Interminable internecine warfare continues…

I have an article up at Progress online (AKA Web HQ of the Neo-Blairite Zombie army of doom – right deviationist branch) called "Once more, With Taxes".

This is a response to the publication of "White Flag Labour" by Compass, (AKA The North London society for serious frowns and regular conferences) which itself is a critique of the publication of "In the Black Labour" by Policy Network (AKA The International Brigade of the Third Way).

Ah, opposition. Where no-marks like me can build reputations through devoting themselves to creating an endless flow of tendentious babble.


8 Responses to “Interminable internecine warfare continues…”

  1. Mike

    The closest Reed’s paper comes to attacking the need to adopt a cautious, careful and risk-averse approach to the public finances…
    Is this what you meant by a straw man? Are there any Parties that don't advocate a cautious, careful and risk-averse approach to the public finances? I suggest this is the cause of the hostility. Left-wing readers of your Note are hoping for a detailed roadmap of the route away from neoliberal capitalism (because it's failed and is going to continue failing) and all they find is: We'll do whatever Osborne's doing but more so because the polls tell us it's what the voters want. You may argue that this is not the message you're sending, but it's certainly the one being received.

    • hopisen

      Yes, on the left there are many who don't accept the need to consolidate using eg a golden rule- what's interesting about the Reed paper is that beneath the bombast this is accepted. So a consolidation is needed. Now we just decide how.

  2. Blue Canary

    If it's any consolation it's fascinating to watch from the outside.
    One question though.  The Compass paper argues that voters don't trust Labour on the economy because the deficit was run up on the party's watch, rather than your (ITBL's) diagnosis that it's down to lack of credibility on deficit reduction.  Hasn't this been the subject of extensive polling? Or do you just like arguing about these things for the sake of it? (OK, that's two questions)

    • hopisen

      I think Howard's just made a mistake here. He argues we got people into this mess, and the same people who got them into mess are still in charge, but concludes from this that all that is needed is more clarity from these same people about why they were right and din't need to change our approach on anything. This literally makes no sense to me.

      • Blue Canary

        Thanks for that, but it's the other question that's puzzling me more. In ITBL you suggest that it's Labour's "perceived lack of commitment to addressing the fiscal crisis" which lies behind voters lack of trust in the Party's economic competence. Not only is this an eminently testable proposition, through market research, but it's one that you'd expect the Party's policy wonks would have had as a high priority to test.  If they haven't conducted this research (which I assume is the case because of the backlash against your proposition), then you really have to worry about the basis on which they're putting policy together.

  3. Brian Hughes

    "I find it hard to accept that all the spending commitments of the past are entirely justified" – care to expand?  You'll need to find some pretty substantial 'savings' to balance your tax-averse books.
    By implication you seem also be suggesting that a substantial amount of what the previous government spent was unjustified.  Any examples to help those of us who are a little hard of thinking?

  4. Paul Newman

    That was charmingly written Hopi, your  self deprecating persona  recalls Geoffrey  Chaucer, always a rotund dimwitted fellow when he appears. I wonder if you conciously adopt such a deeply English  style.( I have always thought you a natural courtier , and dissembler )
    It occurrs to me that ,much as I detested the New Labour period , by admiting that some things were wrong ( education for exmaple ), it would be easier to take credit for things that were right ; waiting lists , crime and so on ( also foreign affairs outside Europe IMHO). The conservatively minded, anti utopian,  voter, would respond to someone who said " Look ,we meant well, and although people are right to  criticise , lets not throw out the babgy with the bath water "
    Now that is the very essence of conservatsim  but it would take a Blair to  communicate it 
    The odd thing about all  this brother on brother action,  is that your suppsed conversion to sound money is  really little more than running up the enemies flag for the purposes of sneaking into the harbour. The second you were  in, up would go the tax and spend jolly rogering of me and everyone like me ( in the South especially)   Whats the point of fiscal caution if you achieve it  by  raising  taxes . We all know who has to pay them.
    Oh wait , don`t tell me you have repeated that thing about Public spending being good  for the economy so often, you have started to believe it . Say it aint so  Hop ?  Say it aint so ..

  5. aragon

    Hopisen: Yes, on the left there are many who don't accept the need to consolidate using eg a golden rule
    Yes and I am one of them.
    You make a claim fro Keynesism but Neoliberals would agree with your policy, just look up neoliberalism at wkipedia,
    "Fiscal policy Governments should not run large deficits that have to be paid back by future citizens, and such deficits can only have a short term effect on the level of employment in the economy. Constant deficits will lead to higher inflation and lower productivity, and should be avoided. Deficits should only be used for occasional stabilization purposes."


Leave a Reply