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My Lords, it is great to follow the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol. I hope that, unlike one of his predecessors, he will not be pursued across the roof of his burning palace by rioters in Bristol, which once happened.
Macaulay stated in 1834 that,
"we look at the essential characteristics of the Whig and the Tory, we may consider each of them as the representative of a great principle, essential to the welfare of nations. One is, in an especial manner, the guardian of liberty, and the other, of order. One is the moving power, and the other the steadying power of the state. One is the sail, without which society would make no progress, the other the ballast, without which there would be small safety in a tempest".
I hope that that exactly encapsulates the whole principle of this new coalition Government.
It is perfectly fair to say that Mr Cameron acted with supreme statesmanship immediately after the election, in which he was closely followed by Mr Clegg. This has resulted in a Government who I suggest are supported-or were supported at the polls-by more people than have supported any other Government since the advent of universal adult male suffrage, let alone universal suffrage. That gives this Government an essential ballast of authority to do the things that have to be done. It also combines those two principles-