From the Observer
Britain has just had the most extreme budget in its recent history. It is not hysterical to imagine that we will soon be a miserable and angry country as a result. At a minimum, we are entering a future in which police officers will be fired and criminals left free to proceed unmolested; fire stations will close so the chances of your home going up in smoke will rise; teachers, university and teaching assistants will go, leaving the young more in danger of spending their lives in ignorance than they already are; housing, rail and road projects will be cancelled; regiments disbanded; and the sick, handicapped and old left to suffer. To top it all, everyone’s taxes will rise as well.
Foreigners are looking at the government inflicting the suffering with some amazement. As the New York Times noted on Friday: “No reputable economic theory justifies this bleeding.” By going beyond the already stringent austerity programme Labour had planned “in pursuit of a pointless structural budget surplus”, the Tories and Liberals risk pushing Britain into “years of stagnation”.
Yet the British seem to be enjoying themselves. The sun shines for weeks on end, the pubs and the cafes heave and warm feelings of approval engulf the new administration. George Osborne feared he would become the most hated man in the country. Last week, a Mori poll reported that he was not only popular, but the most popular Conservative chancellor since its records began in the 1970s. Meanwhile, all surveys show that the voters regard David Cameron and Nick Clegg as decent men trying their hardest, rather than dangerous ideologues or blithering idiots.
Carry on reading