There was a bit of tweetycuffs on the #blognation front earlier today when James Graham made an excellent point:
Sorry ppl were offended by me pointing that LDs form the fulcrum of politics atm, but its a fact ppl we all have to deal with
We always have to deal with the centre of gravity in politics – for years LDs had to put up with the fact it lay in Labour
In a funny sort of way, that point – that the LibDems are very much forming the fulcium of British politics at the moment, is underlined by Martin Rowson’s cartoons in the Guardian. We’ve waited decades to be lampooned like that! – Simon Hughes as Jiminy Cricket! Hilarious!
Forming a substantial counterweight to the cartoon in the Guardian this morning, was a very mature and sensible leading article called “Liberal Democrats – Growing Pains”:
…the past seven days in politics…can be seen as a tough lesson in the realities of coalition politics that everyone who favours a fairer electoral system is going to have to get used to. No single party can ever deliver everything its supporters want and nor can a coalition: the best it can aim to do is to deliver as much as it can of its programme while conceding as little as possible of what offends against its principles.
…while historians point to Liberals’ past unhappy experience of coalition, it has never before produced the prize that Mr Clegg now has within his grasp: constitutional reform that would include a change in the voting system that will end the automatic dominance of one of two main parties. The long-term reward of a more transparent and accountable political system and one, moreover, that will make sharing power a commonplace is the prize that has to be weighed against the pain of a regressive budget. Judging from reports of rising membership and contributors to websites like Lib Dem Voice, this is the interpretation of many of the party’s activists. Like estranged lovers, Labour and Lib Dem supporters each angrily blame the other side. But beneath the jibes, the political culture is beginning to change.