It’s simple, it’s not that the US has a left-wing administration that’s increasing “investment” and the UK has a right-wing administration that’s imposing “savage cuts”. Okay, Obama has increased spending (and things would have gotten better faster if he didn’t) but overall, spending is down in the US (mostly because of the majority of state and local governments have been sensible).
In the UK, spending is still increasing. Certain departments have had cuts, but every single month of this coalition government has increased. And you combine that fact with our higher taxes, more authoritarian government and more centralised control, well, you see what you get. A mess.
And why has America done better? The New York Times explains all, with the help of this graph:
It’s the states wot’s won it, but the subsequent dip in unemployment and improving economy are going to be very useful to Obama in the forthcoming election…
The British people have spoken, and they have said: “Meh”. With the worst voter turn-out for 12 years, and with so many cities voting to not have an elected mayor (sticking, sadly to a system that lets crony councillors run things in tired old cabinet systems), it’s clear that it’s an “I am fed up with politics” moment.
Labour are happy with the result, but with turn-out less than a third, it’s not like more people have really voted for them, not in any significant way at least. Tory-run councils have fallen to Labour, not because people have defected to Labour from the Conservatives, but because Tory voters either stayed at home or voted UKIP (who have had a good night, proportionally speaking).
The result actually might be good for Cameron, as it keeps Ed (or ‘Odd’, as I like to call him) Milliband as Labour leader. If Labour did badly, Odd might have been replaced with someone better, and if Labour had done incredibly well (i.e. much better than they actually did), then it might be a cause for concern, as Odd could be a more serious threat to Cameron during the next general election. So this could be the best of all results for Cameron in that regard.
But the really intersecting story is about Boris and the future of politics in general. Here’s an exciting and optimistic summary from the ever-engaging Fraser Nelson.