So now the hard work starts. All the pomp and circumstance, the headlines, the angst, the teddy-throwing and the love-ins are over and undertaking the hard yards starts.
A Government with strength and purpose. Freshness. A media as much strangers to what coalition means as anyone else (watching them adapt but having difficulty in leaving assessments fashioned in the old way will be interesting! Q: But why do you two parties differ on this? A: Because we are two parties not one doh!)
A Government that faces huge issues with the Economy and not a few hard nuts to crack with foreign wars and climate change, let alone our Broken Society.
But above all, a new way of governing. The Nation wanted an end to the old way; it voted, above all else, for change. Well … here it is!
I have written to various members of the new Cabinet, congratulating them, wishing them well but bringing various issues to their immediate attention and asking for clarification on what they intend to do to address them. In no particular order these include:-
– Dealing with serious inefficiency and over manning in the administration of the NHS
– Ensuring our young people leave school at 16 being able (at the very least) to read, write, count and operate a computer.
– Supporting small businesses as they dip their toes into the exporting pond.
– If we are going to trade our way out of this economic mess, develop a Manufacturing Strategy … and stick to it!
– If we are not to have a 3rd runway at Heathrow or any expansion at Gatwick or Stansted, quite how is the UK’s position as a global hub for trade and investment going to be maintained, quite how is the increase in traffic that comes with economic success going to be accommodated? High speed railway lines won’t help getting more business traffic to and from our trading partners and attracting more overseas tourists to these shores.
– If there is to be no Government assistance in our new nuclear build programme, quite how is the UK going to meet its international Climate Change obligations, quite how are we going to keep the lights on in six years time when we run out of electricity? Cover the country in windmills and solar panels? Put people in prison if they don’t insulate their lofts? I don’t think so!
– Getting fully and fiscally behind one of our globally-excellent sectors so that we really lead and win in the globalised economy … our Universities.
– Extending the Retirement Age quickly. Reforming in the face of enormous, selfish Union hostility the Public Sector pension System.
– Growing and developing another world-class sector of our economy, earning hundreds of millions (probably billions) of pounds for the Nation and employing hundreds of thousands of people; our Defence Manufacturing Sector.
– If we are to tax the plane and not the passenger, quite how are we going to maintain the UK as the European hub for parcel freight? Thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds of tax revenue are here in the UK because of the investment of DHL, TNT, FedEx & UPS. So we force them offshore to Brussels or Paris and lose all the jobs and the tax. Then they will truck all UK-bound parcels into our Country! That really will help on carbon emissions … NOT!
– and lastly, Messrs Cameron, Osborne, Clegg & Cable. Just remember as you salivate over giving the Banks a good, vicious, populist kicking. Our Financial Services Sector may deliver a mere 8% of GDP but it produces some 24% of all taxation revenue for the Government. The genuine value-added sector! Please don’t let Mumbai or Hong Kong, Qatar or Shanghai, Bangalore or Bahrain think it is their Birthdays!
So there it is! Governing Britain? Piece of cake!