The love affair between David Cameron and Nick Clegg is contagious. One month into the Liberal-Conservative coalition in Britain, ministers from the two parties are bonding in their departments, too.

Tory ministers, for the most part, are happy to have the Liberal Democrats on board, not least for the cover they provide for the central task of making deep, unpopular cuts.

The politicians are gradually getting used to coalition politics. Negotiations on two "coalition agreements", which provide the policy prospectus for the new Government, proved easier than both parties imagined. But more than 20 tricky issues have been farmed out to commissions, committees and working parties.

If the coalition lasts, some of these reviews will boomerang as divisions between the two parties are exposed.

There have inevitably been differences behind the scenes but they seem to have been resolved amicably. Some civil servants mutter that the relationship between Prime Minister Cameron and his deputy Clegg is more harmonious than the one between former leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, which ran the country for 10 years.

The Prime Minister and his deputy are trying to bring a more grown-up approach to politics, in which the Government can be more open about inevitable disagreements. There is brave, over-optimistic talk about weaning the voracious media off the stories about splits and rows it devours.

"We are not going to sit here like Gordon Brown throwing bricks at the television screen," quipped one Downing St adviser. "We see this as a real opportunity to change the way politics is done for the better."

There have been teething troubles, as there would be for any new administration as it finds the agenda less under its own control than in opposition. Unexpected nasties that can blow any government off course are even more likely when two parties share power.

Mistakes have been made. Different lines taken by ministers William Hague, Liam Fox and Andrew Mitchell when they visited Afghanistan showed the need for some degree of command and control to prevent the show veering off the road. Yet there is a calm professionalism to the new regime.

There are MPs in both parties who believe the happy coalition will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions; some secretly hope so. Yet the partnership may prove more resilient than the doubters think.

The main trouble ahead will probably be over spending cuts. The coalition is preparing the ground for the bad news on a daily basis and trying to pin the blame on Labour. This year's £6.2 billion ($13.3 billion) in cuts was the easy meat. The nasty medicine will be along soon.

WHAT THEY HAVE DONE
Home affairs
Immediate action to halt the previous Government's identity-card scheme. A plan to ban identification of men accused of rape until conviction was announced in haste but ministers are now having second thoughts after a backlash. An annual limit or cap is to be imposed on immigration from outside the European Union.

Economy
The Government swiftly imposed the bulk of the £6 billion ($13 billion) immediate cuts in public spending promised during the election campaign. Chief Secretary David Laws resigned over an expenses scandal. The Office for Budget Responsibility under Alan Budd will announce the new growth forecast next week. Speeches by ministers have softened up the public for the "unavoidable" cuts.

Europe
Plenty of warm words to suggest the Government wants to play a constructive role in the European Union.

Political reform
The coalition has confronted the thorny issue of the House of Lords reform. A cross-party committee is due to produce proposals for a mainly elected second chamber by the end of the year.

Defence
A Strategic Defence Review has been given the go-ahead, as well as the creation of a National Security Council.

Environment
So far, the Coalition's biggest decision concerning the environment has been to cancel plans for a third runway at Heathrow, and to block new runways at Gatwick and Stansted. They will honour the previous Government's promise to contribute £300 million towards the protection of rainforests.

- Independent