2009 is ending. In some places it’s already 2010; here we have between five and six hours to go. And we live in interesting times.
Featuring large on the 2010 calendar is our election, and what the new government will do with the economic disaster and the legacy of fiscal incontinence on a mindblowing scale. The current government is more bankrupt even than the country (and I don’t just mean financially). The only real alternative – the Tories – don’t look promising. Neither does the third party, the libdems. I expect the small parties to benefit, and alas the xenophobic [BN|UKI]P may well outperform the greens among the minor parties, as they’re seen as a more powerful protest vote.
Nationally I have to support the tories, as the best chance to end thirteen years of the most blatently corrupt government in our history (no, this has nothing to do with MPs expenses). Not, I hasten to add, with any enthusiasm: rather with my nose firmly held and screaming “none of the above“, but alas, that’s not an option.
But they’re setting themselves up for a huge fall. By being far too timid on the economy, they’re walking right into a whirlwind of blame for the coming collapse. Four years of cold turkey followed by another Labour government is a truly ghastly prospect. I want to hear a credible plan now! Don’t pretend it’ll be painless for the majority. Don’t pretend a bloated NHS can be ringfenced. Don’t pretend all that debt can be swept under the carpet indefinitely. Tell us the worst now, so you have a mandate for what you have to do! Because if you play labour’s game and downplay the problem, you’ll deserve (as well as get) the blame for killing off “the recovery” and plunging us into a deeper recession.
The most interesting prospect I can see to tackle the broken economy is Philip Hammond, though that’s based on very little knowledge. Perhaps a higher-profile role for him (who needs Osborne?) would be a good start. Googling him for a link, I see the Adam Smith Institute have another interesting idea.