The prevailing fiction of our times is that the private sector is better at running things than the public sector. This has been the ideology we’ve lived under since Margaret Thatcher. And despite evidence to the contrary, politicians in Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats all seem wedded to it.
Shock does not produce reasoned reaction. No one was expecting a majority Conservative government and, despite the fact that Labour increased its share of the vote by 1.5 per cent over the Tories' 0.8 per cent, the parliamentary arithmetic meant that Friday's news was defined as a Labour wipe-out.
After the Labour Party’s disappointing results in the UK General Election, some senior figures are urging it to move still further to the right. But this could be electorally damaging, as well as ethically questionable.
On Friday, when David Cameron stood outside Downing Street to address the nation, he struck a less strident note then he has for some time. He talked about giving the poorest a chance for 'training, a job, and hope for the future'. He seemed in his speech to be reclaiming the mantle of the compassionate Conservative he appeared to be back in 2009/10. I wish I could believe him.
A desolate day follows a long night and the metaphors are a measure of the shock: “ a tsunami”, “ a landscape changed out of recognition”, “ sweeping all before them”. The reality is that the polls were wrong and we were ill-prepared for a Conservative majority.
Ekklesia associate Vaughan Jones described the 2015 General Election as an event in democracy. Now that moment has passed and the results are in it is time we reflect on what they mean and what we need to do next.