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After The Voting Was Done

In celebration of the birth of a new style of British politics, and the overdue education of the British voter about how their constitution really works.

I.

On election day, the voters made their decisions.
Their pronouncement, many interpreted.
Some said people agreed on Tory, or progressive, or none!
But the truth was rather more complicated.
Not one choice was made, but very very many,
Their multiplicity left each other’s frustrated.

Cameron announced he could work with Clegg,
And Clegg was as keen to reciprocate.
For the talks they sent in two teams of four,
Both knew a deal tough to negotiate.
Not just each other they’d need to appease.
Party members and voters they’d have to placate.

Brown sat still in Downing Street,
Prime minister uninterrupted, as per constitution.
When one resigns he recommends his replacement,
No allowance made for any interregnum.
With none in majority and no clear successor,
Brown should continue ‘til the dealing was done.

As Tories asked LibDems to put them in charge,
Labour dared to hope they’d be the ones to remain.
Secret parallel conversations commenced,
With a view to keeping Labour in power again.
Only when all the hands had been on the table,
Would we know who had best played the game.

A noisy thousand marched upon London,
Saying this was the time for a fair voting system,
Or asking to retake Parliament (from who, we know not).
Let’s just say their views weren’t entirely consistent.
It was to Clegg that they made their demands,
Who was polite as ever, and promised he’d listen.

Newscaster Kay Burley moaned at great length
As the protestors walked by her outdoor broadcast.
From the throng Billy Bragg granted impromptu interview,
But hostile in general was the crowd that amassed.
They shouted “Sack Kay Burley, and down with Murdoch!”
“Go home and watch Sky News”, scolded Burley, at the last.

Across television, radio and internet,
Countless opinions were being said.
Some didn’t vote for such-and-such party,
Some didn’t vote for such-and-such government head.
Pretty much all of them were perfectly right,
This system’s just one vote per one MP, instead.

II.

The public faced instability and pacts unwanted,
They fretted over jobs and the public purse.
Would a new government collapse like a house of cards?
Or would poor losers return to office like a curse?
Would the people be served a steady diet of cuts?
Or drowning in debt, would they be further immersed?

A price had to be paid for Labour’s defeat.
One intractable man, the obstacle to coalition.
He’d been difficult with the LibDems before,
And was unpopular with most of the nation.
For Labour to stay, Brown had to leave,
Whether pushed, or going by his own volition.

So Brown said he’d go in four months or so,
Enough time to select his replacement.
A dignified election for Labour leader,
Would compensate Brown’s weighty displacement.
The press mused about Labour’s tactical genius,
But all still depended on the LibDem’s consent.

Labour’s spin doctors were sent out to spin,
Though nobody knows what Campbell’s job’s supposed to be,
It seems you no longer need a proper career,
To be invited to spout off on national TV.
Bolton got riled at being told what he thought,
So he told Campbell off, in a style most unseemly.

Salmond said he’d work with the Westminster parties
As he calls them with such obnoxious conceit.
But he started to consume his humble pie
When he thought his exclusion was likely complete.
There’d be no handsome payout for Scotland
If the coalition had no need for SNP seats.

Who’d dish up the biggest plate of electoral reform?
Hague said the last offer was an AV referendum.
Labour trumped that by offering AV straight away,
Plus a PR plebiscite, as an addendum.
But LibDems worried Labour’s government might not last
Long enough to realize the proportionate intention.

LibDem and Labour made little progress.
Some thought it a ruse to sharpen Tory appetites,
To prompt more compromise from the Tories,
But that Clegg always had Cameron firmly in his sights.
Tories and LibDems were making real progress.
In the concluson, Labour gave up, without a fight.

III.

Brown left office with great dignity.
Not a squatter at all, no matter the report.
Britain’s constitution requires a prime minister,
He left when the contest was no longer sport.
To Buckingham Palace he left with alacrity,
His wife and his children were his escort.

Brown’s recommendation to the Queen was given,
David Cameron would be his successor.
Soon after Cam boarded his silver jaguar,
Taking him to become the big job’s possessor.
With the Queen, Cam’s photo was also taken,
The Queen now become Cam’s political confessor.

Cam returned and he spoke plainly to the press
Standing outside the famous door of number ten.
Nobody knew who would be in Cam’s cabinet,
But by then coalition seemed to be most certain.
Cam looked back and thanked Brown’s long service,
Then looked forward, to good times’ return.

Gordon Brown said his fond goodbyes,
And (rightly) blamed himself for his failing.
To a job in charity he hoped to go,
Though knowing him, it won’t be plain sailing.
He proclaimed himself Labour through and so through,
But it’s his inflexibility that was often cause of his ailing.

The news came out in fits and in spurts,
Over who would sit round the big table.
A double-headed leader would preside over affairs,
Clegg answering when Cam was not able.
Two men of same age with mutual respect.
Born of a familiar breed and similar stable.

Osbourne Chancellor and Cable in Business,
May the unexpected Home Secretary,
Huhne’s job the climate, Hague Foreign Office,
Ken Clarke to deliver justice exemplary,
And whenever there’s cuts that need to be made,
LibDems and Tories as equal accessories.

Cam and Clegg showed their rapport
Hosting springtime in number ten’s grounds.
Theirs was the flavour of this new era,
By blending together, a new recipe they had found.
This the first taste; five years of ham and eggs,
With no Brown sauce or pork for Salmond.

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