...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, July 04, 2014

Day 4931: Most Right-Wing Government Evah…


Number One in a series of lazy clichés that need stamping on…

Again and again you see this snide little assertion slipped into an article or among the comments. It’s a nasty little code phrase for sneaking around Godwin’s Law (for who would the Coalition have to be more right wing than?) Rather than addressing why a policy might be bad, it’s used as a “joker” to declare any policy simply to be bad because of its authorship, rather than outcome.

And of course it’s just not true!

This isn't even the most right-wing government of the last TWO!

In the last 30 years…

The Coalition gave us Equal Marriage; the Thatcher Government gave us Section 28, and you think the Coalition is more right wing?

The Coalition gave us cash back with a tax cut for basic rate taxpayers, and the first fall in inequality in 30 years; Maggie gave us the Poll Tax and Major gave us Back to Basics and Cash for Questions, and you think the Coalition is more right wing?

The Coalition gave us an end to child detention, scrapping of DNA databases, reform of the libel laws (and Nick Clegg blocked the Snooper's Charter); the Blair government tried to give us ID cards and 90 day detention-without-trial, and you think the Coalition is more right wing?

The Coalition acting under International Law and with a UN Resolution used minimal force to defend Benghazi from Muammar Gadhafi’s air strikes; Labour invaded Iraq.

The Coalition gave a triple lock to pensioners; Gordon Brown gave them 50p. The Coalition achieved the Millennium Development target of 0.7% of GDP in overseas aid; the Brown Government gave a massive bailout to bankers, and you think the Coalition is more right wing?

The Coalition were faced with quite simply having a lot less money to spend and has managed this very difficult very painful loss of income without it all ending in a Winter of Discontent or a year-long strike and with only one major bout of rioting.

You don't have to be right-wing to be financially responsible.

Running up a mountain of borrowing means transferring money from future generations to the present bankers. Labour might believe that it is left-wing to throw away our children's money, but that’s probably why they’re still in such a pickle over the economy; where I come from selling kids into slavery is the very worst sort of Victorian values.

And if your response to the above – looking at you, Mr Balls – is “but Master Gideon is still borrowing”, are you really saying that the Coalition has not been “right-wing” enough?! The Coalition has curbed but not conquered the deficit precisely because they are on the moderate and not the extreme right.

Have there been right wing proposals? Sure. Theresa May and Michael Gove can hardly shut up, except to take chunks out of each other. But when they get to the Quad, Nick Clegg says “No” and that’s the end of the matter.

This is the most liberal, centrist government since the post-war consensus ended in the Seventies.

Isn’t that depressing enough?

Coming soon: "30 years of Neo-Liberal consensus – the only Liberal Conspiracy is that there isn’t one"

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