« You know the game's up for Labour when... Jarvis Cocker says a Tory victory is "necessary" | Main | Conservatives will mend Britain's broken economy, its broken society and its broken politics »


This is just Nigel Lawson talking himself up. The problems will be far greater this time.

I think the challenges are just as big. Of course the difference now is that we know it can be done. In 1979, we were just not sure.

The public sector unions are as powerful as the private sector unions were then.

I agree with Lord Lawson. Whilst we despair of this government, and the growing public spending and the horrific deficit are certainly not to be appreciated, there is not the feeling that the country has shut down like there was in 1979.

Put terrorism in context. The 7/7 bomb was the equivalent of one week's worth of road traffic accidents and a 1970's style wildcat strike on the underground. Our parents and grandparents who faced Hitler's bombers would hardly consider that a major threat. Yes there is a serious problem with an underclass but marginals don't make revolutions and they cannot stop the country in the way that the unions could and did in the 70's. The public sector is now bloated with superfluous activity in a way that it was not in the 70's, it was difficult to make real cuts without hitting services. There is now plenty of government activity that nobody would miss if it just stopped!

I was only 17 in 1979 so my views are coloured by my relative youth.I didn't feel then the impending doom of our country that I sometimes feel now.
The problems we face are similar (high unemployment and huge deficits) yet different (globalisation was then not so much of a factor).
Also in 1979 our problems then were more homegrown, over mighty unions,many years of weak government etc so a tough leader like Mrs Thatcher was able to grapple with them with little reference to the outside world. We also had huge oil reserves.
If anything I believe are problems now are more serious and more difficult for an incoming government. One thing that has definitely changed is that there is far less trust in politicians, our nation state is much weaker because of globalisation and the EU.
If, as I suspect, we win the next election comfortably I wish DC and the new cabinet all the luck in the world. They are going to need it.

This time will be far worse - because people are far more dependent so far more vulnerable.

The fixed costs of just living are very high particularly for the home owner/mortgage payer - however much you tighten your belt you still need a significant income just to get by now.

The main thing Cameron will find easier compared to Thatcher in 1979 is that she set the precedent. Having seen her government's example the country now knows that you can get through a crisis by tough action that might be painful in the short term but will bring long term rewards. She faced the view that nothing could be done and Britain's decline was unstoppable. We now know that to be bunk, but we have to work harder and make sacrifices to achieve it. Therefore when Cameron makes cuts while those effected will scream the majority will know it is needed for the long term good.

I spotted this yesterday on another blog!!!


Remember who's running this country. It's the same lot who had foot and mouth 'under control', let it spread throughout the country and when it was all over, they let it loose again. The same lot who inspired the comeback tour of tuberculosis. The ones who thought it logical to put more infectious diseases inside hospitals than outside them. Every other country might stamp on this disease straight away, but Labour will cherish it and provide it with free accommodation and benefits, subsidised travel and viral rights. As with all the others. To Labour, even a virus is more important than the population of this country.

I'd agree this is worse now. The problems aren't quite 'the same', although there are some similarities, but underneath the numbers and home truths are far more grim.

I fear that our problems today are far, far worse: an entire generation has been brought up to believe that to question anything regarding immigration or special treatment for minorities is discriminatory and ought not to be encouraged, to prefer a hierarchical society to a flat-line Utopia wicked, to value style over content, not to reason from cause to effect, that chocolate and alcohol are greater 'sins' than murder, that should they actually have a political opinion no-one shall listen to it, that there are entire subjects they never consider because of the spectre of 'political correctness' hanging over them, and to believe that freedom of choice only exists in two areas: abortion and 24 hour supermarket shopping.
The Conservatives have near insuperable task in front of them; literally changing people's minds.

There is a slight difference between Baronness Thatcher and David Cameron.

One knew exactly what she wanted!

One had a magnificent team around her!

She was a LEADER!

Can anyone, hand on heart, say the same about the Blair Tribute Act, which is Mr Cameron.

The single biggest difference with 1979 is that today the EU controls the majority of our governance.

David Cameron will thus be in the immortal words in office but not in power - unless he takes us out of the EU.

