This time last week, Westminster was full of speculation about alternative coalitions. Politics-watchers, myself included, all started speculating about what the Clegg Miliband alternative coalition on press regulation meant.
But the Budget was a reminder of how solid the coalition actually is. The Quad still agrees on the government’s economic strategy. Vince Cable — as his recent essay demonstrated — may have his doubts. But it would be hard to find much distance between Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander. Indeed, it was striking the relish with which Danny Alexander tore into Labour’s Chris Leslie on Newsnight last night.
Going through the whole Budget, it is — unlike last year — quite hard to find the coalition trade-offs. Right to buy and social housing is an obvious one as is the corporation tax cut and the personal allowance increase. But the rest of it is stuff that appeals if not to both parties to both leaderships.
Relations at the top are still relatively good, judging by how little of the Budget leaked out beforehand. There was no repeat of last year’s briefing war. Yesterday was a reminder that despite all the predictions to the contrary, the coalition still looks like it will last the distance.Tags: Budget 2013, Coalition, UK politics