Thursday, June 03, 2010

Further reading

Liam Byrne on why Britain is not Greece - no matter how much Osborne and Laws Alexander talk down the economy. Why they think that this is a responsible way for Treasury ministers to behave and precisely how they think that their statements will prove reassuring to the international markets isn't entirely clear. Fresh from his embarrassing letter to his then successor as Chief Secretary, Liam puts together a convincing case as to why we should be concerned about the deficit, but should not be in full panic mode.

John McTernan on the rather excellent Labour Uncut blog comments on the electoral prospects in Scotland, but his views also have a resonance across the country. The downturn has given the Tories an unprecedented opportunity to justify cuts in the name of reducing the deficit that may well be more inspired by the Conservative small-state ideology, one that also finds support within the Orange Book tendency which is in the ascendant within the Liberal Democrats. He suggests that it is a hard sell to make the case that Labour single-handedly caused a global meltdown, which is correct. However, the electorate seem prepared to give the coalition the benefit of the doubt, but there isn't room for many more wobbly weekends like the last if the government wants to sustain the faith of the public - their honeymoon political capital is not inexhaustible.

Meanwhile, Dizzy actually does think something and asks a pertinent question about what Nick Clegg actually does. Answers on a postcard to the usual address. John Prescott had a thumpingly large department that did things, Clegg seems to be little more than a cipher with responsibility for a limited range of constitutional and electoral reform issues - a safe sandbox where he can be allowed to play without doing anything that might upset the big boys around the Cabinet table. (HT to Bob Piper).

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