I’m seeing a lot of tweets and Facebook statuses which complain that the spending review is driven by ideology rather than necessity. I’m inclined to agree.
After all, we don’t need to reduce the deficit, at least not in the same way that we need air, water and food. The world won’t end if we just carry on loading it onto future generations. Or even a future government. We could always carry on spending and then leave another note to say that the money has run out after the next election.
So, yes, it’s stretching it a bit to say that the cuts are driven by necessity. The fact is, they’re motivated primarily by ideology.
That is, an ideology which says that it’s a good thing to live within our means.
An ideology which believes that benefits should only be paid to those who need them.
An ideology which doesn’t believe it’s fair to load the next generation with even more debt.
An ideology which says that money spent servicing debt interest would be better spent on schools, roads and hospitals.
An ideology which believes in expecting people to run their own lives instead of letting the state do it.
An ideology which says that it’s pointless to take money from someone on the one hand, pass it through several layers of bureaucracy and then pay it back to them.
An ideology which says that those who can work, should work.
An ideology which believes that, actually, most people are pretty good at managing their own lives.
An ideology which believes that the state should be as big as necessary but as small as possible, rather than the other way around.
An ideology which believes in looking out for society as a whole rather than vested interests.
An ideology which believes in ordinary people like me.
An ideology which I can believe in.