You could be forgiven for thinking that the Liberal Democrats in government have been effective. What we are seeing now is the mad, delusional, knee-jerk response of the Tories to the world, as Cameron lines up assaults on the remains of the welfare state, and encourages his miserable hordes of backbench leeches to undermine Lords reform, a policy that was in the "principled" Tory manifesto that the electorate, so cruelly, denied him the chance to implement.
To deal with Lords reform first, the emergence of Boris as a reactionary bigoted cheer-leader is hardly a surprise. Democracy and accountability are not something that one has come to expect from a London Mayor (see this blog passim), and it is good to see that he is taking his role as metropolitan champion seriously by concentrating on areas that municipal politics is clearly designed to address. Avoids the question as to why there has been a breakdown of industrial relations across the transport network, I suppose.
Again, the Tories are basing their position on self-interest - their contempt for the electorate is such that they don't think anyone is bright enough to notice. So Boris's inchoate rant was picked up by the deservedly-obscure Mike Freer, whom the electors of Finchley and Golders Green inexplicably sent to Westminster. A little delving into Mike Freer's record is not encouraging, another small-town Poujadist with a mania for self-promotion and the lack of judgement that goes with it. A Thatcherite mini-me, with the intellectual and personal distinction of a lawn ornament, he was an architect of the unravelling radical decimation through cronyism of Barnet council, and has only been heard since his elevation to maximum snoutage proclaiming the rights of the late Colonel Gaddafi against squatters. Gaddafi owned property in Freer's constitency, so the Pavlovian response of dictatorial loons was perhaps only to be expected.
Doubtless Freer will jump on Cameron's latest attempt to wow his middle-class paranoids through attacking what's left of welfare provision. The politics of this are simple - Cameron feels threatened by the right and therefore he moves further and further out into their territory of barren race and class prejudice. This plays into a sense of entitlement for the "deserving" (in other words the bourgeoisie) and a vague hope that this will get rid of all the groups who cause problems and challenge their brain-dead hegemony (intellectuals, lefties, people of different ethnic origin, religion or capabilities).
The return of the Tory dog-whistle is not rooted in practicality, merely a desire to achieve good coverage and distract from the complete failure of Osborne's economic policy. The Tory manifesto for 2015 will be a strange, dark, xenophobic place - making out that these policies would have made everything all right had the electorate delivered the just dues of Etonian chancers, thieves and liars. This did not convince in 2010, when Labour's most tired, dejected and split campaign still denied them a Parliamentary majority, and it won't in 2015. Playing to UKIP, the BNP and the EDL will not achieve the breakthrough that they want.
Instead, it is a simple way of revealing their true colours without being able to do what they want, hoping that they will be able to sell the hatred at some unspecified point in the future. This should be a reminder to all the rest of us that the Tories remain the evil and pernicious charlatans that were booted out (too late) in 1997.
Cameron's inept and bungled attempt to draw attention to tax avoidance is evidence that the entire strategy is unravelling in the face of reality. Whatever the murkiness of individuals' tax affairs, by attacking one named individual he has declared open season on the Tory party's sugar daddies, and about time too. The sleaze and simony surrounding Hamster-Face's regime, the country suppers with the Murdoch apparatchiks, the complete denial of any economic culpability or desire to address the root causes of depression and the general ignorance of the world are all culpable and should see them drummed out of office.
Further proof that the "we're in this together" is a lie is not needed. When the Archbishop of Canterbury goes public to denounce its hollow hypocrisy, and the unions go on the offensive, while the inept bankers and crony Tories escape unscathed, we are in the latter days of imperial decadence. The darkest hour may be before the dawn, but we need the prospect of daylight - sunlit uplands are off the agenda.