Cameron’s cognitive dissonance on jobs

The Tory campaign (well the lesser, positive slice of it) is focused on the economy. The phrases “We’ve created two million jobs” or “1000 jobs a day” form a part of every statement uttered by leading Conservatives, but this message is comically different from what we hear from the same people when in opposition. Bill Mitchell explained this rather well on his blog yesterday:

“I am always amused when conservative politicians make claims like they created so many thousands or millions of jobs while in government. Typically, in Opposition they will claim that governments do not create any jobs, which justifies them introducing pro-business policies and imposing austerity. That ‘free market’ position soon changes when they are trying to take credit for growth. With an election in the offing in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is demonstrating one of these shifts in causality. He told the BBC in an interview (March 30, 2015) –Election 2015: Cameron pledges ‘1,000 jobs a day’ if re-elected – that his government had “created a thousand jobs a day” and would continue to do so if re-elected. But there is clearly more to this claim that a 1000 net jobs per day.

David Cameron told the – BBC Breakfast program – that:

Over the last five years we’ve created a thousand jobs a day, and we commit to continuing that record because we’re going to continue supporting business and industry, continuing to make our country an attractive one to invest in and so we believe we can create those thousand jobs.

The data supports the conclusion that the UK economy has created in net terms around a 1000 jobs every day since the Conservative government was elected.

Of course, many thousands more jobs have been created and destroyed each day in Britain over the period in question. The 1000 jobs a day is just a net figure.

He clearly didn’t think the government was responsible for job creation while in Opposition.

On May 2, 2010, as part of the General Election campaign, the UK Conservative Party leader, now Prime Minister launched the – Contracts for Jobs – strategy.

In the Launch Speech, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said:

And nowhere is that more true than our economy because you all know as business people it“s not Governments that create jobs it is businesses that create jobs.

So government’s do not create jobs! So where have those 1000 net jobs a day come from!”

Watching the debate tonight, I rather wish there was someone up there like Bill. Watching all seven in turn talking about how “of course we need to balance the books” left me wishing for someone who had the first clue about how the macro economy actually works, rather than debate being between bashing the poor or bashing the rich. It’s probably a good thing there is only one of these debates.


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