So Dave: this financial crisis Whaddaya gonna do about it?
He’s going to have a website. Ahh. Sweet. Also, Blairism circa 1998.
I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the Tories, at least those around Cameron, don’t actually want power any more. It scares them. They’re frit. Cameron is supposed to have Blairised the Tories. But Blairism was essentially the idea that all fundamental economic questions had been settled and that government was simply a matter of deciding how to take advantage of the fact. It’s essentially an ideology for the good times, or at least one based on the idea that the good times would just roll on endlessly. Now the system’s run itself off the rails Cameron doesn’t really have a clue what to do, though he seems to be leaning towards the idea of entrenching a fully fledged Hooverite depression out of not much more than sheer panic.
Dave says that this is the new Age of Austerity. In the original Age of Austerity, we managed to create the National Health Service, keep a million men under arms through conscription, and, in the Tories case, embark on a mass house building programme: all of that with public debt at 250% of GDP, twice that currently projected. Just because you don’t have much money doesn’t mean that you can’t spend what you have more or less how you please.
But to do that you need ideas: Right now, all the Tories are willing to show us in this direction is Michael Gove’s proposal to extend Academy status to primary schools: another Blairite retread and one specifically mounted right now in the hope that people will stop paying attention to the inconveniently popular tax hike on the wealthy.
The irony is that as things stand the government is so discredited it won’t be able to give the Tories the opt out of a hung parliament and the chance to hide behind Vince Cable’s skirts. Perhaps the we’ll be hearing approving noises from them in the near future about the necessity of a government of national unity towards the same objective.