Calling bullshit on Labour’s “fiscal realism”

Yesterday we had the launch of the IPPR’s “Condition of Britain” report which I blogged about here. I criticised it for its lack of ambition and its blithe surrender to the ineviabilty of austerity. Indeed, at the launch, IPPR director Nick Pearce referred to austerity as “fiscal realism”. This attitude is pretty typical of Labour people and their hangers-on. I think “fiscal defeatism” would be more accurate. I spotted another example of this defeatism today on the Labourlist blog, in an article written by Labour blogger Emma Burnell. The article is about the IPPR report and starts with this:

“How does social democracy work when there isn’t any money? That is the question that has been taxing those at the top of the Labour Party for some time.”

It’s very common to read articles from “centre-left” people starting with an assertion like this, but my reason for mentioning this article is because of the response in the comments from fellow blogger Peter Martin. I hope he won’t mind me sharing it here:

Who says there isn’t any money? The amount of money in the economy is at least as high as it has ever been on any measure M0, M1, M2 etc. Whichever one you care to choose.

So to accept that “there isn’t any money” is to accept the political opinion, or rather the political propaganda, of the neo-liberals. We might expect to see that phrase on Conservativehome , and perhaps others of the same ilk such as “living beyond our means”, “spending more than we earn” , “spending like a drunken sailor”, “maxing out our credit card”. They are all nonsense. These are not phrases to be used on a Labour website. They are a neo-liberal fabrication to justify the reduction in the social wage. To make us all compete for every job vacancy. To ensure that we’ll take a minimum wage job knowing that if we don’t there will be ten others who will.

Anyone with an ounce of commonsense can see we are living below our means. We have building workers standing idle who could be building houses, hospitals and schools. We have youngsters who have worked hard to achieve teaching qualifications who can’t find a teaching job. Therefore the class sizes in our schools are bigger than they need be. We have young people who could be doing a 1001 things to make a contribution to society instead of festering in enforced idleness.

Every person on the dole represents a waste of resources.

Bravo sir! I think Peter is very good at explaining things clearly and more importantly concisely. It’s quite a rare skill. You can find his excellent blog here.

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7 thoughts on “Calling bullshit on Labour’s “fiscal realism”

  1. That’s for the compliment! I notice a sharp spike in the visit numbers to the blog and I wondered where they had come from.

    I’d encourage anyone to make a comment on Labourlist and even submit their own article. Labourlist did accept one article that I’d submitted to them

    http://labourlist.org/2014/03/the-economics-of-a-budget-surplus-something-to-think-about-before-making-rash-promises/

    but that was it! The next one I submitted was knocked back unfortunately which was a pity. I suspect they’ll want to keep “on message” in the run up to the election. Whether its better they win is debatable but there’s no realistic alternative on the left right now. Though that could change in the future if the Left Unity manage to get some publicity.

  2. And when will some so called Socialist admit that it was the postwar Atlee government that initiated mass immigration and the Blair/Brown government that allowed more immigration in 13 years than we had witnessed in the previous millennium ?

    Without this deliberately planned policy Britain would never have seen the influx of cheap labour that it has and our traditional Working Class,those people the Labour Party was set up to protect and represent,would have seen their pay and conditions improve beyond imagination.Instead we saw one Labour Government after another deliberately encourage mass immigration of cheap unskilled labour thus robbing their own natural supporters of the scarcity value of their labour. Mass immigration has been of immense value to employers and landlords ,you know CONSERVATIVES, but a nightmare for those at the bottom of life’s heap condemned to remain there by the actions of the very party they thought wanted to protect them.

    Actions speak louder than words,the Labour Party has repeatedly betrayed the indigenous British Working Class in favour of making the already rich even richer.No amount of rhetoric will erase this stain,the Labour Party,or under Tony Blair New Labour, is nothing but a false flag operation intended to give the illusion of our having a political party that was determined to help Britain’s poor but which instead concentrated upon helping the Rich to become richer at the expense of the Poor. When Blair and Brown spoke about NEW LABOUR very few people understood just how literally they took the name,they certainly didn’t show any interest in the needs of their traditional voters!

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