Coalition trials and tribulations over budget

The coalition have been having a few weeks of pretty bad media storms. There was the fuel crisis that never was when the government in trying to make people prepare for a possible crisis managed to create one. The government may have thought they were preparing themselves like a mini version of the Thatcher governments preparations for taking on the miners. In reality the government actually did the tanker drivers propaganda for them demonstrating how bad a strike might be: … Read more

The working class can kiss my ass: I’ve got the foreman’s job at last

Sorry for the somewhat rude title but that modification of the Red Flag (Billy Bragg sings it too fast here in my view) came to mind over this story. Over 70% of the UK population now describe themselves as middle class, they have an average household income of £37,000: in contrast only 24% regarded themselves as working class and they had an average household income of £24,000. The survey by Britain Thinks (available here) identified six “middle class segments” and … Read more

Why referendums should be banned

In the not too-distant, we are going to be offered a referendum to decide which voting system we prefer in the UK and Northern Ireland. This is the equivalent of being offered a trial-by-combat to decide who should be awarded a peace prize. There is little evidence that referendums make a vote fair. Nor are they widely seen as a means of forming good policies. Yet they have gradually slipped into the British constitution in recent years without much discussion … Read more

Growth or deficit: “Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul”

There’s a good piece in The Guardian from Julian Glover who says, yes, the Coalition does want cuts for ideological reasons, but then what of it? Yet ministers, by and large, hesitate before admitting this. Liberal Democrats worry about scaring their voters. Conservatives aren’t sure the country will understand their big idea. It’s easier to take refuge in the alternative truth that cuts are happening because they are needed. Even Ed Miliband issued a press release last week agreeing. From … Read more