The editorial on the economy's role in the election concluded that the choice was "not a perfect one but nonetheless stark", between an increased or reduced role for the state. (the Guardian view on Britain's choices:the economy, 18/04/15) A little surprising, however, was the insistence on using rather esoteric language when clarity was clearly preferable. At least Aditya Chakrabortty didn't hold his punches when he wrote about Osbornomics back in 2010, with his description, "taking the boot of the public sector off the neck of the private sector". (Why George Osborne sounds like Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s, 05/10/15)
You are right to say that the Tory philosophy of viewing the state as "crowding out the private sector" failed, but why not be less obscure about the facts? The Tories want to see a return to a system more akin to 19th century laissez-faire, where regulation and inspection were practically non-existent, and where the results were the exploitation of the workers, huge levels of inequality, and low taxes.
The response from business to the lowest corporation tax of the G7 nations, a rate fully 18% lower than in America, hasn't exactly been a success, either, with companies still having maximisation of profits as their raison d'etre, the largest pay gap in Europe between average worker and CEO, employees paid so little they have to rely on benefits, and tax avoidance policies sufficiently widespread to be described by Margaret Hodge as an "industry".It is a "stark" choice, but let's be quite clear: it's between the continued exploitation of the working people, and a society which at least acknowledges the important role government has to play in curbing the greed of business!
Matthew d'Ancona is frequently not only annoying because his column leans a little too far to the right for my liking, but because it often includes dubious statements laced with inaccuracies. (You think coalition government was bad? What's coming is uglier,20/04/15) The number of parties in this election campaign vying for our votes may well resemble "the political theatre of continental countries", but the suggestion that their intention is to "tame a Labour or Tory regime" indicates the author is spending rather too much of his time on the Cameron campaign trail. That may be the aim of the duplicitous Liberal Democrats, but try suggesting to the Green or nationalist parties' candidates that their real aspiration is to prevent a future Labour government bringing in radical legislation!
d'Ancona apparently is not aware that the Labour proposals fall short of the wishes of most of the electorate, as they do not include any nationalisation of rail or energy companies, or even a financial transaction tax. It is far more likely that the ambitions of most of the minor parties is to drag the Labour party further left, admitting austerity measures have failed, and into adopting the necessary policies to transform banking and business cultures which see their profits and tax avoidance their raison d'etre.
Indeed, the best hope for a transformative and radical government now appears to be, not a Labour government with a large majority, but, in the words of d'Ancona, a "rainbow pact", a coalition dominated by Labour but relying on support from minority parties. Far from "taming" Labour, they could well supply the essential reminder of where its priorities lie!