I see that David Cameron is proposing to pass a law banning any increases in tax during the next parliament. This is clearly no more than grandstanding, since such a law is clearly unnecessary, but were a law limiting the actions of the next government to be needed then I believe that a more desirable piece of legislation might set out to ban the closure of our A&E departments, the outsourcing (read privatisation) of our NHS, the decimation of our police force, the cutting of our public services, the victimisation of our poor, our sick and our disabled and the wilful destruction of our justice system… or am I just being a sentimentalist?
In another recent “strong, commanding” speech, Cameron also pledged to introduce “English votes for English laws” and promised that England will set its own rate of income tax in future – thus giving the lie to his claim of last year that he wanted to keep the United Kingdom together. Such divisive measures as these are sure to stir up territorial divisions in our country – if anything, this is a more extreme version of the Little Englander separatist mentality displayed by Ukip.
The point of the United Kingdom is that we are stronger when we act together as one, both as a nation and as a society. Cameron’s pathetic whine that “it is simply unfair” that Scots are able to vote on legislation affecting England (and, more particularly, London) has everything to do with protecting the interests of his rich chums in the city and nothing whatsoever to do with looking after the nation as a whole – which, he’d do well to recall, is the job that he was elected (well, almost elected) to do.
Instead, the Conservative Party – having campaigned vigorously to keep Scotland a part of the union – now seems to be constantly peddling the notion that the election of SNP ministers into the next parliament would present a very real threat to the future of our nation because they might exercise disproportionate influence (if only there had been some recent opportunity for electoral reform!). The possibility of a Labour government, elected in a free and fair ballot, being supported by SNP ministers, who had also been elected in a free and fair ballot, would destabilise our government and our economy, they shriek.
Fortunately, they assure us, salvation is at hand: anyone who fears the installation of a government that would represent the will of the people must vote Conservative. (Well, there’s some refreshing honesty!) That way we are guaranteed not only more of the same governance of cuts (both to vital services and to the taxes of high earners), but also the prospect of having that amusing Johnson fellow running the show. I, for one, can hardly wait to go and cast my vote.