What a week in politics we've had with the first coalition government for 60 years between the Tories and the Lib Dems. Over the channel the 2010 film festival has begun at Cannes in the South of France.  Both of these events have of course got links with the first Baron Brougham and Vaux.

Lord Brougham was a leading Whig in the early 1800s.  The Whigs being a forerunner to the Liberal Party who later went on to form the Liberal Democrats.  At the time it was the Tories, a forerunner to the Conservative Party, who were in opposition - the Labour Party not yet a political concept.  Now of course, no longer in opposition,  we have a coalition between the Whigs and Tories!  Lord Brougham was first elected in 1810 but lost his seat at the subsequent election.  He was voted back in again in 1816 where he became a leading light in the party concentrating on educating the poor and legal reform.  In 1830 he became the Lord Chancellor, the position occupied in the new 2010 government by Kenneth Clark.  During his tenure he was instrumental in passing the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 and the Reform Act of 1832.  The new Conservative-LibDem coalition are looking now at political reform to make the voting system fairer.  In 1832 the Reform Act, steered through Parliament by Lord Brougham, did exactly the same as it tidied up constituencies so that the old 'rotten' boroughs which were not representative of the population were abolished. It almost feels like history is repeating itself.

The Cannes Film Festival, full of glitz and celebrity, is currently under way next to the azure Mediterranean sea on the South of France.  Cannes is of course the playground of the rich and famous thanks to Lord Brougham who is the founding father of modern day Cannes.  Lord Brougham had a forced stay over in Cannes, which at the time was a small fishing port.  He instantly fell in love with it and built Ch√Ęteau Eleanor - named after his daughter.  Many of Lord Brougham's wealthy friends visited and they too built their expensive homes here.  Modern day Cannes continued to attract the rich and famous which eventually led to the Film Festival of Cannes moving there.  A statue of Lord Brougham now stands proudly in Brougham Square near the sea front, marking the towns thanks and recognition.

Yesterday's history explains today's news - Lord Brougham clearly setting the foundations for this weeks events.