When the Cuts Start Hitting Home, the Going Will Get Tougher; COMMENTARY

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

When the Cuts Start Hitting Home, the Going Will Get Tougher; COMMENTARY


Byline: Tim Montgomerie

DAVID DAVIS called it the "brokeback coalition" in recognition of the political romance between Nick Clegg and David Cameron. More accurately, it's been called the "breakneck coalition".

Despite the gentlemanly working hours, the Cameron-Clegg government isn't giving the dust any chance to settle. Soon after it announced plans to eliminate Labour's deficit by 2015, it launched a massive reorganisation of the NHS. Then came plans for a change to our voting system, elected police chiefs, parent-run schools, tax simplification, and, most daringly, one universal benefit to replace nearly all others, and it has even secured an agreement with Pakistan after the terrorism squabble.

There are huge risks in this hyperactivity but Cameron has decided the bigger risk is to leave things alone. Under Labour we were tumbling down international league tables for economic competitiveness and educational achievement.

Most voters appear to like what they see so far -- particularly from the blue half of the Coalition. The Conservatives have passed 40 per cent in opinion polls. It's nothing like the honeymoon that Tony Blair enjoyed in 1997 but it's some encouragement to David Cameron. Support for the Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, has tanked and that won't change.

Roughly a third of Nick Clegg's supporters came from the Left of the political spectrum and they won't quickly forgive Lib-Dem MPs for putting a Tory government in power. …

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