Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Argument Sketch


Listening to Ed Balls commenting on the Chancellor's Autumn Statement yesterday, I was reminded of the Monty Python Argument sketch.

The misleading Tory chant of; "The mess we inherited from Labour," as if Labour caused the global financial crash, has been replaced with the misleading Labour mantra of; "They missed their targets."

The point about targets is that they are targets and not promises, as any salesman knows. They are meant to be stretching, and to interpret them as promises when related to something as complex as the economy is facile in the extreme. Labour is not doing itself any favours by resorting to this tactic, especially when other indicators (numbers in work, growth, etc.) are positive.

The fact remains that in order to eliminate the deficit, taxes have to rise, and turkeys don't generally tend to vote for Christmas.

The credit crisis was not simply the fault of the rich, as they don't generally need to borrow (except to invest for growth), it's the fault of those who borrow more than they can easily repay. Yet it's always the rich who are targeted in order to bail out those who borrow beyond their means. This strikes me as basically unjust and the cry of; "Well, they can afford it," is unattractively juvenile and something you'd expect from teenage children.


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