Friday, October 29, 2010

Thoughts from the Train*: getting used to the idea of power

It has been an interesting journey so far, from the suspense of the negotiations (and you may never know just how much suspense there was...), to the realisation that we weren't in Kansas opposition any more, through the depression of having to work with the Evil Tories towards a realisation that there was enough common ground, at least nationally, to make the relationship work.

Personally, I have to deal with work colleagues asking me what will happen next, as if I'd know any more than is already public. People refer to 'your Government', which is an interesting twist, and assume that I have some kind of hotline to Ministers. And, I suppose, being married to a Member of Parliament means that I might do - sort of. Or at least, it might if I thought that it might be a good idea, which I don't really.

It also means that I have to defend whatever supposedly dreadful thing that the Coalition is doing, mostly to do with the Superannuation Bill currently on its legislative journey through the House of Lords. In my local campaigning, it isn't as much of an issue, as there is no sign that anyone else is campaigning, and my primary opponent is an evil Tory. What it does mean is that I'm having to be positive, the very sort of campaigning I tend to favour. I'd much rather talk about what I'd like to do, rather than what I'd like to stop, and it is difficult, but not impossible, to attack an opponent whose Party I'm in coalition with at Westminster.

Best of all, I can actually see Liberal Democrat policies being implemented and, whilst it isn't perfect, I can see the argument that says that 30% of something is better than 100% of nothing, the fate of Liberal and Liberal Democrat policy for generations, only implemented if it has been stolen and, even then, not terribly well as a rule.

So, after a few early wobbles, I'm beginning to find a comfort zone, which makes the next phase a bit easier. And as one of the first over the top in May, we'll see if I still think that when they count the votes in Stowmarket...

* St Pancras International to Nottingham... never let it be said that I'm predictable...

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