Friday, 21 March 2014
Why no love for the coalition?
The coalition came into power during the worst recession that has ever happened. It inherited finances from a government who had spent more than all the previous post war governments put together.
The banks were still tottering.The high streets deserted and job losses and inflation increasing.
Then the Euro zone started to collapse. The UK's largest trading partners could hide their recession no longer and they began to falter leading to the humiliating need to bail out entire countries.
And if that wasn't enough North Africa and the Middle East went into revolution and Scotland decided it wanted a divorce.
Any one of these events might have sunk a normal administration. All of them at once should have defeated the coalition utterly.
When Jim Callaghan, faced with 1976 inflation and falling output from the factories was asked in cabinet what should they do, he suggested, only half jokingly, that they all emigrate.
Yet the coalition has been a success.
The inflation specter loomed only briefly. The rise of unemployment was halted well below the 4 million expectation. Borrowing, while desperate, was no worse than other nations. Civil unrest, after a flurry at the start, has been normal for Britain. The 'cuts' have been implemented and even some tax cuts have been made. And a very radical manifesto of benefits changes, education changes, dubious NHS changes, tuition changes and now pension changes implemented. More than labour attempted in 13 years never mind 4.
Yet the coalition is very unpopular. Its unpopular here on this blog. I am unimpressed. CU has even gone over to UKIP.
Why is this so? What more could we realistically have expected them to do?
I suspect that in the future, history will look more kindly on this period than we do today.