Posted by: Pete | May 23, 2013

Can Britain wait until 2015 for a change in Government?

The next general election is years away but vital services in the UK are failing now.

Far from being ‘safe in his hands’, the NHS has been brought to the brink by David Cameron. His government has placed, already overworked, GPs in charge of hospital budgets, despite their lack of experience in the task. At the same time as reducing their availability as doctors, the government introduced a new 111 helpline that’s manned by unqualified staff, resulting in more patients being referred to hospital A&E departments. NHS Direct, which worked, has been dismantled and A&E departments have ambulances queuing around the country because there are insufficient beds to meet the demand. Staff shortages are becoming critical and GPs are now refusing to shore up the system. The ratio of nurses to patients has breached the professional standard and patient care is in free-fall. Forcing privatisation on the NHS and implementing changes against the advice of all the major health professionals, is far from keeping the NHS in safe hands. This is a broken manifesto promise.

Government borrowing hasn’t decreased in line with manifesto promises either. The government has failed to meet each if its targets and the lack of growth has left record numbers out of work. Claims that overall unemployment has decreased are deceitful when many have been forced to accept part time work leaving them with an income below the poverty line.

The so called austerity measures have been nothing more than a cloak for ideologically driven policies. Tax reductions for those earning in excess of £150,000 were unnecessary and provocative at a time when families in social housing were forced to vacate their homes or find extra money to stay. Miraculously finding billions of pounds for the unnecessary HS2 rail link and to shore up the aerospace industry, demonstrates that money could be spent on the NHS or welfare but this government is choosing to spend it on other things. Similarly, the millions being wasted on attempting to rejuvenate city centres is as flawed a concept as the millions they gave to start up businesses.

The government has also failed to execute existing privatisation policy. Further millions of tax payers money was wasted on the bungled West Coast Rail tender. Yet they seem hell bent on sacrificing more national assets. You can longer ring up a tax inspector. If you have an income tax query, you are connected to a call centre manned by polite operators who are completely untrained in tax matters. Even their managers are untrained and you can no longer call a tax inspector for help. The operators leave a message for an inspector to ring you back within 3 days. Presumably you are expected to wait by your phone for that to happen.

They are about to privatise Royal Mail, now that it’s finally in profit. Does anyone believe this will make it easier or less expensive to send a letter? Does anyone believe the introduction of multiple organisations will improve the reliability of the service?

Education is our investment in future generations and the outright lies told to the electorate about student tuition fees prior to the election should be sufficient for any right minded individual to lose faith in the coalition. Since then, we have seen the imposition of Academy Schools across the land and policy being pushed through by an Education Minister widely regarded by professionals as having lost the plot.

The list of failed initiatives and broken manifesto promises should be sufficient reason to call for a general election, but it’s the damage about to be reaped in the years ahead that should concern even the blue rinse brigade.

Once again Europe is at the heart of the debate and the right wing are determined to stem the loss of supporters to UKIP by insisting we leave the community. Whether or not they are right, the protracted debate on the UK membership of Club Europe will harm this country’s prospects for economic recovery. Inward investment will stall if foreign manufacturers believe the UK may no longer give them access to European markets.

Similarly, this government’s opposition to the financial services transaction tax, at a time when we are hosting the G8 with a ‘clean up the financial sector’ theme, is unsustainable and in the long term will isolate and reduce the credibility the City of London financial services sector. If we don’t play ball we could could be regarded as one of those uncooperative tax havens against which Cameron is currently waging war.

For the sake of our social infrastructure and the things that make our unique country what it is, and for the sake of our ailing economy and those who will be deeply affected by it, we need a change in Government now. 2015 is too late and too high a price to pay.

Of course, the big problem is what would replace this lot?

The opposition may be on its back, but one outcome could be another coalition, this time between three or even four parties. What is needed is a government where the destructive right wing agenda is reigned back. Such governments have worked well in Europe and it’s clear the LibDem partners to the present coalition lack either the bottle or the will to control the Tories.

Perhaps the time is now with us to implement proportional representation? Perhaps we have wasted enough time and money building, then tearing down, political and ideological infrastructures every time there is a change of government. However, uncertain the outcome may be, we have reached the point where almost anything is better than continuing with the present coalition. It is time to ring the changes.


  1. Norwich Council still haven’t agreed on a leadership. They have decided not to use the cabinet principle, but use a coalition type committee with the Labour leader at the head (but not in charge). So, that’s Liberal, UKIP & Labour forming the committee with the Green party (4 members) and the Tory members looking on from the outside (still councillors though). It has been about four weeks since the elections and they still can’t run the council. Will not proportional representation deliver a similar dilemma?

    • Quite likely, although it has worked in other countries.

      There was a time when I would have run a mile from that kind of prevarication, but it’s preferable to the rampant destruction we are now seeing.

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