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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Clegg’

Once asked what his favourite joke was, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party and now Prime Minister, replied, “Nick Clegg”.

Nick Clegg is the leader of the Liberal-Democrat Party and is now the Deputy Prime Minister.

Constructive talks between teams representing their two parties lasting a mere five days (it took the Germans 40 days to form their most recent government), and in which both made huge concessions to the other in order to form a stable government at a critical time in the nation’s history, have resulted in the first coalition government in this country in my lifetime.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg News conference – part 1

David Cameron and Nick Clegg News conference – part 2

Cameron hails ‘shift in politics’

Virgin Media

David Cameron has hailed “a historic and seismic shift” in Britain’s political landscape as he launched the country’s first coalition government since the Second World War.

The new Prime Minister marked his inaugural day in office by handing two major economic portfolios to his Liberal Democrat allies, anointing Vince Cable as Business Secretary and David Laws as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

He also promised “very early legislation” to establish fixed-term Parliaments, effectively enshrining in law the Conservatives’ five-year coalition deal with the Lib Dems.

At a joint news conference with new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – held in the garden of No 10 – Mr Cameron said the award of a total of five Cabinet jobs to Lib Dems underlined the parties’ “sincere determination” to work together.

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It never ceases to amaze and move me the grace with which the losing girls make their exit from Over the Rainbow — a grace which Gordon Brown also displayed as he made his final departure from Number 10 Downing Street.

Last Thursday, the British electorate went to the polls to elect a new government. Although there were still 53 seats to declare, it was clear, by the time I got up on Friday morning, that there was no clear winner and that we were well into “hung parliament territory” — where no party has an outright majority and either the largest party has to seek to govern alone or two of the three major parties form a coalition.

“The British people have spoken, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, a former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party declared, “only nobody seems to know what they’ve said.” (The general consensus seems to be that the result is not a repudiation of the Labour Party, which Gordon Brown leads, but of Brown himself, and it is not an endorsement of David Cameron and the Conservatives, who have the largest number of seats.)

The leaders of Britains’s third largest party, the Liberal Democrats suddenly found themselves, therefore, in the role of “kingmaker”, as they opened began negotiations with the party which had gained the most seats, the Conservative Party, while Gordon Brown, the current Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party which has governed the country for the last thirteen years, remained in 10 Downing Street, the UK premier’s official residence, and considered his options. (more…)

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Posters in London on Wednesday expressed anger over perceived economic injustice, with experts predicting hard times ahead

By JOHN F. BURNS and LANDON THOMAS Jr. | NYT | Published: May 5, 2010

LONDON — Even with rioters on the streets of Athens and the 16 countries using the euro threatened with mounting turmoil, the economy remained the most frequently — and least candidly — discussed topic here as the three main parties entered the last hours of a monthlong general election campaign.

Much of the wrangling centered on arguments about which party was hiding most from the voters on the true state of the economy and its plans for dealing with it. With government deficits in Britain second in Europe only to those of Greece, some analysts even suggested that this might be a good election to lose.

But one conclusion seemed clear: Whoever wins will be forced to make deep and unpopular cuts, a task made all the more difficult if the closely contested election produces, as many commentators have forecast, a hung Parliament or a fragile coalition arrangement that might delay important economic decisions.

“This is a ticking time bomb,” said Ruth Lea, an economic adviser at the Arbuthnot Banking Group who worked at the Treasury in London in 1976 when Britain, in its worst financial crisis since World War II, was forced to go to the International Monetary Fund for assistance. “If the next government does not come to grips with this, the I.M.F. will have to come in. I remember, it was very, very humiliating.”

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