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UK adjusts to arranged marriage

world Updated: May 14, 2010 01:12 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar
Dipankar De Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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The post-it notes stuck on the refrigerator, as if by a newlywed couple, summed up the nation's happy mood.
"Nick, we need milk. Dave, did u finish humous? Nick, hope u got my CDs? Dave, sort out deficit," ran the cartoon in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

"The No 10 love in," proclaimed the headline in the Daily Mail, as the paper warmed to "new best buddies Dave and Nick."

They meant David Cameron and Nick Clegg, prime minister and deputy PM respectively, the youthful leaders of Britain's new coalition government.

Cameron and Clegg held an unprecedented joint press conference at No 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, laughing, smiling and poking fun at each other.

Other politicians took up the thread too. Business Secretary Vince Cable dished out an Indian homily for his fresh-faced colleagues.

Likening the prolonged negotiations that preceded the Conservative-Lib Dem alliance to the preliminaries of an arranged marriage, he said: "My Indian in-laws always told me arranged marriages last longer than love matches." Cable's late first wife, Olympia Rebelo was of Indian origin.

Yes, there was fun to be had on Thursday, the nation's notoriously partisan press decided with rare unanimity.

The Independent came out with a front page in the style of a wedding album, with the suggested vow: "I, Nick, take you, Dave, to be my leader, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till debt do us part".