What does Labour stand for when “there’s no money left”?

8th November, 2011 10:44 am

“There’s no money left”

It’s a phrase that will echo (mis)quoted down the ages. The Tories (and their yellow friends) continue to refer to that infamous letter, but what resonance does it have outside of the Westminster bubble? No-one ever mentions Liam Byrne on the doorstep (except presumably in his Hodge Hill constituency). The age of the epoch changing political gaffe is no more, it would seem, when our politics (and politicians) are so distant from a disinterested public. And that’s if you can even call Byrne’s note a gaffe – no-one has managed to argue convincingly that the sentiment he expressed was untrue…

It does however present an interesting (and difficult) question for the Labour Party – what do we stand for when there’s no money left? How do we create a winning policy agenda without relying on public spending? And is it possible for Labour to galvanise members and supporters without powerful messages built around major spending commitments?

It’s a question that goes to the very heart of what Ed Miliband’s leadership is all about. By nature Miliband is a European Social Democrat, and a Fabian. In an ideal world a Miliband manifesto would be about sharing the proceeds of growth, but if elected he is likely to inherit an economy starved of growth, and with much lower levels of public spending than the New Labour years. The odds of Miliband reversing Tory cuts seems slim. For Labour to return to traditional tax and spend with a weak economy would be political suicide. That’s not to say that Labour members and supporters – myself included – won’t be disappointed when the time comes for Ed to confirm that. There will – hopefully – still be individual areas of investment for us to be upbeat about – the NHS for example, or schools – but an across the board expansion of government spending seems unthinkable.

If that alone were the basis for the next Labour manifesto, the situation would be very bleak indeed. What Labour must offer instead is a new vision of how we live together, and a structural shift to a new economy and society. That’s obviously easier to say in a blog post than it is in policy terms, but there are signposts for the future in the actions in governments past. And whilst many of us in the party might revere the 1945 government, the 1997 government provides a much better road map for a “post-big spending” Labour Party. In particular the minimum wage and equalities legislation are ideal examples of the kind of society changing policy that doesn’t rely on a spending commitment.

It won’t be enough to rehash the ideas of the past though – we must build on them. The living wage (a Miliband favourite) is to be welcomed, but a far better idea would be to significantly raise the minimum wage to a “living” level. Gay marriage is the obvious and necessary follow on from civil partnerships – and may even be achieved under this government. But in addition to thinking beyond narrow alleyways of thinking on spending and the state, we’ll also need to think beyond narrow areas in which and means by which the state can operate.

We think that these kind of changes in society are not only possible, but necessary, and must form part of Labour’s next manifesto. That’s why from next week, we’ll be posting your ideas for Labour policies that don’t require a spending commitment, and putting those proposals to a vote at the end of the month. We can’t wait until the next election to develop these ideas – we need to start now, shape the debate, and make such ideas as mainstream as the minimum wage.

If you have an idea for such a policy – email us – and we’ll post the best ideas.

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  • Kathy Bramley

    Culture-based changes have to be done with the established political classes using their own status and priveleges as a bargain chip in the fair negotiations; general reforms achieved lightly and quickly through legislation and perhaps City of London to pay for its own reform?

  • charles.ward

    Although the minimum wage is not technically a spending commitment it does cost money.  The increased unemployment (especially amongst the young and inexperienced) caused by the minimum wage costs the taxpayer not just in terms of benefits but also because of the social problems it causes.

    • It could also save money due to increased efficiency of workforce due to increased incentive, greater job security reducing retraining costs and lower state dependence for the lowest paid. So there are arguments for both sides of which politically the pro-minimum wage camp has most support from the UK.

      • charles.ward

        I don’t buy the idea that the minimum wage increases efficiency, it assumes that employers are either stupid or cruel, keeping wages artificially low even though it hurts their bottom line.

        The minimum wage can decrease job security.  For example, many people have taken a pay cut in the recession in order to secure their jobs, minimum wage workers can’t do this. 

        Although those on minimum wage can be said to depend on the state less (assuming they recieve less from “in work” benefits) they are still being supported above their market rate salary by consumers in the form of increased prices.  So you’ve moved the burden from taxpayers to all consumers.

        The point I was making is that the extra money paid out to minimum wage workers has to come from somewhere, it’s not “free money”.

        • Ianrobo

          so you think people can live on less than the min wage and especially in the south, how much do you earn and be honest bet it is nowhere near min wage ?

          Nope it is about exploitation, lower wages in fact means extra profits and that is all you and your ilk care about.

          I mean you claimed in 97 the min wage would put thousands out of a job, rubbish of course and if the min wage was reduced no extra would be taken on.

          • charles.ward

            Oh those evil profit making companies that fund our pensions  and reinvest their profits to create new jobs. 

            It’s this hatred of the private sector that has caused every Labour government ever to leave office with more unemployed than it started with.

            When are you going to realise that bashing business and tinkering in the market doesn’t work.

          • Ianrobo

            whjy are you confusing business with people ?

            It is totally possible to run a profitable business and pay decent money, thousands do

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            I doubt that he hates the private sector; he works in it; I suspect that he believes that there are roles for both the public and the private sector.  Even the US has a minimum wage (such as it is – just over seven dollars an hour, I believe, but could be wrong – again from memory).  If you force people into wage poverty, internal demand will collapse and more benefits will have to be dispensed (unless you live in the plutocracy of the USA and have the mentality of the Koch brothers).

          • charles.ward

            Ah, the good old broken window fallacy.  Don’t forget that the minimum wage has to be paid for by consumers (as higher prices) reducing the amount of money they can spend on other things, reducing demand.  The minimum wage doesn’t produce money out of thin air.  In fact by distorting the labour market it decreases efficiency.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            Ah, I see – you are at one with the Koch mentality.  There is no such thing as a ‘labour market’, especially since there is a desire to restrict collective bargaining, simply cost-cutting and extraction.  High executive salaries, stupid advertising (Beckham the face of Sainsbury’s) and idiotic market research all have to be funded by consumers too. 

          • charles.ward

            If you don’t believe there is a labour market would you care to explain how all companies in the UK are conspiring to control wages? 

            I can’t decide which is weirder your conspiracy theories or your Koch obsession.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            Unemployment and under-employment; fear; the outsourcing of jobs. The most iniquitous aspects of the working conditions have been outsourced with the jobs.  The dice are loaded.  The Koch brothers are merely an example of the pernicious pressure exerted by plutocrats.  They are an example of where we would be without the welfare legislation which has protected employment (to date).

          • GuyM

            Why do we have to accept collective bargaining?

            I don’t want to ever be included under any collective bargain thanks. I prefer to negotiate myself and live or die by my own performance for htings like annual pay rises.

            Again the attack on advertising, you I suppose have strange psychic skills that allow you to know about products on the market without needing to be informed?

            If you don’t like the “idiocy” of some advertising best take it up with the “idiocy” of the general public as the advertising invariably works.

  • Gilbert

    “What Labour must offer instead is a
    new vision of how we live together, and a structural shift to a new
    economy and society.”

    This is exactly the kind of twaddle that makes the Labour party unelectable. Your language is changing, you are accepting some of the challenges we have, but you are still fixed to the Growth spin that belongs to Balls. The country isn’t listening to Labour on the economy. The catastrophe unfolding globally underlines that there may be something in Tory policy. Its all a game of spin at the moment. Tories are really cutting that much (look at the figures and not the mouths of Labouristas) has unemployment gone up massively since the election, not really. It may be up a tad (and that is bad) but its not huge. We are riding an economic storm. What the Tory spin gives us is low interest rates on government debt.

