I was cheated. I went to a cafe on the basis that they were advertising in their window ‘cawl’. But I had a bowl full of vegetables without meat. ‘Cawl’ without meat! Have you heard of such a thing!
Is it to be like that in the world of politics?
Certainly the photograph of the week was that of the two public school boys, Nick Clegg and David Cameron in the rose garden of number ten looking lovingly at one another and promising ‘a new politics.’
What exactly is this new politics? Coalition! Well there’s not much new in a ‘coalition.’
In truth, a coalition was in being at the end of David Lloyd George’s career as Prime Minister. The Tory leader at the time, Bonar Law, urged by his back benchers pulled the mat under Lloyd George’s feet in 1922, and out where the Liberals into the political wilderness from then until now.
This despite Lloyd George’s undoubted political skills and craftiness. Indeed in no time such was the decline in their status amongst the electorate the became the third party of Britain. Their representation during the rest of the twentieth century in Westminster was small indeed. And Nick Clegg is no Lloyd George.
The results of the election was a stroke of luck for the Liberal Democrats. Labour losing ground, the Conservatives unable to take advantage and despite the hype after the first television debate when Nick Clegg lead in the polls for a brief moment their campaign ultimately failed. Losing seats was their fate in the end.
Indeed you could put up a case that all the parties failed in this election. Labour losing seats, the Conservatives failing in their aim of a majority and Plaid Cymru after a lack luster campaign failing to gain any of their target seats. Consequently no one on their own could form a government.
Thus the opportunity knocks on the door of Nick Clegg to decide who gets to keys to number ten and gets to kiss the Queens hand. And to be fair to him he played his hand well.
Who would have thought we would see five Liberal Democrats in the Cabinet?
But its now that the problems for the party begin, especially here in Wales. I would hazard a guess that most of the votes collected by them here because they were perceived to be a radical party. It will be a real disappointment to these voters to see the party that they voted for sharing a bed with the Tories.
Shortly the government will have to administer massive cuts to public expenditure and consequently unemployment will rise and services curtailed and cut. It doesn’t take much imagination to work out who will be blamed. Not the Conservatives, as their supporters except the need for cuts. That’s what was on the label. No, the Liberals will get the blame because that’s not what they promised. Gradual cuts is what they said in their manifesto.
Many can justifiably shout ‘deceived’. They were promised radical ‘meat’, but that’s not happened. It is unlikely that they will be forgiven by the Welsh electorate in the next election – the Assembly elections.
They will be punished. It is quite possible that history will repeat itself and they will be in the political wilderness for another century.