Friday, August 13, 2010


Tories Shameful Attempt to Pin Blame for Recession and Deficit on Labour

It's a bit hard to discern the motives for the press conference yesterday, paid for by the coalition(so it was essentially a 'political' event), in which Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne and Tory Chairperson, Baroness Warsi offered a curious double act. They both combined in an attempt to demonise the forthcoming public expenditure incisions as 'Labour cuts' when they are announced 20th October. Warsi condemned the Labour leadership candidates for not coming up with their own plans for reducing the deficit and demanded they repay their £20K ministerial severance pay.

While the latter is straightforward political attack rhetoric, the former is risibly false in that Labour has a plan- it was Alastair Darling's and has been articulated by him several times since the election: introduce cuts at a slower rate and remove the deficit by 2016-7 rather than two years earlier as the Tories-Lib Dems have decreed. Moving onto the main charge that these cuts are 'Labour cuts', the accusation is so palpably absurd it won't stick for a moment. Most voters must be aware Labour preferred and offered a more sedate route to eliminating the deficit and those with some insight into the events of the past tweo years will know a significant proportion of the deficit was the result of the necessary 'fiscal stimulus' to catalyse the failing economy, the need for which was occasioned by the US originating banking crisis 2007-8.

I had rather liked Baroness Wari hitherto as a bright new talent, but this shameless exercise in, effectively, lying to voters is deeply disappointing. To try to pin the blame on Labour for the recession when they supported the major planks of most of what Gordon Brown did as Chancellor, plumbs depths of political cynicism of which even I doubted the Tories capable. Allegra Stratton in the linked article suggests the initiative was caused by a worry that, despite being leaderless, commands a respectable 33% in the polls which is too high for the coalition's comfort.

Even by your standards Skipper, this is a ridiculous post.

The deficit is a Labour deficit. Why is this country borrowing more per capita than any other in the G20? Labour. Why was the UK BORROWING 3% of GDP at the height of a boom in 2007? Labour. This was economic mismanagement on a grand scale, and people know it. They planned a ton of spending after 2010, knowing full well they would lose the election and wouldn't be the ones to make the cuts.

The markets made their judgement on Labour. Remember that every time they perked up in the polls, the pound took a booting and our debt got more expensive. In the brief moment where it looked like they were going to form a coalition with the Lib Dems(Monday after the election) the pound went into meltdown. The markets didn't believe their plans or that they would have the backbone to see through their deficit reduction plan. If they had won, interest payments would have surged, the pound would have plummeted and imports would have been ruinously expensive. Interest rates would have had to shoot up, and then we'd have had to go begging to the IMF(again).

The truth is Labour has always left the country broke, and this time is no different. People know it, which is why only 29% of them wanted more of it.
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