All entries for Saturday 04 July 2009
July 04, 2009
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8132968.stm
It appears that the current political debate in the UK on the future of the country’s finances has reached something of a stalemate. As political commentators, economists and those who follow politics in the news will know, Gordon Brown has resorted to outright and blatant lying in a last-ditch attempt to save his bacon. He’s widely on the record for portraying the next election as a clear choice between “Labour investment and Tory cuts”. I have yet to hear a single person outside the Labour party (who seem to have begrudingly united behind their leader after their disastrous European elections) express a view other than “this is a fabrication”. I even heard an economist on PM say (apologies if this is not exact) “For once, there is a very clear right and wrong, and all the government’s own figures show that Gordon Brown is wrong”. What I don’t understand is why there is widespread indifference to this at present. Perhaps everyone is exhausted in the wake of the economic crisis and the expenses scandal. But surely when the debate comes this far between one party telling the truth and the other a complete fabrication, then it’s really time to sit up and take action. I quote the linked article above:
Some in Labour feel it is not a credible position to say that the Tories are going to cut everything while Labour will invest. But cabinet ministers close to Gordon Brown believe that this is a fruitful line of attack.
How exactly cabinet ministers think that this is a credible line of attack, when the argument is clearly so far from being credible, I don’t know. Perhaps it is the only position that Labour have left, because as soon as they are forced to admit the true state of the finances and come clean they will be forced to show that their management of the economy not just since the credit crunch but before it was poor, which will do irrepairable damage to them. Mervin King has already said as much as the current levels of government spending are unsustainable – they have after all only been sustained so far by relying in turn on an unsustainable financial sector. Right now though, until Labour drop the pretence that investment will continue to rise under their governance if they are elected for a fourth term, the Conservatives will not be able to talk a great deal more about their plans for the economy, because discussion of cuts from them would result in Labour making political hay by falsely pointing the finger and claiming to have something altogether better. Nick Clegg is right when he says that neither of the two main parties is being honest with the public – but until Labour are forced into doing so, the Conservatives risk too much damage by revealing their future plans.