By June 2010, Labour will have run up another £200bn in debts. The pound is likely to be in the toilet as inflation, unleashed again by the reckless fiscal stimulus of uncontrolled public spending and the rash decision to bail out the banks humungeous debts returns to bite us on the arse. Already import prices are rising rapidly as a consequence of the 30% devaluation we have had since this time last year. Why do you think every inflation indicator which excludes mortgages is stuck stubbornly high?

The left will still be in charge of the BBC, the majority of public services and a whole raft of quangoes. Reform to reduce spending and to inject the sort of competitive environement which will keep it down in future will be like pushing a lake uphill against these vested interests. Just look at the visceral - and co-ordinated - attack on our proposals to give primary schools the same freedoms as secondary schools if you want a flavour of what is to come and that is just one area of policy.

That is why it is so important to set an example. We should state categorically that at the next General Election the MPs final salary pension scheme will be closed. Any accrued benefits will be commuted to a cash lump sum to be used to buy a money purchase pension and every MP elected will start from scratch with a new money purchase scheme. We should also state that MPs pay will not rise for the lifetime of the Parliament.

That way we have the moral authority to impose exactly the same on the whole of the rest of the public sector and save billions.

However, we should be clear that half of everything saved through this will be returned as tax cuts through a rise in the personal allowance so that take home pay should not be affected for those in the public sector. Those in the private sector will see their take home pay increase.

The debts will start to come down and as the serpent of public sector pension liabilities will have had its voracious head cut off, that will help enormously in the longer term. It will also provide a substantial increase in contributions to the pension funds who will be looking for somewhere to invest and that provides a source of finance for a growing economy.

I can't leave this thread without re-iterating my view that the Lawson boom was followed by the Lawson bust. It was his irresponsible ditching of inflation targetting and switch to shadowing the Deutschemark which caused both and laid the foundations for Labour's victory in 1997.

johnny come lately you have beaten me by a whisker. Yes, we should be worried, don't get me wrong I pray that Cameron and his entourage are up to the job but fear the worst and see in him no Margaret Thatcher.

There is a paradox here. Recessions do pass and the vast debts the Country faces will by various means dissipate over the life of two Parliaments those "Big Numbers" will not be the problem. But as in 1979 there is an underlying structural weakness that needs to be tackled.

The key move will be to diminish the size of the State and reduce the amount taken in taxes. However this cannot go straight into people's pockets because the biggest problem that no one has tackled yet is a hard headed program to deal with income and care for the elderly.

All Public Service Pensions will need to be converted to money purchase from final salary. That will be a battle but it is only the start. The next step is to introduce a pension system along the lines of that in Chile which will be funded by switching National Insurance payments into a Pension/Care Scheme run by the Private sector and investment wise, controlled by the contributor.

Better/worse, harder/easier, probably just different but there is one thing David Cameron must do and that is to seize their chance from Day 1 because there is one key similarity:

Maggie could not have tamed the Unions and started the process without the tacit support of the people who vote Labour and saw the mess of the Winter of Discontent.

Brown's profligacy and behaviour have given Cameron the same platform. Providing it is seen to be fair and transparent, the solutions logical rather than "tribal", even the Labour supporters will support change.

The issue of a broken society can be addressed by the cultural change of producing an economy that employs most of its people.

Young men who lead a structured lifestyle based on the responsiblity that comes with having a full-time job and the feelgoodfactor and empowerment that comes with having a regular wage will no longer be subject to anti-social behaviour because they feel alienated or be tempted to resort to criminality to gain access to money.

The question we need to ask is how can a Conservative government literally put millions back to work. Clearly the way the economy is currently structured with 76% services and only 9% manufacturing means that unless there is change, economic change, there will be more of the same.

Change must come and British industry must be re-born.

We must become a nation of producers again with the aim of supplying our ready-made domestic market. That is the way to put millions back to work.

Broken Britain did not begin with New Labour, its roots can be found in Thatcherism and the social decline that unemployment created. The New Labour years have intensified a problem that already existed.

Economic change must come before social change. The one will lead the other. This must be the number one challenge for David Cameron and his team.

The problems are far worse this time after an even more useless Labour Government.The even greater problem is that we don`t have a politician of the quality of Margaret Thatcher.Come on Mr Cameron,start attacking Gordon Brown!!

"Broken Britain did not begin with New Labour, its roots can be found in Thatcherism and the social decline that unemployment created."

