Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Voters Beware

Voters beware. Since the polls and the local elections make it clear that Theresa May is going to get a thumping great majority to operate the elective dictatorship.  It also looks as though the opposition will be so weakened that it can't do its job of checking executive power This makes it essential that the Tories be tied down to moderation. We know what we're going to get.

At the moment all we have is the vague assurances of goodwill  and better priorities than George Osborne's. Government in the interests of everyone not just the powerful, help for the just about managing folk, concern for community etc. All well and good but not specific. 

We know that Theresa's already slipped back on several of her good intentions; moderate boardroom greed, review wasteful big spends like Hinkley, put workers on boards etc. Perhaps we can still trust the vicar's daughter even after that, though I still worry about her fixations on immigration and getting it down to tens of thousands as I do about her prehistoric determination to boost grammar schools. Pure folly

Personally I'm happy to give her a strong hand in the European negotiations . She'll need it against that gang of dirty double dealers. In any case it makes sense to start negotiations from a strong position not a humble willingness to eat any Euro-pie Merkel's marionettes care to offer. 

Yet I have to ask, and we all should, can we trust the Tory Party?
Will their nastier instincts to turn Britain into a low tax, unregulated tax haven , to weaken the unions, strengthen the gig economy, and tolerate tax fiddles by the wealthy be allowed to run riot as its loony right wants? Will the castration of local government and the starvation of the health service continue and will the Govian folly of wasting money on "free" (meaning more expensive) schools go on?

It would be insane to give that kind of party  a blank cheque mandate to do what they want even if they were led by the Archangel Gabriel. Which makes it essential for a healthy democracy to demands a tight and socially progressive mandate as the essential concomitant of a big majority. 

That means a commitment to fully finance the Health Service not "as resources allow" but now, to stop the cuts in school budgets and provide extra resources, to finance local authorities properly to provide care and maintain effective policing. The government is willing to bind itself on aid and defence spending, aka spending for foreigners and the US. Why not to spending which sustains the good society at home? 

An honest government should offer and an intelligent electorate should demand a strict mandate for moderation from a government seeking an overwhelming majority. If they don't get it they deserve all that's coming to them . And they deserve it hard. 

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