Two different articles, two different publications - yet the same misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the outcome. Offerings: Charles Moore, writing in the Telegraph and James Forsyth writing on the Coffee Shop.
To take them in reverse order, James Forsyth writes that "Before the election, the received wisdom was that the new government would not have much of a honeymoon. The thinking went that the anti-politics mood was so strong and the cuts required so deep, that there’d be no May ’97 style moment. But the coalition has changed all that. One poll shows a 60 percent approval rating for it." And if 60 per cent of those surveyed obviously do not possess that 'received wisdom', the result will show?? Forsyth continues that "Cameron needs to take advantage of this unexpected honeymoon. He would be well advised to instruct Osborne and Laws, the new Treasury team, to use the emergency budget to set out the programme of cuts that will start in the next fiscal year." Will we see cuts aimed at disbanding quangos - and probably most importantly 'culling' ACPO; pulling out of the Afghan war; disbandment of the administrative burden in the NHS etc; withdrawal from the European Union coupled with removal of the 'red-tape' burden on British business? Answer: No!
Charles Moore fares no better, where condemnation of journalistic skills is concerned, with his 'offering', which will no doubt form the op-ed piece in tomorrow's Telegraph. Writing on reasons for Cameron's failure to secure an outright majority, Moore is correct in what he states. Had Cameron not attempted to produce a version of a Conservative Party which turned out to be a mish-mash of Blue/Red/Yellow and instead shown 'clear blue water' between his party and the other two, then he would not be in the predicament he now finds himself - in power yet without 'real' power.
However, to discuss a 'new politics', as Moore does, as being the result of what is in effect indecision by the electorate is stretching facts a tad too far. 'New politics' is not the result of two men deciding to share power in the best interests of the country, but is - as I posted earlier - the result of two men who were tantalisingly close to power and did not wish to let it slip through their fingers.
It is not, as Moore maintains, exciting to see if two parties can govern together; it is in fact decidedly sad to the the beginning of a slow-motion car-crash the final scrunch still being months away with neither driver paying attention to the road ahead.
Unfortunately issue must also be taken with Moore on his statement that Call Me Dave exhibited the gifts of a leader: "outstanding qualities of clarity, calm and decision". If Call Me Dave had exhibited those 'gifts', especially the first and last, the country would not be in the political limbo it now is. Moore also asks an obvious question, whether Call Me Dave is "bravely reaching out for national unity to confront hard times, or is he pulling a fast one". I am sure all would agree that, based on Call Me Dave's past performances, he is indeed 'pulling a fast one' and in so doing hopes that the British electorate does not notice the fact too early!