Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sense and justice prevails - at last

Here at Pol-e-tics we feel exhausted. The energetic run-up to the election, the all-night marathon following results, the dawning of a victory so narrowly missed and the daily roundabout of LibDem indecision ... towards the end it began to pall.

But now the elation of victory is sublime!

Cameron has been dignified throughout—keeping his distance from the media—which will make the sight of his appearance finally to declare a Conservative-led government all the more dramatic and satisfying.

The fact is that over the election and subsequent negotiations the Conservatives have won!

There have been doubts over the negotiations within all three parties. This is unsurprising given the electoral result produced a situation our traditional party system is not designed to cope with.

The Labour party deal was never going to be a winner—even if it had been sealed. Some sensible Labour MPs were willing to acknowledge that a Libd–Lab pact would be undemocratic.

Then many Conservative supporters believe Cameron went too far and should have tried to run a minority government. Again, this would be an undemocratic result that ignored the numbers delivered by the electorate.

More party political still, some Conservatives believe Cameron should have walked away from any government. This would leave other parties to do their worst until an inevitable fresh election restored Conservatives to power with a sound majority.

But such a strategy is just not part of Conservative DNA. Conservatives are pragmatic but above all responsible. The country needs a government, and a Conservative government. To walk away from the challenge would be cowardly, damaging and irresponsible.

Can Conservative parliamentarians work with the LibDems?

The LD leadership has not covered itself with glory over its negotiating tactics. Conservatives are familiar with LibDems facing two ways according to their audience. But what we have seen at play is the division between right and left that still lies at the heart of the LibDem party.

The liberal faction that stresses civil liberties and personal responsibility can make accord with Conservatives. The social democrats will have to live with the reality that Labour could not, or would not, deliver an alliance.

A lot has yet to be revealed about the Conservative–LibDem relationship and how it manifests in policy decisions. The alliance will be awkward and fragile.

But at last Labour is gone. Conservatives are substantially in power. And the process of bringing energy to restoring the nation can finally begin.

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