Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ed Miliband, flat-earther


I try hard to find some semblance of consistency, of common-sense within what passes for policy for the Labour Party but as ever it is notable by its absence. Take growth - here's Ed Miliband:

Growth, he said, was the current "missing ingredient"

Let's grant him that observation. But what part of an effective growth strategy involves tax rises? How can you believe that - when the problem is that people have too little to spend and that there's too little business investment - the right approach is to take more money off people?

If the problem isn't the need for "austerity" but the need for "growth" the solution isn't - and will never be - to make sure that people have less money. Yet this is exactly and precisely what the Labour Party - not to mention assorted socialists across Europe - are proposing.

A brave left-wing leader would reject the "government can fix it" solution and argue for something different - perhaps a return to mutualism and co-operation, maybe flexible employment laws and a Swedish or German approach to minimum wages or even (inspired by a re-reading of Thomas Paine) the embracing of free trade in finance and food.

But instead Ed Miliband joins the flat-earthers - visiting a dreadful deception on people by claiming that, contrary to truth, there is no need for austerity, that there is no recession and that we can carry on blithely spending other people's (and our grandchildrens') money on grand schemes, central planning and on the sustaining of a vast bureaucracy.

No government - right, left, centre, socialist, liberal, rainbow coalition - ever created growth. All government does is spend money - consume. People on the left rant and rave about out "consumerist" society but never recognise that the biggest and most indulgent consumer - the monster devouring ever more scarce resource - is not the rich banker or the flashy football star but their beloved state.

Once - as is now the case right across Europe - the state sucks up more than half what other people earn, the dire, inevitable end is in sight. Half of the state's spending is "nice to have" rather than essential to the nation's smooth operation. Yet people like Miliband persist with this bizarre belief that it will be OK is we just take even more away from those who earn it and give it to those who don't.

There is a problem and it is a problem of regulation, of the establishment, of selfishness.

The selfishness of a bloated state.


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