Michael Meacher’s latest blog entry raises concern that the outcome of the 2015 election may depend solely on speculation about the state of the national deficit in 2020.
If this is true, then Yr Obdt Srvt doesn’t think Labour should have any problem securing victory; in the last nearly-five years the Tories have made excruciating cuts to public services that have reduced the deficit minimally – and now the gap between what the government takes and what it spends is rising again.
Mr Meacher points to history for the answer. “The British Establishment’s commitment to fiscal famine and monetary necrophilia in the 1920s-30s, which is being reproduced by Osborne’s policies today, had disastrous consequences,” he writes. By contrast, the Labour government of the 1940s faced a much higher national debt, but “the very high level of the deficit was subsumed in the much more important political objective of post-war national recovery” (as was pointed out recently by Labour leader Ed Miliband).
“The lesson that cries out to be learnt is that whilst the level of the deficit is not unimportant, it is much less important than other objectives, notably sustained economic growth and rising incomes and productivity, paying our way in the world through a revitalised manufacturing sector, and the restoration of full employment,” writes Mr Meacher.
“Do we need a repetition now of the 1930s to learn that fundamental lesson?”
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