Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Would a hung Parliament be the best outcome?

Now that campaigning is in full flight for all political parties, it is unlikely that any real sense will now emerge until after the General Election results have been announced. Each party has, more or less, set out its stall and it will be more adjustment than significant new policy that will emerge from now until polling day.

This is also the case because of the nation’s desperate financial plight. The main parties have offered all they can in terms of new expenditure, all they can now do is to explain what services are to be cut in order to try to get the nation’s finances back on their feet. This will be not be easy, but one thing is for sure - it will be painful for many and front line services will have to be cut. Efficiency saving will be possible, but the bill is too high for these alone to provide what is necessary.

Although it was always going to be a difficult task, it did look as if Cameron’s Tories were going to manage to overturn Labour’s large majority and have an overall majority, however, polls have shown the Tory’s popularity has reduced since Christmas, when a Tory overall majority seemed certain, to a point where now a ‘hung parliament’ is on the cards. Clearly Cameron would rather work with one or some of the smaller parties, if just a few seats are required, as they know the Lib/Dems will demand a much larger ‘piece of the action’ than a small party would.

Although, traditionally, the Lib/Dems would choose to work with Labour, they did announce that they would firstly offer a partnership with the party which won the most seats. Barring any major mishaps, this will be the Tories and although it is generally thought that a party with a good majority is likely to produce the best government, perhaps it would be good for the country if Cameron had to work with Clegg and Cable.

Our financial state at present is so perilous it justifies a government of national unity - having the two parties working together may benefit the nation. There is no doubt that George Osborne appears to be the weal link on the Tory front bench and Chancellor of the Exchequer will be the key position - we simply cannot afford to have any serious mistakes made. Vince Cable has demonstrated statesmanlike qualities during the current parliament - these are just the qualities needed to see us through to better times.

As more is becoming known about Brown’s leadership style and his fitness to lead at all, the image of a man who took to politics as a personal career emerges. This he measured by the rank he attains in government, rather than how he has improved the lot of the people.

The Expenses Scandal has demonstrated that politicians in general have become most focussed on their own personal interests, particularly throughout this Labour administration and it is sad to see what was once considered a more noble profession, sink to such depths.

Self interest has become generally more prominent throughout society, no doubt fuelled by the ‘greed is good’ culture of the 80’s. However in our present dire predicament we sorely need a government set on restoring our fortunes - not one whose members are looking, primarily, to benefit themselves.

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