Er, that’s it folks
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November 5, 2009
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Our politics is a mess. We have leaders who can't or shouldn't be allowed to lead. We endure governments that lie, and seek to undermine our democratic values. And we are confronted with policies that serve the interests of the privileged few. It's no surprise that so many of us feel frustrated, let down and drawn to ask, 'But what can I do?' That question is the inspiration behind this book. It's a question regularly posed to Alastair Campbell, not least in reaction to The Rest is Politics, the chart-topping podcast he presents with former Tory Cabinet minister Rory Stewart. His answer, typically, is forthright and impassioned. We cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. If we think things need to change, then we need to change them, and that means getting involved. But What Can I Do? provides each of us with the motivation and the tools to make a difference. Opening with an acute analysis of our polarised world and the populists and extremists who have shaped it, it goes on to show how we help transform it. It explains how we can develop our skills of advocacy and persuasion. It draws on Alastair’s long experience, as well as on role models and lessons from history, to offer practical tips on starting and leading a campaign. It offers advice on developing confidence and coping with criticism and setbacks. And it sets out the practical steps by which we can become political players ourselves. Part call to arms, part practical handbook, But What Can I Do? will prove required reading for anyone who wants to help change things for the better.
a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking
Like it. You’re obviously in a bit of a whimsical mood this morning, Alastair 🙂
Osborne´s last chance saloon.
Elections used to be fought on TAX CUTS and SPENDING INCREASES.
Back in 2010 “master strategist” George Osborne had a cunning plan.
He would compare Britain to Greece, start cutting early and then win the 2015 election by cutting taxes.
No one, not even the chancellor, believes in this any more.
OBR forecast in 2010 was growth of 2.8% in 2012. We are getting -0.1%.
WEAK GROWTH has led to increased borrowing as tax revenues fall. Growth has been JUST 0.6% of projected 4.6%.
According to Investec cumulative DAMAGE will be £81bn!
The £147bn austerity programme (plan A) is not working.
IFS says that £23bn more must be found in 2017-18.
Fitch has put UK on “negative outlook”. A cut in AAA rating is now almost certain.
Fiscal squeeze will last till 2018.
Deficit in 2012 and 2013 will be higher.
Britain will borrow £15bn more in 2012/13 than OBR predicted.
Lack of growth means more “STRUCTURAL” deficit and increased scale of austerity.
City firm Scotiabank says that NEW SUSTAINABLE LONG-TERM RATE OF GDP GROWTH IS 1.25-1.5%!
Britain´s borrowing will GO UP by more than £600bn during this parliament!
Mess is not Labour´s fault as the debt was only 36% in 2008 and 53.5% in 2010. Labour left economy GROWING over 3% at annual rate.
George Osborne will MISS his golden rules.
He will not be able to eliminate cyclically-adjusted current budget deficit by 2015.
Debt as share of GDP will not be falling by 2015-16.
1)HIGH INFLATION has hit real incomes and household consumption
2)deteriorating EXPORT MARKET has hit net trade
3)BUSINESS UNCERTAINITY has hit business investment
4)plan A has killed CONFIDENCE; Osborne cut STIMULUS too early and started spending cuts too early
5)unwise rise in VAT
Each 1% of GDP of spending cuts will potentially REDUCE GDP by 2% leading to lower growth, less tax revenue and bigger benefits bill.
And this is happening across the EUROPE as a whole.
George Osborne believes in NEOLIBERALISM. MARKETS will organise themselves optimally and STATE should keep out of the economy.
But markets are NOT SELF-REGULATING. We need a new model.
We need to abandon NEOLIBERAL AUSTERITY!
Bang on. If labour don’t make hay then its time for a new brother!
It’s what he has’nt said that should worry the man in the street, RE-PENSIONS.NHS. DLA.ETC.
Pretty poor. Even to a labour supporter this looks poor. I can’t think of any government or chancellor who hasn’t had at least some things go the way he said they would, including gordon brown, alastair darling, norman lamont, john major, etc.
Here is 1 for you Alastair – 1 million private sector jobs added by Osborne.
