David Cameron has tried to use Armed Forces Day to whip up support for the unpopular war in Afghanistan, but the ruinous cost of ineffective military spending is clearly at odds with his government's rhetoric about the urgent need for cuts.
There has been virtually no national moral conversation about progressive taxation and those who believe in social justice have permitted their approach to be dictated entirely by the ideological Right, says Jill Segger. Another way forward is both possible and crucial.
What is missing from our public life, as illustrated by the Chancellor’s budget, is an ethic of conversion which produces the fundamental changes to individuals so that they can leave behind the culture of poverty, says Graeme Smith. Without this, and relying on the carrot and stick ethic, we can expect the ranks of the poorest merely to grow.
What kind of 'narrative' is the new post-election, post-budget coalition government trying to create, asks Simon Barrow, and what is its ratio of substance to spin, of new politics to old-fashioned collusion? Moreover, how will Labour and extra-parliamentary activists who question the underlying Westminster consensus respond?