Cameron/Clegg - A new balance

By Lorne Jackson on May 21, 10 06:31 PM

THE main problem with the Cameron Clegg alliance is that the partnership pulses with so much comic potential that all my smarty-pants ideas for lampooning the two leaders in today's Mercury have already been used up.

"Eureka!" I screeched on Wednesday, snapping my fingers with delight. "I'll compare them to Morecambe and Wise!" Then I opened that morning's tabloid newspaper, along with a broadsheet, and discovered both papers had already had that idea - and acted upon it.

Next, I thought about wittily referring to Cam and Clegg as Ant And Dec.

Turns out that was as original a concept as an unwanted pregnancy storyline in EastEnders.

Another idea was to mention The Odd Couple, that classic 1960s movie where Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are forced to share a flat.

I've not spotted that angle yet, though I have a sneaking suspicion it's been used, and abused, already.

Even if it hasn't, my readership is so youthful, dynamic and forward-thinking, I doubt any of you have even heard of the 1960s, let alone watched a movie made in that era. So you wouldn't get the reference.

(I don't know for sure that you lot are youthful, dynamic and forward-thinking, by the way. I've never commissioned a poll. That's just how I imagine you. Plus you're all female, and wearing spangly gold hot pants that you hoist on especially to read my column.)


Finally, I decided there was only one way to celebrate the partnership between Tories and Lib Dems. Or rather two ways.

Since two parties are in charge of the country, I'm rewarding you with two columns for the price of one. Let's just hope they get on okay.

Column One: First I'd like to say... actually, why don't you go first?

Column Two: No, no. Love to hear what's on your mind. Blast away!

Column One: But I insist!

Column Two: Au contraire...

Column One: Very well, then. Thanks awfully. Anyway, to begin... David Cameron. What have the British people done to deserve this? More to the point, what has Cameron done to deserve this?

Well, I suppose he has worked hard for many years to overcome the disadvantages of an Etonian education.

And no, I'm not being satirical.

All that state school kids have to worry about is drug pushers in the corridors, class disruption from thugs, lack of resources, broken-down buildings, broken-down teachers and an ingrained elitist system that ensures they're at the end of the queue when the best jobs are handed out.

Meanwhile, the little Etonian blighter must figure out how to balance that pesky top hat on his head. Though I suppose if there are any nasty mishaps he can always purchase a state school kid to crawl after him, picking up the topper when it falls in the dirt.

No doubt Cameron would say school days are in the past, and a man should be judged on what he's about to do, rather than where he comes from.

To that, I must counter with a measured argument of my own.


Years ago, I went to a party with a friend. We didn't know anybody there, probably because we gatecrashed.

Instead of being quiet and demure, so nobody would notice the strangers in the corner, my friend was immediately astonishingly rude to everyone in sight.

"What the hell are you doing?" I said.

"Being astonishingly rude to everyone in sight," he said. "It saves time."

He was right. There's no need to figure out whether you like somebody or not. Use your eyes, use your nose. Taste the air around them. Prejudice is an often abused critical faculty. There's no harm in a little pre-judgement, every now and then.

It saves time - especially when there's a Tory in power. What's more...

Column Two: Hold on! You've had your say. We're running out of space. Besides, I want to add something nice about Cameron.

Column One: I'm finished when I say I'm finished! Now, back to Cameron the cad...

Column Two: Typical. I give you an inch and you take a mile.

Column One: What's all this mile rot? Nothing wrong with European measurements.

Column Two: If you don't watch out, I'm gonna give you a kick in the kilometres...

So there we have it, my young friends in your spangly gold hotpants.

Not only is there a new style of government, there's also a bold new journalism of balance and bonhomie.

And just like the fresh politics, it looks as if it's going to last - for another few minutes, at least.

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