Thursday, 11 November 2010


This site has graphs showing the UK national debt, both in £s and as a percentage of GDP. Note the extremely high levels as % of GDP in the '40's/'50's. Obviously, the result of the war. But what is worth noting that this was the period that the welfare state was being constructed. The governments of that period did not seem to feel that universal benefits, free education or building council housing was an expensive luxury. 

It casts an interesting light on this (watch the video), as well as other pronouncements coming from the government. Clegg claims that the state of the public finances has forced his hand on recanting his stance on tuition fees. We are constantly being told that things are so bad that vicious cuts in public services need to be made. What is not fully explained is why post-war UK governments did not feel that way.

From an interview with Danny Alexander in The Independent:

"...he is strident in defending the Tories from the claim that they see cuts as a route to a smaller state. "I genuinely have not had a sense from anybody that this is an ideological thing. We didn't come into politics to do this but we have an unavoidable problem that we are stepping up to the plate and dealing with.""

Amazing. It looks very much to me like Tories doing what Tories love to do; what they wanted to do in the '80's, but just got as far as laying the groundwork. New Labour continued it. Now they are ready to finsh the job.

I don't know how he, or any of them, can sleep at night. But especially the Lib-Dems.

No comments: