21 October 2010

Spending Review: Pick Up The Pieces

If I were Alan Johnson (who I know likes a bit of rock'n'roll) I'd be whistling "Pick Up the Pieces" by the Average White Band a lot in my office.

George Osborne's Spending Review - combining a bludgeoning withdrawal of demand from an already weak economy with a raid on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society - has made it much more likely that Labour will win the next election, and by a long way. This is quite simply a blueprint for austerity and economic depression (or if you prefer, a blue-yellow print, although Danny Alexander's blue tie on the front bench yesterday said it all) and the numbers produced for the fiscal deficit going forward are straight out of a fairytale. It is most likely that Osborne will be returning to the despatch box in a year or two outlining another round of cuts, with not just the easy options for spending cuts gone but many of the harder options gone too.

And yet Labour will face huge problems when it does get in in 2015 because the economy will have been so wrecked by these crazy policies that it will be extremely hard to deliver any package combining social justice with economic prosperity.

With huge numbers of unemployed and people plunged into poverty by the cuts, Labour will be picking up the pieces of what is left of British democracy and the welfare state during its first term... perhaps paving the way for Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Conservative) in 2020.

Utter insanity, on every level.

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