What Happened to the Money?

Larry Elliott is right to ask in Tuesday’s Guardian why 16.5 billion of quantitative easing made available by the Bank of England to the commercial banks through the funding for lending scheme has failed to show up in increased lending to the small and medium-sized businesses which desperately need a boost to their available funding. […]

An Economic Policy for Labour

It was significant that, in the seven issues that Tony Blair – in his article last week in the New Statesman – advised Ed Miliband to focus on, there was no mention of the state of the economy. It is true that Tony never had much interest in or knowledge of economic policy – a […]

George Osborne’s Non-Event

George Osborne’s budget was driven by an obvious political imperative but was, in economic terms, largely a non-event. The major interest, such as it was, lay in the minor adjustments offered to long-suffering consumers in the forlorn hope that they would be cheered up by cheaper beer and marginal concessions on income tax, and might […]

George Osborne’s Deep Hole

Whatever George Osborne may say on Wednesday in his budget speech, he cannot extricate himself from the wreckage that now surrounds him. He may be just about the last person in Britain to believe that austerity offers a credible path to recovery from recession – and it may be doubted that even he remains a […]

I Told You So

Jonathan Freedland, in last week’s Guardian, congratulates the UK Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, on being able to claim the rare privilege in politics of saying “I told you so”. Balls had warned in 2010 that austerity would not pull the UK out of recession – a prediction now in the course of being amply confirmed. […]

Labour Should Challenge Macro-economic Policy

Stewart Wood in this week’s Guardian is right to argue that the paradoxical popular support for George Osborne’s manifestly failing policies for recovery should not mean that Labour must abandon its social democratic approach to solving the nation’s problems. The drive for “responsible capitalism” is of course an important aspect of such an approach, and […]

Rupert and the Rioters

Rupert Murdoch and his News International have good reason to be grateful to the rioters. They were able to drop out of the headlines themselves, for a time at least, and to report on others making the news for a change. But their respite was short-lived. The apparently incontrovertible and growing evidence of cover-up and […]

Do You Want The Good News Or The Bad News?

The May election results delivered what was promised – only more so. The winners and losers were eminently predictable, but the voters’ judgments were unexpectedly savage. The night’s big losers were, of course, the Liberal Democrats. They certainly expected a poor showing but they must be surveying the post-election wreckage with something approaching dismay. The […]

Good Government Matters

Government over recent times has got itself a bad name. Politicians are of course always regarded as fair game, particularly by media whose proprietors often see themselves as competitors for power, but the critics’ task was of course made immeasurably easier by the expenses scandal. The damage suffered as a consequence of that self-inflicted wound […]

What Is The Point of a Coalition If Only One Voice Is Heard?

Nick Clegg’s performance in the election campaign’s televised debates promised briefly to stand election projections on their head. The voters seemed to decide when the crunch came, however, that more was required than a pleasant demeanour and a winning smile. Election arithmetic, though, came to his aid and gave him and the Lib Dems another […]