Sunday, 27 September 2015

Jeremy and Dave

Jeremy Corbyn is planning to apologize for the Iraq war and say that Britain must never use armed force for regime change again.

I used to think that Corbyn was great news for Conservatives. This is the Michael Foot analogy. But Foot was under Thatcher, who went on in the 83-87 period to basically refound the British economy. Now we have Cameron, who will go down in history as a gap between more interesting people. Cameron enrages me the way Tony Blair once enraged the hard Left.

The defence of this government is that (i) it is putting our house in order and (ii) the economy is growing. (i) is false. Austerity stopped in 2012. The government is still in deficit, seven years after the 2008 crisis. The date for breaking even has repeatedly been put back. I doubt that it will ever come: there will be some new headwinds and we will return to living beyond our means. This is a long-term threat to our political system and I see no will or courage to fix it among our politicians.

Point (ii) is true but it has nothing to do with the bold reforms undertaken by our government. What bold reforms? Cameronism means handouts for the middle classes, much of it based on the house speculation economy: free help to buy a house; no inheritance tax if you buy a house; free chunks of the Post Office.... Economic growth is more to do with cheap money finally coming into the economy, and the resulting increase in consumption. That is not a hard trick to pull off.

With a leader like this, you actually want a decent opposition who can hold the government to account. Unfortunately we have Corbyn, who hopes to appeal to the British people by apologizing for the events of a decade ago and promising to tie our hands behind our backs. I marched against the Iraq war, but come on. (Here is Corbyn on the Russian propaganda channel RT, by the way, looking high minded and preaching about US imperialism while not mentioning the Ukraine.)