Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wants to give parents the right to share and swap their statutory leave for looking after newborn babies.
Britons are being prepared for the hardest of hard times. Prime Minister David Cameron has warned the public that they will feel the impact of deficit-cutting decisions for years and maybe even decades. Cameron justifies the pain by saying that doing nothing about debt would be disastrous and that Britain will come out of the other side as a stronger country.
When I interviewed David Cameron earlier this year after an event at Thomson Reuters in which he, George Osborne and Ken Clarke delivered their views on the economy under a “Vote For Change” banner, I suggested that watching three white, middle-aged men talking about what was good for Britain didn’t feel much like change to me. Cameron jokingly replied that Clarke, 69, would be flattered to be described as middle-aged.
If the Irish experience of coalition politics is anything to go by, Nick Clegg risks a lot more than unpopularity if he strikes a half-baked coalition deal with the Conservative Party. He also faces electoral oblivion should he fail to win enough concessions and power to carry his grassroots supporters with him.
Talks between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives about arrangements that might lead to the two parties forming the next government took place on Friday (May 7) and will continue on Saturday. Little is being said about the talks by either side, so it seems a good time to revisit a blog and video interview with the Lib Dems’ David Laws on the subject of coalitions I published last September from the party’s autumn conference. Laws is reported to be part of the Lib Dem team negotiating with the Conservatives. BBC’s Newsnight ran an extract from the video interview on Friday evening.
For many observers it’s the key question for the Liberal Democrats — who they would support in a hung parliament — Brown’s Labour or Cameron’s Tories?