Life in the European Parliament with MEP Peter Skinner: Is it still love?
The second anniversary of the Cameron and Clegg Government is fast approaching so I thought I would take the chance to conduct a little review of their performance so far.
It was May 2010 when the pair stood together in the Rose Garden at No 10 and proclaimed a new kind of politics. Together they promised “strong and stable” leadership and said they would “take Britain in a historic new direction”.
Well, have they?
In many ways I believe they have. Thing is, I’m not sure it’s a direction we want to take. Despite not having a majority in Parliament and only getting 36% of the public vote at the last general election David Cameron has embarked on one of the most radical and controversial political programmes of the last 50 years.
And to put it bluntly a Government has rarely looked as inept as the current one has over the past few months.
To take but a few examples we started out with the hair brained plan to sell off our national forests to the highest bidder. This was swiftly followed by proposals to reform the planning system into what the National Trust termed a ‘developers charter’ that threatened green spaces treasured by local communities.
The biggest issue of the last two years has been the NHS; in all my years in politics I’ve never seen such public anger. Despite this David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat allies ploughed on in the face of public and professional opposition. Indeed it seemed like no one except the Cabinet was in favour of this appalling plan to break up and sell off our health service yet they still voted it through!
And most recently we had the grannytax and pastygate budget. It should have taken big and bold action to get Britain back to work. Instead we got a hand-out for millionaires, a slap down for anyone on tax credits and a kick in the teeth for pensioners and pasty fans.
So on the whole I think that Cameron and Clegg have lived up to their promise to take us in a new direction but it’s the wrong one!
If the Prime Minister was to ask for my advice I would tell him to spend the next year focusing on jobs and growth. If we don’t get people back into work we will not be able to cut our debt or invest in our services.