Wednesday 22 July 2015

The politics of the last century is dying - and not before time.

Labour are busy insisting they didn't cause the 2008 crisis. But they did preside over an era of banks handing out loans and mortgages like Smarties. They watched a debt bubble inflate, did nothing about it, creamed off the excesses and splurged on the welfare state. For this they claimed economic credibility. We have "abolished boom and bust" they said. They bloated the councils and let them take on massive debts of their own. They geared the economy so that the private sector was way too dependent on public spending. But then 2008 happened. They took a gamble that the private sector could always carry the weight of their public sector indolence. It couldn't.

In truth, the cuts we have seen since have been little more than meagre accountancy. The coalition proved a serious obstacle to reform. Now we're starting to see some signals that cutting taxes is working. But we need more. We need some serious cuts because in truth the public sector has only been trimmed to the size it was is when Labour came to power and it was too big then. No public sector should ever expand to such a size that it cannot withstand an economic shock of 2008 magnitude.

And have Labour learned anything since then? No. Despite the mountain of evidence that low taxes make for faster growth and more prosperity they are still intent on hitting the taxpayer hard and seducing their powerbase back onto welfare. The only one who has said that fiscal prudence and hard work are not incompatible with Labour values is Liz Kendall - and she has been castigated.

Essentially the left have become nihilistic and loathing of prosperity. They would rather destroy wealth and kill growth than admit their core beliefs are wrong. If that is the mindset that wins out in the leadership battle then they have set a course for extinction - and they should not be mourned. A Corbyn win would be the swansong of the left. The politics of the last century is dying - and not before time.

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