If the UK coalition government were ever under the impression that they would get a ‘honeymoon’ period in office they were very mistaken.
The savage cuts they are being forced to make are going to impact on every facet of our lives. Labour may have spent the money but the coalition parties are picking up both the financial and political bills. The shortness of the electorate’s memory will ensure that it is the names of those in the coalition that will echo down the corridors of time as the ones responsible for destroying our social infrastructure. “They chose Trident over schools and hospitals!” you can hear the condemnation already. Let’s just forget that was also Labour’s plan.
Michael Gove, as Education Secretary, is at the vanguard of the coalition’s attempts to bring some order to the public finances. Schools are probably one of the most sensitive areas to be meddling in, maybe even more so than the HNS as it obviously involves children.
The government has to make cuts. Whether it be now or tomorrow it has to be done. Within weeks of coming to power the new government has identified those areas destined for cost paring and as sure as eggs is eggs out come the knives.
“But we must repair our destitute and crumbling schools!” comes the cry. Funny, but they weren’t crumbling and destitute a few months ago. Under the last education, education, education government weren’t they having record funds thrown at them? What has happened since? Obviously the Tory presence in government has somehow accelerated their decrepitude. What was perfectly acceptable under Labour has become a crime against children under the Tories. And do you think it would have been much different had Labour miraculously remained in power?
If Labour had spent the money on school buildings correctly then putting off refurbishment for a couple of years would have little impact on them. For example, one of the schools featured on a recent news article was over 40 years old and had been designed to be a temporary 25 year building. How is that the fault of the new coalition?
But of course local government has its part to play and many of the complainers are, I suspect, those who would have profited nicely from the refurbishment work.
The coalition has been put there to make the choices in the long term interests of the country. They also took the job on knowing this would make them almost unelectable at some time in the future. We are going to have to let them get on with it, not try to force them to continue on the well trodden and discredited path of their predecessors.