Had a blog to write last night, but my appetite went after the evening’s events.
So just a few thoughts:
I remember the dizzying feeling of relief and excitement as an undergrad as we crowded around the one small TV in our halls of residence, to see Labour storm to victory in 1997. The end of an era that had sent so many people into despair. Huge companies closed – mining, manufacturing all but obliterated for example, millions unemployed, and interest rates at a high. All that and the fashions of the 80s – it’s a wonder we got through.
We knew what we were saying goodbye to, but also what we were welcoming in. It wasn’t so clear-cut of course, this is politics after all. By the time I got to my 3rd year, tuition fees were introduced, then some years later we went to war. You know the rest.
But we enjoyed many benefits under Labour as well, such as the minimum wage, paternity leave, better maternity leave, child tax credits, investment in public services, peace in Northern Ireland, gift aid, to name but a few.
What are we waking up to today? A bright new future where a ConLib coalition really works for fairness and the greater good? I want to believe that, simply so that I can sleep at night, but I’m not convinced. As a mummy with a little girl that very much appreciates the provisions made possible by SureStart, I wonder at the Tories proposed cuts in funding. I believe SureStart is on the hit list. Taking from babies and toddlers to massage the egos of big business and banks? Interesting policy.
So now, we know what we’re saying goodbye to, but what are we welcoming in? Can the Libs soften Torism? Let’s hope so.
Promise to be back with something cheerier soon!
Great blog for further reading: http://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/