I have been struck by a common theme emerging from the news reports about David Cameron and Nick Clegg's marriage of political convenience.

There hasn't been a whole lot of analysis going on but there have been a lot of silly and misguided observations along the line that Dave and Nick are just a couple of good lads who have put aside their differences for the sake of Britain. The fact that Cameron once referred to Clegg as his 'favourite joke' was waved away by Cameron as just affectionate banter between mates.

Clegg agreed and the bonhomie was thick in the air. I was reaching for the remote at this point. I'm wondering if this the line that the Rupert Murdoch's of the world are planning to push over the coming months. Nick and Dave, a couple of likely lads with hearts of gold.

In the distance I can hear Dennis Waterman singing 'I'll Be So Good For You'.

Of course we've had this sort of line spun to us in little old New Zealand ever since market trader John Key became Prime Minister.

After the dour and less than media friendly Helen Clark, its been easy for the media to portray John Key as a good bloke who likes a beer and a joke.

The fact that, among other things, his Minister of Social Development has launched a vicious offensive against beneficiaries and people are losing their jobs in the public service appears to have been forgotten.

Over in the United Kingdom, Dave and Nick - those two ex-public schoolboys - are also about to launch some rather nasty policies.

Many of the business websites that I regularly read are suggesting that there will be spending cuts of more than twenty percent. Before the election the conservative Financial Times accused the three main parties for not being honest about the scale of cuts being planned. The British public are about to find out what 'nice' Dave and Nick have in store for them.

Like what is happening here under the National Government, there will be major cuts in welfare spending. Nick and Dave plan to widen the scope of Labour's welfare policies which has been to harass beneficiaries off the benefit, which has included both the disabled and solo mothers. Perhaps Nick and Dave have been following what Paula Bennett has been doing here.

But while the wo 'likel lads' are bashing beneficiaries, thousands of workers will be losing their jobs in the public service.

The media might want to present 'The Dave and Nick Show' as some kind of affectionate 'odd couple' sitcom but, for ordinary people, it will be more 'The Dave and Nick Neoliberal Chainsaw Massacre'.

It will be interesting to see how the trade union hierarchy will react to the offensive. It sat on its hands throughout the thirteen years of the Labour Government. I'd like to think they might now go on the offensive rather than roll over and surrender like our CTU and PSA have done here.

But I'm not holding my breath.


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