Thursday, 13 February 2014

Rejoice! Cameron has found the 'magic money tree'!

Just in case you hadn't noticed we are still in the grip of austerity with Conservative Chancellor George Osborne and Ed Milliband both promising yet more cuts in government spending. In fact, there is no end in sight to austerity, with years of cuts to come. But what Ed and George don't appear to understand, and what I and many others have been arguing is that austerity cuts don't help our economy or make our finances stronger. If we hadn't had Osborne's cuts over the past 4 years our economy would be in a much better position now. Osborne has complained about the fact that we are borrowing too much money but his cuts have lead to greater borrowing. He has now borrowed as much in 3 years as the last government did in 13 years. He has failed.

Of course Cameron has staunchly supported his Chancellor through the years of austerity and he one famously said "there is no magic money tree". What he said was:
"It’s as if they think there’s some magic money tree.  Well let me tell you a plain truth: there isn’t.”
Of course he was talking about borrowing, something which Osborne has been doing rather a lot of, but let me tell you the real truth - there is a magic money tree. In fact, there are at least two magic money trees. One is called quantitative easing and the government used that to produce £375 billion worth of cash from thin air. Another is the way in which governments can suddenly find more money when they come under political pressure. 
David 'money no object' Cameron

This brings us to the recent terrible flooding events in the Somerset Levels, and on the Thames and Severn. The Somerset floods went on for weeks before the government showed some concern but the Thames flooding was a different matter. The latter is a Tory heartland and Cameron realised he had to be seen to be doing something - and fast. So he did an about-face reached for the 'magic money tree' and stated that "money is no object". According to the Telegraph Cameron 'promises to spend whatever is necessary as flooding worsens across southern England'

If the government hadn't been so busy cutting public spending including on flood defence, the Environment Agency, and fire services we might have be in a better position to cope with the current crisis. The message is clear, the austerity cuts were always political and a false economy. The reality is that a cut in one area often increases spending in another, and that is what is happening now.  Add to that the government's climate change denial credentials, Cameron's 'green crap', and the promotion of fossil fuel fracking and you have a government which is not only class-war driven but short-sighted and incompetent. More and more people will suffer from the multiple failings of the stupidest government ever but don't expect Cameron to be fazed by any of this, he has one of the biggest brass necks in political history.