Just read through the speech that David Cameron delivered at Birmingham earlier today. Not often I blog in sycophantic praise of my leader, but I'm going to do it now. This speech was a defining watershed, and a very good read for anyone who believes that the 'State' is becoming over dominant in the UK. The speech was constructed on the basic premise that "We need to start living within our means." And it followed this up with observations such as "We have reached the limits of acceptable taxation and borrowing", and "Taxpayers can't take any more pain", and "Our economy can't take any more pain without losing jobs to lower tax competitors".
The Conservative Party Leader outlined three areas where a future Conservative Government would attack our bloated ' State'. Firstly, family breakdown, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction. Secondly, 'unreformed' public services - by introducing more choice, competition and non-state collective provision. And thirdly, uncontrolled bureaucracy. Of course, all of this is just 'good housekeeping', but we have not enjoyed the service of a good housekeeper for a very long time. But over and above these issues, David Cameron has been talking about a cultural change in Government's attitude to public money. I know political opponents are going to start asking for detailed tax and spend changes - even though they saw our current Primer Minister spirit up £2.7 billion from nowhere a few days ago.
Now why is this speech so important. Its because of the desperate mess that Gordon Brown has steered our country into. The current budgetary figures are horrific. In March, the Chancellor revealed that he would have to borrow £43 billion this financial year, up 40% on his estimate one year before. Last week, he announced that he intended to borrow another £2.7 billion to extricate Gordon Brown out of his 10p tax rate hole. The UK has the biggest budget deficit of any advanced economy. And the state accounts for 45% of Gross Domestic Product, up from the 37% it was when Labour took office in 1997. The UK is in desperate need of a Government committed to ensuring that we live within our means. David Cameron is the man to lead it.