In today’s Times, Philip Collins (no, not that one, Tony Blair’s former speech writer,) has a masterful piece behind the paywall explaining just how effective the Coalition has really been, and what a shame it is that it’s become so transactional. I’ve been trying to write such a piece for 18 months. Colins rightly identifies when it all wrong - the precise moment that Mr Cameron sanctioned the dishonourable labelling of Nick Clegg as a breaker of promises during the campaign over the referendum for the alternative vote.”
The real charge against the coalition is not that it isn’t working. The real charge is Mill’s brilliant dismissal of Spencer. It’s so good that it really could have been so much better. The spirit in which the coalition agreement was reached, culminating in the famous Cameron and Clegg press conference in the Downing Street garden, seemed in the fleeting sunshine of May 2010 to herald a new kind of politics. There was a sense, vague and inchoate as it was, that something new and exciting was struggling to be born out of the dark shadows of the days of Brown.