Coalition - John Hemming's view
There has been a roller coaster ride since the General Election and there has not yet been a week since the first results were declared.
The Country faces some very serious problems. The facts are clear
1. The Country needs a stable government and it will take the full term of a parliament to sort out the deficit.
2. The Labour Party took their ball and bat away and refused to play.
3. A minority Conservative government would not give sufficient stability.
Those three points mean that the only conclusion in the national interest is for the Lib Dems to enter into coalition with the Conservatives to provide stable government. This requires compromises on both sides and what we will see is likely to be more of a centrist government than a centre left government (which is what a Lib Dem Government would be likely to be).
The fact is, however, that the agreement that I have just published is a major step forwards on a number of issues beyond that of the deficit.
1. Fair taxes. Reduction in the tax burden for people on lower incomes in preference to tax cuts for the rich.
2. Political reform. An elected House of Lords using PR. A referendum on Alternative Vote. The Wright Committee reforms (that Labour Whips blocked at the end of the last parliament).
3. Linking the state pension to earnings.
4. Civil Liberties - movements away from an oppressive state.
Labour were in government for 13 years, but we still don't have an elected house of lords, have gone backwards on civil liberties and have government finances in a real mess.
I think a lot of people will be happy with what the national "Progressive Partnership" intend to do.
Personally I intend to continue looking after my constituency and campaigning to sort out problems with family law, prevent election fraud, cope with the consequences of peak oil and strengthen international law amongst other things.
That will probably mean that I will not be a government minister. I am, however, a politician who wishes to do things rather than be things. If being something prevents me doing something then the doing takes priority over the being.