Yes, it is true…
However I think we Labour people now need a very convincing and solid economic strategy.
And 1.5 million jobs taken away, so that makes it, umm, umm – be back now, I’ll dig my casio calculator out…
Complete and utter rubbish statement how things are going – I liked the way he included the whole dictionary of economic weasel words and bizarre stats in his presentation.
And I thought Balls was going to burst a blood vessel when he started his response – the adrenaline was pumping with him, but said the correct things that I would have liked pointed out. And the Beast of Bolsover, Dennis Skinner, looked to be close to a cardiac too when he called Osborne a poshoe or something, for a change.
Can see students of economics being set some homework for tonight – “Summarise the Autumn Statement in no more than five words.”.
I have written this after the speech of Mr Osborne.
So OBR says that Britain´s “growth” will be -0.1% in 2012.
Its estimates of future growth of 2% and more are OVEROPTIMISTIC.
No one, least of all the chancellor, should believe them.
So far OBR has been useless as it has failed the get the SPARE CAPACITY in UK economy right.
Osborne now cuts welfare and extends austerity.
But Britain´s services slowdown now points to a triple-dip recession.
Ed Miliband needs a clear ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVE. Big picture economic alternative.
Britain´s economy is unbalanced, unfair, undemocratic and weak.
Both market orthodoxy and Keynesianism have failed.
Left needs a new model.
Focused of small- and medium-sized businesses. ACTIVE INTERVENTION is needed.
Hands-off government of US or hands-on bureaucratic model of China will not ensure access to credit, technology and training.
Business must be DEMOCRATISED!
Labour´s goal must be DEMOCRATIC ECONOMY.
Will Hutton wrote that Britain´s economy cannot be revived with Osborne´s phantom billions.
Osborne´s cuts are IDEOLOGICAL. They will not be REVERSED when the books have been balanced.
710,000 jobs in PUBLIC SECTOR will go.
Squeezing pay will only prolong the UK´s economic pain.
Real wages have fallen on average 7% over the last two years.
IMF says that Osborne´s austerity is costing UK an extra £76bn.
Osborne wants to shrink the state to 39% of GDP. By 2017 UK will spend less than the US!
The future is American!
Osborne fails to REBALANCE the economy. All plan A achieves is to shift the debt back to private sector.
Household debt will rise from £1.58tn to £2tn by the end of 2016!
Share of capital spending as a share of economy has fallen to 13.9% in the third quarter, lowest level since 1955.
This will cause huge LONG-TERM DAMAGE.
There is a miracle cure for Britain´s economic problems.
Replace Osborne with someone who understands ECONOMICS!
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in a nut-shell:
Petrol ain’t going up in January and there is a few more road works/improvements to come.
It’s not just what he said which was bad enough; it was that Cameron and Osborne seemed to find it all so very funny.
Actualy a deceitful figure. Osborne’s oft quoted figure deceptively includes 196,000 further education and sixth form college posts reclassified from the public sector in March. Nearly one fifth of the jobs he’s supposed to have created.
Agree with everything Olli, with very especially the last line. Don’t know much about economics apart from elasticity and market forces, but even I can tell Osborne is a practising amateur with a high handicap with the books.
Whether there is or not a ‘miracle cure for Britain’s economic problems’ I don’t know. But, I am pretty sure that that is not what they are intent on! ‘Austerity’ i.e. long term poverty is their aim for the middle and working class people of this country.
Yes, that was disgraceful. There doesn’t seem to be any statesmen in politics these days. No wonder there is little or no regard for any of them anymore.
Is that true? If so then that means three things:
1. The media, the bbc, labour should all throw that back at every tory who mentiond this.
2. That still means 800,000 jobs created, which is still good… or is it?
3. Traditionally it would have been the tories who would have said its no sign of success if you get jobs without growth (and labour would have said the same about growth without jobs). Osborne and co should recognise the ancient economic truth that any fool can create jobs, it is productive jobs that are harder to come by, ie ones that increase GDP – we need Reagan style growth in jobs and gdp, not a 70s labour jobs-without-growth boom, or an 80s Thatcher growth without jobs boom.
