Mervyn King – Governor of the Bank of England – has reportedly said that this would be a good election to lose. Glad to see he’s caught up – I first said this in a column for Public Finance in February 2009 entitled ‘Losing is the new winning’. What is surprising is it has taken this idea so long to surface.
Both Brown and Clegg have done well in the debate tonight on the public finances and the economy. Brown demonstrated his mastery and experience of the global economic issues whilst Clegg played his ‘anti-politics’ card well (although it is getting a little tired) and his ‘fairness’ pitch was well presented. Clegg is clearly the master of the TV debate format. Continue reading
I posted (below) some time ago on the mysterious £860m (rising to £905bn in four years) they could “save” from the audit and inspection of local government. As the entire budget of the Audit Commission – the main body involved – is only just over £200m how could they save four times this amount? Continue reading
With the FT and IFS reports this week it is abundantly clear now to everyone what some of us have been saying for ages – this election is being fought with a big void where the truth about the public finances and spending cuts ought to be. But if what they are telling us about efficiency is anything to go by, we might not be much better off if they did start talking about “the cuts”. Continue reading
When I posted a week ago about the possibility of Alan Johnson as PM in a Lab-Lib coalition, it would have been easy to dismiss it as fantasy. But, a week is a very long time in our current politics. Today’s Guardian headlines Nick Clegg saying:
Mrs Thatcher famously liked to use the phrase “there is no alternative” which she did so often it apparently became simply known as TINA (I’m not sure how much this is urban legend, but what the heck, it’s part of our political folk-lore now). Continue reading
Is the idea of an IMF intervention in Britain fact or fiction? Simple answer: fiction, on just about every level. Continue reading