Saturday, 26 March 2016

Progressive Tories? No chance!

Of course, as your editorial stated, Osborne "talks a good game" when, in fact, it`s all "cobblers" (Morning Star,24/03/16). It really does come to something when the country`s economic future is determined by the personal ambitions of its chancellor! The truth is that there is little about Tory policies, and the mythology surrounding them, that cannot be regarded as nonsense.
    Tories calling themselves "progressive" and their party beholden to "compassionate Conservatism", as this bunch has been doing for nearly fifteen years, does not detract from the evidence; since holding the reins of power in 2010, the prime minister and chancellor have been responsible not only for austerity measures and budgets, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies have repeatedly reported as hitting the poorest hardest, but tax changes which have benefited the most wealthy. Tories who claim to be ignorant of these facts are being disingenuous in the extreme.
     In fact, history shows us very few examples of any Tory governments revealing compassion as even a minor influence on policy. The government which, for over a century, was termed as "Progressive" by historians, is now deemed unworthy of the description. The 1822-29 government did nothing to alleviate the suffering of the poor, not even banning the exploitation of children in the factories and mines, let alone extending the franchise, ending slavery in the colonies, and granting monies to fund the most basic of education for future generations. When decent reforms were passed, such as repealing the Combination Laws, reasons such as fear of insurrection, were far more important than any feelings of outrage or sympathy. It is not a coincidence that the following decade saw the rise of Chartism.
    History will fail in its duty to the truth if it does not view the 2010-16(20?) period as one of the least "progressive" of modern times, and its claims to be otherwise as pure "cobblers"! 

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