They are calling it a ‘new politics.’
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg have set out how they will work together in Britain’s first coalition government since the Second World War.
Their alliance arose from an inconclusive general election. But they believe it wil be strong enough to survive a full five-year term.
“I want this to be a bold, reforming government that puts fairness back into Britain. A government that restores our faith in what a healthy, strong society can achieve. A government that takes power away from politicians, as David said, and gives it back to you,” Clegg told a joint open-air news conference given by the two leaders at Downing Street.
But what about old rivalries?
One reporter asked: “Prime Minister, do you now rergret, when once you were asked what your favourite joke was, you replied: “Nick Clegg”, and Deputy Prime Minister, what do you think of that?”
Laughter followed during which Cameron admitted that he had made such a remark and Clegg pretended to walk out on his new partner.
But Cameron added: “We are all going to have things that we have said thrown back at us. And there is a seious point in this, which is: if you want to spend the next five years finding Lib Dem politicians slightly disagreeing with Conservatives about this… a slightly nuanced policy…you can find lots. But we are looking at the bigger picture, at what a bold move like this with a strong, stable government can achieve.”
Yet, as the pair begin their journey together, observers could be forgiven for wondering: will this be a walk in the park, or a rollercoaster ride?