Really important piece by @ChrisGiles_ Philip Hammond always worried that if HMT allowed fiscal credibility to slip, the Tories would end up fighting (and losing) an economic argument with Labour about who could spend mosthttps://t.co/OsnZVUKY2K
— George Parker (@GeorgeWParker) September 27, 2019
If the impending general election is to be won on a race to spend between Conservatives and Labour, I will be voting Liberal.
I am not for austerity, but nor am I for the kind of recklessness that we will be hearing from the Conservatives in Manchester today. In previous years I have been to Manchester and Birmingham to the Conservative Party Conference but that was when I was lobbying for a better pension system to ears that were open.
All I hear from the current party is a distressing cry of survival. Last year, we were urged to back May, this year Johnson – too more different characters it would be hard to find. Last year we backed Prudence and Phil Hammond’s fiscal rules, this year we will be asked for the fiscal rulebook to be torn up so that Sajid Javid’s spending plans can be included in a forthcoming manifesto pledge.
Any party members prepared to flip-flop from one to another has at best an elastic moral compass , at worst- a complete lack of integrity.
A good reason to ignore proposed economic policy
Many will think that the extravagance of the Brexit debate means that the gloves are off in domestic policy. They are wrong. Britain is the place it is because of democracy, not populism.
Labour’s plan to scrap Universal Credit and indeed the DWP are as wrong as the Conservatives’ plan to scrap its adherence to prudence (something quite different to austerity).
Labour plan to scrap the DWP and replace with Dept for Social Security. https://t.co/W4ihvmhrAe
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) September 28, 2019
This is yet more populism at the expense of developing policy.
What this country needs is pragmatic leadership which develops the policies inherited from previous Governments rather than swinging the country wildly from side to side.
We have quite enough to deal with as we negotiate our relationship with the European Union.
Rather than make foolish promises that cannot and will not be met, can we please have sensible manifestos of policies that make sense not just of the future, but of the past.
We need pragmatic leadership which is consensual not divisive, democratic not populist and mindful of the long-term interests of the people who vote.
The tragic consequences.
It is a pity there is no current production of Coriolanus to go to in London. Shakespeare understood the competing powers of populism and democracy and from a perspective of 400 years, this play offers some insight into what is happening in the UK this autumn.
It concludes in tragedy resulting from reckless pursuit of principle over pragmatism. We have much we could learn from it.