It is, though I don’t know why it should be, astonishing just how quickly we seem to have forgotten how and why the current economic crisis occurred and got back to the business of arguing about how public debt is a the source of all our economic woes.
You don’t have to agree with everything Seumas Milne has to say in today’s edition of The Guardian to recognise that he is quite correct in saying that there has been a shift in emphasis about what needs to be done about solving the problems the economy is facing.
Instead of an argument about how to beat the slump triggered by the banking crash, all three main political parties are now competing over how to cut public spending and services. Cheered on by the bulk of the media, Cameron and Osborne have executed a startling sleight of hand, persuading a large section of the public that the real crisis facing the country isn’t the havoc wreaked on jobs and living standards by the breakdown of the free-market model — but the increase in government debt incurred to pay for it.
It may look as though this is a result of Cameron and Osborne having ” executed a startling sleight of hand”, but, in my opinion, it pretty much down to Brown’s make radical changes about how we thought about the “free market” on the back what he did to save the economy. He just simply cannot bring himself take on the bankers and the city, and that means that he has, from the outset, allowed others to set agendas.