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Chris Galley

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Thursday 13 May – Shape of the new

What a week, and an outcome no-one predicted. My overseas friends are somewhat surprised that a deal was sorted out so quickly. It took Angela Merkel the best part of 40 days to get her first terms negotiated.

One of the few odd moments in our Hexham campaign was a young lad, with presumably Liberal Democrat inclinations, getting very cross with us in Fore Street. “It’s an oxymoron,” he claimed, in respect of our slogan ‘Vote For Change’. Not sure how he feels today! Here’s my guess.

The new coalition agreement strikes me as a genuine attempt to build a document which represents the electorate’s composite view, as opposed to jettisoning or LCD’ing (lowest common denominator).  The outcome is fairly close to my personal politics, though I have some concerns (e.g. the triple lock on pensions giving a minimum 2.5% increase – marvellous, but what if we have poor growth and low inflation for a while? Generous commitments like that are nearly impossible to reverse and risk being paid for off the back of private sector wage deflation). But this is not the time to carp, oddly enough it truly was a case of “Vote For Change”.