Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Change the Brits Can Believe In

As you may know, Britain is currently under an unlikely coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats.  I have been cautiously optimistic about this unusual alliance.  I think the combination could produce some good things for Britain.

Looks like I was right:

The U.K.’s new government plans to detail about £6 billion ($8.69 billion) in immediate budget cuts Monday as the finance minister, George Osborne, begins to flesh out how the U.K. treasury will narrow the £156 billion budget deficit.

Mr. Osborne is expected to announce plans that would save about £513 million from a cull of nondepartmental executive agencies, and £163 million from restraining public-sector hiring via a recruitment freeze, according to a person familiar with the situation. In addition, he is set to announce cuts of more than £1 billion in discretionary spending, including savings from cutting travel costs and consultancy fees. He would also seek efficiencies in continuing programs.

That’s six billion right away.  The real test will come when the Brits have to cut government employees and social services.  But, in a week, they’ve already cut six billion more than Obama has in a year and a half.

There’s more.  Nick Clegg, now deputy PM, and with the backing of the Tories, has stated they will start ripping down some of the surveillance state in Britain, investigate allegations of torture, put in place a massive electoral overhaul and roll back the excesses of the criminal justice system.  Read this:

It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide.

It has to stop.

So there will be no ID card scheme.

No national identity register, no second-generation biometric passports.

We won’t hold your internet and email records when there is no just reason to do so.

CCTV will be properly regulated, as will the DNA database, with restrictions on the storage of innocent people’s DNA.

And we will end practices that risk making Britain a place where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they accept it without question.

This is inspiring stuff, guys.  It’s not just words; it’s their official platform.

Now this is still a British government, so there are no plans to dismantle the NHS or anything.  But it looks like the UK is about to take a huge step in the right direction.  And this is, in no small part, because they had to form a coalition of two parties.  This allow real ideas to move forward, while giving both parties political cover. It makes you wonder what might happen if the Libertarians ever got their heads out of their asses and became a viable third party.

In the meantime, our Candidate of Change is comfortable with the War on Drugs, sees no need to reform the criminal justice system, is arguing in court that he can disappear people in Bagram and had a fit because the Supreme Court lifted restriction on corporate speech.  In short, as Radley Balko noted, Obama is keeping every promise he made when it comes to taking away our freedom.  He is keeping none of the ones that involve giving it back.

Look at the Cameron-Clegg partnership. Look at Obama.  Who is the force for real change?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/23/10 at 05:25 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 05/23/10 at 08:10 PM from United States

No American politician with any real responsibility would have the courage to do what Clegg is doing-or, for that matter, work with someone like him the way David Cameron is. This is conservatism the way it’s supposed to be, not the shrill, clueless, talking-points variety the Republican Party practices.

Over here, Clegg would be considered part of the “Fringe”, one of those crazy libertarians, while Cameron would be torn to pieces by the conservative “Base” as a “Traitor”.

Posted by on 05/23/10 at 08:49 PM from Germany

I don’t disagree with you, but these Public Sector cuts were left over from the Brown government. My department has been planning for them for about a year now.

What is good is that someone has the balls to actually remind people that fiscal responsibility if a good thing.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/24/10 at 03:05 AM from United States

Thanks, BC.  My knowledge of British politics is limited at best.

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