Polly Toynbee summarises George Osborne's speech yesterday:
"The choice between Labour and Conservatives just got starker. Yesterday George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, laid out an economic policy that looks to any Keynesian like the perfect recipe for turning recession into deepest depression. It's Margaret Thatcher in 1980 all over again - cutting, sacking and reducing debt just when the state should expand.
Here's his programme: cut corporation tax and stamp duty on shares; abolish tax on savings; 'come off Labour's unrealistic spending plans' and 'bring national debt under control'; no investment in 'public works projects' but instead 'confront uncomfortable truths' - which means 'government can't just spend money on every worthy cause that comes knocking on the door'. Never mind what nice Mr Cameron says about 'capitalism with a conscience', it's the numbers in nasty Mr Osborne"
Osborne's speech is devastatingly superficial. I have already mentioned his lack of understanding of where money comes from.
A telling phrase, recycled from a speech he gave in September, is this:
"Our banking system is not separate from our economy, it is a reflection of it".
George, there is a fundamental difference between the real economy, based on provision of water, food, housing, low carbon energy and waste recycling, and the casino economy of the banksters and derivative peddlers. The one provides the materials of life; the other is a psychotic bubble, whose toxic assets threaten to bring the entire world economy to its knees.
George, to say that the one is a reflection of the other is a piece of total nonsense, and shows (a) that you do not understand what is going on, and (b) that a Conservative Government would constitute a real threat to economic recovery.
Osborne shows no consciousness of the destructive power of the Toxic Asset problem. He really does not get it. The self-proclaimed Tory grasp of financial matters has gone the way of the Norwegian Blue.
Yet it is pretty clear that the Conservatives are going to win the next election.
Allah knows that Labour are not behaving wisely with their quantitative easing, because they have so far been trying to shore up the banks with their money, rather than putting it into the real economy. We may see some better directed investment in the forthcoming budget (I heard Gordon Brown yesterday using the words "Green New Deal").
If the Tories win, and Osbornomics comes in to force, we will be in deep doo doo.
Polly Toynbee's response to this is to talk about getting Labour to put Proportional Representation into their next manifesto. Fat lot of good that. We need a Bill of Electoral Reform NOW, to become an Act before the next election. Yes, time is short, but it could be done, as part of an emergency reform package in response to the widespread popular demonstrations that are expected in the coming months.
We shall see.