We had mass unemployment in the 1930s but nothing compared to the social breakdown of today. I suspect the social change that began in the 1960s (which also affected the rest of the West) may have more to do with our current situation than Thatcherism.

RichardJ, if you broke into a house in the 1930s what would you have stolen? Given that most people in those days had very little. Today even the poorest households would contain something of value worth stealing and most people would have something of value on them if they were mugged.

Well I'd only been alive a few months when she came in, but from what I've gained, the problems may have been worse then, but the solutions were more definate, so the job may be harder now.

eg. there was a problem with the unions - that gives something solid to hit with your political hammer.
Now there's a problem with society and money - and it's hard to hit concepts, unless you have a very big hammer which hits many other things at the same time.

The problems are far worse than in 1979. After 1979, the solutions lay in privatisation of a bloated public sector and a curbing of union powers, all within the capabilities of the government.

The solution to today's problems woill come from a curbing of public expenditure (painful for the public sector workers who lose their jobs, but not likely to be unacceptable to the public if spending is fixed at a percentage of total GDP last seen in 2001/2. The hard part is to see where any economic growth will come from, particularly if the banking system is in a poor shape, which was not the case in 1979.

I think things will be tougher and at the same time easier.

Easier as this is a global recession/downturn. There's no reason to believe the UK will be one of few states that will not recover.

Tougher because there are long-term problems to resolve, such as the "broken society" - a bad term because society is not broken (that suggests nothing works). But there are aspects of it that need to be fixed. Being cynical, though, that doesn't have to be dealt with as part of the economic recovery.

So maybe Cameron will have more to deal with, but he will be able to prioritise.

"RichardJ, if you broke into a house in the 1930s what would you have stolen?"

Seeing as there was a consumer boom in the south, probably quite a lot. I'm not just talking about burglary - mugging, stabbing, rape etc was lower. The reason - society in general was more orderly. This was probably down to greater deference and the influence of religion.

'dealing with the threat of terrorism on a scale far scarier than that posed by Irish Republicans during the Troubles.'

I couldn't disagree more. The threat from the IRA was much stronger and closer to home than that of Islamic Jihad.

Norm Brainer, as someone who lived through the era as an adult I well remember how Conservative thinkers believed the great panacea was to be found in replacing a manufacturing based economy with a service sector economy. The theory being that this would make business more flexible because it was smaller and more demand responsive, rather than manufacturing which tended to pre-guess demand.

However the biggest appeal to Conservative thinkers was that a service sector economy would eradicate trades union power, which of course it did. However the price we have paid in terms of unemployment and the benefits culture has been staggering ever since. We went from just over half a million on benefits in the 1970s to the close-on six million people on benefits today. People who cannot ever work in a service sector economy that could only produce half a million jobs during the absolute boom years.

There has to be a return to peroductive industries if a Conservative government is serious about mending broken Britain because only manufacturing can employ in numbers large enough to wipe out mass unemployment.

I Remember this time last year the Tories were 24 points ahead and I read all this garbage then about when we take over and how Labour were finished etc.

I Rember just before Christmas the polls had Labour one point behind . In the next six months and the next year a lot can happen.

Don't count your chickens. You may be very disappointed !

It depends on whether you mean absolutely or relatively.
I expect the Far Eastern countries to bounce back pretty quickly because they are willing to act quickly in cutting labour costs and they are not burdened with mass third world immigration and climate change correctness and other nonsense.That is not to say they could not be hobbled as Japan has been by errors in policy.

So in a year's time when David tells us he will announce his policies,we will have accumulated another £200 billion of debt and the Far Eastern economies may well already be pulling out of recession.

Relatively,the UK will be worse off.

Cameron has shown no sense of urgency-Ok I admit his last speech shows that under ceaseless criticism he is slowly waking up but I regard his contribution so far as weak and he has not even made use of the Redwoods,Lawsons, Fallons,Ruth Leas etc whowould give him good advice.

RichardJ, you musn't confuse what was termed a boom in the 1930s with what we consider a boom today. Most theft in the 1930s involved the taking of coal, lead from rooftops, and petty cash. There was very little of value to steal, unlike today. Of course we also have the problem of drugs today which our politicians seem afraid to tackle.

Not only was Maggie a strong leader with a clear idea of what needed to be done, she was person of moral fortitude at the the head of a parliamentary system people still looked to for guidance and solutions.

