John Harris often maintains a naive faith in the Labour Party to be an effective vehicle for social & economic change (if nothing else, New Labour's legacy has been to render the party's brand tainted for a generation at least).
However, he's spot-on in dissecting the cant spouted by the ConDem coalition, particularly Osborne's nauseous mantra that "we're all in this together", in a piece on the Guardian's Comment is Free site (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/08/north-south-divide-soon-become-chasm ).
As local Lib Dems phone & email all & sundry, on condition of anonymity, of course, to voice their despair at their electoral prospects, & describe Warren "War Zones" Bradley in terms which could be politely described as robust, Harris proffers the withering observation: "Given that the Lib Dems seem to be confining any progressive pull on the government to issues of crime,punishment and civil liberties, plans for the economic and social fabric represent Conservatism red in tooth and claw - and only 24% of the electorate fancied anything like that. Needless to say, precious few of them lived in the places where the cuts will really bite."
In the space of 48 hours the Tories have revealed their true base & venal impulses, despite current attempts to deny that they really want to follow in Thatcher's footsteps & snatch milk from the mouths of young children (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10912177 ).
As the Equality Trust website points out (http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/ ), the severity of the cuts will deepen the chasm that Harris refers to with adverse consequences not just for those most vulnerable; the quality of life for the middle class also suffers when "austerity" measures tip more of the working class into the recepticle marked underclass.
In a point which will have a ringing resonance on Merseyside, Harris declares:
"In the real world, of course, millions of Britons live in places where market forces have never begun to fill the void left by the demise of the manufacturing and heavy industry, and the public sector is the chief means via which life can tick over. In these places, chop the state down, and far from boosting private enterprise, you weaken it - a simple truth evident in waning business confidence and the dread possibility of a double-dip recession."
It's "a simple truth" which that supposedly savvy local businessman Phil Redmond chooses to ignore as he proselytizes Cameron's Do It Yourself society.