Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Did British politics really change a few hours ago?

A quick post a few hours after Gordon Brown gave way to David Cameron and followed up his announcement from Monday that he was intending to step down as Leader of The Labour Party by saying that it he was doing it immediately — which means that Harriet Harman has become the Party's interim leader. Susan and I both voted for her in the Deputy Leadership election a couple of years ago (or was three?). We wish her well and hope that she performs so well at the despatch box in the House of Commons that can become a serious candidate in the Labour Party leadership contest we will have shortly. Perhaps John Cruddas will tempted to run. Both names spring to mind, but neither appear to be on the national media's radar. We will watch developments with interest.

I hardly make a reliable politics pundit, having expressed the view in last blog that 'with the rest of Parliament ranged against him, I don't see how Cameron can cut services immediately'. How little I know! I fell into the camp that thought we were probably going to end up with a Conservative minority government. I did not think the Liberals would go in coalition with the Tories, given the fact that on some issues they were to the left of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party. Yet, in truth, I am not surprised, nor do I see it as the end of the world.

As I write this, news is continuely leaking out, including a Tory/Lib agreement to have five year fixed term parliaments. Blair considered the same possibility, but for four years. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Well, at least we know what we have to look forward to, assuming there is not some small print 'get out' clause in the deal.

On balance, I am with the Labour MPs who spoke out against a Lib/Lab deal. The arthmetic simply did not add up. Another plus side to all this is the fact that political debates should be shorter, as the Tories and the Liberals will have to speak with one voice, so for the media to give them both equal space with Labour would be unfair. Hang on, I feel one of my 'how ittle I know' moments coming on.

Most of the day was spent being active in my world. Lenton. My Crocus Gallery blog is where you will find pics and happy news about local life. OK. One pic to tempt you there.
On the basis of the reports we've had so far, the new cabinet will include David Cameron (PM), Nick Clegg (deputy PM), George Osborne (Chancellor), Vince Cable (chief secretary to the Treasury), Andrew Lansley (health), Liam Fox (defence), David Laws (education), Danny Alexander (Scotland) and Philip Hammond (work and pensions). There must be some jobs going to women, but we haven't heard of them yet. The Guardian.

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