The '97 Tories destroyed a significant part of the trust in politics, and Labour have completed the job, in spades. Their sleaze makes Tory sleaze seem amateurish and petty by comparison, but the killer blow is the lies, spin and unnecessary secrecy and cover-up.

No Government, not even a fiscally responsible Conservative one can fix the problems without engaging the public. Sure there is a growing feckless and workshy underclass, worse than '97 or the subsequent years, who will be hard to reach in any event, but the biggest problem is that the powerhouse of the UK, the workers, the small businesses, the front-line services etc have all been abused and ripped off while the elite trousered vast fortunes and destroyed the country. Why should these people dig deep when parliament is dishonest and disconnected?

Conservative policy on social justice and democracy is threadbare at best. We talk about the problems with Europe, but botched devolution could lead to the break-up of the UK. For all its faults, the co-operation and cross border freedoms we enjoy are so complete, we take them for granted. In 50 years, Europe will still be struggling to achieve half the level of integration the UK enjoys today.

There is an opportunity to change the face of politics for the next century, or we can be timid, try to preserve the broken status quo, and grab the next 5 years in government; that seems likely by default. I'm sure Maggie didn't intend the party to end up where it did in '97 and I'm sure Blair didn't intend Labour to end up where it is today, but that's parliamentary democracy for you. It has a brief renaissance every few years, usually prompted by the failure of the incumbent. Then it just seems to get tired as it gets further and further away from the people.

We need a clean-sheet-of-paper, brand new, people's democracy. Constitution, Parliament, Public institutions, Quangos ... Everything reformed from the ground up. Anything less and the drive needed to fix our problems will fizzle out when the job is half done.

Exciting times - only the Conservatives can do this. "Now for Change" slightly understates it.

YES! Not least the contempt Labour have created, with a little help, for politicians.

I agree with Alastair Thomas's statement: "Now for Change" slightly understates it." As Heraclitus said, Change alone is unchanging. What the Conservatives seem to be promising is very much more of same; they're so afraid of trampling on anyone's toes because of the successful socialist indoctrination of the past twelve years that they're appearing anodyne and as insubstantial as the plastic NuLab itself. Tory party members repeatedly call for a break from the EU; Cameron's response is to reinstate the arch-Europhile, Ken Clarke. Brown is coached to repeat 'the "Do-Nothing" party' over and over by Alistair Campbell during his orchestration of one of the worst bits of theft in history; the Conservatives go along with the bail-out and only in hindsight, once the money's *gone*, state that Labour didn't do the 'right' thing. The Conservatives talk about morals, but refuse to talk up to any significant degree the social institutions destroyed under NuLab that provide for a moral structure: family, religion, a hierarchical society that allows people to aspire upwards. It talks about freedom, but there is no hint of scaling back RIPA, the hundreds of thousands of CCTV cameras that have instilled fear in the general public, the CCA or so-called 'hate' laws. What the people of this country want to see is a political party with a spine and, most unfortunately, the BNP with its uncompromising pledges is providing that kind of mettle.

"There was very little of value to steal, unlike today"

People don't commit crimes because there is something valuable to steal, they do so because they lack any form of self-discipline. They know stealing is wrong. Many people with low incomes do not feel the need to go out and nick stuff.

The really worrying factor is not whether the situation is better or worse than 1979 -rather like the curate's egg, it is worse in some places and better in others - but the fact that, unlike 1979, the Conservatives today just do not have a comparably competent team to face ably all the major problems they will clearly inherit. Cameron has proved no real leader capable of inspiring the Nation, just an airy-fairy product of the superficial PR world with no real experience of business - certainly more akin to Blair than Thatcher. Where are all the Geoffrey Howes, the Norman Tebbitts, the Nigel Lawsons, the Whitelaws, the Parkinsons and all the many other very talented and experienced people who were then available, ready and well prepared to take over? Above all where is the latter-day Margaret Thatcher with the strength, determination, ability and sheer will-power to not only recognise the correct treatment and policies necessary but the self-confidence and absolute resolve and courage to carry them through to completion no matter what or where the opposition ? There was no reliance on nebulous focus groups then - no abject apologies for being a nasty party but real leadership from the front. That is what won us four General Elections. Looking at the present shadow cabinet, many being grey characters largely unknown outside Westminster, one can only fear for the future of the country and our party. Parliament as a whole, I'm afraid, is now populated by pygmies in contrast to those former days.

