It really is an incredible day for British politics, as the new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister demonstrate genuine chemistry and respect for each other in their first press conference.
The way in which the potential stumbling blocks in a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition have been ironed-out is impressive, and whilst I’m sure that the relationship will be difficult, there is no doubt that these two dynamic leaders are committed to putting Britain back on track and dealing with problems left by a wasteful and misguided Labour administration.
The focus on enhancing civil liberties and once again making an Englishman’s home his castle is most welcome indeed.
Already, we have a clear indication of their priorities as the new Government has already agreed to:
• A Great Repeal Bill, which will scrap ID cards, enhance civil liberties, reduce the ability of state officials to enter homes and cut regulation;
• £6 billion of public spending cuts to take effect in the current financial year, as a start on a concerted drive to cut the deficit;
• Major reform of the banks, perhaps amounting to “breaking them up”;
• Moves over time towards raising the starting threshold for income tax to £10,000 a year, paid for by changes to non-business Capital Gains Tax;
• A pupil premium, moving funding for disadvantaged children towards average spending on pupils in private schools;
• A cap on immigration from outside the EU;
• A referendum on the Alternative Voting electoral system;
• Legislation to require that Parliaments last a fixed term of five years;
• Trident replacement to go ahead, but subject to a value for money test;
• No further transfers of power to the EU, and no entry to the Euro; and
• Tax recognition of marriage, but LDs to have the right to abstain on votes on this (which means it will still get through the Commons).
Although Old Labour will soon resurface to start complaining about the plans, no right thinking person in the UK should object to this initial programme and I hope that even the more tribal observers will put aside their party loyalties and embrace this important agenda in the interests of our country.
David Cameron already has the makings of a fine leader!