U.S. Republicans Can Learn From Unpopular U.K. Conservatives!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 26 2011 3:50 PM

U.S. Republicans Can Learn From Unpopular U.K. Conservatives!

I think something is missing from Joe Scarborough's paean to the Tories and David Cameron.

Cameron was elected because he promised to make tough choices and, a year after the formation of his government, he has been true to his word. In a nation conditioned to believe in an all-encompassing welfare state, Cameron looks to raise the retirement age to 66 by the end of the decade, lay off hundreds of thousands of public workers, raise taxes and slash the costs of government programs by an average of 19 percent. He’s even willing to transform the National Health Service, for generations seen as the third rail of British politics, in a move that even members of his own party are blasting as "the greatest upheaval in the organization’s history."

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OK: Two things missing. First, here's a preview of the new UK GDP numbers.

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research the revival of weather sensitive activity in the first quarter could help lead to GDP growth of 0.7 per cent. Such a figure would mean that GDP growth, when discounting the impact of weather, would be an average of just 0.1 per cent in the last two quarters.

And here's how the Tories are doing .

According to the latest YouGov polling, 33 per cent of us approve of Cameron's Government and 52 per cent disapprove – a startling net approval of – 19 per cent, and that's before the most drastic cuts in generations hit. 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.