Sunday, 3 October 2010

Getting some perspective

A defensive David Cameron is busy trying to downplay the impact of the cuts by saying we need to put them into 'perspective'. Yes we should. As this excellent article by John Lancaster points out, 'the £82b worth of cuts that George Osbourne is going to announce in 2 weeks time are unprecedented. No government has ever achieved anything like that reduction in public spending. To put it in perspective, since 1950 there have been only two periods during which public spending was cut for two years in a row. The coalition is proposing to cut it for six consecutive years. Their cuts will exceed anything Margaret Thatcher did.'

Indeed. And she oversaw the return of mass unemployment, greater inequality, increased social tension, and riots on our streets. The new Thatcherites want to achieve what the old ones could not quite manage; a permanent reduction in the size of the state and an end to extensive public services. If they get away with it Britain will be a more divided, a more unequal, and a more unfair society for generations to come.