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National politics

You are the masters now

We all know the key moments in our political history. Labour’s biggest moment came in 1945 with the khaki election election which ushered in the NHS but also came with Hartley Shawcross’s stunning quote “we are the masters now”. Very Animal Farm. In 1979 with Britain at its knees Margaret Thatcher came to power kicking out yet another failed Labour government and 18 years later Tony Blair swept to power as a generation became tired of the Tories. Would the election of David Cameron on May 6th be another such turning point?

On the strength of the two manifestos, Labour’s published yesterday and the Tories’ published today, I think yes. Is the state going to solve all of our problems? No. There will always be new problems and the state is simply not nimble enough to stop doing the old stuff. Too often what you get with the state is bigger, worser. It is only us that can solve our problems and that is a messy, tiresome business and many would rather leave it to someone else but we cannot outsource all of our problems to the state. Cameron’s brave and sunny invitation for us to take part deserves to be accepted.