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Don’t underestimate Cameron’s attempted coup d’état

It’s fashionable to deride Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ as being either vacuous rhetoric (as most Tory MPs think it is) or a thinly veiled cover for massive public expenditure cuts (as the Left thinks).   But his article in the Daily Telegraph of 21 February pre-viewing the long-delayed White Paper on public services tells of a much more deadly, over-reaching objective – “a decisive end of the old-fashioned, top-down, take-what-you’re given model of public services”, with an “automatic right for private sector companies, charities and voluntary bodies to bid for public work”.   And not just some public work – all public services, excluding only the security services and the judiciary.   The privatisation of the NHS bill is not an extreme one-off, it’s a model for everything that’s about to follow.

Leave aside there’s not an iota of mandate for this from the Tory election manifesto last year.   That’s already par for the course: witness VAT, child benefit, NHS spending growing “in real terms every year”, educational maintenance allowances, incapacity benefit, to mention just some of the better known breaches of electoral integrity.   But this declaration of war against anything and everything public is of a different order.   It is clearly a long-planned campaign of dissimulation to foist on the country a profound ideological restructuring of the State for which there is no democratic backing.   That can only be adequately described as an internal coup d’état.

What the Tories are doing is pushing through a revolution in the power structure of the State before a dazed public, disoriented by the massive jolt administered by the biggest financial crash since the 1930s, can summon up its resistance to stop them.   This is a classic example of the Shock Doctrine highlighted by Naomi Klein – that it is precisely when catastrophe strikes that there is the best opportunity of forcing through decisive political change.   It happened in Chile after the Pinochet coup, in Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall fell, and in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed.   In more sedate Britain, it’s not via military overthrow, but by using a financial crisis to convey the inevitability of wholesale change that is driven by pure ideology with no connection whatever with the original crisis.

How to stop this?   The combination of unprecedented benefit cuts, loss of public services that are deeply treasured, oil prices going through the roof, and profound instability in the international economy may still generate a spontaneous explosion like the poll tax riots that brought down Thatcher (and tyrants in the Middle East, one might add).   Otherwise the only way to stop the ultra vires of an out-of-control government  is the constitutional innovation of a President with powers to rein in a government playing fast and loose with its democratic writ.


  1. Denis says:

    I can not believe that any right minded person could back anything Labour after they have , YET AGAIN sold the countries silver. I never believed Brown that he had stopped boom and bust. He spent in the good time and never stopped in the bad. I saved in the good times and the Labour took of me in the bad times. Letting millions of people into the country only for them to sponge on it. Do we need to cut back, of course we do, is it going to hurt, of course it is. Those who think different should try going to there bank and asking for a few thousand pound so they can have a holiday to get over the strain of being in debt.
    Why should anyone ever think that having spent and given away our money ( it was never there’s to spend ) we can trust them again. Is it not time to say sorry and get down of the very high horse. We are suffering because of over spend.

  2. DevonChap says:

    I think Mr Meacher is oh so humbly putting himself forward as the President.

  3. FaustiesBlog says:

    I think we all know where his policies are coming from – the EU.

    The EU is all about the marriage of big business and power – fascism. Labour fell under its spell, too, with its promotion of public-private partnerships and for sure, the Labour government was headed for fascism.

    While we can’t say yet whether or not fascism will manifest, we ought to be on our guard.

    Put aside party politics and focus, as I’m sure you do (ref: your forward in “Seeds of Destruction”) on what’s best for Britain.

    Dangerous times.

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