Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Strong language

Here are three extract from the Guardian's economics editor, Larry Elliott, in yesterday's paper:

Title: "The deficit hawks need their talons clipped."

"The determination to cut budget deficits in (the present) circumstances does not show that policymakers of probity and integrity have replaced the irresponsible spendthrifts of 2008 and 2009. It shows that the lunatics are back in charge of the asylum."(my emphasis)

"...why is the government (cutting)? Is it, for all Nick Clegg's
'progressive cuts', that the real agenda is to finish the demolition job on the welfare state that began in the 1980s? Or are the deficit hawks simply crackers?" (my emphasis)


"...we now have the bizarre spectacle of China, Japan, the eurozone and Britain all set on reducing budget deficits while simultaneously pursuing export-led growth. This is a logical absurdity - someone somewhere has to be importing all the exports."

If competent Liberal Democrat economists such as Vince Cable and Chris Hume cannot win the argument against the present folly inside the government, then in public we should dissociate ourselves from the cuts in the same way that Cameron has dissociated his party from zeal for electoral reform. Pretending, for the sake of the chemistry of coalition unity, a conversion having seen the figures, is hypocritical nonsense which diminishes our credibility. and, worse, questions our integrity.

2 comments:

  1. "If competent Liberal Democrat economists such as Vince Cable and Chris Hume cannot win the argument against the present folly inside the government, then in public we should dissociate ourselves from the cuts in the same way that Cameron has dissociated his party from zeal for electoral reform. Pretending, for the sake of the chemistry of coalition unity, a conversion having seen the figures, is hypocritical nonsense which diminishes our credibility,and, worse ,questions
    our integrity."


    No it most assuredly does not. But if you truly feel that way, you might profitably consider looking for the door marked 'off'. Because whether you like it or not, the 'integrity' of the LibDems is now 100% linked to the Coalition. Once the agreement was signed that was it. There IS no LibDem policy on the need for State retrenchment, just as there is not Tory Policy on it. There is only a Coalition Policy. Did you somehow not notice this previously, or are you simply not clear upon what 'Being In Government' really means ?

    Too late for ineffective lamentations now. If you don't like the train route, throw yourself off and hope against hope you don't get mangled in the fall. Because the train is following the pre-laid tracks to the end of the line. It just is.

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  2. Thanks, dougf, for your vigorous comments, but I believe you are mistaken. As I understand it, when by-elections come we shall fight as separate parties, and at present that is the intention for the next general election. Our role in the coalition is to make its policies more Liberal. To this end we have already achieved a great deal in promises of constitutional reform. As junior partners we must accept that on many issues the views of the dominant partner will prevail. My point is that we don't have to pretend to be converted to the views of the dominant partner, just as David Cameron makes o claim to have been converted to PR. If the terms of coalition determine that we are not allowed to vote against policies we believe to be wrong - and a whole battery of economics experts feel that cuts at this sage are wrong - then at least we must maintain the right to silence, perhaps through gritted teeth.

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