Preview of tonight's Channel 4 documentary on the Coalition's first year
By Tim Montgomerie
Tonight on Channel 4, 8pm, Andrew Rawnsley presents an hour long documentary on the Coalition's first year. The PM and Deputy PM both contribute as do a host of senior Cabinet ministers and observers. A few extracts to whet your appetite:
“WILY” CAMERON BEATS CLEGG AT TENNIS
Andrew Rawnsley: Have you played tennis together?
Nick Clegg: Once.
Rawnsley: Who won?
Nick Clegg: State secret.
David Cameron: I did. It was a very even match. I can't remember the exact score but it was it was up there. It was an eight six or a nine seven or something like that. And I think actually technically he is probably a better player than me. I was just a bit more wily.
CABLE REFUSES TO SAY CAMERON IS A DECENT BLOKE
Andrew Rawnsley: David Cameron and George Osborne, are they decent blokes?
Andrew Rawnsley tries again: Are they nice men?
Vince Cable: Well, and our relationships have been perfectly good. Er, um, um, you know, we’re not cultivating a personal friendship, I don't want to pass judgement on their characters.
THE COALITION HAS MADE LABOUR LOOK LIKE THE ANTI-REFORM PARTY
Andrew Rawnsley: Do you think oddly enough, it's been easier to pursue ambitious plans like your own, because it's a coalition? Easier than it would’ve been, if say it was a Conservative government with a fairly modest majority?
Iain Duncan Smith: It's probably helpful that, we have two parties in tow, pursuing a big reform agenda, // It helps also persuade the other side that they are in a minority in the sense that two political parties agree change is necessary. It makes the third, seem pretty recalcitrant if it doesn’t want to reform.
Nick Clegg: The Blair Government in the early years made a massive mistake by just not doing anything for the first three years because they were so terrified of the opinion poll going up and down // they were like you know rabbits stuck in a, a head light. You can, you can also do the other extreme you can sort of be too frantic and we, you know we’ve got to get the balance right. But I would rather be accused of seeking to do too much rather than being in Government and frankly not doing enough.
OAKESHOTT AND DAVID DAVIS AGREE TORIES HAVE GOT BEST END OF COALITION DEAL
Andrew Rawnsley: Do you think the Conservatives got the better end of the bargain?
David Davis: Yes, I do. Yeah, absolutely. The people who’ve paid the price for the coalition have been the Liberals.
Lord Oakeshott: The coalition is basically still quite popular. But the Conservatives are getting all the credit. And at the moment we are getting the worst of both worlds.
DAVID DAVIS: THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS DESTROY THEMSELVES IF THEY DESTROY THE GOVERNMENT
DAVID DAVIS: Well the simple fact is the Lib Dems have got the best seats in the aeroplane and no parachute. They are not the ones who are gonna blow up the plane. They're gonna sit there and enjoy the ride all the way to the destination.