The strange promise to help 13 countries towards democracy
David Cameron and Nick Clegg saved the weirdest line until last in their pointless midterm review. The final sentence on the final page of the review document promises: “We will support 13 countries to hold free and fair elections.” The obvious question is which 13 countries are going to have the benefit of UK assistance as their voters go to the polls?
The answer is that nobody knows, not even Cameron and Clegg. “It’s a general commitment rather than to thirteen specific countries,” a senior official from the Department for International Development said. “To give you an idea, we’ve recently supported elections in Sierra Leone and Ghana and will be doing so in Kenya.”
There are many things on which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats cannot agree, despite today’s display of unity. High on the list is Nick Clegg’s refusal to back David Cameron’s scheme to redraw constituency boundaries, cutting the number of MPs, unless he gets House of Lords reform in return.
Which is why one eminent Conservative, on being asked about those 13 countries, muttered: “We’re talking about Britain. We want the boundary review.”Tagged in: coalition, david cameron, government, midterm review, MPs, nick clegg
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