Interesting discussion on Newsnight recently about the prospects for a new Labour Government, with the debate centred around the unchallenged proposition that ’the money has run out’. This was followed in a day or so by a column in the Times by Philip Collins (the journalist, Blair speechwriter and think-tanker, not the singer from Genesis) giving the same line. The collapse of Lehman Bros established a new world, we are told, that means that radical parties can no longer provide entitlements for the poor.
Seems to me those pushing this line need to answer two simple questions. Firstly, will the British GNP ever return to the levels of 2007 ? If the answer to this is ‘yes’, as it must be, even with the incompetent stewardship of Osborne, then a second question comes. When that happens, why can’t we have a society with the same levels of welfare entitlement as in 2007 ?
I suspect that Cameron blew the gaff when giving his Lord Mayor’s Banquet speech last week arguing that permanent austerity was a good thing. So even if we return to a booming GNP, we’re not going to have decent public services or a supportive welfare system. Yep, we guessed that’s what you were thinking, Dave, but up until now it has been covered with a blanket of “gosh, we’re sorry, we’d like to help the poor and unemployed, but the money has run out and we all have to make economies”. One of the best comments on this was made by someone who attended the banquet, not as a banker or diplomat but as a waitress.