I must admit I never expected a coalition, but at the end of the day it is probably the least worst alternative.
We could not have done nothing. There is a country to be run.
Supporting a Conservative minority government would have been possible but it would have been fragile, most Liberal Democrat policies would not have been enacted and there was the consdierable risk of another election within 12 months.
A coalition with Labour would have been ideal for many supporters but was never practical due to the parliamentary numbers and lack of support from the Labour party itself. A coalition with the Conservatives, although difficult should lead to many Liberal Democrat policies introduced (such as the £10k income tax threshold) and Conservative policies curbed (marriage tax allowance and inheritance tax threshold increase). All the details have still to be announced but this is what coalition government gives you compromise, hopefully of the important and best things for the country.
It’s also why voting for what you want, can make a difference. Although the electoral system is still against the Liberal Democrats, we can point to the 23% of people who voted for our policies when we were negotiating with the Conservatives, it gave us weight to get what our supporters wanted.
I don’t know what the road ahead will be like but at the very least we can say Liberal Democrat policies will have been delivered, we have experience of government and that coalition government can work (hopefully…).
At least that’s the verdict by the Economist who disagree with the notion that Britain is in a mess and getting worse.
I have spoken to many public sector and charity workers in Bromsgrove who deal with the people the Tories describe as part of the “Broken Society” and they don’t recognise the term. Sure the country isn’t perfect, but it’s not “broken” and if it was what are the Conservatives doing to help the few who need help the most?
Almost all their policies are aimed at the middle class voters. Marriage tax allowance; inheritance tax threshold increase; allowing parents to run schools (only those with time will do this) and focus on only imprisoning criminals.
The Lib Dems, however, are focusing on helping those most in need to create a better society for all:
- Increase income tax threshold to £10k to help break the poverty trap and improve the incentives for individuals on low incomes
- Extra £2.5bn in education for schools with pupils on free school meals. This resource can be used as headteachers deem appropriate, whether smaller classes or one on one tuition. Many classes can only proceed as the slowest pupil so this will benefit all pupils.
- Scrap tuition fees, to break the psychological barrier of debt for many people going to university. There is enough student debt and c. £10k less would make a big difference to many future graduates
- 67% of prisoners will re-offend when they are released, why? Because some have no alternative of employment, they may be illiterate, don’t know what to do. We would do more for rehabilitation and give these people skills and the ability to become a part of society.