By the way I was hoping someone would say “yeah but he has cut 500,000 public sector jobs” (or however many it is.) If you add 800k private jobs and take away 500k public sector ones, then most people think that is a 300k gain. No – it is a 1300k gain – we need to cut public sector jobs whether the private sector replaces them or not. I used to work for the public sector. We did pointless things, that were simply a job creation system. If we did nothing that would be ok, but we actually inconvenienced and hassled the public and business unnecessarily. It would have been cheaper and less damaging to the country to put us on the dole.
It was certainly, like everything else this chancellor has done, an almost carbon copy of what Brown would have done, in terms of centrism, complication, covering up the facts etc. Continuity Brown and Gordon Osborne I believe the real conservatives have taken to referring to Osborne as.
They’re culturally out of touch with the country, Gilliebc. It is simple as that. It is the elephant in the room, and the BBC and else don’t like to admit it.
Wealth is created from the other end of the spectrum from these sort of people. They are lost in themselves, in a gawd knows what world, but it is definatly not healthy. They simply are clueless, and history will describe them as such, even if it records them as PM and etc.. No redeeming features at all, sorry to say.
Oh come on reaguns! Don’t you have nightmares if Osborne was around in 2008 when world economics went tits up? JEEZUZ! we would be right in the crap then. Osborne is a spanner, a fool, a high-class simpleton – can’t you see it reaguns, for gawd sakes? Takes a man from the streets to be sharp, not fecking some ponce like Osborne!
Reagan??? you are taking the piss now reaguns – he was a puppet of the CIA and republican oil men. You really need to sort your shit out reaguns because you are talking wall to wall crapo now.
But yes, your last points – it is soul destroying to try hard to work just for work sakes, like some dummy in life. You should have gone on the bins reaguns – more satisfaction there, getting rid of rubbish in life.
People say they want jobs and growth – you can’t beat Reagan’s record on either.
I find it ridiculous when people slag off presidents for being in hock with the CIA – the president and the CIA should share the exact same objectives, keeping America safe, disrupting threats, etc and being in charge of the CIA as George Bush Sr was is actually the perfect preparation to be president.
For political reasons Osborne, Darling, Brown have to play up differences between each other, but in reality neither of them really believes in anything but mild austerity. Osborne has cut no more than Darling would have, and Labour now refuse to tell us what Tories have cut that they would not cut.
Good story here reaguns, about twins on the bins, from the streets – just retired, at sixty (interesting!). And the way they say “lads today have it too easy – in the old days it was shove the bin on the back and tip it in the truck”, and all that,
furthermore reaguns, good vid of the twins from the bins here, from Beeb Wales/Cymru, to see what they say with total sense,
Sorry Ehtch, only just caught up with this comment of yours. Yes I agree they are out of touch. Tbh, I don’t think they want to be ‘in touch’ with the ordinary people. We are just a damn nuisance as far as they’re concerned. I hope history will describe them as such. Though given who write most of the ‘official’ history books, I rather doubt it.
With history, what with the mass communication revolution we are living in, think it will become more difficult for “official” oxbridge such books to pull the wool over our eyes in the future, when facts can be cross-referenced to views from other nations.
For instance, I am fascinated by twentieth century Russian/USSR/CCCP history – can’t get enough of it. Now I am not saying I am “going native” and all that, but it is nice to read the other side for a balanced sitting on top of the wall view.
But there is “disrupting threats”. and then there is just basically poking your unwanted nose in, just so Mary-Jane in Iowa can have cheap petrol/gas for her wagon, reaguns.
GB snr was Reagan’s vice, wasn’t he? Wonder which one of them had their finger on the button?
Good song about Reagan’s US of A here, and he even makes a guest appearance, a minute in, puffing on his nuclear Chesterfield ciggies, reaguns, Quite amusing it is,
“Whence I ran to you”? Don’t hear whence being used these days much, ey reaguns?
Labour are preparing for battle to try and restore index linked yearly raises to benefits that Osborne has binned. That change is frightening, frankly, and the true sign that the coalition are a bunch of barstadoes.