Saturday, 15 May 2010

Just don't expect too much

This is the end of a fascinating week. I know many will disagree with me, but I have to say broadly and with a degree of caution that the new Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition seems to be a positive development - if it does what it says it will do. The ending of the ID card scheme and the rolling back of the surveillance state is to be welcomed, as is a fairer taxation system which may indeed benefit those on the lowest incomes who have suffered most during the thirteen years of the last administration. We may see a rolling back of that slow but steady (and spectacularly counter-productive) process whereby the State has infiltrated and sought to control increasingly larger aspects of our lives. Any measures which may be taken to reduce the power of the executive and to encourage far greater scrutiny of proposed legislation would also result in our being better governed.
Yet this is still the most secularised society in Europe and that is something which won't change any time soon, and (regrettably) we can expect our elected politicians to continue in many ways to reflect that social reality.
We can, though, anticipate a certain change of tone and rhetoric and perhaps a greater readiness to acknowedge the claims of  religious conscience (would that our part of the Church may follow suit - pause for hollow laughter) and the strengthening of the rights of our children to receive a religious education.
But whereas this may well end up by being seen as the start of a new era in British political history, let's not go over the top.
It's not a new dawn, it's not a new day, it's just a new government.
Let's learn the lessons of 1979 and 1997 and not place too much faith in the things which will inevitably pass away and, probably, long before that, bitterly disappoint us.

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