THE love-in at Downing Street's rose garden on Wednesday afternoon showed that Dave and Nick are made for each other. Same age, same secure backgrounds, same sort of education, same self-confidence, same accents, body language and sense of humour. Their ties were different, though. Are these two cloned representatives of Britain's upper middle class the men to change Britain in the comprehensive way they have spoken of in their euphoric coalition statements? I think not. They may deal with the deficit, stimulate economic growth, buttress the National Health Service and cap immigration but despite all Mr Cameron's talk of the Big Society and Mr Clegg's statements about the need for fairness I cannot believe that they will change British society in the fundamental ways that are needed.
Social mobility in Britain is almost at a standstill compared with other major countries and the lack of it stultifies energy and enterprise. Cases where it occurs are usually the exception that proves the rule. The problem starts with education and nothing in the Con-Lib coalition's objectives suggests that its policies in that area will achieve anything beyond strengthening -- not changing -- existing structures. The ambitions for Britain expressed by the prime minister and his deputy will not come about without a shift in the balance between advantage and privilege, which both of them enjoy and represent, and the disadvantage and deprivation which far too many people still experience.