National politics

When you are in a hole

The British left wrote a collective letter to the Guardian today to tell the government to keep digging. We have the biggest deficit in the whole OECD and these morons say we should keep making it worse. The chart above is taken from the excellent Burning our Money blog who took it in turn from the OECD.

The list of leftist shame below:

Colin Burgon MP
Alex Smith, Editor, Labourlist
Austin Mitchell MP
Anne Cryer MP
Alexandra Kemp, Chief Executive, West Norfolk Women and Carers’ Pensions Network (personal capacity)
Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, NUS National Officer
Billy Hayes, General Secretary, CWU
Byron Taylor, National Trade Union Liaison Officer, Trade Union & Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO)
Cat Smith, Vice Chair, London Young Labour
Chris Edwards, Senior Research Fellow, UEA,
Chris McCafferty MP
Chris McLaughlin, Editor, Tribune
Christopher Cramer, Professor of Political Economy of Development, SOAS
Clifford Singer, Director, The Other TaxPayers’ Alliance
Colin Challen MP
Compass Youth Executive
Dave Anderson MP
David Drew MP
Dai Havard MP
Dave Prentis, General Secretary, Unison.
David Hamilton MP
Diane Abbott MP
Denis Murphy MP
Edward O’Hara MP
Ellie Gellard, Labour blogger
Grazia Ietto-Gillies, Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics, Director Centre for International Business Studies, London South Bank University
Glenda Jackson MP
Gerry Doherty, General Secretary, TSSA
Gordon Prentis MP
Prof. George Irvin, Univerity of London, SOAS.
Professor Ian Gough, Professorial Research Fellow, LSE
Hugh Lanning PCS Deputy General Secretary
Hywel Francis MP
Harriet Yeo, Labour Party NEC
Hilary Wainright, Co-Editor, Red Pepper
Ismail Erturk, Senior Lecturer in Banking, Manchester Business School
Janet Dean MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Jim Cousins MP
Jim Sheridan MP
Jon Cruddas MP
John Austin MP
John Ross, Editor, Socialist Economic Bulletin
John Weeks, Professor Emeritus of Economics, SOAS, University of London, and former director of the Centre forDevelopment Policy and Research.
Jonathan Rutherford, Professor of Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Katy Clark MP
Karen Buck MP
Keith Norman, General Secretary, ASLEF
Ken Livingstone
Kevin Maguire, Associate Editor, Mirror
Kelvin Hopkins MP
Martin McIvor, Editor, Renewal
Malcolm Sawyer, Professor of Economics, University of Leeds
Mehdi Hasan, Senior Editor (politics), New Statesman
Michael Connarty MP
Michael Meacher MP
Mick Shaw, President, FBU
Mike Wood MP
Michael Burke, Economist and contributor to Socialist Economic Bulletin
Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass
Neil MacKinnon, Chief Economist, VTB Capital
Paul Kenny, General Secretary, GMB
Paul Truswell MP
Paul Sagar, New Political Economy Network.
Pat Devine, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester
Peter Kilfoyle MP
Peter Willsman Labour Party NEC
Prem Sikka, Professor of Accounting, University of Essex
Richard Ascough, Regional Secretary, South Eastern GMB
Richard Murphy, Director, Tax Research UK
Roger Berry MP
Robin Murray, Fellow, Young Foundation, Author of Danger and Opportunity:Crisis and the New Social Economy
Roger Godsiff MP
Ronnie Campbell MP
Sam Tarry, National Chair, Young Labour
Sunder Katwala, General Secretary, Fabian Society (personal capacity)
Susan Himmelweit, Professor of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University
Terry Rooney MP
Tim Roache, GMB Yorkshire Regional Secretary
Tony Juniper, environmentalist
Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary UNITE
Will Straw, Editor, Left Foot Forward

9 replies on “When you are in a hole”

So why does even City AM (a daily paper in the City of London with rightist tendencies) worry today about the latest thumbs down poll from City leaders as regards the ability of George Osborne?



Your comment is off topic. Do you think we have piled up enough debt under Gordon Brown or do you think it is time to stop? We know that Brown will go down in history as being one of the most destructive chancellors of all time. He took a golden legacy from the Tories in 1997 and after a brief flirtation with prudence systematically hosed money at unreformed public services.


Suppose deep public expenditure cuts are made, the I have some questions.

Where do you want the unemployed to disappear to?
If they are being sacrificed for the greater good of society what is their reward for taking on this pain?
Where are the new jobs going to come from? Ever since the 1970s, the private sector has not been able to create enough new jobs in any neoliberal economy to provide jobs for all thaose willing and able to work. I live in the West Midlands and there have been no new private sector jobs in the last 15 years.


Almost the most horrifying thing is that all the talk is about the defecit with little or no mention of the total national debt, which would continue to rise even whilst they might be proclaim a reduction of the defecit. Just quoting the year-on-year rise of the defecit figure is slightly disingenuous as it hides the true scale of the problem and give the false impression of things “going down” when the reality is “going up slower”. But I guess politicians often like spinning bad news to the own ends, dont they?

On to their prudence, what prudence?
I get concerned if I have any single month when outgoings exceed incomes (with 1 income & 2 kids this happens often). But I know the real killer is the absolute total debt as one day, ALL of it has to be paid back. It’s not exactly rocket science so where the heck do they think the money will get paid back from ? Oh, Yes, I forgot, probably a 50% income tax + 15% NI on anyone daring to achieve earning more than the minimum wage.

“When you are in hole” Please lets hope their shovel gets taken away.

And what’s even more annoying is that the current lot have pushed me to the brink, to a point where I sound like I might be a Daily Mail reader. Arrgghhh.



There is no doubt that things are bad and set to stay that way for some time. But, please, please step away from the Daily Mail.

There was a time when those of a conservative mind could happily read the Telegraph. It is not so true at the moment but I thoroughly recommend the ConservativeHome blog. They will even link to a few dirty, dirty Daily Mail stories now and then. And it is free!

They often link to Iain Martin in the Wall Street Journal who is fast becoming indispensible. See this for instance:



We do not have to throw thousands out of work to make working in the private (productive) sector more attractive and to make working in the state sector less attractive thus transforming our public finances. A four year public sector pay freeze would do most of the heavy lifting required.



There is no evidence that the private sector has the capapcity to generate sufficient new jobs. Just look the statistics since the 1980s on the ONS website. Why make ordinary folks suffer for the follies of bankers? Why not reduce government subsidies to business – PFI, export guarantees, loans to car makers, etc. Let us see how the private sector sands on its own feet. The boom years of the City (1991-2007) only generated 30,000 extra jobs making it clear that the financial services don’t offer us a way out either.



Gordon Browns approach to running the economy is similar to Tony Woodley, Joint general secretary of UNITE, approach to British airways.

UNITE seem more concerned with protecting the spanish practices of their members, than with the possibility that their actions might actually bankrupt the company.

Gorndon Brown has been amazingly quiet about the possibility of another BA strike, that will further damage this company. He wasn’t so quiet last year when the postal workers went on one strike after another.

Would the fact that UNITE pay the bills at Labour partys election headquarters have anything to do with this I wonder.



I haven’t got time to teach you supply side economics but if businesses have to compete with the state in the market for borrowing they will lose out. If businesses have to compete for labour with a feather-bedded public sector they will lose out. If businesses and workers have to support an over-large public sector they will be uncompetitive.


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