Your humble Devil has been a busy man, and he has been unwilling to blog (unable?) for a little while—partly because I was going to give the Coalition a chance. They have blown that chance, and now it is time to lay out the manifesto on which I plan to engage their failures.
Luckily, this is quite easy because the Coalition laid out a number of aims when they came into power, and it is relatively easy to measure how they have done. In the meantime, please forgive my lack of links—I shall fill these in as I write about the separate areas. So...
- Reduction of the deficit: it is important to note that the deficit is the difference between government income and government spending—the Coalition have never promised to reduce the debt.
But, nevertheless, even by the rather less ambitious measure they set themselves, the Coalition has utterly failed to reduce the deficit: they spent more this year than any government before.
- Increased GDP: the way in which the Coalition planned to reduce the deficit was not absolutely, but relatively: they intended to reduce government spending as a proportion of GDP.
The Coalition never intended to reduce spending absolutely—they intended to reduce spending as a proportion of GDP. In order to increase spending whilst reducing its proportion of GDP, it required that the government ensure that GDP grew faster than spending: they anticipated increasing GDP by 2.5% per annum.
They have absolutely failed to do so: we will be lucky to get 1% this year (which is a loss against inflation).
- Why has the Coalition failed to increase GDP? Because they increased taxes: the higher the taxes, the lower the GDP—in almost every single case.
- Restoration of Civil Liberties: the government has utterly failed in this. It is true that they have removed threats such as ID Cards: but these had never been introduced legally—all the Coalition did was to stop something that had never been introduced.
In the meantime, the Restoration of Liberties bill has no teeth and will restore precisely no liberties what-so-fucking-ever. If you doubt me, simply look at the government's weasel words over the retention of DNA for innocents.
- Listening to the people: the Coalition promised to listen to people's opinion on various issues. They even set up a website admirably quickly.
But they failed to listen: the two biggest issues were a relief of the smoking ban and the legalisation of drugs.
The Coalition ignored this. Nick Clegg issued a video stating, in no uncertain terms, that the smoking ban would not be repealed. The drugs ban had the same response.
The site disappeared into the Coalition's memory hole.
The Conservative-LibDem Coalition has failed by every major metric that they set themselves: your humble Devil intends to call them out in precisely the kind of language and rage with which I called out NuLabour.