    From the Speccy…..


    • Anonymous

      A single minded “growth at all costs” formula is of course flawed, but without growth debt will expand. That’s what’s currently happening thanks to the Tory plan…

      • Hugh

        Yes, but  your alternative is just more government spending which was tried in the States and resulted in, um, debt expanding.  Gilbert’s also right on unemployment; it’s no shock that unemployment rises after a recession, rather than during it, and the spending cuts are well overstated. Moreover, unless you genuinely think it likely that more spending would set us on another decade or more of uninterrupted growth, I’d be interested in when and how you ever see debt actually shrinking under prevailing labour-thinking wisdom.

      • Mark Cannon

        Without cuts there will be no growth.

        • Anonymous

          Cuts alone will not grow the economy; it’s not a productive activity?


      • Gilbert

        Your thinking terrifies me and I don’t use that word lightly. I could write an essay on this but I’ll keep it nice and sweet for you. More spending goes straight to the Chinese, low cost producers and Indians.

        Please tell me how we are going to grow, Balls and Miliband have absolutely no understanding of the ways of business, or the confidence of business.

  • “but what resonance does it have outside of the Westminster bubble?”

    None because the socialist msm decided not to cover it.

    Had it been a tory treasury minister, well, as you know, it would have been a much bigger story!  

  • If the Labour party wish to have any hope of engaging with the electorate again they will need a radical shift in their thinking on Europe. 
    A large majority of the voters from all three main parties consider ALL politicians in the same light when it comes to giving away British sovereignty to the Corruption within Europe.Calls from both left and right to re-negotiate a better deal for the UK and we are better off changing the EU to our way of thinking/We must be in Europe but not controlled by Europe just do not wash because none of the political parties have done anything near enough to give people the promised “CHANGE” in the system they all shouted about before the last election.
    There is no doubt still room for a left leaning party within the UK but the problem of Europe is not just a perception that can be erased by wise/weasel words from career politicians who to all intents and purpose still have their snouts firmly in the trough.
    There are also many who are now realising exactly what Being in Europe means to them which is nothing good.
    Why for example should British tax payers be bailing out failed economies in the Eurozone either directly through contributions to the ECB or indirectly via the IMF?
    Yes the statements from all sides say we the UK NEED the Eurozone to be strong as 40% of our exports go to Europe But what they fail to mention is that of those 40% a quarter of it is actually only channelled through the port of Amsterdam(because of being a member of the EU it is compulsory)before it is sold to the likes of Brazil/Argentina and other parts of the world. Not only does this slow up the process of delivery but it adds another 10/15% to the cost for the purchasers.
    Meanwhile that 10/15% goes into the European slush fund to allow them to take even greater advantage of the poorest countries within the zone.
    Any socialist who condones the farcical situation in Greece where democracy has been well and truly buried under the boots of sour cosy and mercury really needs to consider their position within the party.
    What is Happening in Europe is the steady creep of the federalist state where democracy will not be allowed. 
    The UK needs to get out of Europe now. 
    Miliband and his crew need to seriously take note how real people  feel and rather than come up with the same bullsh1t answers consider actually reforming to meet the peoples needs rather than try to dictate their own desires upon them.

  • Hugh

    ‘“There’s no money left”
    It’s a phrase that will echo (mis)quoted down the ages.’

    Quite right. The full quote was actually “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left.”

    Much clearer.

  • GuyM

    Economic depression is coming, of that I’m becoming ever more sure.

    Governments have been living on debt to greater and greater extents over the last couple of decades. Paying themselves income for roads, hospitals, schools, pensions, benefits and other trappings of the state, that they simply did not and do not have the revenue to justify.

    Greece will default and so will Italy (maybe more of the PIIGS as well).

    Italy, with 2 trillion Euros of debt and 300 billion of bonds up for repayment next year that can’t be paid, will collapse soon enough, as 7% on the bond market is unsustainable. There is not enough money in Europe to bail out Italy, so when it goes it will go big time and the effects will be felt for a generation or more.

    This is why Labour’s policy of more spending and more borrowing not just for the UK but also across the EU is just idiotic. There simply isn’t the money there to support existing debt and deficit levels let alone adding significantly to them.

    Everyone should get ready for the storm to come, it will be nasty and prolonged. Politicians of all colours are to blame for the mess of living on borrowings for so long and so deeply.

    • Mark Cannon

      Quite right, unfortunately.

      Either the Euro zone will lose one or more members (immediate, short term disaster) or it will struggle on with low or nil growth for many of its members.  Neither option is good for us (or for members of the Eurozone), although the first holds out more hope of recovery in the medium term.

      Meanwhile Mr Ferguson seems to think that “the 1997 government provides a much better road map for a ‘post-big spending’ Labour Party”.  Many of us think that teh 1997 government provides a telling example of high spending and borrowing for poor returns followed by a day (or decade) of reckoning.

      P.S. The reason why people do not mention Liam Byrne on the doorsteps is because he is an obscure figure outside Westminster.  But they do remember that the last government spent lots and borrowed lots, leaving it to their successors to try to live with the consequences.

    • Ianrobo

      “This is why Labour’s policy of more spending and more borrowing not just
      for the UK but also across the EU is just idiotic. There simply isn’t
      the money there to support existing debt and deficit levels let alone
      adding significantly to them.”

      so why do we not do credit swaps then ? how much does Italy owe to ther EU countries and how much od they owe Italy, leats swap and default

      lets write off the debt but put strict rules in place to stop debt accumlation again.

      Oh guy noticed something, under the tory policy of deeper cuts we are having more borrowing because of no growth, is that sensible to go with. Osborne will not now meet his election pledge to have no structural defecit by 2015, is he going to cut even further ?

      • GuyM

        I suspect that is over simplistic when it game down  to carrying  out, I’d imagine the presence of banks and non EU nations investments means you wouldn’t get far with simply 1:1 defaults.

        I’m with you on striuct rules to prevent borrowing rising again, you do know what that means in terms of spending for a furture Labour government don’t you?

        As to the cuts requiring more borrowing, that’s the lesser of two evils, the only reason we have people willing to buy our bonds at low interest rates is that we’ve cut back on letting the deficit build up. If we did pump billions into the economy, how would you finance it and do you really think 6 months down the line when interest rates for mortgagees and business starts rising people would back you?

        • Ian

          you have to take whatever hard decisions are needed and interest rates HAVE to rise, look at Japan it does nothing to encourage investment, actually quote the opposite.

          if the EU had stuck to the 3% defecit rules then things would have been better. A rule that most governments have been within in my lifetime except for the Major years and the last 3/4 

          you are aware of course that your heroine thatcher only had one budget surplus ?

    • Earwig Gittwenstein

      Let’s, then, include all those private equity and other A&M hostile takeovers which have been facilitated by immense borrowing, which will have already become burdens on those companies.  Loots, for instance, which acquired eleven billion of debt with its acquisition by KKR, is now attempting to persuade its workforce to convert to a different pension scheme – not least because it is in deficit by six hundred million (figures from memory).  Anyone remember Southern Cross now?  What will Kraft do now as demand subsides in recession?  Anyone remember Punch?  There has been as much leverage in the private sector as in public funds.  Now what about Goldman Sachs which assisted Greece and Italy in concealing the extent of their debt?  Would Greece have been admitted to the eurozone without that concealment?  Anyone checked out the difficulties of Bank of America recently?  No, they were ‘all in (at) it together’.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        Oh, and anyone care to comment about mis-selling PPI by the banks and other insurance issues?

