Today’s interview by Evan Davis of Ed Balls did neither of them any credit. Davis failed to get Balls to reveal what his actual plans are for the economy and how much they will cost in borrowing, and Balls ignored all the questions and ploughed on battering us over the head with his ‘Plan B’……or ‘Going For Broke’ as you might like to call it.
Nick Robinson @bbcnickrobinson
Think it’s time someone arranged for a re-match in which @edballsmp interviews @EvanHD. One for Children in Need if not @BBCr4?!
Davis became so frustrated that he almost lost his temper at one stage…though he did get a small ‘Grrrgh!’ out of Balls when Davis stated the obvious…that Balls’ plans for more borrowing would merely burden future generations with debt….so why not try monetary policy first?
David Smith @dsmitheconomics
‘I think Ed Balls might be advised to steer clear of Evan Davis for future Today interviews. And Ed needs to brush up on the 1930s’
Balls of course would have none of it…..he had his story and he was sticking to it….the Coalition’s ‘fiscal crunch’ had choked off the economy and growth, monetary policy and liquidity weren’t the answer……because they didn’t answer the fundamental problem…which is…lack of confidence in the future economy by the public and businesses.
Lack of confidence might be a problem…along with lack of cash….but you could ask who caused the confidence shortfall in the first place?
Apart from the BBC itself contributing to the atmosphere of doom and gloom (see also the recent survey on the NHS which bore little relation to the real state of the Service and claimed everyone was deeply worried about it….likely due to the BBC’s relentless doom mongering about the NHS) could it be one E. Balls Esq who likes to shout from the roof tops that we are ‘doomed, all doomed’……
“These are the darkest, most dangerous times for the global economy in my lifetime. Our country – the whole of the world – is facing a threat that most of us only have ever read about in the history books – a lost decade of economic stagnation.”
He said: “This is not a crisis of debt as the government claims, which can be solved country by country, by austerity, cuts and retrenchment, but truly a global growth crisis which is deepening and becoming more dangerous by the day.”
Ed Balls: ‘Lost decade’ for economy looms if George Osborne fails to act
Shadow chancellor warns of Japanese-style stagnation without plan for jobs and growth.
The British economy risks being plunged into a lost decade of Japanese-style stagnation unless the government tempers its austerity drive with a plan for jobs and growth, Ed Balls warns today.
Ed Balls really needs to stop smirking with saying the country is in recession
As well as using Japan as a ‘gold standard’ example of why austerity doesn’t work he harks back to the 1930’s to claim we spent our way out of the Depression.
Firstly Japan spent billions to try and dig its way out of recession and famously failed. Secondly Britain implemented far more swingeing ‘cuts’ in the 1930’s than we have now at present…and only began tax cuts when the economy was on a firmer footing.
‘Myths about the 1930s abound and not just among Labour politicians. Ed Miliband and Ed Balls join many historians, filmmakers, and novelists in wrongly painting Thirties Britain as a
universally hopeless, destitute place, rendered poor and miserable by a heartless, Conservative-dominated National Government. The mood was depressing indeed in 1931, but the economic data is decisive: by the middle of the decade, recovery had come and in much of the country an unrivalled boom was underway.’
‘The cuts of autumn 1931, which were far more immediately fierce than anything put through by the Coalition today. They were felt particularly harshly by ratings in the Royal Navy, some of whom were told they would receive pay cuts of 25%. A few days after the Budget, the North Atlantic Fleet anchored at Invergordon refused to muster.’
‘[The policies] enabled the Bank of England, the commercial banks and building societies to embark on a “cheap money” policy which would henceforth underpin the economic recovery.’
Some lessons from the 30’s…..
First, to stabilize the public finances.
Second, to ensure cheap money was available for
investment by households and businesses to underpin a
Third, to reduce taxes, especially on those with low incomes
and families, once it was safe to do so.
‘This was a sort of proto-Thatcherism, ahead of its time.’
So first…Austerity and balancing the books, then cheap money….today Osborne announced just that, then when economy is recovering some tax cuts.
So pretty much as is occurring.
Now Evan Davis, and nearly all in the BBC who comment on finance also claim Japan was a ‘victim’ of Austerity…not only that but here you can hear Davis going along with Balls and his description of the 1930’s policy…..only trick they missed was to mention the USA and the ‘New Deal’…..but Americas massive spending programme didn’t work in reality…the war saved the US.
Both Balls and the BBC experts, such as Stephanie Flanders, like to say that Britain is not a safe haven, that we would not lose the valued triple A credit rating that allows us to borrow money cheaply if we decided to kick over the traces and start borrowing massively in the style of Gordon Brown again…..not so says….‘Senior German and EU officials [who] have expressed concern that the Socialist policies will bring market turbulence to France and increase French borrowing costs, threatening the country’s long-term credit rating.
“France needs its AAA or else the euro cannot bear the debt burden. Germany cannot do it alone,” said a eurozone official.’
And: John Cridland, the CBI director general, said: “Labour has form spending money it does not really have.”
Just how much is Balls really against the Coalition cuts?
“No matter how much we dislike particular Tory sending cuts or tax rises we cannot make promises now to reverse them.” He added: “I won’t do that and neither will any of my shadow cabinet colleagues.”
Perhaps his attitude informs the Public when they come to assess his character as a ‘untrustworthy opportunist’
or indeed what the Boss of Biased BBC says about Balls:
David Vance @DVATW
Ed Balls praising Eurozone growth and damning UK economy. He has no shame and demonstrates why Labour are unfit to EVER govern our country
And it would seem that even inside the Labour Party ‘machine’ austerity is order of the day:
Subject: *Confidential: Message from General Secretary
Date: 14 June 2012 14:17:58 GMT+01:00
14th June 2012
In November, I announced a new structure designed to modernise our organisation and address the issues raised through the review. Each of the Executive Directors reporting to me has been asked to work on plans to optimise our organisation, in order to make us more efficient, refocus and re-energise our work in critical areas and to strengthen and professionalise our operations.
All of this must, however, be achieved against a backdrop of the financial challenge we are all familiar with.
The objective of all of us is that the Party should be a “one term opposition”.
To achieve this we need to make changes which are sometimes painful but necessary like those I’ve described above. I know this is not easy, but if we are to show people we are serious about cutting the debts of the country then we must also cut the debts of The Labour Party.
However Balls does have at least one fan….
Ed Balls is right. Throwing money at banks doesn’t work. I stood outside Natwest throwing 2p coins at the window and now I have an ASBO.
But what to make of this?…..
‘A female contemporary of Mr Balls at Keble said: ‘Eddie was always very ambitious, and he was hardly a sex magnet so I can’t remember him having any interesting girlfriends.‘
Ouch…bit rough on poor old Steph Flanders!
Shame the BBC can’t find the time or inclination to ‘fisk’ Balls properly…however as Guido says of their Leveson coverage….‘If you have been watching BBC news or reading the Guardian you would think that Brown’s testimony was proven and Rupert Murdoch had made up the whole claim about Brown “declaring war”.’ They clearly have their own little agenda which doesn’t include a Coalition Government lasting any longer than necessary.