Tuesday, 19 March 2013
"Steady As She Goes!"
George Osborne's budget, due tommorrow, is being widely trailed as a "steady as she goes" budget. That makes about as much sense as the Captain of the Titanic shouting "Steady as she goes" as his bridge slipped below the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Osborne's so-called economic strategy is a failure. He has managed to double the national debt, stiffled any chance of growth, stoked inflation and lost Britain's AAA credit rating - all things that he said would be the measure of his success. The reason for his utter failure is plain to see. He has adhered to the very same economic "principles" that got us into this mess in the first place. The self-serving ideology that tells him that growth is only possible if the private sector is expanded at the expense of the public sector and that wealth is best given to the already wealthy. For the last 30 years we have all witnessed the slide of unregulated capitalism into criminality, the growing inequalities that have sapped demand and the sheer inability of monetary policy to control economies. But George Osborne chooses to ignore the overwhelming evidence and to give us more of the same in the forlorn hope that some miracle will save his threadbare ideology. Instead it is widely trailed that his budget tommorrow will reduce taxes on beer and that he is prepared to spend a measly £2.5 billion to "kickstart" the economy. The plan seems to be that, as his weak and ineffectual stimulus does absolutely nothing to help revitalise the economy, we'll all be too drunk to notice. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about it. Osborne will do tommorrow what all good military tacticians warn against - he will reinforce failure.