Anti-austerity politics is predicated on two common delusions. One that borrowing money to invest stimulates the economy in hard times. There is a certain collective amnesia at work there in that this is a good part of the reason we are presently having to cut spending. Borrowing money to sustain the public sector is precisely what we have been doing for a very long time. The other part of this fiction is that politicians ever invest in things that have tangible returns. In practice we see vanity spending from HS2 to wind turbines - which harm job creation as that money is essentially taken from us, along with the choice of spending it in the economy where we see fit. It assumes that government is best placed to decide where investment should go. It has no track record of success in this, yet is still taken seriously as a proposition.
The second fantasy is that "investing in people" is somehow economic wisdom. Except there's that collective amnesia at work again. We did in fact try this. That is what the whole New Labour experiment was. We padded out the public sector, grossly bloated universities and higher education and lavished billions on "the poor". The product of this sloppy thinking was a nation hooked on welfare, ineffectual bureaucratised public services, qualification inflation, worthless degrees, an energy crunch, a massive pension back hole and a public sector even our own astonishingly successful financial sector would not sustain. Not only do the left propose to repeat this hideous mistake - as is the subtext of Yvette Cooper's campaign, they propose to hand us yet another large bill when we haven't paid for the last experiment.
Frankly, the panic about Corbyn ever taking power is misplaced. I rather get the impression that the Labour party will get its act together at the last minute and prevent him from taking the leadership - but that shouldn't distract us from the fact that the Labour party, whoever is in charge, is bent on wrecking the recovery and hitting the factory reset button on all the progress we have made since 2010.
This is not to say the Tories are especially satisfactory. I am only a Tory by default by way of despising the alternatives even more, but the PM has been handed the rather unenviable task of having to say no to spoiled children, making it politically impossible to be as ruthless as a grown up government should be. We are also looking at remoulding absolutely everything to cope with a sea change in how things are done. We have yet to satisfactorily gear our economy for this brave new internet world where the traditional job becomes a thing of the past and labour markets and populations are fluid. The left wants to bury its head in the sand and pretend it is happening - or worse - try to prevent the unpreventable.
As far as the Labour leadership goes, Corbyn is less worrying because his politics are joke and the man himself is a joke, but Cooper will somehow be seen as a moderate centrist when in fact her entire party's proposal is economic vandalism. What's worse is that what we discuss hereabove is no great revelation. This is economics 101, also evidenced by decades of failure wherever it has been allowed near power. These people are surely not so crass that they're unaware of the consequences of their politics. Thus, we can only conclude that they really don't care how much damage they will do so long as they have power. They'll take the popularity now by doing their Father Christmas routine then hand the bill to your grandchildren. As much as their policies lead to bankruptcy, they are morally bankrupt too.
This is why it doesn't matter who wins the Labour leadership. The Labour party still remains a delusional power hungry band of wreckers - and it shouldn't be mistaken for something else just because it appoints someone who notionally passes as a centrist.