Their biggest problem is that they have led everyone to believe that the economy is fixed. If it turns out that it isn't they will be a touch low on explanations and excuses. The minute anything goes wrong the public are going to be very angry indeed. And there is plenty to go wrong:
1. There are £30 billion of unspecified cuts and savings to be made. Delivering these is not easy. Delivering them without slowing the economy is even harder.
2. The budget was based on the economy growing by 2.4% every year for five years. If it doesn't grow this quickly then there will either be even more cuts or tax rises which will also slow the economy.
3. We have a deficit on our balance of payments of 6% of GNP. This is currently being financed by attracting hot money into London. The balance of payments has to be fixed and the hot money can leave as quickly as it arrived.
4. The pound is way too high for our exporters and this is bound to have a bad impact on employment in manufacturing.
5. Inflation is currently negative. Low inflation caused very low growth in Japan across a 20 year period. It could do the same here.
6. Quantitative easing is coming to an end. Since printing £375 billion drove the consumer boom that won the election it is highly likely that when printing money stops then so will the consumer boom.
7. Nothing structural has been done to control the booms and busts of financial markets. There is still no separation of high street and merchant banks, there are still highly complex financial products that investors barely understand, there are still huge volumes of automatic electronic volatile last second trades, and there is still a culture of making quick money dominating the city. Another crash in a different part of the financial markets remains a strong possibility and the system has little capacity to cope with it.
Of course it is entirely possible that the economy will improve. Given that the EU has only just embarked on a huge Quantitative Easing programme there should be improved growth in our most important export market. If interest rates continue to be held at zero then we are still taking from savers to give to borrowers and this may result in continued expansion of the economy. No one can predict economic events accurately, particularly at a time of huge volatility and a largely uncontrolled and guided world economy. But many things need to go right and very few things to go wrong for the promised recovery to be delivered.
We have been told that there is a long term economic plan and it is working. In the unlikely event that this proves right then no doubt we will have one of the most popular governments in history and they will be re-elected by a landslide. There will be a big job to do in making sure that they treat the environment with respect and to try and prevent the continued concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and that job may be hard to do against a government that has essentially fixed the economy.
On the other hand imagine what is going to happen in the much more likely situation that they haven't remotely fixed it. If the economy doesn't happen to roar ahead, if wealth doesn't happen to trickle down, if tax cuts don't happen to reach the pockets of the average person, if cuts in public services continue to drive them to the point of breaking down. This is a government that is going to find it exceptionally hard to deliver on the expectations that it has raised. And if it does fail to deliver then it has the potential to be the most unpopular government ever.
If that happens the Green party needs to be ready with an effective and well thought through policy for creating an economy based on substance rather than spin. We need a stable economy based on low consumption of energy and raw materials and based on producing and selling a lot more things locally. We have a responsibility to ensure that we set out an alternative economic strategy which is immediately practical and which is seen by the electorate as being deliverable.
It is one thing to be an effective critic of an increasingly unpopular government. It is another thing entirely to be a serious alternative to that government. The Green Party is going to have to chose what it wishes to be. A brave voice standing up for the environment and those that have been badly treated by the government. Or a party that knows how to run the country in a different way and could start work on implementing its programme immediately.
Only when we are capable of doing the second of these will we be a real alternative.