The recent marriage between David Cameron and Nick Clegg will not last for ever; however, it will last much longer than some people would have you believe.
The harbingers of doom who have insisted on exploring the incompatibility issues of the UK’s latest celebrity happy couple have forgotten the fact that when two people are joined together, there is usually an opportunity for objectors to speak or to hold their peace. In the case of this particular union, there was no ceremony, no opportunity and no objections – not in public anyway.
Of course, as we all know, marriages are a time of turmoil and family dissent. One could be forgiven for expecting that the back-bench siblings of both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties were bound to whinge and moan, complaining bitterly that they had not been consulted over important family affairs. This they did – but they were constrained to do so in private. No dirty washing on show here then.
Most people do not believe that married couples tell each other the truth all the time. However, it cannot be a good thing when, despite knowing the dangers of such behaviour, those involved fail to be honest about their intentions with regard to the extended family into which each of them is to be introduced.
Seriously, there is undoubtedly conflict between Dave and Nick over a number of important policy issues, not least those of penal and sentencing reform, benefits and, of course, Europe. Whatever message the outward appearance of this collaboration may be intended to convey to us lesser mortals (politicians are immortal aren’t they?), it is fairly obvious that sooner or later there is going to be one almighty family row. Blood will be spilled.
Cameron’s recent visit to Germany was intended to demonstrate that he was the Prime Minister, not Clegg and that it was Cameron’s policy that would be adopted towards issues relating to the UK’s membership of the EU. However diplomatic the new Dynamic Duo may be in public, it must drive Clegg up the wall to see the damage that is being done by Cameron’s ‘Little England’ approach in Europe. Yet, as the junior partner, Clegg can do nothing. He’s got a nice smile though.
Furthermore, we have the spectacle of both leaders and their respective MPs taking opposite public stands on crucial issues as a result of the coalition agreement which allows for the individual parties to express their own views regardless of the joint governance which is presently in effect.
As the family stresses begin to develop and as the untruths swirl around in the airwaves and on the tabloid front pages, we can all look forward to a new soap opera being played out for real.
But it is worth remembering that the extended family includes us. We are the ones who will pay for the tantrums and the slamming of doors.
Cameron has been softening us all up today for his sucker punch of spending cuts. Let’s be honest, we all knew it was coming. Clegg will be by his side offering comfort. Behind closed doors however, it will be a different story.
Never has it been more true that whilst you may choose your friends, you most certainly do not choose your family.
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