The smoke and mirrors of politics were on show on Tuesday at Demos, where David Cameron's right hand man, the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne MP gave a speech claiming that the Conservatives were now the torch holders of progressives politics. The ideal being that the Conservatives would reform public services, rather than cutting them (the reforms being sufficient enough to reduce costs). This, in itself, is to be the measure of progress. Progressivism is now being embraced by the conservatives: either this is the politics of triangulation or the air being cut off to conservative brains.
Progress is to realise the folly of government intervention of the past 70 years. It is to realise that for the UK to turn itself from being a debt riddled, inefficient, morally bankrupt, ill-bred and unhealthy nation public services need to be radically reduced in size, not tinkered with at the edges. After the elecion of the Conservative administrations we'll have progressed exactly nowhere. Government will still be in excess of 40% of GDP, debt will still be a weight towering over us and politicians will still be grappling with whether we are responsible enough to do x,y and z. What the conservatives should be proposing is a dramatic reduction in business taxes/regulations to increase growth, reducing the tax burden on the poorest and ensuring that the state is withdrawn from much of public life. That is how we progress rather than wallow and regress as this current crop of politicians want us to.
From 1945: "In the interests of the nation and of the world, we earnestly urge all progressives to see to it - as they certainly can - that the next Government is not a Conservative Government but a Labour Government..." Where has the alternative to big government gone? There is no one offering us a way out of this era of indebtedness and wasteful spending and as such our progress will be continually held in check by the political class.