The First Step Towards Tomorrow’s Two-tier Society
Yesterday morning Brian Law, the iconic anti-war campaigner who has been camped outside parliament since 2001, was arrested on ‘suspicion of obstructing police’. Was this responsible and fair work by the authorities to a man exercising his democratic right to freedom of expression?
This question is significant because it can be metaphorically linked to the Queen’s Speech. Freedom, fairness and responsibility are the buzz words this new coalition will look to bond over and yet it’ll ultimately be over the pursuit of these ends that the two sides are likely to have their most serious disputes.
It’s David Cameron’s view that you improve public services by freeing them from state controls. This tactic is believed to encourage innovation, improve standards through greater responsibility and create the new products being demanded from the local community.
However, whereas this may work in the commercial work, public services are to be paid on-merit for their relative success (and/or failures). This will inevitably lead to a further widening of good services for the rich, neglect of the poor and an increased definition of Britain’s two-tier society. With freedom and responsibility does not always come fairness.
This government was formed to be stable – but stability does not come in political ideology (this is and must maintain the capacity to alter with the times), it comes in numbers. For the time being then, it appears that on the whole, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats appear happy to fiddle their views in order to keep the peace.
However, nothing lasts forever, and as the familiarities of working together begins to breed discontent it will become more clear that in fact this year’s Queen’s Speech is going to fast fade away. This government is not going to be remembered for what it said today, but for how it maintains a workable relationship when future clashes of thinking arise.