None of the above

The Institute for Fiscal Studies tells us none of the parties in the election are being honest about the economy.  The governor of the bank of England is reported saying this is a good election to lose, because the next government will be forced to take measures that’ll be its own electoral funeral.  The National Institute of Economic and Social Research tells us how much tax needs to rise, and it’s not pretty.

Meanwhile, none of the political parties is being honest about it.  Noone will get a mandate for the necessary cuts, because noone is campaigning for such a mandate!  The nearest they’ll get is the sobering lesson of Greece’s crisis, for what that’s worth.

But suddenly lots of respected non-partisan commentators are speaking up.  Could some of these folks be co-opted to take the most painful decisions off the hands of our politicians?  Is this a serious attempt to step in where our so-called democracy has failed, and deal with the issue of denial?

The Tory party is now reported as planning to ask the IMF to review our economic troubles, presumably with a view to trying to legitimise “difficult decisions” for which it has no mandate.  Could just be the most sensible thing on the agenda, for what little it’s worth.

Posted on May 2, 2010, in politics, uk. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Did you see http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/30/election-2010-deficit-information-beautiful#zoomed-picture ?

    Executive summary: of the outstanding debt from the recession, the tories’ proposals will tackle 17%, labour’s 20% and the lib-dems 25% over 5 years.

  2. I heard a BBC correspondent put it this way:

    The UK has something that approximates very close to a free market for politics. Anyone can run for anything, and they frequently do, and they get reasonable media coverage. And lots of media people have said, loudly, that the politicians are not being honest about the economic crisis. So the question is: if there is a big market for ‘honesty’ – if people really want to be told the truth – then what exactly is stopping the politicians from doing it?

    Back at New Year, you were criticising the Tories for this: David Cameron had taken the radical step of saying that if the Tories won the election, that wouldn’t necessarily mean universal peace and prosperity within three months, but there might actually be some hardship. Before then, if you recall, the Tories were riding high in the polls: no-one would have bet money against them winning an outright majority. But that brief hint of honesty, hastily backtracked though it was, was the beginning of the Tories’ slide in the polls.

    Honesty is political suicide.

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