with growing interest and pride for the past 5 years and that I finally, to use a well used phrase “put my money where my mouth is” and joined the party during the recent election campaign.

Was it the right thing to do given the coalition that Nick Clegg has made with a party that on the face of it we have nothing in common with historically?  I know people asked me if I was going to give up my membership, and my Dad who remains a Labour supporter, asked me how I feel about Nick now he has “gone to bed with the enemy”.

Well let me say this, I still believe in the principal foundations of the Liberal Democrats and still believe this is the party for me. Do I agree completely with this alliance? If I am honest, no I do not, but I also see hope in this.  The Liberal Democrats have secured many of their core manifesto points in the new coalition, and while I am unhappy that Trident has been left off the table and other core policies, we have a real chance and say at changing politics.

I called this post “A New Dawn” and I still think at this moment it is.

The press and certain Labour supporters can ask if Clegg had a right to form a government seeing as the Liberal Democrats came last, but lets remember, no one party came first as our constitution states.  A party must secure 326 seats to be a majority, anything else is open to protest simply because a minority government will always have problems.

Both Labour and the Conservatives knew that their next step in forming a “stable” government was to court the Liberal Democrats as the next largets party.  True, there could have been a Lab-Con coalition, but really? Labour was the incumbent party, the ones alot of people wanted out, not as part of the new era.  Because lets face it, even though the Conservatives may have had not enough for a majority, they were the party with the most votes/seats.

From the outset a maturity was shown in the negotiations between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. No words spoken to the press, just negotiations, which was unlike Labour who’s insiders sent comments to the press shouting their displeasure at Clegg and the LibDems:

One minister inside the bunker in the final hours said: “I’m annoyed, relieved and I want to clear off. We are just waiting for Nick Clegg to stop dicking around.” Guardian

It was not the only rant. The one thing Labour forgot that this was negotiation and that they to have any hope of clinging onto power, needed to get the LibDems on board.  Rumours persist that bad body language and an immovability to negotiate on their own manifesto was the reason Clegg finally pulled the Liberal Democrats out of negotiations.

Clegg was clear that he would start talks with the party that had the most votes first, something Gordon Brown seemed to respect even if those around him did not.  People should also remember, what would the country have thought if the two loosing sides formed the basis of a coalition? I doubt they would have been pleased.

I am not 100% happy with this and may not be for a while. But this will either work or it won’t and we will be at an election again. In my opinion the Liberal Democrats will be the checks and balance that we need with the Conservaties.

I know it may not and I know we may be headed towards another election, but I am at least ready to see – isn’t that the mature thing to do?

David Cameron’s Cabinet (12/5/10 – 13:30pm) (BreakingGlobalNews)

PRIME MINISTER – DAVID CAMERON
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER – NICK CLEGG
FOREIGN SECRETARY – WILLIAM HAGUE
CHANCELLOR – GEORGE OSBORNE
HOME SECRETARY AND MINISTER FOR WOMEN AND EQUALITY – THERESA MAY
DEFENCE SECRETARY – DR LIAM FOX
LORD CHANCELLOR AND SECRETARY OF STATE FOR JUSTICE – KEN CLARKE
HEALTH SECRETARY – ANDREW LANSLEY
BUSINESS/BANKING – VINCE CABLE
ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – CHRIS HUHNE

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