The last five years….

‘Five years of stable and successful government’ is how the right-of-centre blogger Tim Montgomerie characterises the last five years. How many would agree – or disagree? Montgomerie, no doubt intentionally, overstates it. But many a four or five-year span has seen the UK fare much worse. The government has bickered and fought with itself but it has stayed together. Montgomerie puts much of that down to Nick Clegg, the ‘unsung hero of our times’. I’d go along with that. He’s had a big role in keeping the coalition together. With so much sh… thrown at him by some pretty nasty people he shown a remarkable cool, and kept a party that’s fissiparous almost by instinct together.

So two cheers for Nick!

‘Stable and successful’. If we expect government to work wonders, always to get it right, and, if it fails, to see it all as being accounted for by the selfishness of others, above all our self-serving politicians…. if we’re bought into the Ivor Crewe disasters of government mentality , if… then, yes, the five years have failed, and every five-year span will do likewise.

Messing around with NHS organisation was a bad error and a disaster. With hindsight bombing Libya and ousting Gaddafi likewise. Worse than bad. Policy without proper appraisal and heedless of consequences. We’ve seriously overdone the austerity. There are many casualties. Too many in government (and beyond)  sheltered by their own good fortune, forget compassion, forget the misfortune of others.

That’s an indictment. And there’s more. And yet…. before we collapse in anger and depression remember that the miracle of democracy means that we’re still standing, society mirabile dictu still functions, and there is all to play, and to fight for.

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