Monday, 21 September 2009
Labour, Tories & Lib Dems: The first cut is the deepest?
Hang on boys! There is a touch of "mine is bigger than yours" about the sudden round of announcements from the political parties that yes indeed, there will be spending cuts whoever wins the next General Election. Ed Balls seems to relish the notion of making £2 billion in education cuts; manly Nick Clegg says that if necessary, he would ignore the party's manifesto to scrap tuition fees for University students and further more, he and Vince Cable would even place a levy on those living in houses above £1million. George Osborne, well, in his deepest voice, he is accusing Labour of lying and cheating and....keeping his own plans very close to his chest, but promising a macho response when required.
We all know the country is in a bad way and there will be a price to pay. Most likely Labour, under Gordon Brown, will lose the election, but there are those who are bold enough to suggest that the Conservatives will not win outright and that the Lib Dems could end up holding the balance of power, almost by default. There are a lot of people in his own party, including Charles Kennedy, who are not happy with Clegg's stance on fees. Could this be an own goal, as many of the Lib Dems natural supporters are from the student population?
In the coming months we will see more and more machismo on display, as the parties fight to convince us that it is their cuts, their taxes, which will make the difference and pull the country out of the mire.