Friday, 6 January 2012

Some sense from the Labour front bench at last?

The firm statement by shadow defence spokesman Jim Murphy that budget cuts were necessary should indicate a more responsible approach from Her Majesty's official opposition. Labour took a step backwards when the realistic former chancellor Alistair Darling retreated to the back benches and Ed Miliband appointed Ed Balls in his stead. Balls was the apostle of the "growth can go on for ever" theory that caused Gordon Brown nearly to drive the UK economy into the ground and clearly still believes that increased government borrowing is the answer to all our woes.

Contrary to the story put about by Harriet Harman and others, critics of Labour do not blame Gordon Brown for the western world's economic seizure (though his failure to restrain his friends in the banking sector made a contribution to the crunch). No, the charge against Brown is that, by increasing the budget deficit in the good times, he left nothing in the UK kitty for application to Keynesian measures when the economy cooled.

Now Jim Murphy should have a word with Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, who in interviews with the BBC still confuses the deficit (defined as the shortfall between expenditure and revenue, and which is down to budget planning) with the credit crunch, which indeed can be blamed on the transatlantic banks.

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