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Keywords:

  • reforms;
  • cuts;
  • coalition;
  • new politics

The Coalition programme includes restructuring public provision through reforms and cuts which will take public spending in the Britain below that in the US. This article explores whether the Coalition agenda is best understood as a new approach to Britain's deep-seated economic short-comings or simply as the normal politics of gaining and retaining power. It analyses the current government's programme, identifies the common features across the range of policies and discusses how they are likely to develop as they encounter set-backs.