        • GuyM

          PPI was a scam, nothing more or less and it should have been hit hard by government and regualtors ages ago.

          I have no great love for the practices of the Financial Services industry, but they didn’t force EU governments like Greece and Italy to mismanage their finances as they have done.

          I suggest you look to politicians to blame for what is about to come to us all.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            You can suggest away until you are blue in the face (oh, you are already).  Financial services went berserk.  Private equity has leveraged positions with dire consequences.  There has been froth on froth in private business, not least advertising, market research, and executive remuneration.  It’s greed, greed and more greed.

          • Anonymous

            Your comment indicates you know very little about private business.  In my business it’s a daily battle to get orders, meet deadlines and make sure 600+ people keep their jobs boom, recession or depression.  Advertising and market research are essential components of ensuring we are competitive, and of course means that UK people employed in those businesses keep their jobs.

            You are making generalisations about private business that insult every person, owner, manager or shopfloor who works in one.

          • Anonymous

            Hi Girlguide,

            I can’t speak on behalf of EG, but I think mostly what he refers to is the culture and practice of the bigger co orporations and possibly vested interests in parts of the financial sector.

            It’s not the smaller businesses or people led enterprises/mtualists models etc that are at fault.
            It’s the top down practices of eg moghul led empires, and lack of transparency over practices which affect all of our lives.
            For example, phrases are heard like “casino banking” or stockmarket gambling;
            (with our money.)

            I have 2 brothers who have built up their own businesses over many years; despite their relative success, it’s been a long hard slog, and still is to keep afloat.
            So I have the utmost respect for individuals and small businesses who are working ethically and
            trying to put something back into the local economy and communities.

            But equally they are quite shocked when they hear what frontline public service workers’roles entail; the skill involved, and demands, and the relative level of pay and working conditions.
            And now we seem to be on the receiving end of some kind of political and ideological assault/blame game.It’s utterly misleading and undemocratic.

            The problem as i see it is lack of balance, eg where the resources are distributed; who is taking the worst hit for irresponsible practices; who is getting away Scot free, etc.

            I wish you luck; currently I think about 99% of workers are suffering in this country.



          • Anonymous

            Why make a generalised comments and then say `oh I didn’t mean this business or that business’.  Casino banking or stockmarket gambling – you are talking about banks.  

            Is Labour trying to alienate the majority who work in and depend on private business?  Where has this `all private business is evil’ attitude come from?  Before you make such accusations (and I presume you work in the public sector to make them), why don’t you look carefully at your public sector pension fund investments?  Are they ethical?  Do they invest in banks, oil companies, mining companies?  If so, set your own house in order before throwing rather insulting generalisations around.

          • Anonymous

            girlguide, I’m quite surprised by your response and tone here.

            I was attempting to explain what I thought another poster was saying- which he has now helpfully confirmed.

            This box is now shrinking, so comment will have to be short.

            I can only speak for myself, not on behalf of the Labour party.

            No I do not think they are trying to alienate business- especially small businesses.

            The wider discourse(not just from Labour) is about challenging the mega co orporate culture, eg in some financial institutions, and the imbalance of power and influence/status quo.
            Eg in context of USA/global financial crash which has left us with this deficit.

            For example, an article written by G.Monbiot-“The 1% are the very best destroyers of wealth the world has ever seen;”(Guardian,7/11.)

            What I perceive is in fact that public service workers are being scapegoated by right wing government and some tabloid media, giving a misleading picture and using emotive phrases like “gold plated pensions” when in fact most can expect low to modest amounts after many years service in demanding jobs and roles.
            Equally I wouldn’t criticize private sector employees who may have had a very raw deal due to lack of protection or poor provision by private sector employers.
            It is not generally the “workers” who are at fault.

            Maybe an opportunity to explain further will come up on another thread; to be frank i’ve tried to explain this many times, it’s becoming a bit repetitive.
            There’s a danger we can keep going around in circular arguments.

            I’m very much aware there is an “agenda” out there.

            Cheers, Jo.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            I’m sorry if that offended you and I wish your business well – I am a great supporter of British-based business.  My reference was to the banks, supermarkets, etc which have gone completely over the top (i.e. froth on froth) in their advertising and market research. 

          • Anonymous

            Then why generalise?  Your comment was about private business = greed, greed, greed.  If you mean banks say so.

            I’m going back to work now, to toil in one of the evil empires.  A large export order, won in the teeth of competition from a German company, and going out to, amazingly, China.  Each piece of machinery stamped with a British flag, and manufactured by our apprentices, manual workers skilled engineers etc.  All of them also part of the greedy evil empire!

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            @ girlguide

            There is just one other item which I wish to clear up before irrevocably leaving LL.
            For the two years or so that I have been commenting here, my main concern has been to advocate that people buy goods manufactured in this country which provide employment here.  You may have missed those regular exhortations.  Secondly, my comment above was in response to GuyM and so was in the context of some private concerns that have indulged in excessive leverage and absurd levels of advertising (Beckham the face of Sainsbury’s for three and a half million is a case in point, but there is  a considerable level of froth in advertising across sectors, but not manufacturing).  Finally, generations of my family worked on the shopfloor, from agric labourers in Cheshire, mill-workers in Belper, to my dad, born in Britannia St (back-to-backs) in Leicester, who, when returning from WWII (8th army, desert rat) worked down Snibstone Colliery, then as a builder’s labourer (Sherriff of Leicester), then finishing hosiery machines, in which one of my brothers worked too, and another brother as a clicker in Charlie Clore’s conglomerate.  I myself worked on the shopfloor in the late 60s and 70s (brewery, shoe warehouse, bakery).  So I am an advocate of British-based manufacturing, but GuyM and others just derogate the public services which, amongst other activities, educate your workforce.  Cheerio then to all.

          • Anonymous

            Dave, I’ve just posted a comment to you up thread, as couldn’t find earlier message I spotted on front page?

            Sorry to interject here, but not easy to communicate via blogs….


  • Peter Barnard

    If you look at the history of the National Debt, “There’s no money left,” is economically illiterate.
    In 1691, the ND stood at just £3.1 million. It doubled within three years, and was more than £30 million in 1712. By 1745, it had doubled again to £60 million … and so on … passing one billion in 1915, £7 billion in 1919 and £9 billion in 1938.
    At the end of the Second World War, it was £21 billion. That “sound money” Conservative, Lady Thatcher, more than doubled the ND from £87 billion in 1979 to £193 billion in 1990, and it had more than doubled again to £420 billion by 1997.
    Politicians, when it suits their purpose, love to frighten people with big numbers without setting them in context. Coalition ministers trot out “£120 million pounds a day” in debt interest, without mentioning that this is just 2.8 per cent of GDP. In 1997, we were paying 3.5 per cent of GDP in debt interest : 25 per cent more, relative to national income and in 1987/88, we were paying 4.5 per cent of GDP in debt interest – 60 per cent more, relative to national income.

    • Ianrobo

      Peter, said this before to you but why can we not say that in opposition ?

      Are peopel so bored of stats that these realively simple stats can not be said ?

