Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Plans A, B, and C

No surprise that the apparent upturn in the economy is being claimed by the government as a vindication of their economic policies.  What we don’t know – and can never know – is the extent of any causal relationship between Plan A and the outcome.  We can, equally, never know whether Plan B or Plan C might have led to even better results, although one would never detect even a scintilla of doubt in the government’s statements. (Or those of the opposition, come to that.)
Despite all the political huffing and puffing, I rather suspect – but can no more prove than can anyone else – that following Labour’s Plan B would have resulted in a very similar outcome.
In the first place, the differences between Plan A and Plan B were insignificant in the order of things.  And in the second, capitalism and those who run the markets have the real economic power, not governments.  The problem with both Conservative Plan A and Labour Plan B is that neither of them sought to change that essential power relationship.  Both are effectively hostages to those who wield the real power.
Insofar as there is a difference between them, it is probably that the Tories are even more enthusiastic about remaining hostages than Labour.  It’s not much of a difference – and it’s certainly no substitute for an argument for real change.

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