England & Wales

If it ain’t broken Britain, don’t fix it

There’s a very important leader in The Economist this week that takes David Cameron (and a youthful Tony Blair) to task for the claim that Britain is broken. It uses a broad sweep of statistics to show that Britain’s social problems are not as bad as they once were and that the situation is getting better. The leader notes that the police have just recorded the lowest number of murders for 19 years. And that burglaries and car theft are about half as common as they were 15 years ago. It provides a compelling counter to the broken Britain argument that David Cameron has made a major plank of his campaign. It’s a shame, however, that The Economist only takes the Tories to task for pandering to the broken Britain thesis. The Government may well present a more accurate picture of British society. That hasn’t, however, been reflected in its policies. The Economist notes that child homicides have fallen by more than two-thirds since the 1970s. So why then is the Government about to make millions of innocent adults subject to a draconian new vetting scheme of dubious utility?