    • Mark Cannon

      National debt is set to almost double between 2007 and 2011.  And it is set to continue to increase rapidly for the next 4 years even if the present government achieves its targets.

      It is misleading to compare our present predicament with the past.  And idiotic to look only at the present level of the national debt when considering what can or should be done.

      We are paying relatively little by way of interest because interest rates are low.  The Greeks, Irish, Portuguese, Irish and Spanish are paying higher rates.  We are able to borrow at a lower rate than them because our government has produced a plan for controlling future borrowing which the markets have found credible to date.

      The phrase “there’s no money left” came from Labour’s last Chief Secretary.  I’m glad to see that Mr Barnard considers him to be “economically illiterate”.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas


      you are being a little disingenuous to make your point, I believe.  For a start, your percentages at various years cannot be compared unless you harmonise the interest rates.  Interest today is right at the bottom of a historical range that goes from 1% to (spiking at 15%) around 8% on a long term average.  So today’s 2.8% of GDP would be something more like 5% of GDP if based on trend interest figures.

      Secondly, and this is more of a political, not mathematical point, GDP is not the same as Government revenue and expenditure.  What the Government get in and spend is about 45% of GDP.  People in the Labour Party shouldn’t think that GDP is there for the spending.  Only about 45% is, and I think that is far too high, but I only have one vote.  Nevertheless, that 5% of GDP on debt interest becomes something like 10% of Government spending.  I cannot think of anyone who would dream of running their household by spending 10% of their budget on interest payments alone.

      I’m sure you can probably come back with all sorts of data to prove that black is white, but stepping back, don’t you see that the entire western world has got itself into a right old muddle by spending like alcoholics throwing a party in a bar?  Politicians of all parties, from many countries, so that is not a partisan view.  There’s a big reset coming, and we’re all going to live within our means.  Good.

      I think Mark’s article is prescient, and his ideas for low or no cost policies are spot on.  Proposals that will increase spending are insane, no matter how much they may fit with some Islington progressive hearts or some unreconstructed Liverpool socialist or a bleeding heart from Nottinghamshire.  If the Labour Party can’t get with the programme on this one, it may as well close the doors.

      • Chris Cook

        Firstly,  interest rates since about 1920 have been an inflationary aberration from a long term downward trend which declined from 25% in Babylonian times; through 10% pa in the Middle Ages, and 5% pa at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution to less than 2.5% pa at the turn of the 20th century.

        If you base the number of monetary claims now in existence upon the use value of the productive assets which actually underpin the economy then the real interest rates we should now see are between 0% and 0.25% pa.

        Secondly, governments get nothing in and spend it. Tax and Spend is a myth, like Fractional Reserve Banking, since governments spend first and tax later.

        Taxation withdraws from circulation credit/money that has been spent into existence by private banks and by the central bank as fiscal agent of the Treasury.

        So long as there is spare productive capacity, and provided much of  the government spending is used to create new productive assets and productive people, there is no reason whatever why government spending needs to be funded by debt.

        Unfortunately Labour is just as ignorant as you are of the reality of the modern deficit-based  financial system which is now, thankfully, coming to an end.

      • Anonymous

        “….unreconstructed Liverpool socialist or a bleeding heart from Nottinghamshire.”

        Personal derogatory inferences about other posters who may not fit into political agenda.

        Also, the posters referred to here appeared not to be present or part of the discussion at time of posting.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          What are you talking about?  Who am I making derogatory implications about? They are just examples, plucked from thin air. Maybe you’d prefer me to mention a Glaswegian bleeding heart, or an unreconstructed socialist from Taunton?

          If you like accuracy in language, your choice of “inferences” tells the reader that you are the one making assumptions, not me making implications.  I remember getting smacked over my knuckles with the thin edge of a wooden ruler by the old man for making such a basic error, and that was when I was 7 or 8.

          • Anonymous

            So you deny this is an inference about me or Mike Homfray?

            Especially considering your attitude towards some Labour minded posters.

            What made me suspicious Jaime, was that in the past you have tried to track down one of my posts;(I think you said google cache of IP address at the time) and stated it was from Nottinghamshire.
            You must have known full well this was giving away personal details on a public blog, presumably with the intention of intimidating me.

            And then I’ve just read that following Dave(The Grunt’s) criticism of Boots the company on another thread, you inferred all kind of stuff about the location where he lives;(East Midlands) and where he used to work.
            You appeared to have actively sought out information and speculate about another poster; connect issues which might be off topic also. Why would anyone even think of doing that?

            I also saw you doing it on Grace HS’ article about theTories- digging out personal information to enhance your own points and possible agenda.

            And Sue Marsh recently- unpleasant comments which appeared condascending and supercilious.

            How would you feel if someone did that to you?

            Is it possible you could express disagreement with someone’s views without resorting to such personal insults or side swipes in their absence on thread?

            That’s all I’m asking for- it seems pretty simple to show respect, regardless of anyone’s opinion or political viewpoint.

            I realise at other times your posts are informative and articulate, but please do not use either direct or indirect personal insults/inferences to make your points.

            We all just want to enjoy debate on here and not have to focus on blogging politics.


          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Jo, I think you are reading too much into something, and finding something that really isn’t there.

            JPG has said that he taught at Leicester University.  It doesn’t need Google.  It only needs a memory.

            When I read an article by an unknown author, it is routine to Google that person to discover some of the wider context.  Don’t you, or do you accept everything at face value.

            Sue Marsh’s article, by her own personal and repeated admission (check her own blog) was a tissue of made up examples.  As I happen to know something of the history of the Yugoslavian civil wars, as a personal interest and because I lived and worked in Serbia during the war, it was not difficult to spot.  And given that the purpose of her article was to complain about the right wing media making up examples of benefits frauds, it was just a little hypocritical.

            And now a poster has posted my computer’s IP address, and despite a request, not yet removed that post.  Do you know how easy it is for someone with some technical knowledge to track an IP address to a specific house?  I have my wife and two children living here with me.  My comments are perfectly respectable and lawful, yet that person – and I don’t want to particularly disguise my rage at his f*cking conceit – feels it OK to broadcast information that within about 10 minutes will reveal my house location.  I have reported him to Mark Ferguson, and I very much hope Mark bans him forever.  That’s Mark’s decision, and knowing that poster, he’ll come back anyway with an anonymised IP address and yet another new name.  He’s quite technically astute, even if his opinions are infantile.

            We can all perform an IP lookup.  I can post your own house address in about 10 minutes if I really wanted to, but I’m never going to do so, nor even do the background searches.

            We all exist on the internet forums to converse.  Posting someone’s IP address is just about 500 steps took far.

          • Anonymous

            Jaime, I can only repeat- it behoves any of us to respond to people’s posts in the spirit and context intended, not to attempt to twist words or meaning in a derogatory or insulting way.

            We are all human, and people can get upset or take offence.We should all take care when interacting with other people, as I’m sure you must be aware with your level of experience.
            That’s why I have said repeatedly over time- please avoid mixing political dispute of opinion with personal details or personally directed commentary.
            I don’t know why you you are not understanding this?

            I can only say about Dave P that I have witnessed his blogging over some time on LL, and have found him to be civil and compassionate.He does express his views passionately, and can get irritable like most of us.But I’ve never seen him going out of his way to target someone or try to humilate them.

