Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Simon Jenkins inadvertently backs the Green Party

Simon Jenkins has had a nice rant on CiF at the Three Chancelleers, Alistair, George and Vince.

"Money on the scale disbursed by Darling a year ago should have gone, if at all, to the public benefit, not to correcting imbalances in bank indebtedness."

This puts the finger on one of the weaknesses of Darling's response to the bank crisis in 2008, although, again, did he have a choice? The vast amounts shovelled into the banks shored up the vacuity of their balance sheets, but has stayed there, and has not flowed out into the real economy. Which is normal behaviour for banks after a crisis like this.

If we enter a second phase of the recession, and the whole thing grinds to a halt, with a vicious circle of no activity > no lending > no activity, it would be best if the Government put new money straight into the real economy, instead of giving it to the banks in the hope that they would pass it out. It could do this by creating a Carbon Army of domestic and industrial insulators, who will create wealth by saving energy that is currently going to waste. This will in turn help our balance of payments by reducing our demand for imported gas and electricity.

Government can also stimulate a major energy drive with wave, tide, and offshore wind through grants, and loans at zero or low interest to renewable energy manufacturing and installation companies. This stimulus, as well as increasing our energy security and reducing our annual 569million tonne CO2 footprint, will come back to the Treasury as taxes.

The Green New Deal is a sound investment, and not an empty job-creation exercise. Yes, it is challenging, given the parlous state of public finances, but it can be done.

So, Simon, there is a political party that is doing what you long for, a party that challenges the barber-shop trio of the LibLabCon would-be chancellors. It is a party that has been shut out of power for three decades by a dysfunctional electoral system,  but one which is gets significant support when people look at the parties' actual policies instead of the image that is projected through the media.

It is all down to the good burghers of Brighton Pavilion to decide whether that party will at last get a voice in Westminster.

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