Well, well, well…
Who’d have thought it, hey? No-one saw a hung parliament coming, what a surprise!
Oh, except every poll in the world for the last six weeks, every political pundit and, probably, every one of us.
It seems as though the only people caught by surprise are the politicians.
Still, we are where we are and now we have to get on with it. Except we can’t can we? It’s up to Nick and Dave (and their negotiating teams) to sort things out on our behalf. Now, we hear on the radio, that there is a momentum towards a deal that’s nigh on unstoppable, which is great.
The thing is, we don’t know what we’re heading towards. It’s certainly not a merger… that would be unthinkable that two businesses (whoops, I meant political parties) that don’t like each other should actually get together for the good of the rest of us.
It doesn’t seem to be heading towards a coalition, either. Whoever actually wields this watered down version of power we end up with – which I actually don’t think is necessarily a bad thing – will be deeply unpopular and the Lib Dems don’t want to be tarred with that particular brush.
No, it seems that we’re heading for a loose agreement: we’ll support you if you give us electoral reform.
Okay, I can live with that, but Dave and Nick could well do with looking at a couple of examples of businesses that have merged in the past and seeing what they can learn from the mistakes made to make their own relationship just a little more easy to deal with.
(By the way, I can’t get an image of Morecombe and Wise in bed together out of my head… ever since the BBC website created the image with Dave and Nick’s heads!)
Having been through a few mergers there are, I think, a couple of things to watch out for.
The first is that where the businesses try to keep both ‘bosses’ it just hasn’t worked. I know this isn’t a merger, but leadership is going to be vital and we all need to know who the boss is – and who’s pulling the strings!
Secondly, there’s the issue of culture. My husband used to work for TSB before the merger with Lloyds Bank.
Whenever he meets someone else who works for the group they have to ask each other whether they were a former green or blue before they decide whether they’re going to like each other.
Of course the Lib Dems and the Tories are going to have to work together, or so it seems. But for the sake of all of us, they’re going to have to work at it… and for the sake of themselves, too. There’s plenty of talk about a fixed term agreement but, unless they can work together the whole thing is going to fall apart PDQ… and how’s that going to look to the electorate when we all heave ourselves into the polls once again in six months time?