Don Foster MP


A hundred days of coalition

August 18, 2023 by admin in News

Today, the coalition is a hundred days old. The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have, so far, succeeded in working together - but does the fact that it is a coalition government really make any difference?

It is certainly easy to see the mark of both parties in the new government’s policies. Yet each partner affects the other’s decisions. This is a very good thing indeed for the British public. Instead of a majority government which won on - let us say - 35% of the vote, the UK has got a government which won almost 60% of all votes cast.

Thus, it has a far stronger mandate. In fact, the compromises which many commentators cried out against instead make this coalition far more representative of what people actually voted for. Instead of policies which three or four people in every ten wanted, the combined manifesto for the next five years represents the wishes of around six in every ten voters. That, surely, is how government should work.

Perhaps, then, working together is not so bad after all. It is even conceivable that the Labour Party and the Conservatives were as worried about losing their monopoly over the British public as they were about stable, effective and representative government.

In the last hundred days, the Liberal Democrats have achieved a lot. 880,000 people have been lifted out of tax. Vince Cable has introduced a bank levy, making those who caused the recession pay their fair share towards economic recovery. Local authorities have been empowered to invest in green electricity by Chris Huhne. Civil liberties are being restored. The Pupils’ Premium has been delivered as promised, as has the restoration of the link between pensions and earnings.

A hundred days and many achievements later, this government is just getting started. Earlier today, Nick Clegg outlined his plans to improve social mobility in a speech which pledged to succeed where Labour has failed.

To read Nick Clegg’s speech on social mobility, click on:

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