Diagnosing The Coalition

It is hard to disagree with this uncompromising assessment of the UK Coalition Government’s performance over recent months, by Trevor Kavanagh at The Sun.

In particular:

Unless the PM and his deputy reach a truce soon this partnership will be lucky to survive the year.

A split would force an early election and, incredibly, put Labour back in power after one richly deserved term in Opposition.

The Lib Dems, with only nine per cent of the vote according to a new poll, would be wiped out as a political force.

Labour’s recovery is as astonishing as the slide in Coalition support. Ed Miliband can claim some credit. But this collapse is due entirely to Government bungling on just about every major issue.

Somehow it has allowed the impression that the Coalition, not Labour, is to blame for our economic woes.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. It is ridiculous almost to the point of complete disbelief that this government, and the senior Tory ministers within it, have allowed a situation where Labour’s economic policies and statements are given serious consideration only two years after they were so utterly and thoroughly debunked. That really takes a sustained level of incompetence to achieve, and the more you look at it, the more inescapable becomes the conclusion that the majority of the blame lies with George Osborne:

The PM has to decide whether the Chancellor is a statesman devoted full-time to keeping Britain’s precious Triple-A credit rating. Or a political bruiser who risks his credibility in unseemly brawls with Ed Balls.

It is Mr Osborne, not Nick Clegg’s Lib Dem rabble, who is to blame for the Government’s collapse in public esteem.

People don’t mind Westminster thuggery if it works. But torpedoing his own Budget with a catalogue of unforced errors and crass incompetence is unforgivable.

In a few short weeks, Mr Osborne has shredded his reputation and turned the Coalition into a lame duck administration.

It takes a special talent to cast Mr Balls on the right side of an economic argument but Mr Osborne somehow managed to do so.

If the Prime Minister cannot grasp this nettle, he is finished. A job swap with William Hague is the solution.

This is a genuinely interesting idea, though I very much doubt that David Cameron is about to replace his Chancellor in the upcoming reshuffle. But people expressed doubts at the time of his appointment about Osborne’s youth and inexperience, and while he is certainly a political bruiser, it must also be remembered that it was under his political stewardship that the Conservatives failed to gain an outright majority in the 2010 general election, tarnishing his credentials as a political operative as well as a Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It is also amusing that Hague’s name is now being floated as a potential replacement, given the sniping and complaining about his own performance that was taking place a year ago – “Hague Has Lost His Mojo”, etc. etc. In terms of cabinet minister performance, it would appear that slow and steady is winning the race at the moment.

One thought on “Diagnosing The Coalition

  1. cynicalthoughtsofanoptimist July 19, 2012 / 9:42 AM

    I could not agree more! However I don’t think the libdems will be wiped out completely as a political force, all parties go through cycles of popularity – this will be just a ridiculously, low one. They might be able to rebrand and come back stronger than ever if they manage to direct all blame to the conservatives or they could just be remembered for policies such as tuition fees and then they haven’t got a chance in hell!

    Great post!


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