Category Economics

Cheltenham LibDems` plan to make party`s bird logo “very small” on ballot papers

The desperation of the Liberal Democrats has become apparent even in one of their strongholds, Cheltenham, as the result of a leaked email from one of the town`s senior LibDems. In Councillor Roger Whyborn`s campaign email, leaked to the Gloucestershire Echo, the former cabinet member at Cheltenham Borough Council told other councillors and the town`s […]

Real foodbanks, fake shops, and the fake recovery in Cheltenham

Last year the BBC reported that the number of people using the foodbank in Cheltenham had quadrupled at a time when foodbank use in Gloucestershire as a whole doubled. The BBC quoted a survey by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest foodbank network, which compared the number of people accessing food banks between 1 April […]

Former Thatcher adviser Alan Budd spills the beans on the use of unemployment to weaken the working class – sound familiar?

Professor Sir Alan Budd, while being interviewed by documentary film-maker Adam Curtis  in June 1991 about his time as Special Adviser at the Treasury in the period 1979-81, expresses his concerns that he was being used: Curtis` narration: For some economists who were involved in this story, there is a further question: were their theories […]

Why capitalism needs unemployment

    Any worker who`s ever complained to their boss and been told “if you don`t want to work here there are plenty who do” will understand why Karl Marx described the role of the unemployed (and underemployed) under capitalism as “the reserve army of labour”.       The press and politicians take every opportunity to divide […]

It’s the deficit, stupid

Conservative Business Minister Michael Fallon, responding to Ed Miliband’s speech at today’s rally: “By turning up at a rally that opposes every single spending cut that’s necessary to deal with our debts, Ed Miliband has shown that he’s still in favour of more spending, more borrowing and even greater debt. That’s what got us into […]

Car Crash Economics

Someone asked me recently what I thought of the ConDem government’s management of the economy.  My response?  Like a car crash, only rather more horrific.  Allow me to explain… Back in 2007/8, the UK economy nose-dived.  The uncontroversial cause was the bursting of a credit bubble, which left the private sector with huge debt relative […]

Getting it wrong on unemployment – an email to Martin Horwood

Dear Martin,   In July 2011 you left a comment at our blog as follows:   “Unemployment is falling. Public sector job cuts – which are very painful – haven’t stopped new jobs in the private sector”   In light of the fact that unemployment has risen steadily ever since to a current 16 year […]

Let them explain Japan

At a recent Green Party meeting, we asked Martin Horwood MP the following question: “Despite posting consistent budget deficits for the past two decades (racking up a “national debt” more than twice its GDP in the process), the Japanese government continues to be able to sell its bonds at low interest.  How does this square […]

Response to Martin Horwood’s comments on this blog

Martin Horwood has left a long comment on this website in response to a blog posted in March, entitled “Martin Horwood gives cuts the thumbs up”.  He makes a number of points (on the NHS, Unemployment, Taxation, Green Investment Bank, etc.).  Our response to each is as follows. 1. Yes, cuts are necessary because we’ve […]

The “structural deficit” – setting the record straight

The Gloucestershire Echo recently published an article by John Webster in which he argued that cuts were justified on grounds of the UK having a “structural deficit”.  It’s a silly argument, and we’re grateful to the Echo for publishing our response in today’s paper.  Since the letter won’t be available electronically for a few days, here it is […]