Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, David Laws and a couple of Lib Dem advisers spent Monday at Chequers. They were there to discuss the final details of the coalition’s mid-term review with David Cameron and George Osborne. I understand that this document will now contain new coalition commitments on the economy, education, welfare, childcare and social mobility.
As I say in tomorrow’s Spectator, I suspect that this meeting tells us more about the state of the government than what Clegg will say in Brighton or Cameron in Birmingham. It is further evidence that after a period of coalition paralysis, the two leaderships have decided that their best hope is to go back to being radical. I’m told that everyone at the meeting ‘agreed that the last few weeks have felt a lot better’ as the coalition has come to agreement on housing, deregulation, industrial strategy and exam reform.
The view that aggressive differentiation has hurt both Cameron and Clegg while benefitting Labour now appears to be accepted by both sides. But the question is how long the two sides can keep up this new burst of coalition enthusiasm.Tags: Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, UK politics