Vid: BBC lets slip – UK stuck in economic slow lane under Tories #Budget17

The BBC’s post-budget coverage strayed into almost unheard-of territory this afternoon, with remarkably frank admissions by experts – unchallenged, for a change, by presenters – of the calamitous state of the UK economy under Tory government.

So calamitous that even the right-leaning Laura Kuenssberg couldn’t stifle a scoffing laugh when she heard a colleague ask about deficit reduction.

It started on the Daily Politics programme hosted by Andrew Neil, in which the BBC’s political, business and economics editors discussed the budget, even mentioning the Tories’ sudden increase in borrowing – then moved on to a recognition that, while the rest of the world has been ‘going great guns’ economically, the UK has not.

We’re stuck in the ‘slow lane’:

It then continued with an interview with a City expert at around 16.40hrs – not yet available on video – in which the financier echoed the same lament about the UK’s dramatic slow-down and contrasted it with the dramatically different fortunes of, well, virtually anywhere else in the world.

Of course, none of these commentators attributed the UK’s poor economic fortunes directly to Tory police – the BBC’s frankness only goes so far – but in the context of analysis of the Tories’ latest budget and the Office of Budget Responsibility’s major downgrading of the economic forecasts it issued just six months ago, it was hard to reach any different conclusion:

Tory (mis)management of the UK’s economy – in spite of their regular self-congratulation in Prime Minister’s Questions – has slowed down our economic recovery, not caused it.

Of course, many on the left have been saying this for years – but if the BBC is starting to make similar noises, it had dramatic consequences for the economic consensus and narrative in this country.

‘Spreadsheet Phil’s last budget was considered a disaster that he was lucky to survive – but this latest debacle may just turn out to be a fatal blow for him and even for the government.

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    1. Undoubtedly that’s a line the Tories and Labour right will try to use at some point – blame the plebs for voting Brexit. The thing is, that convenient little narrative lets the bastards off the hook for deliberately running the economy into the ground for the benefit of the ruling elites since the 1980s.

  1. The Conservative Party’s mantra since 2010 has been that Labour was economically irresponsible and ran up a massive deficit.

    But the truth is that the Conservatives intentionally set out to deceive and mislead the public in order to cut public services and to increase profits for themselves and their donor class.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died avoidable deaths as a result of that deception.

    Whenever Conservatives talk about the deficit under Labour, like shifty accountants they only ever refer to one year and one figure, the £120 billion deficit under Labour from 2009/10.

    During Labour’s 13 years in power the Labour Government borrowed, on average, £38 billion a year. The Conservatives have borrowed, on average, over £90 billion a year.

    In 7 years the Conservatives have borrowed almost three times the amount that the last Labour Government borrowed in 13 years.

    Which brings us back to the heart of the Tory deception. The £120 billion which Brown borrowed to stabilise the economy after the 2008 economic crisis delivered 1.7% growth within two years of the crisis.

    Just think about that for a moment. Within two years of the most severe economic crisis in modern history, a Labour Chancellor delivered 1.7% growth by applying Keynesian economic policy, by borrowing to grow the economy.

    7 years later, due to the Conservatives reversing that correct economic prescription, we are barely achieving 2% growth. The country would be back on its feet now were it not for the failed neoliberal economic policies of the Conservative Party.

    And hundreds of thousands of people would still be alive.

  2. I note that by the time the BBC News at Ten was aired suitable editing had limited Jeremy Corbyn to a couple of seconds and normal service for the Tory Central Office has been resumed.

  3. The Tories are running the economy and public services into the ground and their Brexit will finish it off. What does the BBC do? They, via Kuenssberg et al, simply say it could be worse!

  4. The OBR’s forecast for the economy was presumably predicated on Brexit happening. It would be interesting to see a similar forecast based on remaining in the EU.

  5. Given that what’s been ‘revealed’ by the IFS today has been obvious to many of us for years one has to ask why they didn’t mention it when it could have done some good, ie BEFORE the election.
    Today they’re bleating about the need for training… as if they had no responsibility to explain to business that headhunting from other companies and countries was unsustainable.
    Still pretending that training will increase wages with increased productivity… they must think we don’t see that replacing workers with tech is the real agenda and that Capital just wants us in the dark until it’s done.
    All statements by these ‘economic experts’ need to be saved for later. We’ll want to use them as evidence of their complicity in the Tories’ crimes against the people – evidence from convicted Tories being tainted of course.

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