Things do not look rosy for Gordon Brown in the U.K. Having inherited the mother of all messes from his predecessor (which he admittedly helped to create), Brown never really had a chance to begin with. The Tories look set to win the next election, and Labour really have no one to blame but themselves. Two botched wars, a monstrous economic mess and very little in the way of 'change', Labour doesn't exactly have a record to be proud of.
The worst thing about Labour's inevitable loss to the Tories is what the U.K will be subjected to under a Conservative government. The Tories believe they are the party in waiting, and are busy preparing themselves for power.
I had a long chat with a friend of mine from the U.K who is well connected to the Conservative party, and he revealed the long list of cuts the Tories would enact once in power. David Cameron is clever enough not to overtly talk about these cuts, particularly in a time where the public sector is vitally important for people's welfare, but is using catch phrases like 'streamlining', 'efficiency', and 'fiscal responsibility'. The Conservatives are obsessed with debt and controlling public spending, (as are the Republican Party in the U.S.), but the problem is, cutting down government spending during an economic crisis is the exact prescription to make it worse.
In the 1980's, the IMF told troubled developing countries that the path towards economic growth involved deep public sector cuts and whole scale privatization. The ensuing disaster was spectacular to say the least, as every country the IMF dealt with virtually collapsed.
When the Conservative Party talks about cutting costs, it isn't talking about hurting the rich. The poor will bear the brunt of the new 'streamlined' government as cuts are made to education, health care and welfare. The Tories will also use the economic crisis to enact the privatization of much of the public sector, telling everyone they will get the same services for less money. Of course the history of public sector privatization isn't exactly one to be proud of, but Cameron and his party are hoping everyone will forget the disastrous legacy of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Once in power, they will set about dismantling the state and handing over more and more power to private institution. Wealth inequality will increase, the poor will get poorer, and the prospect of a fairer, greener society will dissolve as corporations make the rules and not the government. We've seen the results of deregulation and privatization, and it nearly brought the world to economic collapse. With the Tories, we can only expect more suffering.
I am a British citizen, and I will most certainly vote in the next general election. I had fully intended to vote for a third party given my disgust for the Labour Party, but as the prospect of Tory rule looms and the reality sets in, I may have to reconsider.
Ben Cohen is the Editor of TheDailyBanter.com