            I don’t know why he’s posted your address like that, and I would never condone anyone for doing that.But maybe he also felt  humiliated on a public blog.You come across in a very powerful way Jaime; have another read of the last paragraph you wrote on that thread.

            So yes, it should be withdrawn.
            But not the poster, because he has no record of ever acting in this manner.

            I am willing to converse with you Jaime, on the condition that you totally refrain from any kind of personally insulting behavour now or in the future, regadless of topic being discussed or disagreement over opinion. I will show the same consideration.

            But I also feel compelled to support other posters at times; some of these guys have been part of a blogging community on LL for some time, and I trust their motives for being here, and attitude towards others.Yes, we all “go off on one” at times; but it’s the intention that matters.

            I’d like to thank Mark too for bearing with all of us; it must be hellish to moderate.

            As I said before, we are all reponsible for what we post here.

            But I do feel alarmed by what you say about internet security Jaime; it does make me think twice about posting.

            Hope this can all be resolved; I just think a genuine apology all ’round would be the adult thing to do- and move on, but keeping in mind the need for civility and respect between people, and posting in good faith.

            Thanks, Jo.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Jo, those are kind thoughts, and I thank you for them.

            Can you explain why my IP address is being bombarded by a HP Proliant server located in Nottingham, and which is routed to a controlling PC located in the village of East Leake, a few miles south of Nottingham?  From nothing to 15,253 pings in the last hour?  Thankfully, my firewall is up to the job, and BT have said they will investigate.

          • Anonymous

            OK, reciprocated Jaime.

            But why are you asking me this?
            I have no idea, but I’m sorry you are experiencing it.

            You said yourself how easy it is for people to be located etc?

            Personally I find the whole thing very disturbing, and we should all consider online security.

            I hope it gets resolved peacably ASAP.

            Goodnight, Jo

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas


            i have now traced the address in East Leake.  I will be passing it to the Cambridgeshire Police in the morning.  Hopefully they will liaise with their colleagues in the Nottinghamshire Police.

          • Anonymous

            Frankly I hope they throw the book at them. Attacking someones privacy like that just because you dont like what they say should land you in a nice cell.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            You are an idiot to believe what he said.

          • Anonymous

            One not everyone has a dynamic ISP address. Two you had no right to do it anyway end of story. Three if you think this is normal behaviour dispite no other commenter ever having stooped so low let have your address then?

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t think so….

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            IP bombarding stopped now.  Maybe someone is reading.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            Actually, I was asleep from 11 to 8.  How many of your other comments are lies?

          • Anonymous

            I do not wish to know anyone’s personal details, and I think it is innappropriate to be adding it on this site.
            I think enough has been said by all to see the full context of this matter.


          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            That’s a complete and utter lie.  I don’t have an HP Proliant server.  I use an ISP and my IP address is DHCP – i.e. dynamically asssigned by my ISP.  Yours no doubt is too.  It is not a fixed IP address.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            BTW, my ISP is Zen based in Rochdale – do contact them as well.

          • Anonymous

            wow who was that then? Mr wolf i’d presume?

          • Earwig Gittwenstein
          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            No you can’t.  The IP addresses are dynamically assigned by the ISP.  The reaqson that I have that DHCP is because you visited my website at http://www.historicalresources.myzen.co.uk on Sunday evening.  If you don’t want to disclose it, don’t visit any websites.

          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            Complete bollocks.

          • Gilbert

            Jamie, switch the IP, by restarting your router.

      • Peter Barnard

        @ Jaime,
        I don’t like accusations of dishonesty.
        End of conversation – almost – except that what you have written is total bollocks (“harmonisation of interest rates,” indeed, and other claptrap about GDP and government expenditure, which is only about 22 per cent of GDP, by the way – clearly you don’t know the difference between expenditure and transfer payments).
        On interest rates, haven’t you noticed that high interest rates are usually associated with high levels of inflation, and the subsequent inflation goes a long way to removing the immediate and apparent burden? After the Second World War, it was the combination of good growth and lowish inflation that eased the (national debt) burden from 252 per cent of GDP in 1946 to 50 per cent of GDP in 1974 – even as much of the retired debt was replaced by new issues of gilts, and more. Even that old profligate (so-called) Harold Wilson reduced the national debt from 93 per cent of GDP in 1964 to 66 per cent in 1970.
        Government expenditure on the provision of goods and services is just as valid a component of GDP as private sector expenditure on goods and services. You make the elementary error that the “private sector pays for the public sector” which is more economics claptrap.
        Finally, there is no doubt in my mind that you were referring to Mike H (“unreconstructed socialist from Liverpool”) and Hazico (“bleeding heart from Nottinghamshire”). Otherwise, why chose Liverpool and Notts? Cheap shots from a cheap mind that appears not to know that there are other costs besides diesel involved in running London’s buses.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Dishonesty?  I used the word disingenuous, which in my book is not the same.  Disingenuous is to me being selective with facts, picking and choosing to make a case, not being dishonest.  I can see a few comments on this thread which appear to agree say something similar, so at least I have the comfort of knowing I am not alone in this opinion.

          Anyway, if you doubt the basic contention that “there’s no money left”, where is it going to come from?  China and Russia both said at the time of the G20 that they are not going to invest in the EFSF, India and Brazil have moved to bolster that position.  Private money is running quickly to stores of value and commodities, Europe collectively cannot organise themselves, the US is looking on and doing nothing.  So, Peter, in the fantasy world of Labour economics, where is the money for all of the spending schemes going to come from?  Shall we just print it, or create a few zeroes on a computer?
          There’ll be nothing at all I can do to convince you otherwise on your last paragraph, so I won’t try.

          • Peter Barnard

            @ Jaime,
            A couple of months after Liam Byrne made his fatuous remark, “There’s no money left,” the Coalition government presented its “emergency budget” in June, 2010.
            This showed a total of a total of £512 billion borrowing by the UK government for fiscal 2010/11 to 2014/15, so clearly the Coalition appeared to believe that there’s money around somewhere for it to borrow. Since Budget 2010, (i) the Coalition has revised its borrowing total upwards by another £40-odd billion, if I remember correctly, (ii) has sent – or committed to send – twelve billion towards Ireland, and (iii) committed £40 billion to the IMF.
            In the case of the UK, Labour’s last Budget showed PSND of 75 per cent of GDP in 2014/15. Given the history of the National Debt, this is a stroll in the park.
            As you remark, “private money is going into stores of value and commodities,” so clearly some people (or institutions) have the wherewithal to purchase these. I read almost every week in the business pages that UL plc is awash with cash. Money is around.
            What we are seeing is a massive ideological clash and assault on government as an entity, nothing more and nothing less. Those who wish for this outcome will live to rue the day.

          • Hugh

            “What we are seeing is a massive ideological clash and assault on
            government as an entity, nothing more and nothing less. Those who wish
            for this outcome will live to rue the day.”

            Peter, I’d say it’s curious that this ideology is so pervasive that it’s even affected those bastions of libertarianism the French.

            I also recall when it is suggested  the last Labour government prepared us poorly for any recession by running a deficit while we had decent growth, you have asked “which schools wouldn’t you build” etc. I have to ask, then, at what level you do think debt becomes a problem? Further, why are debt interest payments forecast at 3% of GDP in 2011 not a big deal while cuts of 1.4% are?

