He's still bound by his coalition terms. You won't get a drastic swing to the right on any policy unless the Tories win an outright clear election and I still say this government will run most of it's course. Any election soon is likely to gift Labour another term in power as the short political memories that we have, have already forgotten the midden that they left the country in, and we'll believe that the coalition has brought all this hardship upon us.
So I would agree with your more like the Sunday afternoon of the closed penknife analogy.
I heard Nick Robinson, a BBC political correspondent, on the Today programme. He believes that most of these appointments were inspired or prompted by Osborne, to get rid of opponents to his Treasury targets/ ambitions and to promote those who are his "friends" re policy.(Eg Heathrow runway etc)
Maybe the Parliament would increase in size to quite a few million depending on how many of age candidates there were.Not a good idea. I do agree that the Party system means that few good independent candidates get elected so in effect we vote for parties even though few of us belong to them. It was ever thus, unfortunately, in recent tines.