-- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. The opinions expressed are his own --
After thirteen years, it’s all over. The New Labour project is dead. Or is it? Tony Blair brought British politics to the centre-ground and ensured that a single party could support free-market economic policies as well as social justice.
And that’s what most people want today, a government that can help the citizen without hindering the economy through the dogma of dated ideology. The old notion of socialists waging war on small-government-right-wingers feels somehow quaint. Clearly Tony Blair knew that David Cameron would be his successor in the New Labour project, but nobody told Gordon Brown.
Now the back room deals have been done between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and the cabinet post announcements are being released from Downing Street, the real work has to begin. I don’t just mean the public sector cuts. Any new government would have to cope with the deficit, though many in Labour are probably grateful that it’s the Tories who are going to be seen slashing public services.
I mean that we need to change the attitude of a generation that has only known affluence, constant growth, and easy borrowing secured against property that has only ever increased in value. British people are going to have to spend within their means, no matter how unfashionable that might seem in a society obsessed with the latest dress or jewellery worn by Cheryl Cole.