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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

It's not Nick Clegg's fault

Nick Clegg faced a huge dilemma. He faced the prospect of a minority government led by an ideologically driven Conservative Party that would have collapsed within months. Cameron would have gone to the country to ask the people to decide "who governs Britain". But unlike the negative response that Ted Heath received when he posed this question after the miners' strike in 1974, it is very likely the electorate would have returned the Conservatives to power with a woking majority. The dream of a fair voting system would lay in ruins, and the prospect of savage cuts, wielded insensitively against the vulnerable, would become reality. They still might.

Yet at least in power, Clegg and his Liberal Democrats can press aggressively for real and meaningful political reform. They can provide a check on excessive executive power that allowed Thatcher to sell the family silver and Blair to invade Iraq. There is little doubt that the Liberal Democrats would have improved the last Labour government. Many of the illiberal aspects of New Labour such as ID cards and the attempt to extend detention without trial would never have seen the light of day. And while the new coalition can never be called "progressive", it will in no way resemble the left's worst fears.

Let's make things clear - this writer is no fan of the Lib/Con marriage of convenience. The Lib Dems have sold their soul to the devil, albeit for the noble cause of electoral reform. They have lost my vote, perhaps for good. Yet it is not the fault of Nick Clegg that Cameron's Conservatives have the keys of number 10. The Labour Party, with it's top-down control freakery, mediocre offerings of constitutional reform and timid attitude to social equality, meant that no one really had a reason to vote for them, other than the fact that they weren't the Tories. This was no way to treat the people. A period of opposition will be good for this once great party, so that they can regroup and remember why they are supposed to exist - to help the poor, the sick, the old, the young, the many and not the few.

The good, the bad and the ugly

I thought the market was supposed to crash?