I have just finished reading Cameron’s Coup by Polly Toynbee and David Walker. Now I typically get through around two books a week as I read during my commute to work and with about and hour and a quarter to travel each way I get through quite a bit of reading in a week. However, it has taken me about 4 weeks to read this particular book. It isn’t a big book and it is not written in complex language. It is simply that it has such depressing content I’ve been finding any possible excuse to avoid it.
In this book Toynbee and Walker subject the record of the Cameron-led coalition government to the same level of forensic scrutiny that they applied to the Labour Governments’ track record before the previous general election in The Verdict. This audit combines both hard data and personal narrative in setting out an account of this government’s policies and their short term impacts. It makes for grim reading as tales of extreme disadvantage being foisted on those which are already near the poverty line, an overview of how many welfare services are being dismantled (including significant reform to the National Health Service), the broken promises that emerged, the contempt shown for public service professionals and the broader community at large by this government.
Now I am probably closer politically to the authors than many will be and didn’t need much convincing about the detriment that this government has caused to the UK. Whether those who not of a similar political persuasion explain this away as more “Tory-bashing” remains to be seen. But on the verge of a General Election I hope that lessons are learned from this and we don’t see the further degradation of the UK as we have over the last few years. It has certainly renewed my enthusiasm for ensuring that my vote is registered. Even though the ward my vote will be cast in from overseas is traditionally a Conservative strong hold, every vote counts.