Not something to celebrate

Westminster is turning into a wasteland. The place is deserted half the time.

The reason – trust me – is not that us MPs are bone-idle, just that the coalition government is running scared.

Both parties have conceded that the government faces 12 months of ‘legislation paralysis’ ahead of the 2015 election.

They may dress it up, but the truth is they have agreed that major policy decisions are not worth the risk of highlighting deepening fractures between them.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have agreed that the potential for the total collapse of the coalition well before polling day is too dangerous.

Which may make sense to them – after all, self-interest is their main motivation – but I don’t think it will go down well with my constituents facing all the coalition horrors of the ‘bedroom tax’, the blitz on benefits which hit the poorest to finance tax cuts for the richest, and the government’s failure to tackle runaway living costs.

Last week’s fall in overall unemployment was welcome, but take a closer look at the figures. Long-term youth unemployment over a million. Seven million low-paid workers on the breadline. The average working family £1,600 a year worse off. Average earnings up by half the inflation rate while bonuses for bankers reach record levels.

That is hardly something to celebrate.

What we are seeing is a “lame duck” administration. It makes my blood boil.