Con-Dem Nation. The state of British politics.

Posted on May 13, 2010


So we enter into a historic era in British politics.

I’ve tried to keep my political views off this blog, mainly because I didn’t think the way I choose to vote has any relevance to how I review a hotel or wrote a feature. However, with such a huge change in the political landscape, how could I not comment?

With Labour facing crisis after crisis, and with Gordon Brown up against the far more media savvy Cameron and Clegg, it came as no surprise that Labour haemorrhaged votes and supporters. Couple this with a well oiled and funded Conservative campaign and for the first time a viable Liberal Democrat alternative, and the possibility of a hung parliament was looking ever more likely.

"Gordon, you are the weakest link. Goodbye!"

When the votes came in and the seats won and lost, it was obvious that no-one had a clear majority. Nick Clegg, whilst not exactly PM, was momentarily the most powerful man in the country. Without him, neither party could form a majority. A coalition looked inevitable. However, where many thought it would be a Lab-Lib coalition, old grievances and the fact that, even together they could not form a majority, the idea collapsed and the political future of the country remained in question.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives put forward an offer the Lib-Dems they could hardly refuse. With a Con-Lib coalition they could hold a majority and the country could rest knowing that, at last, a decision had been reached.

We’ve all seen Cameron and Clegg shake hands and pat each other on the back, but what does this really mean for the future of the country, and just how has this been a democratic victory?

David Cameron reacts to being reminded that he called Nick Clegg his favourite joke.

Personally, I am amazed. Both parties are focusing on their similarities rather than their differences, but there will be some seriously ruffled feathers in the ranks. Major concessions will have to be made, and there will be a change in policies. And it’s this that is the most interesting point. We now have a party that no-one voted for, with policies that were never even put up to public scrutiny. If you voted for one party based on a particular policy, you might find that it’s been discarded. We’ve got a Prime Minister who received just a smidge over 36% of the public vote and a party that are compromised throughout. Now I’m sure that they will do everything to put aside these differences in the interest of the country, especially with all the problems they face, but I find it ironic that we apparently live in a democracy, yet we get a party and policy that no-one voted for at all.

"Isn't that one of Gordon's ties?" "Yeah, it was left in the wardrobe at No. 10"

How will this effect the country? Well, remaining positive, you might argue that Great Britain will reap the benefits of the best of both parties, but realistically there are billions of pounds of cuts to be made, and the people running the country have fundamentally different ideas on how to do it. And the people of Britain are politically divided like never before, yet are quietly accepting the new state of affairs. In typical British style, there have been no protests or angry outbursts. Everyone seems to have shrugged their shoulders and let it all happen.

When the music stops, Cameron takes away a chair.

I want to remain positive about it. I find the very careful response to the media from our new ruling party quite amusing. It’s all so cordial, British and polite. The phrase my enemy’s enemy is my friend springs to mind, and I’m sure that beneath this cordial veneer there with be an uncomfortable alliance.

Still, we need political reform here, and, if anything, this is what this election has given us. A four year term and a promised review of the voting system. The irony of a political party reviewing and changing the very process that created them will not be lost on many, but it is long overdue.


Posted in: Editorial