There are none so blind as those who will not see. This article http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/labour-party-worker/budget-2012-labour_b_1361807.html?ref=uk is a prime example of those in the political realm, who have bought into this economically illiterate orthodoxy, that austerity is the answer for all that currentlt ails the British economy.
I will not argue the economic demerits of austerity when in a deep recession, as I am many years removed from my economics degree but I would direct you to read this http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/opinion/krugman-the-austerity-debacle.html?ref=paulkrugman article by nobel laureate Paul Krugman who argues it better that I ever could.
Labour trails behind the Tories with regards to who can better handle the economy, not because the Tories have the right economic plan but because Labour has a message, messaging and messenger problem.
Labour's message problem is that it is too often reacting to Tory policy and therefore finds itself mostly talking about what it is against, rather than what it is for. At a time when it looks like the governments' austerity measures are pushing this country back into recession, Labour should be talking with vim and vigour about the stimulative measures that government could be taking to promote growth.
They could be talking at every turn, about how now is not the time for cutting down on education spending, not when so many young people are unemployed. How we should be investing in our young people, be it through academia or apprenticeships, to make them more competitive in this global economy.
They could be saying at every turn, that one of the best ways to cut costs for the NHS, is to allow central puchasing by the NHS and allow NICE to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on the basis of price. If central purchasing is a good enough cost control mechanism for Tesco and Sainsbury's, it's good enough for the NHS.
They could be talking at every turn about investing in our rail and road infrastructure and reforming the rail regulator to help keep prices down for commuters.
They could also talk about giving small businesses more direct help with financing and holding the banks to their side of the quantitative easing bargain. There are more stimulative actions they could propose to kick start growth.
I am less sure how they overcome the messaging problem, there is a lack of diversity in the British media that makes it difficult to break through the day to day points scoring that so much of media is interested in and allows you to reach the people with an overarching economic vision.
As regards the messenger I do not believe that Ed Miliband has found his voice as a leader and I am not sure if he can carry forward a populist message focussed on working and middle class voters. There was time during 2011, when the News Of World scandal broke when I thought okay he has found his voice, but he failed to carry that momentum forward.
When our mysterious blogger decries the Labour party for not agreeing to support a cut in the 50p rate of tax he destroys he's argument that the Labour party should be for spending cuts tied to fairness.
Whilst it may be fair to argue that 50p tax rate has not brought in as much money as expected, it is still bringing more money into the exchequer, and if you truly believe the deficit has put us in such a dire economic situation and every penny saved or gained counts, how can you justify reducing any government revenues now.
New Labour may have died in 2007 but the Labour party is not dead, it is just not speaking confidently, loudly and clearly enough to be heard above the clamourings of the Priests and Priestesses of the Cameron and Osborne vodoo economy.
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