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Britain ideological obsession to a morally bankrupt economic policy

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The 2008 financial crisis

The emergency budget this coming week is expected to bring in significant tax rises; but how serious are Britain’s economic problems and is cutting now the right way to go about tackling them?

It is quite amazing how quickly the discourse has changed, not just in Britain but across the European Union as a whole. From ‘we need to spend, we need a fiscal stimulus to keep our economies out of recession (or even depression)’, to the assertions from Nick Clegg that we must cut back on everything we’ve done in the last two years or ‘face ruin’ and run the risk of strangling any growth that has been gained.

In fact so deep are the planned cuts across Europe that President Obama last week wrote to all nations warning them to watch just how far they go with their austerity plans. However certain countries, and Britain is definately one of them, appear ideologically committed to cuts in order to maintain an economic policy that proved itself bankrupt during the financial crisis of 2008.

Yes the deficit must be addressed. We in Britain in particular have the worst budget deficit in all of Europe, but why stifle the growth we so desperately need, why enforce so much social pain and so much economic suffering to the vast majority of the public?

The argument about cuts and increases in tax will continue to be fought about for a long while yet and be done by much more able people than myself. However, underneath this front-facing battle for agreement I consistently find that there are some very murky realities that continue to be overlooked.

The first is that for all the banging on about cuts being made by the politicians they personally appear to be largely immune from any wielding of the axe. Secondly, the big areas aren’t being discussed. More money is scheduled to be spent on defence and there has been no public scrutiny of the costs of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thirdly, the role that the Liberal Democrats are playing in all this shows just how easily the goalposts can be adjusted when personal and party political ambitions for power come into play.

Independent columnist Yasmn Alibah-Brown described this coalition as ‘like a big-blue whale and a little goldfish’. True to life, the goldfish is keeping as quiet as goldfish do and it seems somewhat wrong that any party can so clearly go against many of there manifesto promises to the country. The European-wide commitment to austerity plans demonstrates the deafness of the political classes to the reality of what is happening on the streets across the continent.

Unsurprisingly then, it will once again be left to the ‘small people’ to take the brunt of a problem caused by the so-called ‘big people’ in our society.

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Written by Robert Dale

June 21, 2010 at 7:42 am

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