The Conservative-led UK government was defeated in the House of Commons yesterday (5 September) after their Coalition partners broke ranks over the controversial bedroom tax. Several Liberal Democrats joined forces with Labour MPs on an Affordable Home Bill.
The government has retained support despite promises of swingeing cuts, the Lib Dems have gained little credit for their coalescing, and Labour has been on the up despite being leaderless and rudderless. Simon Barrow looks at the unreal politics of the parliamentary recess.
What kind of 'narrative' is the new post-election, post-budget coalition government trying to create, asks Simon Barrow, and what is its ratio of substance to spin, of new politics to old-fashioned collusion? Moreover, how will Labour and extra-parliamentary activists who question the underlying Westminster consensus respond?
As the new coalition government settles down, it is important to see past the hype and fear to the real issues of power, says Jill Segger. Asking tough questions of the powerful remains especially important in this new situation, with warning signs and signs of hope both in evidence.