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The Inconvenient Truth of Tory Britain

October 15, 2015

Credit where credit is due. The Tories are an election winning machine. They have reduced their former coalition partners, the Lib Dems to a parliamentary rump, and they have reduced UKIP to the margins and they have reduced Labour to infighting and potential civil war. But that is as far as I am willing to […]

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A New Model of Austerity: How to Eliminate the Deficit and Remove the Debt

June 25, 2015

Austerity isn’t working. Since the Tories came into power in 2010, the national debt has almost doubled to a staggering £1.5 trillion. The Tories have created more debt in five years than the entire period of the 1997-2010 Labour government. In fact, the Tories have created more debt than all Labour governments combined. – The […]

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Labour’s Self-Defeating Deficit Fetishism

April 14, 2015

At yesterday’s launch of the Labour manifesto Ed Miliband exuded confidence.  Pretty much all commentators agreed that it was one of his best performances since becoming Labour leader, reminiscent of his speeches to the Labour Party Conference in 2012 and 2013, rather than the car crash of last year.  Its focus (perhaps with that deficit-forgetting […]

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Syriza’s Victory Reshapes Greek Politics

February 2, 2015

Last Sunday saw Syriza‘s historic election victory in Greece. Has this changed the face of Greek politics for good? The change in government of Greece this week not only showed a nation exhausted by austerity, but a fundamental shift in the politics of the country. Since democracy’s 1974 restoration in the country that invented it, […]

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Week 5: Hero – Alexis Tsipras

February 1, 2015

“I don’t believe in heroes or saviours, but I do believe in fighting for rights … no one has the right to reduce a proud people to such a state of wretchedness and indignity.” – Alexis Tspiras. Our hero of the week is Alexis Tsipras for potentially kick starting a European anti-austerity spring by leading […]

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Labour Gives Up

July 24, 2014

It didn’t get that much publicity but last weekend saw the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum agree the party’s basic policy positions for the next election.  Yes there is the conference to come in the Autumn but it has been a good long while since it mattered a jot.   What came out of that Policy […]

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Week 49: Prat – Ed Balls

December 8, 2013

This week’s Prat Award goes to Ed Balls, and his stumbling response to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. I quite like Ed Balls. He is one of those rare politicians who appears to be a relatively normal human being. He has a wide ranging hinterland away from politics – in particular, his love of music and […]

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It’s the stupid economy, stupid

November 21, 2013

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a slight variation of the phrase “The economy, stupid” which James Carville dreamt up when he was a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against incumbent president George Bush. It is now time to update this phrase in 2013 for George Osborne:- “It’s the stupid economy, stupid.” […]

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David Cameron: starving the state and feeding the fat cats

November 12, 2013

Every picture tells a story. “Shrink the state!” – David Cameron makes speech about having to make do with less. Dressed in a tuxedo and white tie. At a massive banquet. Next to a golden throne. The whole thing is dripping in foie gras soaked irony. Last night, David Cameron delivered a speech at the […]

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Food Banks: Dickensian Tories Recreate Oliver Twist

October 17, 2013

“I don’t buy the value sliced loaf. But, you can buy a loaf in the supermarket for well north of a pound. I’ve got a bread-maker at home which I delight in using and it turns out in all sorts of different ways. But, I’m trying to get my children to eat the sort of […]

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Greece: Those Who Fail To Learn The Lessons Of History Are Condemned To Repeat It

September 19, 2013

This week’s awful murder of Greek anti-fascist rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, by a gang of 30 Golden Dawn members, in militia uniform has underlined the horrendous consequences of the brutal austerity regime imposed on Greece by the EU and IMF. Golden Dawn remember are an unashamedly neo-Nazi organisation, going to places that even the BNP will […]

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The Alternative Lib Dem Conference Speech by Nick Clegg

September 19, 2013

“Fellow Liberal Democrats, I have in my hands two conference speeches. In my right hand, I have my official speech that has just been issued under embargo to the media. In my left hand, I have another speech – and this is the speech that I am going to give today. First of all. I […]

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George Osborne’s Economic Bunkum

September 9, 2013

George Osborne is claiming that critics of his economic policy have now decisively lost the argument. He claims that the economy has “turned a corner” and that a sustainable recovery is under way. He is now pointing towards evidence that shows in his view, “the last few months have decisively ended [the] controversy” about fiscal […]

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George Osborne’s Misplaced Economic Alchemy

August 7, 2013

The genius of cartoonist Chris Riddell was once again on display in the Observer on 28th July. This quite brilliant cartoon completely encapsulates all the elements that are currently being thrown in the economic cauldron by George Osborne. The cartoon highlights everything that is currently wrong with Osborne and this government. Unlike Osborne, this cartoon […]

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MPs’ pay rise: How to win public support

July 12, 2013

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) recommends raising MPs’ pay from £66,396 to £74,000. This amounts to an increase of almost 10% for our MPs. While this is about three times the value of average earnings, it is on a par with MP salaries in the majority of EU countries. IPSA has also recommended a […]

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Week 26: Villain – George Osborne

