I have a suspicion I’ve profoundly disagreed with this woman in the past, but this column is spot on regarding the stultifying effect of the pervasive state.
There was something both sad and ironic about the prime minister’s attempt to sell Labour as the party of optimism in his new year message last week. Not just because he is the embodiment of dourness, and not just because there isn’t a lot to be optimistic about. But because it’s Labour’s fundamental lack of optimism about human beings and what they are capable of which has so undermined its political project over the past dozen years.
Labour’s controlling, centralising, mistrustful approach has left huge numbers of former supporters feeling sullen, impotent and resentful. And it’s that history which is going to make it so hard for the party to win back voters in the election campaign.
I meet the disillusioned everywhere. A devoted consultant has resigned from the health service because his personal policy of seeing every patient in need within 24 hours broke all his targets for clinic numbers and readmission rates, and his hospital managers ordered him not to continue. An experienced teacher in the north of England gave up her job two years ago because she was seeing bewildered children fall behind every week, and yet the straitjacket of the national curriculum left her no time to help them. A middle-aged woman in rural Devon won’t vote Labour again because the charming old-age home where her mother lives is closing down, forced to shut because its Grade-II listing means it can’t meet new regulations on space and access.
This is a disenchantment that goes beyond Brown’s feeble leadership and people’s anxieties about the economy. It comes from the experience of living with Labour’s ideas about how society should be organised, and finding them mean and thin.
So what are the Tories going to do about all this?
Well they’re making some interesting sounding noises, but as Ms.Russell points out,
The party famous for ruthless centralisation and the hollowing out of local communities in the 1980s and 1990s is making an audacious claim: that it will transform Britain by reducing state power and transferring much of it to the people.
Audacious indeed. Also likely to turn out to be absolute bollocks, frankly.
Do read the rest of the article.
One thought on “She ‘gets it’ – but what makes us think the Tories will fix it?”
Dave “Karaoke” Cameron will do nowt to free the people and wind back the clock of stultifying Labour legislation and new laws. If it suits him personally, it will stay; no liberation for the (m)asses
He is a clone of Blair and Clegg is a construct from Cameron’s reject off-cuts.
Cameron is a dangerous, self-centred, smarmy-git politician and he will screw Scotland as soon as he can. I can hear him doing the “trust me” Blair Blurr as I type.
He has the most inept and hopeless Labour Government in front of hi and still he cannot find the wherewithal to pull the trigger. It just gets worse every day and he will, no doubt, inherit a bigger mess than he could have by going for Brown’s jugular on a number of occasions in the last 18 months.
He couldn’t score in Mrs Dansk Pastry’s Copenhagen bordello.