political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Dave & Nick Show
I may be basking in the warm afterglow of yesterday, but the press conference taking place at the moment is going incredibly well. Cameron and Clegg seem totally at ease with each other. Their body language is very good and yet the hacks still ask the same tired old questions. Boring, boring, boring. If all journalists want to do is ask smart arse questions about some apparent disagreement on policy which took place five years ago, Cameron and Clegg may well decide such press conferences are a complete and utter waste of their time.
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They did appear very united. Will be interesting whether that counts for or against those sceptical about deal.
There was something really really Gay about this press conference.
I'm no expert but am I the only one to think that?
I agree with you, some really stupid questions.
Good idea to have the conference in the garden.
The rainbow as Dave went to the palace last night was good timing !
It won't last.
Cleggs's grass roots are incandescent with his deal and will seek to thwart and obfuscate at every step.
The man has no mandate from his party members, he's a charlatan and schmoozer.
DC has been very wrong to jump into bed with this particular whore.
I agree Iain although the facile questioning meant that they avoided any proper interrogation. I am really concerned by the proposal that they intend to desecrate parliamentary democracy by requiring a 55% majority in any confidence vote. The 55% figure magically and coincidentally means that the Tories cannot be ousted for 5 years even if every other MP including all the Libdems were to vote against them.
I cannot believe that this is correct but then again who knows what Clegg may have agreed to. All we await now is his inevitable defection to the Tory party and the coup d'etat is complete.
If Blair or Brown had introduced such a measure, you would be the first to be drawing parallels to Mugabe and 1930s Germany.
Nothing quite so satisfying, though, than witnessing the entire press corps after the press conference quite utterly dumbfounded by how the conference went!
Nick Robinson was "lost for words"
Totally agree with you Iain. It was astonishing. There is no reason at all why this should fail - at least so far as the leaders' personalities are concerned. As a LibDem voter let me say how impressed by Cameron I am. There is an extraordinary lack of Ego for someone who has just become Prime Minister! To be prepared to share that moment with a rival is - well amazing!
They really have come a long way since Byker Grove!
Disappointed the first comment is just a predictable crass joke...
Anyway, despite all the commentary it looks as though this coalition should be at least as stable as Brown-Blair. The amiability between the two leaders will go a long way.
Have just written that now they need to change PMQs to make it less punch and judy. Lets have it so only the labour MPs are the ones jeering. Major media coup for conservatives and libs if they can pull it off. Labour will look like old hat and old hate. They will be shamed into good behaviour the following week. New politics indeed.
"There was something really really Gay about this press conference."
That's right, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are about to begin a sexual relationship with each other. This politics thing is just a distraction
"If Blair or Brown had introduced such a measure, you would be the first to be drawing parallels to Mugabe and 1930s Germany."
That's right, Iain would be warning us that the Conservative-Liberal coalition will soon lead to mass starvation and concentration camps.
I hope constructive criticism of this coalition will be accepted and not just rubbished. There is a danger IMO that people who criticise the coalition from the left will be dismissed as socialist dinosaurs and people who do so from the right will be casually dismissed as little better than right-wing nutters. That wouldn't be good for democracy.
And I also think 5 years for a fixed-term Parliament is too long. It should be 4 years as a maximum. I think the electorate shouldn't have to wait until May 2015 to pass their judgement on this coalition. That's too long. In Australia they routinely have elections every 3 years for example.
"The 55% figure magically and coincidentally means that the Tories cannot be ousted for 5 years even if every other MP including all the Libdems were to vote against them."
This is cause for celebration, isn't it? It means the tories cannot be held to ransom by Clegg on a whim - an extremely sensible idea if you want to stay in power for at least one term.
For Heavens sake give them a chance!I wish them all the luck in the World if they want to tackle the dreadful mess left by 13 years of Socialist mismanagement.
Incredible comments on here, whatever your political persuasion I'd have hoped that everyone sees the need for this to work rather than try and carp, and find endless ways why it can't.
What I would like to know is why are Radio 5 Live giving all this air time to Alastair Campbell ?
They had him on air this morning spouting his bile, and they have just announced he will be on again later today.
I have changed channel and will keep it changed.
Do hope David and Nick concentrate on the BBC as soon as possible.