          • Peter Barnard

            @ Hugh P,
            Where has this “cuts of 1.4 per cent per annum” appeared from? Last year’s Spending Review (baseline 2010/11) Table 1 shows Departmental current expenditures reducing by 8.3 per cent over four years (2.1 per cent compound per annum) and Departmental capital expenditures falling by 29 per cent over four years (8.2 per cent compound per annum).
            Last year’s Coalition Budget (Table C13) shows that the combination of Departmental current and capital expenditures would need to grow from £382 billion (2010/11) to £419 billion (2014/15) to match “general economy inflation.” In fact, the expenditure was forecast to be £358 billion : minus 14.5 per cent and a compound 3.8 per cent per annum reduction.

          • Hugh

            @f9f79e8ab4d5a46a915f6cff53cf5feb:disqus “Where has this “cuts of 1.4 per cent per annum” appeared from?”

            It’s expressed as a percentage of GDP, annualised – the same measure you’re using to express the deb interest repayments. If you want to express them both in terms of departmental spending, then debt interest in 2011 would be the 4th highest
            department after social security, health and education and will overtake education by the end of the Parliament.

    • charles.ward

      You talk about economic illiteracy then use debt figures unadjusted for inflation to “prove” that national debt increased under the Conservatives and use debt interest figures to “prove” that debt decreased under Labour.  Pot, meet kettle.

    • GuyM

      The difference now PB is that the world is in a debt crises meaning there isn’t the money to finance all the likely defaults we are going to get hit with over the next 12 months.

      Or are you reeally suggesting that just at a time Europe and the world is finding it near impossible to pull enough currency together to capitalise a support fund for Greece (and they admit they haven’t a hope in hell of doing the same for Italy), the UK government should announce it is going to start loosening its deficit reduction programme through seeking to sell more bonds into a market in the middle of the biggest debt crises we’ve seen?

      How do you think the markets and our international partners would respond to that?

    • “Politicians, when it suits their purpose, love to frighten people with
      big numbers without setting them in context. Coalition ministers trot
      out “£120 million pounds a day” in debt interest, without mentioning
      that this is just 2.8 per cent of GDP”

      Quite right. Just like Labour banging on about cuts when we’re talking of cuts that average out at a measly 1.4% of GDP a year.

  • Peter Barnard

    @ Ian Robo

    I dunno, Ian – I can’t speak for Messrs Miliband and Balls, and I have no intention of speaking for the dreadful Mr Byrne.

    I think that the Conservatives (and finance) deliberately misled people regarding the significance of “the deficit” and the overall significance of the true measure of PSND : relative to GDP.

    In other words – look at this effin’ big tree, and don’t take any notice of the wood that it actually stands in.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Peter,

      Really appreciate all your input and informed opinion as ever on this topic.
      Mark’s written an excellent piece too, but also wanted to add something that might be of interest:


      I’m not sure I entirely go along with the idea we have to stick with Tory agenda on austerity drive etc; yes there is far less cash to spend, but it’s also a question of priorities and how to promote further growth/raise funds/encourage small scale businesses and enterprise etc.

      Alongside this, quality core public/community services must be protected, otherwise the fabric of society will  be eroded, and inequalities/living conditions become far worse.

      Jobs/training/education too at the heart of the economy and society.

      We need a vision as well as pragmatic solutions; and much to be learnt from the past.


    • GuyM

      Try telling the Italians today of the significance of debt and deficit on how markets feel about government bonds…..

  • derek

    I’d prefer the @Peter Barnard approach, however if we need to raise cash and we’re in this together why don’t we have a national crisis fund! where everyone contributes, say all on benefits contribute a pound, those on a minimum wage 2 pound, those up to fifty thou 5 pound those on 100,000 thou 10 pound and those above 150,000 20 pounds per week for lets say a 2 year period.

    • Earwig Gittwenstein

      That’s more like it.  Good old Derek.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mark, this is excellent.

    I think there should be transparency on how much money this is and how exactly it’s being spent- instead of the public being in the dark and having to accept at face value the ideological and politically driven choices and cuts being made.

    For example, look at the cost of implementation of the Health Bill, and the extraordinary disruption it is likley to cause. Not only that, but people didn’t vote for it, and never would.

    I think most of us accept we need collective reponsibility and pared down budgets, but this is clearly not being shared proportionally between those that can afford it and those that can’t.

    Why are public services and people least able to afford draconian austerity measures being made to suffer the hardest; whilst big buisness types in the city are receiving relatively obscene levels of pay and bonuses?

    It’s a question of ethics and morality about “degree” as well as practicality and just doing the maths.


    • GuyM

      As Digby-jones said today on the Daily Politics, the crash of 2008 was down to the banks, but the current one (which will be bigger) is down to national governments living beyond their means.

      It is not the banks to blame for Italy having 2 trillion of debt, nor is it the banks to blame for Greece not collecting taxes and having people retire at 50.

      So long as you have politicians of all shades getting elected and wating to “do stuff” when they don’t have the revenue then this will only happen again.

      So by all means regulate government spending within tight rules… but that would cripple labour government spending of the past wouldn’t it.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        ‘nor is it the banks to blame for Greece not collecting taxes and having people retire at 50.’
        No, it’s equally the fault of plutocrats who captured governments or who have pressurized governments.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein
      • Anonymous

        Hi Guy,

        I guess it’s all a question of degree and balance.

        I think some factors have been grossly exaggerated for political purposes.

        To state an overview-the public deserve straightforward and non partisan information, so we can all get on board with ideas and know more about where we are actually at, and what possible choices within framework of resources?

        I’d like to see far more emphasis on pragmatism and common sense,
        not swinging from one ideological standpoint to another,
        which overshadows the realities, and excludes democratic participation
        /community involvement.

        It’s also about fairness of distribition of resources and money, and quation of priorities.For example, what is of social value, not just in monetary terms.
        Not everything is easily quantifiable or can fit into a tickbox culture.

        Going back to original points you made, I just want to add I see all this as a continuum across successive governments and regimes.

        For example, in the 80’s and 90’s, we had 2 major recessions as I recall;
        and yet that was supposedly during times of boom not bust?

        I think one of the contributory factors could be an over reliance on the financial sector, which started, as deliberate policy- in the 80’s.

        That was OK short term, but has proven unsustainable.
        Alongside this, our manufacturing industry appeared to be being decimated; similar has been seen in USA; again- possibly started during the Reaganite era.

        I have seen photographic images of abandoned factories and industrial wastelands in USA, with huge devastating loss of jobs and skills to whole communities.
        The long term social impact of that lasts for decades and through generations.

        As regards your other points, I don’t think UK is directly comparable to Greece or Italy, for example.These are all individual economies and societies with their own historical cultures.

        We all have to look honestly at our own legacy of political choices and events.
        Much as it’s tempting, perhaps it won’t be helpful to focus on a blame game or point scoring between political sides, but take a wider view of incorporating broad pragmatic expertise and experience, and across a range of disciplines.

        We are also living in a much more globally orientated economy and culture, advanced technologies, etc- so we have to adapt.
        But equally, think about the factors that build and sustain communities and society.
        People themselves are the real resources, but none of us exist in a vacuum or individual bubble; those connections need to be made.

        So any response/future policy direction must be integrated and democratically applied, and with a broad and imaginative vision.

        This is how I see it.


  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    It’s a misconception.  There’s a mass of money out there – it’s just been appropriated by the likes of the Koch brothers and their international equivalents.  The finance available through tax revenues cannot be divorced from the increasingly gross inequality in the world.  What to do about that is another matter and I offer no solution.  If people like the Koch brothers really cared about the US, they would contribute their fair share back, IMHO. 

