We all lost

The only clear result of the British election is that the people lost. Faced with a fiscal crisis requiring a strong government with a firm mandate, a divided nation returned a grotesquely muddled response. The English electorate once again decisively rejected socialism as they have done in every election except 1945 and 1997. But Labour has been kept in the frame by the semi-detached Celtic fringe with its ludicrous demand for independence. It was also greatly aided by its vast client state of public service workers built up by Brown. The third leg of its support is the immigrant vote in the rotten urban boroughs of our skewed electoral system.

In the aftermath of a fiasco when his party was beaten by two votes to one in England, Brown showed himself to be as graceless as he has been throughout his political career He is scrabbling to remain not so much in power as the unelected squatter in No10. It is a fitting end to a despicable era. David Cameron should, and almost certainly will, become Prime Minister. The reality, however, is that from the moment he enters Downing Street, he will be involved a tawdry bargaining process.

The Lib Dems were rejected just as clearly as Labour but in a coalition they will present their shopping list of pork barrel policies. Of more depressing significance, they will seek to veto much of the legislation required if we are to emerge from the mess into which Gordon Brown has manically steered us. Rarely, if ever, in peacetime Britain do coalitions produce good governance as we have seen only too clearly in “devolved” Scotland. Britain has been here before in the Sombre Seventies when effective government became almost impossible.

It is clear that the election outcome is a disaster for the country and has produced a Parliament which cannot be viable for more than a few squalid months. A governing party without its own Parliamentary majority collides at every turn with some sectional interest – which today almost certainly means being unable to serve the vital interests of the country. In fact I believe our next election campaign is already under way.

Cameron needs a clear mandate if he is to act as decisively to avert financial disaster as our situation demands. In reality no pledge of immunity can be given to our health services, education, overseas aid, and frontline public services. As regards the military, the hugely expensive replacement policies for the Trident nuclear deterrent and our aircraft carriers clearly need to be binned. If the Exchequer is ever to return to solvency, we need cuts to spending on public services that have not been delivered over any five-year period since World War II.

There is an overwhelming economic argument for the freezing of public sector pay and a major cut in their pension entitlements. Already, the public service unions are threatening militant resistance to job cuts and a general strike. Cameron needs a powerful mandate to act like Ronnie Regan when he faced down the flight controllers. He should dare these neo-communist union bosses to do their worst. A few weeks of the sort of mob rule we have seen in Athens would put the socialists out of power for a generation. He should also seriously consider insisting that “devolved” Scotland and Wales take greater independence and have no future say in the government of England.

Of course, it does occur to me that the Conservatives would best serve their own interests today by allowing a Labour-Lib Dem coalition to try their hand at forming a new government. A few more months of Brown as premier would do wonders for Tory prospects at another General Election. But such a squalid deal would be ruinous for the country. A Labour-Lib Dem government would merely follow the same disastrous path as this last administration, rejecting the hard choices for which the economy cries out.

We need simpler and better government. Cameron was right to promise a bonfire of some of the hundreds of idiotic and unenforceable laws passed by Labour in more than 50 criminal justice Acts. Since 1997, it has relentlessly promoted the interests of minorities, its own special interest groups notable among them. Most of us have had our fill of this nanny soviet state and it is long past time for us to have a government which seeks to serve the majority of the British people.

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