The crisis facing this country today is considerably greater than it was in 1979. Since 1997 we have had to endure one of the most tyrannical and harmful governments in our long history and over the last 12 years it has been wilfully destroying the very fabric of our society.

Britain was at its greatest peril in the 1930s but in those dark days we knew who our enemy was and where it was. The difference now is that the enemy is within the state itself and the destruction has often been intentionally subliminal so that citizens would not realise what was happening to them.

A failure to recognise this by an incoming Conservative government would be an abrogation of duty.

Considering the current deterioration in the sovency of some US banks, it is hard not to think that the minor equity rally and arrival of the sunshine is only a temporary pause before things get a lot worse again.

The Tories are going to have a particularly difficult time in Government.

There has to be a return to peroductive industries if a Conservative government is serious about mending broken Britain because only manufacturing can employ in numbers large enough to wipe out mass unemployment.

What do you suggest though?
We can't be that competitive in plain assembly of stuff which is why companies usually only use Britain to make specialist things.
We could cut red tape but then that might see the unions rise again and we'd be less competative still.
... or we subsidise manufacturing like a nationalised make-uneeded-stuff-to-keep-em-off-the-streets industry.

I would say if we educate people better then they can go in to more virtual manufacturing like software which is well suited to the british problem solving mind.

...or perhaps we'll be in so much debt soon and the pound so worthless we'll all be working in factories again anyway, flying the red flag.

The debt overhang, bad though it is ,will resolve itself. The economy is actually far more flexible than it is given credit for and people are too. They and it just need time, low interest rates and honest, competent government to get out of this.

After the 12 years of Labour bigotry and sabotage the Conservatives appear to promise to be active and energetic in doing so in addressing the many other areas of concern.

However,there is one thing that Margaret Thatcher did not have to deal with much and that is the constitution of the United Kingdom and England in particular.
It was the 1970's and Mrs Thatcher dealt with the problem of celtic moans by throwing money at them via the Barnett Rules(which she quietly continued) and using an unholy conspiracy of the media and the political class of all parties to keep the English in ignorance of it all.

That doesn't work much any more. After the Scotland Act of 1998 and similar acts for NI and Wales there is now a substantial and accepted imbalance in the "constitution", insofar as there is one, of the UK. There is huge direct and indirect discrimination against England and the English both economically and politically and the political class knows it. The Cameron approach to this is to try and ignore it and hope it doesn't blow up in their faces.

It should be obvious to anyone with half a knowledge of history that profoundly biased situations are not sustainable in the long run. Without major constitutional change the UK is now unstable and it is the English, for long the bedrock of the the state, who are now questioning it and who could easily reject it in a referendum.

Salmond has promised a referendum in Scotland in 2010. That and English unrest could easily rock the bond market in a way Thatcher never had to deal with.

There is a way out of this scenario. Treat England in the same way as Scotland and defuse the problem with a referendum on English home rule and the rapid progression to a modern federal/confederal state -eg like Australia

-instead of attempting to muff along in the 21st century with an unjust,illogical,broken down and completely out of date constitution from the early 18nth century.

Thatcher (my hero) ran out of steam long before she left office, DC will have a harder job due to a scarcity of talent in his shadow cabinet and a lack of clarity on what he and they stand for!! not to mention living with the many constitutional changes implemented by Labour.

I suggest everybody reads Simon Heffer`s article in the Telegraph today.

! can remember the dreadful state of the country during the Heath, Callaghan and Wilson years and the miracle our first woman Prime Minister achieved in putting the "great" back into Great Britain. After 10 years of Blair`s New Labour we now have a return of Old Labour. So it`s back to square one.

If he becomes the next Prime Minister will David Cameron have the courage to take the decisions to defeat socialism, like Margaret Thatcher? So far the signs are not encouraging; the Tories seem to be mainly concerned with being the "nice" party - all things to all men. Not a word about our huge contributions to the corrupt EU and we are fed up with hearing about being "in Europe but not ruled by Europe". Mr. Cameron urges the government to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty but promises one only if it has not been ratified by other member states. That is simply not good enough.