    • Jonathan Roberts

      I think it depends what you mean by contributing a fair share.  I have no understanding of the Koch family’s tax status so can’t comment on that.  But what I do know is that David Koch alone has given $750m to medical sciences in the last 10 years, around $100m to art charities/organisations and another $100m to education, including paying for the building of a state of the art science academy.

      As I say, it depends what you define a fair share to be, but it would be rather uncharitable to suggest they don’t give something back.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        Many of us also give to charities to the full extent of our ability, but we should also pay our taxes and not attempt to capture the government, prevent Medicaid and Medicare, depress workers’ conditions etc.  There are many different reasons for charitable donations, which can be highly selective.  I support the campaign over there to list and not buy Koch products because of the iniquitous influence of the Kochs over there. 

        • Anonymous


          I just spotted that you appear to have left me a message via the comments thread; but I can’t find it anywhere?

          I hope very sincerely that you feel able to continue sharing opinion and insights here in the future; you will be greatly missed.

          Please keep in touch when you are able, and remember much valued as a contributor here.

          Blogging can be a minefield; people can inadvertently speak out of line sometimes, emotions can run high. One thing you have always shown is compassion and consideration towards others, and never taken advantage of people.

          I’m so sorry for you that this situation has occurred, and I hope it gets resolved.

          It’s made me think twice about manner of posting and level of trust between posters. A hard balance to be struck between expressing one’s views whilst maintaining great caution.

          Thinking of you, and adding my support,


  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    The granting of mortgages went berserk.  Loans went berserk.  Management extraction from pensions went berserk.  ‘Remuneration’ went berserk.
    Market research is fine, but has become froth by its extremity.  Advertising has become excessive.  You are yourself evidence of the failure of advertising: even if the Co-op bombarded you with advertising, you would prefer Waitrose.  Allegiances are difficult to change.

    • GuyM

      No “mortgages” didn’t go beserk. Some mortgage provision was very wrong but not anywhere near the majority. But blame for that lies not only with lenders but also mortgagees who were totally unrealistic when it came to loan amounts.

      Remuneration also hasn’t gone “beserk”, some executive pay and bankers bonuses are unjustifiable but your average employee isn’t earning salaries at “beserk” levels.

      Market research being froth? Care to share some examples please, else it is polemic rather than anlytical.

      The same with advertsing being “excessive”. Define and provide evidence please, else you come across simply as an ill informed anti private sector detractor with no commercial experience.

      Regards the co-op and waitrose, you clearly don’t understand marketing in general. Marketing theory and practise is quite clear, you can not MAKE someone buy something they don’t wish to do buy.

      In it’s simplistic form, marketing and advertising follow the AIDA model:

      “Awareness to Interest to Decision to Action”

      With specific techniques and processes used for market segments at each stage.

      I buy from Waitrose because I like John Lewis (a partnership), like the quality and it supports foot fall in my smallish Surrey town (much in the same way I use the Boots, Butchers, Greengrocers and Newsagents there rather than travel to out of town retail parks).

      Stop applying negative stereotypes to all and sundry.

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    No problem:

      dsl-217-155-32-115.zen.co.uk You can have gleaned it from the tracking URL which I gave to you.  Everyone who uses an ISP has a dynamically-assigned IP address.  Only those who use a corporate LAN have a static address. 

    • charles.ward

      It appears your ignorance is not limited to politics.  It’s quite possible to have a static IP address from an ISP.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        Like 1% of people have static IP address with an ISP.  Cheerio.

        • Anonymous

          Dave, I don’t understand what has gone on entirely, and won’t ask to discuss here.

          I just want to add I am greatly saddened that yet again you feel compelled to leave; you have been a long term blogger on LL; I’ve read many many of your posts, and have found you to be nothing but a sincere and trusted poster.

          I would never condone anyone posting any kind of personal details or attempting to tracking down another poster.
          I don’t understand what has been going on.

          I would also never condone anyone who persisently seeks to provoke or upset people, making personal references etc- which is grossly intimidating.

          As far as I am concerned Dave, your character on this site is not in question.

          If ever you wish to get in touch Dave, or meet up locally, you would be more than welcome.

          LL will much the poorer without your input here.

          There are precious few Labour minded posters left on blogging sites as it is, in my view.

          I feel saddened and angry that people feel unable to post in good faith without being barracked and pursued across the blogisphere, and certain individuals going out of their way to undermine.

          I also have a lot of sympathy for Mark having to moderate these kind of situations.

          We are all adults- why is it not possible to conduct an adult dialogue without playground tactics?

          Wishing you all best Dave, and please know many of us here still support you and have valued your input and experience which you have been generous in sharing.


          • Earwig Gittwenstein

            @ Jo

            Take care, Jo.  I am in fact taking legal advice about the lies below which apparently will not be removed by the moderator.

            Can you explain why my IP address is being bombarded by a HP Proliant server located in Nottingham, and which is routed to a controlling PC located in the village of East Leake, a few miles south of Nottingham?  From nothing to 15,253 pings in the last hour?  Thankfully, my firewall is up to the job, and BT have said they will investigate.

            i have now traced the address in East Leake.  I will be passing it to the Cambridgeshire Police in the morning.  Hopefully they will liaise with their colleagues in the Nottinghamshire Police.

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        Before I go, I’ll report this one as gratuitously offensive.

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    You should read James Galbraith’s book.

    • GuyM

      Why? So you can avoid the issue of if it’s a problem with spending year after year large amounts of money you don’t have?

      Italy was running deficits of 10% for years, it now pays the cost.

      You would have the UK run with large deficits for years and ignore the long term cost.

      It is financial irrespnsibility on a huge scale.

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    @ Mark Ferguson
    I understand that I am under moderation.  Are the two people who have told lies about me equally under moderation? 

    • derek

      I’ll second that! it seems as though your acting impartially   @Mark, clearly Earwig Gittwenstein was only responding to others. As stated only a general IP address was given. It really looks like your exchanging e-mail contact with a poster and acting in favour of one said party?I think you need to explain your reasons. 

      • Anonymous

        If anyone isn’t happy with a post they can flag it. Always happy to have anyone email me ([email protected]) if there are persistent problems.

        And I don’t need to “explain my reasons Derek” – I’m doing my best to uphold the comment moderation policy. There are quite a few people on this thread lucky not to be moderated or banned outright. I dare say editing this site would be easier if I did just that.

        Best behaviour everyone – consider this a warning.

    • derek

      I’ll second that! it seems as though your acting impartially   @Mark, clearly Earwig Gittwenstein was only responding to others. As stated only a general IP address was given. It really looks like your exchanging e-mail contact with a poster and acting in favour of one said party?I think you need to explain your reasons. 

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    Are the two people who told lies about me under moderation?

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    Are the two people who told lies about me under moderation?

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    le who told lies about me are under moderation.  No response.  

    • Anonymous

      I can’t respond to every comment. If you think that someone has behaved in a way that violates the comment moderation policy – as you clearly do – then flag the comments and I’ll take a look

      • Earwig Gittwenstein

        Blatant lies were told about me – about attempting to hack into someone’s PC.  I was accused of posting someone’s static IP address when it is just one of a number of dynamic IP addresses owned by the ISP which are rotated as people log on (dynamically assigned).  The reason that I have the IP address is because the person visited my website to check up on me.  All websites use tracking to reveal visitors.  Unfounded allegations were made about my pension, my UKUncut activities, etc.  Another commentator demanded that the book be thrown at me but does not understand the nature of DHCP.  It’s pure and simple bollocks.  I’ve erroneously drawn myself into discussions which I should not have had.  I recognise that I’ve said that I will leave before and dragged myself back in, but this now really takes the biscuit. 

