The Labour Party’s Ed Balls has been arguing consistently since before the last election that the Conservative plan to cut the UK public sector deficit is wrong-headed and likely to lead to economic disaster. When he peddles his intellectually vacant argument that spending more on public services is needed to keep the UK economy ticking over, he always seems to possess that sneering grin apparently issued as standard clobber by Gordon Brown – the ‘I know better than all of you’ grin.
The fact is, Labour and Ed Balls in particular know an enormous amount about spending money, and increasing national expenditure could be his specialist subject on Mastermind. The proceeds of growth under Labour were mostly to be shared with the civil servants, overheated public sector and the social sector – and on spin merchants, special advisers and newly founded agencies designed to spend even more. What they were incapable of understanding or processing was what to do when growth is outgrown by spending – and when growth collapses. How should we share the results of contraction of the national economy?
To Ed, the clients of Labour – the people who government could very effectively buy off with increased spending- must not be forced to suffer from cuts in public sector spending. In Labour’s economic alternative universe, you simply borrow more to spend more in a recession, and yet expect the deficit to fall as if by magic.
At its heart, Labour still thinks the deficit it built up doesn’t really exist. As long as they keep ignoring the disaster they have visited on the UK, it’ll be simple and logical to ignore the disaster Ed Balls and Ed Miliband are visiting on the Labour Party.