June 30, 2013

This week’s award winning act of villainy comes from our villain of villains – George Osborne, for announcing a further £11.5 billion of spending cuts within his spending review 2015-16. George Osborne rustled up another brutal slash and burn on welfare, public sector pay and local authority budgets – this included an eye watering £2.6bn […]

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The Spending Review: The Hypothetical Reality of Local Authority Cuts

June 27, 2013

Britain’s public services – Rest in peace. In March 2011, George Osborne told the House of Commons: “We have already asked the British people for what is needed, and we do not need to ask for more.” In June 2013, George Osborne just asked for more – in particular, from our local authorities and public […]

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Austerity is served up on a silver platter at the Lord Mayor’s dinner

June 20, 2013

Date: Wednesday June 19th, 2013 Event: The Lord Mayor’s Banquet for Bankers and Merchants Venue: Mansion House, London Dress Code: Black Tie Keynote Speaker: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne George Osborne stated at the Lord Mayor’s banquet for bankers and merchants that, “Britain has left intensive care” – looking at this bulbously grand […]

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George Osborne’s Loadsamoney Economics

June 20, 2013

As the news broke this morning that bankers’ bonuses had soared to record levels in April as the government’s cut in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p came into effect, the image of Harry Enfield’s Loadsamoney character entered my head. That tasteless, braying, ostentatious charactature could easily morph from a late […]

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The Bilderberg Summit: Another Secret Canapé Club for Cameron

June 10, 2013

As David Cameron, George Osborne et al attended the secretive Bilderberg Group Summit at the luxury Grove Hotel in Watford last Friday evening, it has raised more questions about the coalition government’s pledge to lead Britain’s most transparent government. The Bilderberg Group comprises of the fat cat money men, CEO bankers, heads of industry and […]

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Labour: The Tory-Lite Party

June 5, 2013

After this week’s policy announcements from Labour on tax and spending and welfare, we are now beginning to work out Labour’s vision for government. 1. A future Labour government would not reverse the coalition decision to withdraw child benefit from higher rate taxpayers. 2. Labour would accept the current spending plans for 2015-16, to be […]

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Labour’s Economic Policy: Ed Balls Shows He Is ‘Very Serious’

June 4, 2013

This is not a compliment, by the way. Ed Balls’ announcements yesterday that Labour would keep within George Osborne’s spending restrictions in its first year in office, if it wins in 2015 and its decision to scrap winter fuel payments for older pensioners, are disastrous in substance and every bit as bad in terms of the raw politics. […]

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Week 16: Prat – Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt

April 21, 2013

This Week’s Prats of the Week are Harvard Economists and gurus of austerity economics, Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhardt for not checking their sums You would never know it from watching the BBC or reading the newspapers but the theoretical basis for austerity economics is extraordinarily thin.   The theoretical underpinning essentially rests on two (yes […]

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Welcome To The New Class War

April 3, 2013

I was brought up in a smallish seaside town in southern England.   It was a place whose glories were half a century or more behind it and had its fair measure of poverty, but it was not a particularly political place.  There was some interest in a then nascent environmental movement and in its hippyish […]

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The Age of Austerity – The Deficit of Truth

April 2, 2013

There is a deficit crisis in the UK. We are spending way beyond our means. The government’s solution to this deficit crisis is to cut public spending. This is topsy-turvy economics. This is the deficit of truth. Public spending is a value added asset, not a liability debt. The recent campaign of vilification by the […]

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Cyprus Endgame: The Killing of the Economy of a Small Country

March 27, 2013

After two weeks of closure, Cyprus’ banks are due to re-open tomorrow.  At the time of writing this post it is not entirely clear whether they will.  Following the moronic original suggestion that €5.8Bn of a €10Bn bailout package was to come from ordinary deposits, even though EU wide insurance is supposed to protect deposits […]

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Economic Policy and the Avatars of Austerity: Larry Summers Tells It As It Is

March 27, 2013

Earlier today this blog saw a healthy debate about current economic policy and the economics of austerity.  As it happens Monday night saw a, perhaps, somewhat more impressive discussion on the same subject between Mervyn King (outgoing Governor of the Bank of England),  Oliver Blanchard (Chief Economist at the IMF), Axel Weber (Chicago School Economist […]

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Austerity and the Wizard of Oz Economy

March 22, 2013

I agree with George Osborne. There, I have said it. Have I suddenly lost the plot? I have spent almost three years tearing into George Osborne, as he, more than any other Tory alive, encapsulates the eat-your-own-toes awfulness of everything that a Tory stands for. I agree with Osborne on one thing. We need more […]

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The Budget – I am George Osborne

March 19, 2013

If based on my own experiences of the night before a big work presentation, George Osborne is probably tearing his own hair out in angst whilst amending the script for the umpteenth time within his own Budget 2013 presentation. So why then, do I suspect that the smug bastard is probably lounging in a Gentlemen’s […]

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Lessons for the Centre Left From Italy

February 28, 2013

Last weekend’s Italian election was supposed to produce a relatively comfortable victory for Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the main centre left party, the Partito Democratico.   It was thought that the outcome would be a coalition between Bersani’s party and the centrist technocrats of current Prime Minister, Mario Monti.   This would provide continuity post-Berlusconi […]

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