Running through these past seven months has been a single conviction: that the government cannot stand aside, either in blunting the impact of the recession on homeowners and businesses and returning to full employment, or investing to increase the quality and productivity of the workforce and the national �infrastructure.
Imagine for a moment how a Conservative administration, ideologically opposed to such a positive role for government, would have handled the events of the past year. Northern Rock would have been allowed to fail, regardless of the potential costs in lost deposits and financial panic.
I don't usually agree with Peter Mandelson.
But he is correct in this article. Things will be worse for working people under a Tory government, especially one which pulls in 150 new right wing MPs.
I absolutely deplore this government's record on civil liberties (ID cards, DNA databases, CCTV, email/webbrowsing/IM megabases, privatised prisons), and part of it's economic policy has clearly failed. It was also far to friendly to the city and the rich. And Gordon Brown is useless as a politician.
But it is ludicrous to thing the Tories will be any better *in any of these areas*. Economic policy will be oriented to help the rich *because that is who the Tories represent and what they have always done*.
The Tories will attempt to shred the welfare state. They may go after the universality of benefits and pensions, but doing so would radically undermine the social consensus.
David Davis was brave to stand on the 42 days interment issue, but there is no evidence that the rest of his party will support that.
All my emotions are for Labour and it's core values. I will vote Labour (Bury South is too close a constituency to justify juvenile voting). But what would probably be the best outcome would be some sort of severely hung parliament where Lib Dems would restrain Tory excess, but demand PR. PR would ensure we remain a centre-left nation for ever.