Cutting public spending is not a simply a process to the Tories, or even a plan. it is a reflex. It is an end in itself. It is what they do, what they live for. Increasing it has never been on a Tory manifesto, even though, as they never tire of telling us, they have always done just that even when they have been claiming the opposite, just like today, indeed. But this merely emphasises just how ideologically driven this lot are. And by keeping up this pretence for the benefit of nobody other than the hectoring buffoons on their backbenches - stop borrowing tomorrow and the lights will go off the next day as the country gets repossessed - they part company with Thatcher, who made a virtue of her ideological purity. If policy objectives looked like not being met or, as is the case with the Coalition's austerity fetish, demonstrably crashing to ground in a fireball, rather than pretend otherwise, which would have made her look foolish and was best avoided, the responsible minister got well and truly handbagged. George Osbourne would not have been grinning like the goofy imbecile he is under Mrs Thatcher; and he's no Geoffrey Howe, so unless he's got some good pictures of David Cameron in his Eton yearbook, ones that aren't on Facebook, yet, he should watch out.
It is a mark of Thatcher's enduring legacy, that taxation of any description is now viewed, even by those whose lives are completely dependent on it and should know better, as an arbitrary penalty rather than a contribution to a pooled resource that can do infinitely more than any individual could. We should not be too surprised, therefore, that if we elect one of these clowns to run the show, most are going to suffer. Thatcher was hard to stomach and even the Tories eventually disowned her, but now they've appointed an heir who almost brings a tear of nostalgia to the eye as we yearn for the crazy, hazy days of the 80s.
Most world leaders make no attempt to disguise their pessimism regarding Europe's economic prospects for the foreseeable future. Estimates as to how long it may be before this downturn even looks like reversing are being steadily revised upwards from the year or so first suggested after the banking collapse to five or ten years. Some are less optimistic and no longer feel inhibited in saying that it could take a generation or more.
Worse still is that most of those who might vote for these leaders seem pretty disillusioned with the available choices, too, some more so than others. We wonder who's really in charge. Some appear to be holding their own as democratic representatives who hold the peoples' interests first and foremost in all deliberations; that is to say, they at least try to do what they are elected and paid to do, which is to please the greatest number of people as much as they possibly can. History habitually informs us that any cap set on political good intentions is entirely hypothetical, so there is no harm in them simply trying their best. The Westminster Coalition appears to have every intention of doing its very worst.
Some, though, are quite clearly at the beck and call of a self-interested, parasitic, wealthy elite who will stop at absolutely nothing to get exactly what they want, whenever they want and woe betide the hungry masses should they be impeded with “blunt instruments” like the enforcement of existing statute on business and corporation tax every bit as rigorously as it is applied to P.A.Y.E. and small business. By way of a motif, remember that bungs from the City accounted for more than half the Tories' election fund in 2010, the same City that cheered every step of the way throughout Labour's terms of office and that didn't express any opinion until Brown started - all too late, sadly - to make noises about regulation and redistribution.