Political Promise

Is Britain going back to the 1970s?

In Matteo Bergamini on September 29, 2010 at 7:00 am

Matteo Bergamini is getting all nostalgic about the 1970s. Which is pretty hard for an A-level student to do.

As the fire department closes, calls go unanswered, trains still in their garages, they haven’t carried out their duty in days. Rubbish remains uncollected, crime is on the rise. It’s the 70’s and Britain was hit by a major spending cut, some argue too much in too little time. Many made redundant, having to stay at home. Ex-civil servants and government workers, now jobless, take to the streets of London..

Will we see a repeat of this in 20/10/2010?? With the scale of the cuts and the falling popularity of the coalition.. possibly. The fire department is planning a strike, if a deal isn’t settled soon. The tube workers are planning further strike action, having used strike action in the recent past, and this is all before the official date the coalition release the scale of the cuts.  They will be massive cuts; there is no doubt about it. So are the cuts really necessary?

Let’s take a step back and look at the reality and mathematics of it all. If Labour remained in power, they would have tried to halve the deficit, cutting the amount they borrowed over the next 10 years, this however means the debt will keep rising. The British will be borrowing half of what they used to, but the national debt will have increased dramatically. It can be argued that the conservative approach is a lot quicker in dealing with the deficit, but harder hitting on the population, as a lot of people will have to be made redundant in the process. This would hit industrial areas such as Liverpool and Manchester the most, area’s better known as “middle England”.

It’s the old question of “inflation over population”. Labour showing what’s left of its socialist side and standing by social justice, while Conservatives taking a more business approach to the situation. Very different approaches, both would have an outcome, but who would have the favourable one? Labour would keep many people in a job for a little longer, but would it crash and burn when the national debt gets too big to stomach? Conservative’s plan will kick a lot of people out of work, but would fix the economy a lot faster, wouldn’t that be worth it?

We have the conservative’s and Lib-Dems leading us, in about a month’s time we will see if they have done enough to prepare the British for what is to come. We all have to remember, this was going to happen. Labour’s plan of “sweeping the dept under the carpet” and pretending it wasn’t rising at an alarming rate created a difficult decision for this government. Britain is like a train speeding faster and faster towards a broken bridge and the government taking over from Gordon Brown would have to take drastic measures and “pull the brakes hard, before we fall off the rails”.

So is Labour really the single fault for Britain’s economic demise? Gordon Brown did not make it easier for the new oncoming government, but Britain’s economy took a knock due to a global economic crisis. The fact is we are all in this as one, as a nation. When the budget cuts get announced, let’s not forget it wasn’t this government that was in power when the economy took a turn for the worst and let’s not forget that it was a global effect, Labour couldn’t have stopped this, regardless of what they say.

There will be hard times ahead, but I believe the coalition will get Britain through it. They did what they believed was right. As Mahatma Gandhi said once “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

  1. […] a Life-on-Mars style post, Matteo Bergamini likens the impending government spending review to the dark ages of the […]

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