In elections as closely fought as this politics drives out truth. No party dares to tell the truth least it frighten voters off. Lots of noise about peripherals. Not a word about looming disasters,tough measures or any thing that might require major changes
So the parties don't fight about the major issue of re powering the economy to grow through present difficulties or about borrowing more for investment but lots of noise about who can close the deficit fastest and whether every promise has been carefully costed. Escapism is the best form of electioneering.
What are the major problems? First we have an alarming and growing balance of payments deficit, currently 6% of GDP, which we have to borrow and sell off assets to cover.This indicates that the pound is substantially overvalued and has to come down.There won't be a word of this in the election.
Second. We can't pay for all the social welfare and local government services a modern society needs. There will have to be an increase in taxation, particularly on wealth and high earners. Not a word
Third. You can't expand the economy and boost employment without more borrowing and spending to boost demand and investment. Borrowing is very sensible now interest rates are so low. No one dares say so
Fourthly. New industries and jobs don't just spring fully armed out of some entrepreneurs head.They need government encouragement and support ,an industrial policy and a regional policy to attract jobs to the deprived regions. All that will be difficult with EU rules on state aid. Silence again. Ferme ta bouche
Elections are a brief escape to happy land amidst the gathering gloom.Enjoy.
I've spent a lot of time over the last week explaining to people that UKIP isn't going to win Grimsby. Grimsby needs Labour and the public spending and development Labour will bring because Grimbarians are less well off than other parts of the country their interests lie with Labour. We have an excellent Labour candidate who's winning the debates and doing well. So why not concentrate the effort going to Grimsby on next door Cleethorpes which is much more marginal but which we need if we're to form a government.
There is one problem common to both that's the Fed up tribe which feels that both parties have let the, down and destroyed their comfortable world of steadily rising wages and living standards, welfare employment and a mixed economy. About a third of the electorate have turned against both parties and politics and they'll either abstain or vote UKIP which voices their discontents.Their interests lie with Labour not negativism and its Labour's job to win them back to reality by a nationalist policy of rebuilding Britain's strength.
Having preached this sermon for months I preached it again for a journalist from the Independent since he didn't quite seem to understand I added as I rang off the merry quip that there is no need to be so obsessed with UKIP, anyone could hold Grimsby for Labour. I exaggerated because the electorate are now more choosy than in the days when voters for both main parties could say "I'd vote for a pig if my party put one up" This was a joke, not for quotation and certainly not a criticism of our candidate. Indeed it ran against the whole trend of my argument which was Labour has to work to win back voters it's disappointed
But ill advised to joke with.the stupid. The sneaky bastard probably recorded the interview (without asking) and even sneakier made that his main report. With his original news story shot down he opted for the easy way out of stirring up trouble by making summit out of nowt. What did the candidates think of my view "Monstrous" What did the electors think.? "Insult" What did the Tories think? "Labour takes people for granted" and the pedophiles?"insulting to say we'd vote Labour" etc and a whole storm,of the twitterati descended on my head plus television news demanding clarification.Thus the whole point was lost.Daft being obsessed with Grimsby and ignoring the real marginal: Cleethorpes
There's a foretaste of the election to come .No great issues. Parties deadlocked. Let's just start rows over nothing. It works too.I bought a copy of the Independent on Sunday for the first time in years.If this is the standard of their journalism I won't need to again.