Yea, verily and forsooth: a new dawn has broken in British politics. Everyone seems to be happier, Conservatives are thrilled about having their hands on the levers of power, Lib-Dems are over the moon about actually being in government again and even Labour acolytes are confined to muted and visibly knee-jerk grumblings of how terrible it’s all going to be. Everywhere you look, people are quietly optimistic about the merger of the economic credentials of the Tories with the liberal credentials of the LibDems. People are only too glad to be rid of the dour, one-eyed and almost certainly insane Scot.
True to form, however, I am rather miserable about all this.
Nick Clegg talks a good and even passionate talk, but Tony Blair was also an outstanding and compelling orator; he also said lots of warm, fuzzy things that everyone was desperate to hear. David Cameron has moved swiftly and ruthlessly to neuter the Tory backbenches, even as a number of sleaze scandals start to rumble. Manifesto promises are now the subject of “consultation”, the favoured New Labour trick for kicking a difficult matter into the long grass.
It looks like a “vote for change” may have been nothing of the sort.