Tuesday, 10 January 2012

If we can have fairness on a shoestring, why did it cost the Earth last time?

Miliband! Pay attention!
Ed Miliband really is the gift that keeps on giving, isn't he? Hot on the heels of the #blackbusters débâcle, his latest cock-swinging assertion of leadership has managed to skilfully avoid rhyme, reason and - as usual - detail.

This last point is hardly out of keeping with what we've come to expect, of course. Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition has hitherto failed to spell out exactly how it would avoid the 'cuts' the present Government is having to make, despite having almost a year and half to think it over.

No, what astounds me, is how Mr Ed has managed to turn one of the more persistently ludicrous socialist mantras on its head into something even more ludicrously nonsensical.

Those of us on the more fiscally responsible wing of politics have often scoffed at the way in which socialists (including those masking as 'liberals') presume that they can 'create jobs' by taking money out of the economy through tax, losing a great deal of it in the machine of bureaucracy, then injecting it back into the economy as a 'stimulus'.

The logical question to ask of course is, if spending $450bn really does create jobs, why not spend $900bn and create twice as many? (Hat-tip, Daniel Hannan).

Praise must be given to Mr Miliband for not falling into this trap, however. He has, after all, finally admitted that a Labour government would have to make some 'difficult choices' with a severely curtailed exchequer - even if he is blaming this on George Osborne rather than his former master (to whom we should not forget he was a 'special advisor').

No, declining to fall into one trap, the Leader of the Opposition has decided to jump head-first into another of his own making. The key point in his address at the Oxo Tower today was that a future Labour government could still 'deliver fairness' even on a budget.

The logical question to ask of this, then, is, if he can so easily deliver this fairness on a shoestring, why did his government squander billions of pounds worth of the nation's wealth pursuing it during the good times? Couldn't we have done it on the cheap then, too?

Let us not forget that, even before the financial crisis hit, ten years of Labour irresponsibility had already ensured the UK had the largest budget deficit of any European nation - at £58bn. (This was then doubled by Gordon Brown upon his succession to the premiership via the 'stimulus delusion' we have touched upon).

No, as ever, when a Labour politician attempts to sound remotely competent, responsible and realistic on the economy, it only goes to show what precious understanding they have in that lunatic little world they live in.

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