Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Progressive politics in the UK


   What an interesting few days it’s been.  I’m immensely impressed with our new Cabinet as it has emerged so far (I’m particularly looking forward to Vince Cable taking on the banks)*.  And the way the leaders and others seem to be working together.

And I’m also impressed with the new high-level policies as well.  I know Labour representatives are regretting the lost chance of a new progressive alliance, but in my view, the new government’s policies are in fact quite progressive.

The Conservative party’s policies were already a significant departure from the past and I think Cameron’s Big Society is one of the most interesting and innovative ideas in politics at the moment.  Combined with the Liberal agenda, and the increase in the income tax threshold etc, make this a very different style of Conservative government.

To an extent, this shouldn’t be surprising.  Life has moved on.  Thatched confronted a sluggish and dysfunctional economy and society, and I think most of her responses to that situation were appropriate.  By 1997, things had changed, and the need for a more united society had become a more pressing requirement than making further improvements in the UK’s competitiveness.

Most commentary on the coalition points to the UK electorate’s unwillingness, post the MP expenses scandals etc, to give any one party a majority.  I think it’s more than this.  People increasingly understand the need to focus more on collaboration and less on competition, and we want to see this in our politics as well.



* Whoops.  I’ve just heard about Erick Pickles!


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