We need another Mrs. Thatcher. You couldn`t call her "nice" but she got things done.

I agree that the Public sector unions will have a big say in how the country will be disrupted once (that this present lot are replaced with a conservative government )Dromey et all will come out of the woodwork for political and not member needs.In Scotland the public sector is huge and Brown has employed over 100,000 more in either quangos or his pet projects which has wasted the public purse to a greater extent than any bank colapse I have been seething for 12 years under this lot and the way the public have been deluded . All people should remember pensions gold reserves a dependance on a non productive economy,and a bigger underclass that won,t work we have more disabled because of drugs and drink, that we who have worked all our lives are expected to pay for.Now our children are going to pay for years to come for Browns 12 years of profligacy.

A "contribution" from Gezmond? I don't need a diary, it must be Wednesday.

Although I believe it is important to see what may be learned from history, I also believe it is too easy to be seduced by events that have happened before, so that important differences are missed. History seldom repeats itself exactly.
In 1979 the impact of the previous, miserable winter seemed much more personal and immediate than that of our present circumstances. The economic `numbers` were not of the same order as those of today, save for inflation which was running away at a gallop; but the immediacy of the piles of uncollected waste, the unburied dead, the endless strikes and the feeling of helplessness all seemed to hit so much harder than today`s situation. Furthermore the nation appeared to be on its own. We were going downhill fast to join the Third World and we were looked on as an economic basket case. Many of us felt that only a cool, rational woman such as Margaret Thatcher was capable of doing what needed to be done. Simon Heffer has written a very good personal account of this period in today`s Daily Telegraph and he recaptures the great sense of optimism and vigour her election victory seemed to bring about. There was no man in government who appeared to have the guts to do things that were unpopular yet had to be done (oh how much we all want to be loved, we mere males!)
Today is difficult but the problems, although related, seem to be of a different order. The economic figures are so huge as to be meaningless to us mortals. What is more, irrespective of who is to blame and where it all started, many more nations are in much the same plight as we now find ourselves so we don`t feel so alone. Although our present government should be ashamed of destroying our economy as well as much of the national cohesion of our society, it all somehow does not seem to hit home so personally or so grievously as in 1978/79.
All this aside, we should be under no illusions about the problems that will have to be tackled after the General Election and it will be important for the new set of Ministers to grow rapidly into their various jobs. Probably as in war, the attrition rate among the `generals` will be high to begin with as they all start by trying to fight the last war instead of the next; until the `young turks` emerge, possibly from nowhere, to lead us on to the sunlit uplands. I can`t wait!

In some respects the problems are similar but in others they are very different. Unions will again need to be faced up to and dealt with, but it is the public sectors unions that will be the biggest challenge to an incoming Conservatives administration. This isn't the same type of recession as the 1970's, in so much as inflation is currently very low indeed. It is unlikely that this will last much beyond the first quarter of the false recovery (early 2010) after which inflation and rising Oil prices will scupper the recovery. I believe that we will see an L shaped recession following on after a very short false recovery. Once it becomes apparent that QE and other tactics have failed to return the economy to growth the depression proper will be upon us. The incoming Tory government is going to have a very difficult time indeed. Of course I hope that I am wrong but I base these pessimistic
forecasts on sound economic understanding.

I think Lord Lawson is regarding the outlook from the position of one slightly removed - today, from that situation that he was more familiar with 30years ago.

There is no disrespect meant in that remark - I hasten to add!!

For a start there is a much, much greater percentage of private debt now, which will have to be sorted out. There were not such things as 'plastic cards' in 1979, it was HP, if you passed muster, or nothing. Well there were still the money-lending sharks!

Another thing, many more people were still respectful of authority - I am sure some people will consider that NOT a good thing. Children were encouraged to be law-abiding more back then, now they 'know' all the answers, but none of the questions, or the reasons why.

The Labour government + tradeunions may have made a mess, but they had not systematically undermined our unwritten constitution to the extent that this government of today have done. Nor as far as I can remember, had so many useless Bills been set up.

I don't believe the 'benefit state' was as large at that date, and it was not 'backed-up' by 'its my 'uman rights'!

Neither did we have so many criminals - even serious ones leaving prison early, and out on the street again.

AND neither was there such a large 'compensation culture' in operation at that time!

And all this costs the state one way or another!!!!

