Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wave on the steps of 10 Downing Street in London May 12, 2010
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wave on the steps of 10 Downing Street in London May 12, 2010. The Liberal Democrats agreed on Wednesday to rule with the larger Conservatives under new Prime Minister David Cameron in Britain's first coalition government since 1945. Reuters

The coalition between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties has surprised many, not least because of the apparent passion and speed with which David Cameron and Nick Clegg have embraced each other.

While the leadership of both parties have hailed the move as a way of providing stable and long-term government to deal with the aftermath of recession, there are a good many voices from both the left and the right who are certainly not comfortable with this "new politics" and with good reason.

The most obvious thing we have learnt from this episode is that our political leaders can no longer be trusted to tell us what they really mean, nor to tell us their true agenda's.

Before the election David Cameron and his party appeared to be doing their level best to persuade voters to support them so as to avoid a hung parliament. Kenneth Clarke, the new Lord Chancellor, was giving prophesies of doom every week that a hung parliament would lead to financial apocalypse, while the current Chancellor, George Osborne was campaigning against the "Hung Parliament Party" which would bring Britain to a standstill.

Whenever journalists asked questions about what they would do in a hung parliament the only answer coming from Tory lips, from David Cameron down, was "We are campaigning for a Conservative majority".

Mr Clegg was also rather coy about what moves he would be making in the event of a hung Parliament. Looking back he can say that he kept his pledge to support the party with the largest number of seats and votes. However they refused to say what they would do if one party had more seats and the other more votes, a not unlikely outcome in our system.

Their pledge was therefore of limited use to the electorate when deciding who they should cast their votes for, especially for those considering a tactical vote. It is no secret that the Liberal Democrats are a left-wing party, even when compared to Labour on some issues, and many people will have voted for them to "keep the Tories out".

The Lib Dems were even endorsed by the left-leaning Guardian, which broke with Labour, while some Labour cabinet ministers appeared to advocate voting Lib Dem in the hopes of forming a "progressive alliance". No doubt those former ministers are regretting their words now.

Just as the Tories refused to answer the "what are you going to do in a hung parliament?" question, so Mr Clegg, failed to answer who he would be siding with. At a time when the polls pointed to Labour possibly coming third in the popular vote, Mr Clegg said he would not allow a third-placed Gordon Brown to "squat" in Number 10. When asked what he would do if Mr Brown came second, Mr Clegg would not answer. Now we know.

If only Mr Brown had been as economical with the public finances as our politicians have been economical with the truth we would not be in the current dire financial situation. A financial situation which the Lib-Con/Con-Dem government is now trying to use as excuse barricade themselves in office for the next five years.

Whose interest is it in to have fixed term five year parliaments? The government's of course. Yet David Cameron was speaking yesterday about what a democratic move such an idea was by giving up his power to choose when to have an election.

Now there is something to be said for this, the ability to chose when the election is held does give the sitting government an advantage in theory (although it did not help Gordon Brown or John Major that much). It does also remove a degree of political uncertainty.

However a fixed term would eliminate the possibility of kicking out a government which had lost the support of parliament. There would be little to be gained by going on with such an unpopular government, especially as that government would no longer be able to get any of its legislation through (could this be a fate the new government fears?).

In addition the new coalition lost no time in stressing that these fixed terms would be for five rather than four years. In fact the idea of fixed four year parliaments does not even seem to have been mentioned.

Just last year, when he was high in the opinion polls, Mr Cameron was calling for an immediate election and was accusing Mr Brown of clinging on to office despite the wishes of the British people. Is he now planning on doing the same should things turn bumpy as they almost certainly will?

Parliaments are already required to last no longer than five years by the Parliament Act of 1911. At the time five year Parliament's where considered to be the exception rather than the rule, what is the benefit to the British people of making them the rule?

Finally the strangest thing about this whole coalition is the speed and passion with which it has been entered into. Given all the horrific predictions coming from the Tory party about a hung parliament and their assertion that they were "working for a Conservative majority", why is Mr Cameron now heaping undignified praise on this odd alliance.

When asked if he considered a Tory minority government instead of the coalition, Mr Cameron described the prospect of a minority government as "uninspiring". By contrast the new coalition was "exciting". Does this mean he will be campaigning for a hung parliament at the next election? Does he consider a Tory majority "uninspiring"?

Both parties are to contest a by-election later this month. Mr Cameron said the parties be campaigning "hard" against each other. But how can the Tories and Lib Dems campaign seriously against each other when they are united in the new government. Presumably we will see "Don't let Labour in" replace the old mantra of "Don't let the Tories in".

Already we have seen the beginnings of what this will look like. Last week the BBC aired its first edition of Question Time under the new government. Appropriately the Tory Lord Heseltine was seated next to Lib Dem Simon Hughes and, while not totally uncritical, the two were not exactly punishing each other. It was certainly different to when Lord Heseltine appeared on the programme last year and tore into Vincent Cable and his mansion tax proposals.

Some have suggested that Mr Cameron actually wanted to unite with the Lib Dems so as to finally emasculate the right wing of his party, which has long been sceptical of Mr Cameron, the self proclaimed "Heir to Blair". There are even reports that the Conservative negotiating team seemed more willing to give away concessions than the Lib Dems were to ask for them.

Such reports will give little comfort to those conservative voters, who thought they would be getting inheritance tax cuts, rather than capital gains tax rises, or repatriation of powers from Europe rather than inaction. For the Lib Dems, all those who voted to "keep the Tories out" or to create a "progressive alliance, will feel betrayed.

In both parties senior figures have expressed their displeasure at the new politics. Former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said he could not support Mr Clegg's decision to back the Tories, while former Conservative party chairman Norman Tebbit was actively speaking against a coalition in the days before it was announced.

During the campaign Mr Cameron was asked whether he was politically closer to Nick Clegg or Norman Tebbit, his decision to ignore Tebbit and join with Clegg has answered that question for us.