This is a very useful introduction to the coalition, edited by Simon Lee and Matt Beech of the University of Hull. It starts by covering the making of the coalition, then there are chapters on the economy, education, the NHS, welfare, the environment, home affairs, constitutional reform, devolution, national security, foreign policy, and the EU. The final section looks at the coalition's effects on the Tories, the LibDems and Labour.
The tuition fees rise breached both parties' manifestos. The proposed NHS `reform' was not in either manifesto, nor in the Coalition Agreement or their programme for government. Both the nationalisation of schools funding and the NHS `reforms' broke coalition promises to end the `era of top-down government' and to promote `decentralization'. The Localism Bill added 126 new powers for central government over local authorities.
The City has given £42.76 million to the Tory Party since Cameron became leader. Outside Parliament, only the City backs the destruction of our NHS. In September 2009, Clegg called for `savage cuts' to public services. The coalition aims to cut public spending by 46 per cent by 2015.
Most of the debt is in the form of government bonds that do not have to be repaid for 14 years. It was not `Labour's debt crisis', as the Conservative Party claimed, but, as George Osborne admitted, "private sector debt was the cause of the crisis."
Osborne said that we needed to move from `an economic model based on unsustainable private and public debt' to `a new model of economic growth that is rooted in more investment, more savings and higher exports'. But private and public debts are both rising. As the Office for National Statistics' Public sector finances, April 2011 said, public sector net debt (excluding financial interventions) was £910.1 billion at the end of April, up from £889 billion in December 2010. When you include financial interventions, that is, the £1.342 trillion we paid to rescue the banks, the total public sector net debt was £2.252 trillion, up from £2.18 trillion at the end of April 2010.
And in the third quarter of 2010, manufacturing investment fell by 2.5 per cent. This is not so much an `absence' of a strategy to support manufacturing industry, as a strategy to destroy what is left of it.