        • Anonymous

          Dave, forgive me, but maybe it would be an idea to send a separate email to Mark in confidence with your version of events?

          It seems only fair.


  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    Nobody is asking you to be subject to collective bargaining, but would you deny it to others who are less privileged than you, where there is a rate for the job?

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re missing the point: there just aren’t that many 100k+ earners: If you imposed £100 a week crisis tax on them you’re only going to raise £3.4 billion a year which is nothing in comparison to the current overspend.

    That means your next 71 ideas are going to have to come from heavily taxing people who aren’t fabulously wealthy. Good luck with that. At the very least it’s a tad unlikely to promote growth.

    There is just no feasible way of dealing with the deficit that doesn’t involve significant cuts in spending.

    • derek

      @Hugh but deficit cutting at such a speedy rate only add to higher unemployment which raises the chance that the chancellor wont reach his deficit cutting budget goals. In the next few weeks Osborne will give an upto date statement on the deficit reduction plan and his OBR forecast…..are you confident he’ll meet those targets?

  • Anonymous

    I replied to you in great detail on another thread to which you appear to ignore.

    I do not intend to continue if this is your continual response.

    I suggest you just try to allow other people to have their own opinions and listen to other points of views occasionally.We all have to read stuff we disagree with, but some tolerance and respect might not go amiss.

    Could I also suggest you state your own views that add some value to original post, instead of just keep knocking down others.
    It is a waste of time and energy.

    As stated before, I don’t mind hearing genuine opinion from anyone; but hopefully expressed in a civil manner.


    • GuyM

      I’m asking you clearly provide specific examples of “cultures and practices” from private sector companies that you are critical off. Not general criticsim that from my experience is not matched by reality.

      My general opinion Jo, is that the majority of this country work in the private sector, must of that sector does a bloody good job in employing people under competitive threat day in day out.

      My opnion Jo (supported by every MBA course on the planet) is that you can not generalise over company culture, hierarchy and practices.

      In fact the mark of a good consultant is that he doesn’t apply self reference criteria everywhere he goes, but instead opens his eyes and views each case on its merits. In other words he does not assume there is a structural problem with the majority of the entire private sector in sweeping generalisations.

      You really ought not to make specific attacks on the private sector and then hide behind generalisations. You would be up in arms if it were done to the public sector.

  • Hugh

    No, I’m not. But I am absolutely certain he’ll get a lot closer to meeting them than if those with your sympathies were in charge. Besides which, it’s not terribly speedy.

    • derek

      @Hugh, well, we’ll judge that on a time scale, so far all avenues point to flatlining and undergrowth.

  • Earwig Gittwenstein

    @ Mcconnell

    You do not think so, eh.  I posted it immediately after you asked for it, idiot, but not in the restricted box.  Now I shall not be back.

    • Anonymous

      Dave, please don’t respond to SM.

      He usually only appears to rub “salt in the wound” and jump on any old bandwagon.
      I rarely hear anything original or constructive from him I’m sorry to say.

      I don’t usually comment like this, but I don’t see why you should feel pressurized to leave like this Dave; or anyone for that matter.

      It’s not a bloody war! It’s meant to be a community forum for discussion and debate.

      Please remember those of us who value your input here Dave, and please return when you feel inclined, and have hopefully had a breather.

      I am truly sick of seeing any form of trolling or game playing with genuine posters.

      Take care, and hope you return soon.


  • Anonymous

    Well perhaps you would apply the same approach to your comments about the public service/sector Guy in future posts.There too, many assumptions and generalisations.

    None of us claim to be experts, but we can all share views and experiences.
    It is my belief that currently it is the public sector and by implication- workers, that is being villified and wrongly represented.

    I also see it as part of the wider ideological agenda to “roll back the state”as deemed by right wing government and their friends/allies in the media.
    I’m guessing that from the kind of rhetoric used which is thoroughly misleading.

    I fully respect your individual working background, but would also expect the same courtesy to be extended to
    workers and professionals from the public service sector, who are able to measure the rhetoric against the reality.

    I f you heard someone or something making  innaccurate statements about your immediate workplace or role
    of colleagues etc, I’m sure you’d feel justified in speaking out.

    Some of what is referred to also about effects of global capitalism etc is part of a wider discourse, not just confined to partisan politics.


    • GuyM

      I have no problem with the public sector per se, none at all.

      I do ahve a problem with it’s size and some of the politically correct practices that occur at local council level.

      THat doesn’t mean NHS, Police or Fire etc. it means some town halls are not beacons of good practice or value for taxpayers money.

      But anyway, the curse of ever decreasing line size is swallowing us all up, so best we escape now before we get trapped!

  • Anonymous

    I think the UK’s economy was sustainable prior to the banking crisis in USA which sparked a recession?

    I can’t recall what that major report was about European rankings- but UK was near the top.(With Labour at the helm.)
    A Darling, for example, was a great chancellor.
    I also think GB was too in that role; he’s probably far more experienced than GO currently.

    I see this as a collective responsibility across all governments, over time.

    Needless to say, also we had 2 major recessions in the 80’s and 90’s under the Tories, so there are no easy answers for any government.

    But it would be useful to look at factors like what makes economies grow- eg manufacturing, and not an over reliance on the financial sector, as was seen in the 80’s onwards? That was a deliberate policy, and look at where we have ended up 30 years later?
    Perhaps still, an over reliance on the financial sector to stimulate growth, which is subject to massive fluctuations and unstable; little to fall back on.

    I’m no economist, but I do remember some argument too about reliance on foreign imports rather than making and exporting home grown goods and building up our own manufacturing base.
    This has probably been going on for decades across governments- and it all looks like very short term gain, whilst other countries like Germany have valued and protected their manufacturing industry.

    I don’t know at all what you mean by saying “more spending goes to the Chinese….and Indians” etc.

    I’m not keen on this cliche or perception that somehow only the Tories understand “business.”

    Surely businesses can take many forms, eg small enterprises or mutualist models/community led initiatives?

    I’d like to see cross party consensus on ideas to grow the economy, whilst also protecting front line services.More importantly, I’d like to see people involved in that process, not just top down organizations announcing dictats.

    It’s a huge area for debate.

    Thanks, Jo.

  • Anonymous

    It also depends what level of service is needed.

    Schools, health, community services, social care for the elderly and children in care for example, social services, probation and prisons, police, fire, ambulance, etc.

    It is about meeting the needs of the population, and preventative measures, such as reducing crime or providing quality care for vulnerable/sick people.

    In other words, a social necessity- not a luxury.

    It’s been said that countries with the highest quality public services and best welfare provision have the highest quality of life and least crime; best education; most “civilized” and greatest social cohesion/sense of community.

    There is no reason why that cannot exist alongside
    a mixed and enterprising economy;
    (which can take different forms.)


  • Hugh

    What timescale would you like to use? How about 2002  to 2007 when the economy was growing and so was net government debt?

  • Anonymous

    OK, thanks; makes more sense.Box shrunk!

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