A new dawn has broken…has it not?
The country has got what it voted for, Labour defeated and LibDem policies at the heart of Government. Nick Clegg, Deputy PM? Vince “Fibre Optic” Cable in charge of banking reform? Is this the real life, or just a fantasy?
It is, of course, the result of the historic Conservative/LibDem coalition, replacing Labour’s 13 years of peaks-and-troughs (sorry, boom-and-bust). The final legacy of Gordon Brown – a surge in unemployment – just indicates the challenge ahead.
Labour’s final record really is abysmal. Record government borrowing, massive public debt into which millions must be poured immediately to avoid a Greece-style meltdown.
Of course things are going to be tough, I am not hiding from the facts. Sadly, I guess VAT is going to have to rise, and local government funding will be cut in such a way that some sacred cows will have to see the action end of many knives. Something must be done to steady the ship; we as a nation cannot continue to overspend. While billions of tax payers money shores up the banks, the companies make mammoth profits and dish out mega-bonuses. This cannot continue. Let me borrow a phrase from our new Prime Minister; we cannot go on like this.
I have no doubt that Nick Clegg’s fairness agenda has a place in the centre of this new coalition. Look at some of the agreed policy decisions; the phasing in of the £10,000 income allowance, scrapping ID cards, scrapping the planned NI increase, reviewing the DNA database, enhancing freedom of information, scrapping the planned inheritance tax changes, promising a fully elected House of Lords…
I remain a loyal Liberal Democrat, and a liberal from top-to-toe. There is no point in being stuck in the past, using the Conservative Party’s previous lives as some kind of stick with which to beat the present. Using “Thatcher!” as a warning from history is no more useful in 2010 as my use of “Winter of Discontent!”. I am frustrated that this new administration is not being given a chance. The problems put upon this country by Labour’s 13 years cannot be covered up by the catch-all phrase “Global Recession”. It’s like the Family Guy episode where Lois whips up a crowd with the words “Nine Eleven”.
This new Government already shows great promise. The challenges are going to be tough, of course they are, and when errors are made there is no doubt I will comment on them. But this country could well plunge into deeper trouble if the exhausted, bankrupt Labour Party are given half a chance to return too soon.