Various soundbites have been thrown by “anti-coalitionists” against the current government. Some are justified, some not. But four of them are particularly annoying.
“This government has no democratic mandate”
The Conservatives received a higher share of the votes cast (36.1%) in 2010 than Labour did in 2005 (35.2%) but the latter still formed a majority government because of inherent bias in the electoral system. The Coalition government has 59.1% of the votes cast (Con. 36.1%, LibDem 23%).
Would anti-coalitionists throw the same soundbite against a Lib/Lab coalition with only 52% of the votes cast (Lab 29%, LibDem 23%)? I bet the answer is no.
“The Government has done another U-turn! Ha ha!”
This was thrown about when it was announced that Ken Clarke’s proposed policy for shorter prison sentences might be abandoned. It comes after the abandonment of plans to sell off some of our forests and the part amendment of the NHS Reform Bill due to public and professional opposition. Surely, we want our government to listen!?
Would anti-coalitionists be happier if the government refuses to listen. I bet the answer is no.
“No one voted for the Coalition government’s policies”
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined in the slinging of this well-worn soundbite. Doh! It is a coalition and that is how it rolls. Indeed, no one voted for the Libyan No Fly Zone nor, during the Labour government, for the Iraq war, the introduction then scrapping of the 10p tax band, the hike in National Insurance contribution rates, the raid on pension funds or the selling of our gold…. I am sure you get the gist, I can go on but it will be a pointless exercise.
Would anti-coalitionists be happier if all Tory manifesto promises were put into legisliation? Eg. Raising the inheritance tax free threshold to £1 million? I bet the answer is no.
“This government is cutting too deep, too fast”
The answer according to the IMF is no. But of course, the Labour Party has a very well known Plan B here .