Quote of the Day

Paul Myners says…

“There is nothing progressive about a Government who consistently spend more than they can raise in taxation, and certainly nothing progressive that endows generations to come with the liabilities incurred by the current generation”.

Public Accepts Need for Spending Cuts

Ipsos Mori have been tracking the public’s attitude towards spending cuts. Looks like this is another argument the deficit deniers are losing. When asked did they agree that “There is a real need to cut spending on public services in order to pay off the very high national debt we now have” the response was resoundingly in favour:

Some on the Labour left are basically advocating that the party collectively sticks its fingers in its ears on the deficit and then its head in the sand as well on cuts for good measure. The next Labour leader will need to rethink his deficit denial if Labour wants to be seen as credible on the economy…

Shock Poll: Osborne Most Popular Tory Chancellor Ever

Here is something you probably didn’t ever expect to read: George Osborne is the most popular Tory chancellor in modern history according to pollsters Ipsos Mori.

Guido called them up to check. Yes they have asked the same question since Geoffrey Howe; “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with what X is doing?”

Osborne has a 20% net approval rating, higher than Lawson’s at the time of the boom, higher than that nice Mr Major’s rating, higher than Ken Clarke when he handed over the goldilocks economy to Labour. Incidentally, Darling had a 20% net disapproval rating immediately before him.

Burnham Signals NHS Policy Change?

Co-conspirators will recall that Andy Burnham refused to ring-fence NHS spending when he was health secretary. Now he is shadow health secretary, and a Labour leadership candidate, Andy Burnham has been calling for the coalition to drop its plans to ring-fence England’s NHS budget in order to provide greater protection to areas such as social care, under the control of local authorities. This picture shows that he is now taking his policy even further…

Quote of the Day

John Rentoul writes

“Back in 1997… when the Conservative MPs Alan Howarth and Shaun Woodward defected there was – in the first case especially – little of the language of treachery, betrayal and collaboration from their former colleagues. Most Tory MPs could perfectly well understand why someone would want to be part of the New Labour new wave.”

Osborne and Darling Jointly Attacking “Deficit Deniers”

Alistair Darling is launching an attack on the Brown-Balls “spend, spend, spend” dividing line election strategy and the continued deficit denial of Ed Balls. Remember that at one point before the election Gordon Brown tried to replace Alistair Darling with Ed Balls because of his resistance to total fiscal insanity.

Darling is giving the Donald Dewar Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Book Festival today and will say that

“Labour lost because we failed to persuade the country that we had a plan for the future. What is important now for our party is we take stock and be honest about what went wrong.

“We rather lost our way. Rather than recognising that the public were rightly concerned about the level of borrowing, we got sidetracked into a debate about investment over cuts.

“By failing to talk openly about the deficit, and our tough plans to halve it within four years, we vacated the crucial space to make the case for the positive role government can play.

“You will only convince people you’ve got the answers if they believe you know what the question is in the first place. You can’t have political credibility without economic credibility.”

At almost the same time Darling’s successor George Osborne will be delivering a very similar message, he will attack Brown’s claim to have ended boom and bust, calling it “the greatest failure of economic policy-making for more than 30 years, since the IMF crisis of 1974. He will tell analysts at Bloomberg’s City HQ that the “deficit deniers” are “taking the British people for fools”. Balls may be the worst and most explicit deficit denier, but none of the Labour leadership candidates has much to say about the fiscal crisis they created.



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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