Clegg and Cameron show united front for first cabinet meeting

Posted on: 13 May 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

David Cameron is PM in the UK's first hung parliament for almost 40 years. It's all smiling faces and back slapping at the moment but tough choices and decisions lie ahead.

A man fell off the top on a building and half way down a girl from a window shouted ‘Are you OK?'. 'I am so far', came the reply! Well, yesterday’s tea party in the Rose Garden of No10 was a bit like that.

Lots of banter and backslapping between and from Cameron and Clegg with the odd interruption from the press. Do you regret replying ‘Nick Clegg!’ when you were recently asked ‘What’s your favourite joke Mr Cameron? More banter and good humour! Good for them, if they can keep this up the future looks good – for all of us!

However, the real work started today; Cameron held his first cabinet meeting at 10am. The cabinet, diligently horse traded by both parties, looks good on paper and is certainly up to the job. We have seasoned campaigners like Ken Clark and Ian Duncan Smith. Returning to the big stage are William Hague and Liam Fox, both of whom have been gagging for ministerial power for years. Plus, a new bevy of younger ambitious politicos.

The only women in the fledgling cabinet is Theresa May as Home Secretary – more ladies to come she assures us!

What happens next is the cuts! I’m pretty sure we are going to get lots of leaks before the budget softening us up so it’s not too much of a shock. As I said yesterday, VAT will get whacked and so will Capital Gains Tax (this one has already been leaked) up from 18% to 40%. The main reason for this is that lots of people in the City have been hiding taxable income as Capital Gains and only paying 18% as opposed to the top rate of 40%.

But you can be certain there will be more cuts and taxes to come. Current government thinking is to hit it hard with the first budget and get the economy back on course and leave the blame with Labour. A good tactic (and one supported by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King) and will sort out the crap quickly, so long as they don’t find any ‘hidden skeletons’ when they go through Alistair Darling's books! Time will tell!

Bump, bump in the ... underground!

We have become a rude nation of travellers! Every day I travel to and from my office on London Underground. Each and every day I get walked into by someone looking at their phone, reading a newspaper or swinging a holdall on their back. No 'excuse me' or 'sorry', just ever onward they plough as if I was transparent or simply didn’t deserve consideration.

This morning I had my revenge – I purposely walked into each one of these oblivious fools – nearly knocking one over! What response did I get – not much they all seemed to take broken shoulders as part of the price of working in London. One girl ,who was talking on the phone and at the same time looking at her make-up in a hand mirror - said ‘’Old fool – look where you’re going!’ as I crashed into her.

The world has changed – to survive I’m joining them!

Do you think, as a nation, our manners have been eroded? Am I just an old curmudgeon? Let me know, have your say below or drop me a line at

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