Saturday 28th April
One of the main reasons the Governments economic policy is in disarray comes down to a political philosophy, or the rigid belief in it. Basically the Tories hate the public sector (but aren’t allowed to say so out loud) and worship Private Enterprise which they believe will deliver growth and benefits to all. This is basically trickle-down economics as preached by Reagan and Thatcher in the eighties, and despite protestations to the contrary they haven’t changed since the days of Margaret. Labour used to believe that the Public Sector and nationalization of industries was the answer to growth and prosperity, but that was a long time ago now. They are now far more pragmatic about backing what works, but still defend the Public sector (from which most of them sprung) and believe in regulation and control far more than the Tories do. The Liberals used to be almost as Socialist as Labour proclaimed to be, but now they have thrown their lot in with the Tories, at least on the economic front, only they insist they are nicer than them really; but fat lot of good that will do them.
When George Osborne came to power (Cameron is almost a bystander) he still believed (and probably will to his dying day despite evidence to the contrary) that if he cut back massively on public spending the ‘hole’ in the economy would automatically be filled by the private sector. This was what all his business chums (most of whom he went to school with) were telling him. It is all down to the market you see, and the private sector is so wonderful that it will do everything far better than all those dedicated nurses and postmen and council workers ever could manage, oh, and they will make it all run at a profit too. So, a no-brainer George. But Joe public just got scared, instead of rejoicing that billions of spending power would be removed from the economy ‘at a stroke’ and going out and starting a business, they have clung on desperately, to their money and their jobs, or what is left of them.
It is all going horribly wrong, but because they believe so fervently in their philosophy they cannot admit it, and will persevere until eventually either things get a little less bad and they can claim victory, or they are thrown out in three years time. Read on….