Ealing and Northfield


I have been off air for ten days whilst I visited the in-laws in the US. Tonight I was in the excellent Right Wing Tavern in Woodstock, GA. They do have a very good selection of beers and the whole right wing thing is strictly tongue in cheek. Back on Thursday.

Meanwhile checking my e-mails I note a motion for council next Monday tabled by the trained economist, AKA Cllr Bell, leader of the council. It is somewhat long and rambling:

On 20th October the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce the results of the comprehensive spending review.

The review will announce significant reductions to our budgets and the budgets of our partners in the borough.

Council resolves:

Council resolves to agree with the need to reduce the structural deficit that resulted from the previous government’s successful response to the international financial crisis.

Council resolves to disagree in principle with the deficit reduction strategy that the coalition government has proposed. The cuts that are being proposed are too severe and are being taken too quickly. They will dampen growth at best and will cause a double dip recession at worst and cost the country more money in the long run.

Council resolves that we must be responsible and balance our budget and to do this we must find savings from within our budgets. Whilst doing this we promise to prioritise the following principles:

We will make every effort to protect elderly, disabled, children and young people who are the most vulnerable residents of the borough.

We will make every effort to protect front line services by seeking to cut out waste, we will also seek to share services and share procurement.

We will consult on difficult decisions.

We will seek to mitigate the impact any savings will have on employment within the council and the borough by reducing the use of agency staff and contractors and offering voluntary redundancy to our staff.

We will seek to distribute any cuts as equally as possible so that no one group has to unfairly bear the burden.

Given that we believe that cuts are too deep and too soon we acknowledge that we will have to do things that we wouldn’t otherwise choose to do. The fault for this lies with the coalition government.

Yet again, in the first line of his resolution, Cllr Bell demonstrates that he does not know what he is talking about. The structural deficit is that part of the deficit that is not to do with the financial crisis. The cyclical bit is the bit that most economists agree will sort itself out by itself. The structural bit is the spending your kids’ inheritance bit of the deficit that will not go away once the crisis has passed. Bell is wrong in terms.

The Darling plan involved halving the deficit. The Osborne plan involves eliminating the structural deficit. Bell’s motion tops and tails some motherhood with an attempt to blame the Coalition for the structural deficit which is squarely the fault of Gordon Brown. No-one buys it Cllr Bell.

4 replies on “Genius”

Has he already read the Chancellor’s speech for 20th?

Okay, we all expect cuts across the board, but reactionary rhetoric before hearing any of the disagreeable details reminds me of student politics or Comrade Bob Crow. Without having heard any details, “Disagree in principle” is rather childish. Hear the news then complain by all means; But being closed minded is far from the pragmatism this country & borough needs about the problems caused by “the previous government’s successful response”.

The last paragraph is the one that chills me. I read that as “we’ve been gifted the opportunity to hike the council tax and deny any responsibility”

BTW, you mention “The Oborne plan”. Did the Chancellor-ship get outsourced to the ex-mail-now-Guardian reporter, Mr Peter Oborne, without me noticing?



When did this country last have a deficit as low as 2% of GDP?

Do you honestly think Osborne can achieve that in 4 years? Has it ever been done before?



Nice to hear from you.

The answer is three years ago. Average deficit by Maastricht criteria for ten years from March 1998 to April 2008 was 1.5%.

See table M1 on page 8 of Government deficit and debt
under the Maastricht Treaty here.


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