It’s going to happen

Harold Macmillan’s “events dear boy, events” has been echoing in my mind over the past few weeks. No doubt David Cameron – if not Nick Clegg, who was, one assumes, slightly caught off-guard by ending up as Deputy PM – had a well worked out plan for his first 100 days in office. He may even have had a grid. Or a wallchart. I like to think so.

So what has his first month in office brought him? The resignation of David Laws and with it the departure of the one Lib Dem who could have been trusted to deliver ‘savage’ cuts; trouble in the Middle East over the aid flotilla to Gaza; a row breaking out over anonymity for defendants in rape trials; a rebellion on the 1922 committee; the shootings in Cumbria; and ministers floundering at the Dispatch Box when asked about the impact of  spending cuts.

OK, the last one was perhaps predictable. I only saw a little of Vince Cable’s first stint at BIS questions yesterday but he seemed very uncomfortable. He was being asked about an £80m loan to Sheffield’s Forgemasters steelworks, which was promised by Peter Mandelson before the election, to develop a forge for the building of new nuclear power stations. Sheffield of course has a Lib Dem council and Nick Clegg is a Sheffield MP. There are a lot of jobs at stake. So is Cable going to be the one to pull the plug? Being in Government ain’t so easy, is it?

Postscript: Cable is also in for a rough ride from MPs in the South West, which is of course a Lib Dem stronghold, over cuts to the regional budget.

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