Thursday, 13 May 2010

Moving up and moving on

So as the dust starts to settle in Downing Street it seems we have a new governing party.

It should probably be no surprise that an energetic marketing man should feel the urge every few years to step up, move on and try his hand at something new.

The emotional impact of such change usually affects just a few fellow workers. In David Cameron's case, the impact is felt by several million close followers—plus 306 dependent members of parliament.

Yesterday, in the No 10 rose garden, Cameron justified his move by saying his negotiations with Nick Clegg led him to believe a full coalition between Conservatives and LibDems was not only possible but desirable. The alternative—the risk of needing to fight an election again in several months and possibly losing—clearly focused his mind.

The full-blooded coalition was an intelligent decision but rash and risky. Cameron's willingness to fully engage with this new big idea may have led him to set aside the impact it could have beyond Westminster. The Big Coalition concept remains untested among the thousands of both party's workers and millions of supporters outside the meeting rooms off Whitehall.

Yet it seems we must adapt to the proposition that elected politicians lead and their parties must follow—or be left behind. We live in extraordinary and critical times. And a coalition government of national emergency may be the most rational solution to addressing the country's issues.

Meanwhile, party workers like myself who may feel abandoned by the new politics, might consider an analogy with a family experiencing a new birth. As elder siblings we have become used to our familiar domestic environment. Now a new member has arrived the attention we expect has been transferred to nurturing the new arrival. We will have to adapt—in time may get used to it.

Certainly, for now we can only be hopeful, and magnanimous, and allow this powerful new government time to set about its unprecedented tasks in the way it presently thinks best.

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