Three (Tory) reasons to be fearful
Just before I get too sunny, here are three areas where the country’s politicians, and the Tories not least, face real problems. They all centre on the country’s habit of self-deception.
(1) Reforming the Welfare State
It’s a long old argument, and Tories have done well by ducking it, but how are we really to get the state to have an optimal (minimalist but efficient) role in guaranteeing rather than providing welfare? Maybe this country really does want and will insist on a state-heavy approach, but I doubt it.
(2) Living with global capitalism
It seems likely that this country faces a long hard economic future in which its appetite for public and private spending is challenged by its difficulty in competing with increasingly successful and aggressive countries all around the world.
(3) Being a world hub of capitalism
It seems very likely that a large measure of this country’s economic success will depend on its being one of the HQs of world capitalism. That will mean that it remains highly unequal and has to be extraordinarily clever in its treatment of financial regulation.