Saturday 17 July 2010

Wisdom from Abroad

With the possible exception of the New Statesman the entire British media, including the BBC, seems to have accepted as fact that the British economy is in a parlous state, that "savage cuts" are necessary. that the coalition is right to boast of its courageous "tough decisions" and that we must all (actually mainly the bottom 20%) suffer for the greater good in the future. Those of us who believe otherwise are beginning to feel like the odd man out in John Stuart Mill's celebrated "all mankind minus one."

Fortunately there are still some sane voices. On the 8th July the New York Times published an editorial which, whilst generally favourable towards our coalition, describes George Osborne's budget as "misguided." The budget, it continues,"aims to cut too much too soon in pursuit of a pointless structural surplus by 2015. Its real achievements are far more likely to be drastically downsized public services and, if the fiscal austerity backfires , as well it might, a contribution to years of stagnation or worse in Britain and the rest of Europe." It goes on to say that "Britain isn't Greece" and that "recovery would eventually have wiped out much of that red ink."

It is galling to hear Danny Alexander et al defending this folly and blaming it on the alleged "mess" left behind by Labour. Whilst as junior partners in the coalition we cannot prevent Tory policies, we should not pretend to support them.

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