Sunday, April 1, 2012

The UK's Conservative Government: An Apology

It's no good, I have to admit defeat. Despite four years of increasingly desperate blogging in favour of Nordic social democracy, Keynesian macroeconomics and Hull City AFC, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that all three causes are lost. Hull have lost their last four games and are now five points off the playoff places. Let's check the evidence on the other two.

When David Cameron became Prime Minister, I confidently predicted that his deficit reduction programme would be socially divisive and economically counter-productive. The deficit, I claimed, could get bigger if public spending cuts crushed demand and therefore economic growth. And loading most of the strain onto spending cuts, rather than balancing that out with progressive tax increases, would punish the most vulnerable and increase poverty and inequality. Cameron, with the misguided support of Clegg's Lib Dems, was burying Britain in a self-perpetuating slump which would make recovery impossible, tear apart the fabric of society, and leave the deficit just as high as before. Moreover, the Tories' proximity to the wealthy and the financial elite in particular would mean that the effect of policy would be deeply regressive, leaving the City's government subsidized bonus culture intact whilst no serious effort would be made to get the rich to pay their fair share.

In view of the experience of the two years since the last election, there's no escaping the fact that I was completely wrong on all counts. The brave measures taken in the budget to help hard-working job creators whilst drawing a line on excessive pasty-eating, and the courageous decision to pre-empt the bullying of Labour's union paymasters by emptying the nation's petrol stations beforehand, simply confirm that fact. I humbly apologize to the Conservative party and promise to support them for the rest of my days.