Seventy years ago today, on VE Day, there was every reason to be proud to be English and British. After a long and terrible war, we had triumphed against the forces of bigotry and oppression. And soon afterwards, we elected a government of politicians who can now be seen as heroes: Attlee, Bevan and Bevin, men who created a welfare state for the world to admire and envy.
Today, with the re-election of the Cameron government, we celebrate rather different values. The men we, as a nation, have re-elected today are busy dismantling the welfare state, apart from those bits that can be sold off at a snip to their private equity chums for their further enrichment. We have elected men who want to be nasty to the poor, the disabled and foreigners. Men whose God is Money.
There is, as far as I can see, only one single piece of good news in this morning’s election results. Caroline Lucas has not only been re-elected in Brighton, she has increased her share of the vote by 10%, no mean achievement in a country whose main attribute now seems to be meanness of spirit.
Can David Cameron, George Osborne, Ian Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling really govern for me, as Mr Cameron has this morning promised? I don’t think so.
If I were a young man I would now leave England, the country I once loved, and head for some land in which people – and especially their leaders – still have vision and noble aspiration.