Peter Hoskin

How the coalition will work

How the coalition will work
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The full coalition agreement, released this morning, is fascinating enough in itself.  Here we have a step-by-step guide for how two different parties will operate together, what they will do, and, broadly speaking, when they will do it.  And, perhaps to ease the general uncertainty surrounding this type of government, it is considerably clearer than party manifestos tend to be.  One thing you can say, at least, is that this coalition appears keen to make itself more accountable.

Skimming through the actual document, there seem to be few surprises, and a good handful of reviews designed to punt difficult policy areas into the long grass.  As the Times's Francis Elliot reports, the Tories are bragging about two particular details, although with some cause, I feel:

"Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is likely to be pleased that there is no role for local authorities in enforcing fair school admission policies. Tory sources also pointed to a pledge to “simplify the benefit system in order to improve incentives to work”. The wording allows for reform on payments."

excellent proposals in this area

Until Cameron's bizarre provocation yesterday, the Tory leadership could have sold much of this as a reforming, Conservative agenda to their backbenchers.  They will probably still try.  But you imagine that there will be even more attention and anger paid to any concessions now.