Sunday, 10 February 2013

A sense of denial!

I was greatly entertained to read a recent letter in the press from one of my Labour council colleagues suggesting that I was trying to in some way distance myself from the efforts of the coalition government to reduce the national deficit. Let me make clear that I fully support the need to get our economy back under control and congratulate the government for having the courage to take difficult and unpopular decisions for the common good. This does not mean that I agree with every specific element of the government's approach to the funding of local government - it would be bizarre of me to do so and I will continue to speak out when I believe it is in the best interests of the town. However that does not undermine my support for the underlying policy of financial responsibility. What I find distasteful is the clamour of Labour council members who seem to believe that the imposition of the austerity measures is an aspiration rather than a necessity and who try to pretend that the current challenge is not greater than it would otherwise be as a direct result of the financial mismanagement of their party colleagues who believed that having put "an end to boom and bust" allowed them to spend without provision for the fallow times, waste our assets (remember the sale of gold at a ridiculously low price) and then show such glee that they did not have to clear up the mess (the note from the treasury minister scoffing that the money had all gone!). If anybody is in denial of what is going on in Westminster it is not me and my party colleagues but those who suggest that you can solve a deficit by failing to reign back expenditure and further borrowing and who then have refuse to take responsibility for the contribution of their own party in creating the current challenge.


  1. Every international forecasting organisation, major journalists and many economists realised we were cutting too far too fast. You pursued this failing economic strategy for at least 18 months longer than required for purely political reasons. Now even Osbourne realises this and has loosened the spending commitments, largely because there was no way you could meet them anyway. You have consistently revised down growth targets and revised up debt targets causing ever further cuts (including to local government). You have potentially caused serious long term decline in the productive capacity of the economy. A generation of young people not working to potential. You are playing Jenga with our public services, gambling with the EU (largely because you are scared your voters might be mad enough to go UKIP) and lowering the prospects of women, the disabled, the young and anyone else unlike you.

    It is time to admit that your policies have not worked as you promised in 2010 (or as revised in both 2011 and 2012) and prepare for another 5 years of opposition.

  2. Robert

    Thank you for your comment. I see that you do not appear to take issue with my view that Labour has to take responsibility for their actions leading up to the last election which have placed us in a worse position than we would otherwise have been. The current economic problems are complex and effected by issues such as the euro which are outside our direct control. There was a desperate need to get public expenditure under control and if this policy had not been pursued our problems would be even greater. The fact that the governent is reviewing and adjusting it's position to take account of the unpredictability of the situation seems to me to be a positive.

    Thank you for your comment.


  3. Alas the crisis was not caused by the Labour government. Remember you backed our spending plans promising to match us 'penny for penny' until the crisis was underway. You deregulated the financial sector and would have opposed any regulations had we proposed any (which we did not and should have done). Moreover it would be ridiculous for anybody to argue that the UK government could have had any significant impact on the world economy with the severe structural weaknesses of the US and European economies.

    Not everything the Labour government did was great but blaming the financial crisis on it is to criticise only a very small fraction of the cause. The Labour government delivered a growing economy which has now stagnated and all we get from Osbourne is excuses: Royal Wedding, Snow (X2), rain, EU and more.

  4. Oh dear I see you are another Labour supporter still in denial!