"The era of big, bossy, state interference, top-down lever pulling is coming to an end."
"No more of a government treating everyone like children who are incapable of taking their own decisions. Instead, let's treat adults like adults and give them more responsibility over their lives."If you read here regularly, you'll know it was David Cameron in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Since then, we've just seen a continuation of Labour's infantilisation of the public, including caving in to state-funded lobbying by the tobacco control industry over the display ban - that both coalition parties were opposed to prior to 2010's general election - along with encouraging the insatiable health lobby by considering daft schemes like plain packaging and minimum alcohol pricing which were in neither party's manifesto.
Clegg's part in this new change (ha!) in politics was to promise that government would "roll back the power of the state" and "restore British liberties" ... before going on to melt in the face of nannying pressure by proposing an internet filter which will censor not only porn, but any site which discusses alcohol, smoking, or 'esoteric material'!
Yep, that's an end to "government treating everyone like children who are incapable of taking their own decisions", and no mistake.
The effect of all this shilly-shallying is that Cameron and Clegg are seen as weak and easy to push around (which they are) by the legions of tax-sponging bureaucrats, thereby inviting abuse despite not actually doing anything of note to get the state's boot off of our faces.
In short, everyone now despises them.
The inevitable result has been millions throwing their hands up in exasperation and deserting to Ukip or other smaller parties after finally realising that career politicians are full of promises they have no intention of keeping. The 2010 election is increasingly being taken by many, justifiably, as the final straw.
Compare and contrast, then, what is happening in Australia just a couple of weeks after their own general election.
AGENCIES responsible for tackling obesity, capital city planning and security advice on asylum seekers are to be slashed as Tony Abbott takes the axe to Labor's reform agenda.
The Coalition will also begin unwinding key "nanny state'' agencies such as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, established to lead the national fight against obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has been critical of ANPHA's decision to spend $500,000 on a study into a potential "fat tax" despite neither side of politics supporting such a move.
Two major health agencies - the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority - are under review and could have their combined budgets - of around $40 million a year - slashed.
Climate Change Minister Greg Hunt has already taken the knife to key agencies, including the Climate Commission.Remember that Abbott was elected with a hefty majority precisely because he was promising to do all the above. And, unlike Cameron and Clegg, he seems to be actually delivering.
Perhaps politicians this side of the world will one day realise that voters quite like being treated with respect; that tax-guzzling vested interests are best ignored; and that truly handing back liberties (not just talking about it) is a popular - and electorally successful - thing to do.
Well, we can but dream.