There will be hour upon hour of coverage on TV and in the press today and tomorrow about George Osborne’s budget, with Labour picking holes and the Tories and LibDems fighting for the ‘credit’ for the supposed recovery.
I’ve already listened to more than I can stomach of Osborne, Ken Clarke and others claiming that their ‘hard work’ and, of course, ‘tough choices’ (we’re all in it together, after all) have resulted in the supposed economic recovery, the fall in ‘worklessness’ (their attempted fudge after the UK Statistics Authority rapped their knuckles for claiming unemployment has fallen massively when in reality it’s dropped hardly at all or risen slightly, depending when you measure from) etc.
But the government’s own OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) laid bare the truth in a single phrase. Speaking to journalists a few moments ago, and covered by BBC News (who so far have failed to spot the telling point), the Chairman of the OBR, Robert Chote, said this:
Looking over the forecast as a whole..net trade makes very little contribution and government spending cuts will act as a drag.
Whatever the hype and the spin, we now have it in plain language from the most official source: government spending cuts act as a ‘drag’ on growth.
Since this government has cut, cut and cut again its spending on everything (including the NHS, in spite of claims to the contrary), this means – in the clearest possible way – that the government has consistently delayed the economic recovery.
And now they’re trying to claim credit for the appearance of something that they’ve done their best to impede, and which would have been here ages ago if it weren’t for their actions.
They’re like someone trying to stop the earth spinning but then claiming credit for the sunrise when they fail.
The scary thing is that many will fall for it. So please spread the word.