It really is the politics of necessity, it is so important that the coalition appears strong, not only to the country but to the international community.
The politics Cameron and Clegg though are a little over the top in claiming that they had achieved more in 2 years than the governments of Thatcher Major and Blair because of the Pension, Education, NHS and Welfare reforms, so let us look at that!
Firstly they can forget about the Blair government because that isn’t difficult, the Blair government, apart from keeping us out of the Euro, didn’t really achieve anything other than what was destructive and in the end left the country bankrupt as with every Labour government, I of course link the Blair and Brown administrations because most of the damage was done on Blair’s watch. Further reading
As for comparing the coalition to the Thatcher governments, Welfare, Pension, NHS and Education reforms are not done yet and NHS reform has been butchered by the Lib Dem’s, the jury is still very much out!
But for the sake of stable politics it is essential that the coalition appears strong, hence his call for the Conservative MP’s to unite around the coalition, and calling the House of Lords reform debate/vote a blip.
Support for the coalition though is no reason to allow bad legislation through just to appease the Lib Dem’s and the House of Lords reform as proposed by the Lib Dem’s is bad for UK politics, bad for our democracy and completely self-serving.
When the Lib Dem’s joined the coalition they only really wanted 2 pieces of legislation, a referendum on the AV/Proportional Representation (PR) voting system which was roundly rejected by the electorate and House of Lords reform which included 80% of the peers elected by PR!
If the Lib Dem’s had managed to secure a Yes vote in the AV/PR referendum and House of Lords reform with PR they would have secured for themselves permanent power as the third-party, just switching between Conservative and Labour to form the relevant coalition in both houses and as we know, coalitions are inherently undemocratic giving the voter no choice, the Lib Dem’s would have achieved their ultimate aim, the politics of permanent power without responsibility.
So it is very important that the coalition appears strong but it is no excuse for bad legislation just to appease the Lib Dem’s and the rump of the Conservative MP’s must ensure House of Lords reform is buried, at least until the Conservatives can tackle it without the Lib Dem’s.
As for comparing itself with the Major or Thatcher governments, they have a long, long way to go before they can think of doing that but they can compare the coalition to the Blair/Brown governments if they want to compare the coalition with failure!