Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Labour forced to come clean over budget deficits

After months of pretending that whilst the country is in deep economic 'doo-doo' nothing need change in the level of spending the State indulges in, it seems that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at least, is steeling himself to say in public what most people already know - that part (a major part) of the corrective medicine for the country's soaring budget deficits will have to be cuts in spending on some of Labour's sacred cows. The phraseology of these "Government Minister will say ..." stories, based on press-releases (or leaks) of forthcoming speeches, always amuses me. What if the speech never happens, will the press-release simply be buried? Anyhoooo, here's what Alistair Darling apparently will say:

"Gordon Brown and I have spoken of the hard choices needed in public spending over the coming years.

"We won't flinch from the difficult decisions that will be necessary, and we will always act guided by our core values of fairness and responsibility.

"This will be our test of character. Properly targeted public investment can and should make a difference.

"That means making choices and setting priorities - shifting resources to the front line. It means more efficiency, continuing to reform, cutting costs, public and private sectors working together."

Bringing the name of the Prime Minister into his speech has a two-fold purpose:
- it gives Mr Darling's forthcoming 'revelations' an aura of official policy, tarnished only by the justifiedly-soiled reputation of Gordon Brown;
- it tries to bind the hands of the Prime Minister into not flying-off into his usual realm of fantasy economics in the coming political 'cycle', specially his Labour Party conference speech, when Darling obviously believes the 'comrades' will have to be told the truth.

I'll wait to hear with baited breath just how tough Mr Darling plans to be in practice in reining in the out-of-control spending on some of Labour's shibboleth policies and just how much 'spin' will be employed when announcing these cuts to the public. Or indeed whether Gordon Brown will as usual 'chicken-out' of allowing his Chancellor to get on with doing the job he obviously still cannot accept he is no longer [ir]responsible for.

Labour and Darling's strategy in pre-releasing this speech to the BBC (who are dutifully splashing it across their headlines today) is to 'soften-up' the ostriches amongst the British people who haven't yet wakened-up to the disastrous economic situation that this Labour Government will bequeath to its successors when finally it gets booted out of office! Hopefully very soon now ...


  1. Hi Bill,

    Just so long as they get rid of the insane ID card scheme as part of the cuts.

    Methinks hell might freeze over first.


  2. Well I certainly hope that happens, too - but even if it doesn't the Conservatives are likely to win the next general election and they have pledged to abolish the scheme. Mind you, I'm still not holding my breath with Brown - he's no doubt got a few tricks more up his sleeve to cause havoc. Sigh ...


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