Surely each economic crisis has similarities with those that have gone before and each has its own particular features.

In this case, the current one is like that of the 1970s insofar as in both cases Labour administrations have created the most almighty mess, not least by over-spending on the public sector, that an in-coming Conservative government has to sort out. Also, on gaining office Margaret Thatcher had to sort out an economy devastated by Labour's unhealthy relationship with over-mighty unions. David Cameron will have to sort out an economy devastated by Labour's unhealthy relationship with an over-mighty City [and still have to deal with the unions in the public sector].

Arising from that, if financial services are to play a less important role in our economy, how are we going to replace the contribution they make to our GDP, the taxes they pay and the jobs they provide? What sort of businesses should we be encouraging and how should we be educating our young people to develop them and work for them?

However, there are some elements to the current situation that are different from that in the late 1970s. These include:

1. The new Government will need to think about how the commitment to free trade, which has served this country so well, can be balanced with the climate change agenda. Can we justify sending goods half way around the world thus adding to the carbon emissions if the pundits are anything like correct on climate change? If not, how do we cope and how do we manage the transition from the kind of economy that Conservatives instinctively want to develop with what will be required?

2. Continuing on that theme, what level of population can this country realistically sustain? Labour's plans allow for an increase of around 3m, most of which will come from immigration. Even if Labour's plans for eco-towns were viable, which is doubtful, those people would need to be fed, watered and provided with power. How could that be done? If the answer is that it cannot and so we cannot cope with that kind of an increase in population how do we control it?

3. And on similar lines, what importance do we place on agriculture? If there are to be food shortages, as some pundits predict, how do we feed the population? Can we justify taking yet more farm land for building houses? How do we improve the quality of the soil that has become so degraded? How do we ensure there is enough water, not just for irrigation of crops but for all the other purposes for which it is essential?

I'm not sure I've worded this very well. However, it seems to me that these are the sort of very important questions lurking in the background that nobody, as yet, has had the courage to articulate. Someone needs to. And someone needs to be giving some very deep thought to how we as a country are going to address them. David Cameron's team, or an associated think tank, should have them on the agenda.

PS And, whilst not strictly on the same lines as the above, DC needs to sort out our relationship with the EU. It cannot go on festering in the way that it is. My view is that we need a looser relationship but if the democratic decision [ie one made by consulting the people] went the other way I would accept it.

Its only a matter of time now when the torys can be on the disspach box as the goverment elect,It was a sorry day for me after the last election when you lost out to blair and co It will take all the reserve and energy of david and co to put the great back into great britian.For me that day cant come soon enough such a shame that someone that had taken on the trade unions etc lost out ,But remember to keep your nose clean,And steady on the expences,etc.

P S,No more dome experements or pension raids,that killed the golden goose Parden me gold reserve,Bring back norman tebbit and ken clark thay know the way home good luck.

We have devolution now. I've just read a report where a Tory refers to "Scotland and Britain" -


Potty. The British nation was formed by the Union of England and Scotland - Wales was then a principality of England. You cannot refer to Scotland AND Britain with any degree of logic.

NuLabour have created a situation where Scotland and Wales have national government, and England is unfairly ruled by the UK Government. Remember, over 70% of legislation passed by Gordon Brown's Government does not affect his own constituents, who have DEVOLVED NATIONAL Government.

No, this isn't 1979, or even 1983 or 1987.

And the most worrying thing is David Cameron's refusal to back a fair devolution deal for the peoples of England.

"And the most worrying thing is David Cameron's refusal to back a fair devolution deal for the peoples of England." Why? We intend to undo it. There is no Fair deal that ends the union not a single moment when treason doesn’t lead to war. Devolution is exactly the enemy of the kind of trading that we need to engage in. No No No We will not sit by and let England be sold further down the river. It’s a simply matter of economics England cannot support the whole world, but we can and should trust those Nations (or demi-Kingdoms) that lie around us. We still hold the Crown Royal of this world and believe in the Crown eternal above, we will not tolerate the slide into the gutter that socialism permits and the press encourage. For this reason we will engage in the most bitter class war for two generations. Don’t believe we will spare the rod we will not, there has to be a peace in England and that Peace must be utterly self-financing. So be certain that you want to employ us to tidy this patch up, because we come intending real change.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker