By Tim Montgomerie
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Patrick O'Flynn is in festive mood in his Christmas Eve column for Saturday's Daily Express. He's even wearing a Santa hat to celebrate the good things that 2011 has brought the Right:
"The fact is that across almost every significant area of public policy the liberal Left has been routed. It has lost a series of set piece battles leaving conservative values in the ascendant and with the capacity to effect permanent change for the better."
I'm not so positive as Patrick but here's his list of seven magnificent victories:
- Immigration: "Ministers are tightening rules governing several major migrant streams: student visas, economic migration and the family route included. So powerful has been the public backlash against Labour that it has been forced to admit it got the issue of immigration wrong."
- The drive for a smaller state: "As recently as the 2005 election campaign the Tory MP Howard Flight was sacked for merely thinking aloud about the potential for spending cuts. But the economic crash and massive public sector defi cit have killed the Left’s position stone dead."
- European integration: "The efforts of this newspaper, of Ukip and of other campaigning groups have helped change the debate. There has also been the small matter of the farcical failure of the euro experiment. These pressures led to a decisive victory earlier this month when David Cameron wielded the veto in Brussels… Cameron’s ratings soared. The Left and their acolytes at the BBC crawled away to lick their wounds and think anew."
- Law and order: "At the start of this year it seemed that no major party wanted to push a tough line on law and order. But the summer riots changed all that. Seeing what anarchy really looks like led the courts to shake off their obsession with soft sentencing and hand down some stiff punishments. It led to a new generation of no-nonsense police chiefs, exemplified by Bernard Hogan-Howe at the Met."
- Education: "In education the “progressives” are suffering a fearful battering as Michael Gove brings back traditional standards and subjects and breaks the stranglehold of the Left on state schools."
- Electoral reform. Enough said.
- Welfare reform: "The Coalition’s imposition of a maximum benefit, housing benefit cuts and a tougher regime for disability benefits has commanded massive public support."
Would it be unfair to thank the Liberal Democrats for their part in making this happen?