Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Friday, 4 February 2011

New Labour, Cobbleition Tories, very few meaningful differences.

I've said this already often enough but Douglas Carswell spells it out loud and clear today.
... From where I'm sitting, the problem is not that the Coalition is failing to be traditionally Tory. Rather it is that ministers are not being radical enough. Yes, the talk is bold, but how much has public policy really altered since May?

Cutting the deficit? Ministers say so, but not the maths. Borrowing is up. Like pretty much every other post-war government, this one seems to be using higher taxes and inflation to solve its debt problems, rather than seriously curb state largesse.

Political reform? All those interesting ideas, mooted at the height of the expense scandal, including recall and open primaries, seem forgotten. Instead we’re to have a referendum on AV – which was in neither Coalition party’s manifesto.

Bonfire of the quangos? It’s gone out.

Localism? Maybe. But what about the localising the money?

Great Repeal Bill? Try googling it.

Europe? This afternoon the government will announce we’re opting into yet another EU proposal on criminal justice. Plus ca change.

Welfare reform? Full marks. But is this a change of policy or an acceleration of the reforms Labour’s James Purnell piloted.

Defence? We carry on cutting what we need, while spending on ruinous contracts we can ill-afford.

New politics? Same sofa.
Quite, and since Douglas Carswell is a Conservative MP and presumably better able than most to see what's going on in his party it's a fairly safe bet the rest of us who thought the new government was depressingly similar to the old one didn't imagine it. But it does raise one intriguing question.

Why the hell is Douglas Carswell still a Conservative when the party isn't?
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