In an effort to feel better about life, I read some comments on Cameron's article in the Guardian.
Some great ones, but this says it all:
'Selfishness and individualism' are not consequences of statism but of neo-liberal ideology which takes as its starting assumption and aim the enthronement of selfishness and individualism as cardinal values, and has these as its effects.
Inequality has increased because New Labour embraced neo-liberalism - that was what the 'new' in New Labour meant - and it won't be rectified by the party that never abandoned it. The only period in which the UK became more equal was during the social democratic post-war consensus of, say, 1945-1976.
Localism was diminished because the Tories did not like the choices that some local areas made - 'loony left councils' - and in the process swathes of municipal authorities which had done an excellent job (not least in reducing inequality) were eviscerated. This kind of civic pride and responsibility cannot be replaced by allowing a few local crackpots to run amok but only by the re-instatement of social democracy."
So Call-Me-Dave, you're going to dump that old neoliberal, wealth-as-a-meritocracy thing, are you?
Get rid of student loans and bring back student grants? Cut the tax on the poor and raise it on the rich?
Regenerate vast areas outside the south of England, where traditional heavy industries were never replaced?
Raise the minimum wage and pour special resources into education in socially deprived areas?
No? You're not?
You're going to persist with the loans for banks, bonuses for bankers, deregulated financial services (because that's the goose that really lays the golden egg, innit Dave?) and just rely on the wealth to 'trickle down' somehow?
This local responsibility thing sounds good, though. So when you starve the local authorities of funds to service their communities, it'll be their responsibility. Damned clever that.
I look forward to another 8 to 12 years of the same old crap with a different-coloured rosette."