Editor-At-Large: Let cynics scoff – a can-do Cabinet may pull it off

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Two men form a coalition, and get pilloried. They put aside their differences, and even manage a joke or two at their first public outing. The result? They're dismissed as the political equivalent of Ant and Dec. Their kitchens and their wives are relentlessly analysed for compatibility, as if these men are reality TV contestants, not senior statesmen.

On every side, we're awash with negative speculation about how long this shotgun marriage will last. I haven't seen such sneering since the first civil partnerships. These days, gay men and women get hitched and no one comments. But politics – what a dinosaur world. Scan our national press over the past 10 days, and you discover that British political commentators have the same physical attributes as you and I, but something very different goes on inside their heads. Confronted with a hung Parliament, we were treated to a media in meltdown, as days and hours of painstaking negotiation ticked by. No mention that in countries such as Germany and Israel, a coalition is only formed after weeks of haggling. By Monday, I felt as if I were being put through the long rinse cycle as the press corps camped out in Downing Street.

Before this election, the public said it was disenchanted with politicians. But the television debates changed all that. Far from staying at home to register our disgust with a no-show, turn-out was excellent and we queued patiently to vote. Hundreds of us got locked out of polling stations as the system just couldn't cope with our new passion for democracy. Once again, dismissive political writers claimed that the debates "trivialised" politics by not focusing on issues in depth and by emphasising style over content, appearance over gravitas. Wake up, guys and gals! Have you forgotten you're living in the multi-channel age, where people can tune in to news and information in a multiplicity of shortcut ways? The texting generation doesn't do depth. As it turned out, the debates served their purpose – they got us arguing and talking about how we wanted our country run.

Then, when voters delivered a hung parliament, you'd think that Britain was about to sink beneath the Channel. We were told that the money markets were poised to dump the pound, that every hour we were a rudderless ship confirmed our status as a fourth-rate nation. Utter bilge. A few brave analysts managed to get the message out that everything was holding steady, and that we were small beer compared to the meltdown in Greece and possibly Spain and Portugal, but it wasn't a popular theme. And from the moment it emerged that David Cameron and Nick Clegg could work together, and had formed a united team (sadly not enough women, but that's another story), managing to bury their differences and sit around the cabinet table without throwing their rattles out of the playpen, then the cynics really kicked into gear, describing it as a "love-in" and predicting when cracks would appear in this new domestic bliss.

Interestingly, when the same newspapers ask their readers what they think about the coalition, it turns out that ordinary voters are much more prepared to give it a chance. Know why? In everyday life, we compromise all the time. In the minds of old-style politicians and Westminster hacks, life is a series of brutal skirmishes along strictly tribal lines. They're locked into an out-of-date mindset. In the real world, every day we compromise in our relationships, and at work. To stay in our jobs, we have to accept different working conditions, longer hours, no bonuses, no pay rises. In a recession, to stay afloat, you have to fit in to the new mood. And why are political columnists so surprised that Clegg and Cameron can work together when previously they have insulted each other and denigrated each other's policies? Both men are enthusiasts. Cameron can enthuses about food and about pop music, isn't embarrassed to admit his taste in trashy telly.

This is very modern – his generation isn't held in check by rigid adherence to strictly defined principles. Both men have proved they go with the flow and adapt to what works. This is how most of Britain, especially the generation in their thirties and early forties, operate. How many of your friends are exactly the same?

The Church of England has produced special prayers to combat cynicism, claming Christianity has a duty to promote democracy. Cynicism might be attractive in humour, but it's time it was reined back in politics.

Face facts: Raquel eats wells, does yoga and that's it. Yeah, right...

Raquel Welch thinks that the Pill has brought a lowering of moral standards among young women and is responsible for the decline in popularity of marriage. Writing for CNN on the 50th anniversary of the oral contraceptive, the former sex symbol and film star says that the availability of the Pill in the 1960s changed women's attitudes for good and many of us decided "Let's party!" According to Raquel (three marriages and currently separated), "sexual freedom has taken the caution out of choosing a partner". She ends her little homily with the plea, "Come on girls. Time to pull up our socks! We're capable of so much better."

I might take this seriously if Raquel, 69, had not recently appeared on Oprah claming she hasn't had plastic surgery and that her amazing looks are down to yoga, the perfect diet, and three hours of make-up. On the internet, cosmetic surgeons find this claim risible. As for changing attitudes to sex, can this be the same Raquel who appeared in movie after movie clad in nothing more than skimpy swimsuits, flaunting that amazing physique? If that didn't send out the message to men to "come and get it", I don't know what did. These days Raquel is a carefully nurtured fantasy – same as she ever was.

A little of what you fancy...

The word antioxidant is a bit of jargon we drop into the conversation to prove we're eating healthily.

Dark berries, oranges, broccoli, and other so-called superfoods are rich in the chemicals that are said to protect us from serious illness. Now scientists in the US say that high doses of antioxidants, taken as supplements, can cause harmand may increase the risk of developing cancer. I'm reminded of the history of eggs and butter.

First they were demonised by nutritionists and thought to contribute to heart disease.Then they were reevaluated and considered part of a healthy diet.

Same with potatoes, red wine, oily fish and so many other pleasures. Take my advice and eat everything in moderation, take no vitamin pills or supplements, and you'll be fine. The word antioxidant is a bit of jargon we drop into the conversation to prove we're eating healthily.

Dark berries, oranges, broccoli, and other so-called superfoods are rich in the chemicals that are said to protect us from serious illness. Now scientists in the US say that high doses of antioxidants, taken as supplements, can cause harmand may increase the risk of developing cancer. I'm reminded of the history of eggs and butter.

First they were demonised bynutritionists and thought to contribute to heart disease.Then they were reevaluated and considered part of a healthy diet.

Same with potatoes, red wine, oily fish and so many other pleasures. Take my advice and eat everything in moderation, take no vitamin pills or supplements, and you'll be fine.

Clean up and stay married, men

Until now, it's always been claimed that one of the main reasons why many marriages end in divorce is the increase in the number of women who go out to work. New research contradicts that theory, however, and seems to show that a key factor in divorce is the amount of help men give at home.

It doesn't matter whether their wives are earning or not - if men pitch in with the chores, then the marriage has more chance of lasting.

Women get more annoyed about men not pulling their weight than almost anything else. And even if they can only cook one meal, isn't it better to let them have a go? What's the alternative?

Get exhausted by proving we can do everything from shopping to cleaning, more efficiently and more quickly?

Most men are miles better at dreary stuff such as operating the vacuum cleaner.

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