Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The end of consensus politics

For several years, the conventional wisdom was that the British people were prepared to pay ever more taxes for an ever larger state, but it seems that Britain isn't Sweden. If our schools and hospitals were anything as good as Scandanavia's that would be one thing, but here we have the worst of both worlds: rising taxes combined with unreformed public services. The public are now losing their patience, and Labour have been shaken out of their comfort zone.

Now (to borrow Janet Daley's phrase), British politics have been "de-harmanised" - (as in Harriet Harman, Polly Toynbee etc...) – the metropolitan, Left-wing women who had gained so much influence over Labour (and for that matter Tory) policy. As we've seen from the last month, a week is a long time in politics, and the next election is probably 2-3 years away, but after nearly a decade of consensus, the British political scene is getting interesting again. Hallelujah! We finally have two distinct political parties: one that supports a lower taxes and a smaller role for the state, and the other that believes in ever more taxes and ever more spending.