I shouldn't be surprised that irony is lost on a Tory. It is your cabal that have consistently used casual parallels between Brown and Mugabe ("ZanuLab" etc) to criticise measures that you consider undemocratic. My comment was a sardonic reference to the very language used by the Tory frothosphere.
My point is that this is potentially an appropriation of power away from parliament to the executive. We face the not unlikely situation where the Libdems withdraw from the coalition and no Tory business can pass through parliament because they no longer have a working majority, but the whole country has to wait 5 years before having the chance to vote for a new government.
It is a perfectly reasonable concern regardless of political affiliation. Would you want such a provision on the statute books if Labour were to be the largest party but without a majority in the next parliament?
I just felt, content aside, that it was refreshing to have two well-mannered, civilsed leaders talking to the press instead of Gordon the Orc.
As Pip has said I've just listened to a bile filled Alistair Campbell on Radio 5. He sniped and carped about the coalition , and then rambled on about Brown's last hour in Downing St without one critical question from Pienaar or Bacon .
The BBC doesn't seem to have changed.
I am amazed that the Lib Dems have won such a good deal and that David Cameron appears to welcome it. No sign of his arm twisted up his back. Every sign that they are getting along swimmingly. It may well end in tears, and that is easy to say today, but we can hope for a new politics. Can't we?
Surely you're not suffering from a lack of sleep like Adam Boulton? Sense of humour passed you by today?
The ITV man's question to the PM about his favourite joke,
Mr Cameron, what's your favourite joke? Answer - Nick Clegg
was a master-stroke. And the PM took it in good spirit.
Is there a video of the press conference posted anywhere? I'd like to take a look before commenting.
It was all very Pims o'clock. to me!
Alastair Campbell spouting bile on Radio 5. Economist David Blanchflower spouting bile on News 24. Kevin Maguire and Charlie Whelan spouting bile everywhere. It just reminds everyone how bilious the Labour Party are.
I really liked it when some scribbler asked if it was true that Cameron had once been asked what his favourite joke and said Clegg.
Cameron grinned and said 'yes' whereupon Clegg said 'I'm off, then' and all ended in general amusement all round.
Being as comfortable as that with each other is a good omen.
@ George 2.59
Wishful thinking, dear boy; wishful thinking
I've just read the "Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition negotiations Agreements reached 11 May 2010" document and have to say that, apart from the agreement to bother about alleged man made GW, I agree with almost every point.
Section 10: Civil Liberties is very encouraging:
"The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion."
I thought today's press conference was very impressive. But then again, I was fooled by Tony Blair...
Nick Robinson made a good point earlier. The gist of it was that, on Wednesday night Cameron told him he thought he was going to win with a small majority. On Friday morning he woke up to find that he had no majority. He rethought strategy and decided to go for a full coalition with the LibDems - that's why the initial offer was so good.
Cameron and Clegg have taken a gamble (He believes they are risk takers - Clegg has said this himself). If they succeed they will have transformed UK politics for good. If they fail...
Nick Robinson also pointed out that Gordon Brown always talked the talk but never had the courage to take risks.
We'll know in the next few years.
"I shouldn't be surprised that irony is lost on a Tory."
It is not irony, it is the comic book rhetoric of a Leftist bigot.
"It is your cabal that have consistently used casual parallels between Brown and Mugabe ("ZanuLab" etc) to criticise measures that you consider undemocratic."
My "cabal"? Your language betrays you.
"We face the not unlikely situation where the Lib-Dem's withdraw from the coalition...but the whole country has to wait 5 years before having the chance to vote for a new government. It is a perfectly reasonable concern."
If you are worried then try to discuss it like a grown up. For example stop describing it as a "coup d'etat".
Er...even after 13 years of New Labour, surely we haven't lost our sense of irony?
I hadn't previously picked up on how alike they are. Perhaps they should have name tags next time.
Not only were the questions tired but too long too. Is there nobody who could have a quiet word with Nick Robinson that as good looking and perspicacious as he is we are not interested in his preambles and can he just get on with the question. And one at a time please.
I think this is more than a marriage of convenience. This coalition allows the Lib Dems to become part of real politics at last and to contribute, and also allows the Conservatives to become a little more 'human' with some of their policies. If this coalition works, we in the UK may seriously have never known it so good, to sort of quote an ex PM.
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