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.