Tuesday 13 June 2017

The absolute brass neck of Theresa may's latest U-turn

The front page of the Times is blaring that Theresa May has told her Tory MPs that "Austerity is over", and while this can be seen as a huge victory for people like me who stood almost alone at times to decry austerity dogma as the socially and economically ruinous hard-right fanaticism that it is, there are several issues to consider.

Liar liar

You'd be a fool to trust her. After crying crocodile tears about social mobility on the steps of Downing Street one of her first acts as Prime Minister was to scrap the student grants that helped kids from poor backgrounds go to university.

In all likelihood this declaration that "austerity is over" is just another Tory rebranding exercise. They'll carry on with the cuts, but they'll simply stop using the word "austerity" to describe what they're doing.

Ideological vandalism

After seven ruinous years of self-defeating Tory austerity dogma the budget deficit still stands at over £50 billion.

If the Tories drop austerity now in favour of the kind of investment-based recovery strategy that people like me, the Green Party and the left of the Labour Party have been calling for ever since 2010, then they'll be demonstrating that the austerity agenda was never necessary at all, and was in fact just ideologically driven Tory wickedness.

Such an abrupt U-turn would mean that every single Tory cut over the last seven years was carried out for ideological reasons.

  • Every closed A&E, police station, Sure Start centre, fire station, maternity ward, library, public toilet, NHS walk in centre, women's refuge, and social care service was closed down for Tory ideology, not necessity.
  • 20,000 police jobs, 10,000 fire service jobs, tens of thousands of NHS jobs, hundreds of thousands of jobs across local government and the social care sector. All scrapped for ideological reasons, not necessity.
  • Every year of below inflation pay freezes for our hard-working public sector employees, every cut to disability benefits, every cut to child welfare, every cut to in-work benefits. All imposed for ideological reasons, not necessity.
  • Legal aid gutted and access to the justice system trashed for ideological reasons, not necessity. 
  • Every one of the 400,000 extra children plunged into lives of growing up in poverty. A deliberate Tory choice, not a necessity.
If Theresa May drops austerity now then it becomes clear that all of this social and economic vandalism was committed because the Tories wanted to do it, not because it was even remotely necessary.


Saying that austerity is something that can be scrapped when it becomes clear the public have turned against is an absolute demonstration that it was never necessary in the first place.

It's also a demonstration of Theresa May's directionless opportunism. She's willing to do anything to cling to power. If she's willing to burn the Northern Ireland peace process on her bonfire of vanity, then an admission that the last seven years of ruinous Tory economic dogma was inflicted by choice hardly seems exceptional.

Imagine the brass neck of it. She sat in government for seven long years punishing the poor and ordinary whilst lavishing huge giveaways on the corporations and the mega-rich, and now in a desperate attempt to rebrand herself, she's saying that all of the suffering and economic destruction she helped to inflict wasn't even necessary!

The Magic Money Tree

During the election campaign Theresa May and several other senior Tories tried to claim that Labour's investment-based economic strategy was akin to harvesting a "magic money tree". Now that Theresa May has seen the public tide turning against austerity and abandoned it, she's either got to admit that she believes in "magic money trees", or she's got to admit that she knew all along that the "magic money tree" stuff was lamentable economic idiot fodder designed to fool the absolutely gullible into voting Tory.

New Labour is dead

Jeremy Corbyn didn't even win a majority, but it's given Theresa May such a fright that she's throwing away seven years of Tory economic policy within a week of the election!

Just imagine if Ed Miliband had had the brains and courage to sack the hard-right austerity-lite fools Ed Balls and Chris Leslie and properly oppose the Tories in the 2015 General Election campaign.

The ONLY reason the Tories got away with imposing such appalling austerity madness on the UK economy for so long was that the right-wing New Labour lot failed to properly oppose it.

As soon as the Tories have faced a bit of opposition to their ruinous austerity dogma they're folding like a pack of cards.

Ed Balls has already gone, but Chris Leslie is still there, and now that Theresa May is abandoning austerity, he's going to find himself totally isolated within the Labour Party and economically to the right of the Tory party!

If he had any self-awareness or basic decency whatever he would resign from the Labour Party and from front line politics immediately for the damage he's helped the Tories inflict on our country. But he doesn't have any self-awareness decency at all judging by his ridiculous post-election attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

What are they going to do?

Now that they've decided to throw their ruinous austerity dogma in the bin it's absolutely clear that only an absolute mug would believe anything the Tories say about the economy.

They told us over and over again that there was no choice, but now that austerity is politically toxic, and it serves their own self-interest to abandon it, it's suddenly not necessary at all!

So what are they going to do now that they've U-turned on their core economic strategy?

Steal the investment-based economic policies off the Labour Party left and then pretend that they haven't spent the last seven years ridiculing and deriding Keynesian style investment economics?

You wouldn't put it beyond the opportunistic bastards would you?

You also wouldn't put it beyond them to simply carry on with ruinous austerity economics, but just rebrand it as something else (Prudence? Judiciousness? Thrift?)

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