Tag Archives: investment

William Wallace writes…A way to bring our national community together

I am a man of the people. You are part of the metropolitan liberal elite. They are enemies of the people, citizens of nowhere.

That’s the populist self-characterization that more and more right-wing politicians are now making. It’s an easy appeal to the ‘ordinary’ person against the sophisticated, over-educated and privileged. It works very well even when wielded by old Etonian Oxbridge graduates like Boris Johnson, or former city traders like Nigel Farage. The terms ‘elite’ and ‘establishment’ are elided, and blended with ‘liberal’, into a hostile image of people who claim superiority because of their expertise and knowledge, against those who prefer instinct and ‘common sense’.

There was a wonderful example of the genre in the Daily Telegraph of November 23rd, a letter under the headline “This ‘No Brexit deal’ by the political elite treats the majority who voted Leave with disdain” – signed by 15 Conservative peers, eight of them hereditary, three of them with peerages dating from the 17th century or earlier. If these are men of the people, I’m the king of Scotland. There was another in the Sun on Sunday, on November 25th, from Lord Digby Jones, one of the most self-important members of the House of Lords: ‘the British people – as if they needed further confirmation after what has gone on over the past few months – have been let down by the political class and the establishment elite.’ We should ridicule such claims whenever we see them.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 39 Comments

LibLink: Vince Cable: Politicians get lost in search for fabled Magic Money Tree

Vince Cable has written for City AM about governemnt’s fiscal responsibilities and how it has become less important to be financially credible.

Yet since the 2015 election, belief in financial magic appears to have grown. Brexit’s biggest appeal was a treasure trove to finance the NHS. Labour has caught the new mood.

A few weeks ago, shadow chancellor John McDonnell added £200bn of PFI contracts to a lengthening list of Labour financial commitments, including the nationalisation of rail franchises, energy and water utilities, free universities, and much else.

The IFS was scathing at the June election about Labour’s numbers, but it did little political harm, perhaps because the Conservatives had no numbers at all, and have since oscillated between preaching austerity and signing cheques when pressed. My own party, the Liberal Democrats, received an IFS Gold Medal in 2017, but it did us little good.

He then goes on to talk about a recent discussion with economics students who thought that austerity had had its day. Vince recounts the main points that he made with his response:

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Time to start building for Britain

I am currently travelling for a year and am currently visiting India. This vibrant and growing economy has lessons for the UK. Everywhere you go there is building going on. New houses, new factories, new shopping complexes. In addition there is an ongoing repair programme for roads, public buildings, ancient monuments, temples. Sure, India still has slums, some schemes take an age to complete, but the thrust of the country is building for the future.

The government – at national, state and local level – is funding a lot of this work, in conjunction with the private sector and heritage and other charities and voluntary groups. What is clear is that government in all its forms has no problem with taxing its citizens and spending a chunk of the money on improving infrastructure, growing the economy, providing jobs and encouraging tourism. Compare that with Brexit UK. Governments of all hues have spent decades convincing us that tax is wicked and must under no circumstances be increased – especially for the rich – and that cuts in public services are vital for the health of the economy. As a result the building trade is on its knees, there is a chronic shortage of houses, public services are being trashed, the NHS is in crisis and vital infrastructure repairs and improvements are being put off into the distant future.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Dec - 1:19am
    Oh dear, Glenn. "Don't confuse my brain with actualy figures and evidence. The world is the shape I conveniently think it is. It just is."...
  • User AvatarGlenn 17th Dec - 1:12am
    Malcolm England really is teeny tiny. It just is. I'm not comparing it with anything beyond it being a small country.. If you split England...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Dec - 12:55am
    Glenn Don't be silly! England is nor "teeny tiny". Since you seem obsessed about comparing England with Germany: modern Germany, which is divided into sixteen...
  • User AvatarGlenn 17th Dec - 12:12am
    PS History and geographic area are more historically important than population size. Population's ebb an flow. The population of England is increasing mainly because it...
  • User AvatarGlenn 16th Dec - 11:31pm
    John Marriot You've said more or less the same thing twice. My point is that England is teeny tiny and dates back to 927EC,whilst Germany...
  • User AvatarJock Coats 16th Dec - 11:28pm
    @Richard Underhill 16th Dec '18 - 10:40am With respect, you are misconstruing the meaning of "land" in economics and therefore in the idea of "land...