David Cameron’s challenge upon taking office was monumental. After 13 years of Gordon Brown’s fiscal incontinence and Tony Blair’s failure to reform public services, national debt levels are incomprehensible and the government sector bloated and inefficient. All this against the wider issue facing all mature democracies of a burgeoning ageing population supported by a relatively dwindling workforce. This certainly wasn’t what Cameron expected when he first thought of becoming leader of the Conservatives.
Now that he’s grappling with the mess, there’s no shortage of conflicting advice from left, right and centre, often vitriolic, merciless and downright abusive. You do wonder why anybody ever wants to become a politician. Us ASI types haven’t hesitated to put the boot in on a range of issues from high tax rates to green subsidies, from immigration control to misguided infrastructure projects, from EU vacillation to ineffective foreign aid.