Losing the argument, Ctd

Continuing the exploration of how the liberal elite bankrupt our nation via Clark’s and Labour’s adherence to the Blairism from the UK:

Let’s start with economic management, the scene of New Labour’s most obvious debacle. In the early months after the 2010 general election, Labour’s shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, refused to accept the clear fact that high spending and high borrowing had driven us to economic disaster. He called on George Osborne to spend even more in order to avert recession.

Again this is sounding increasingly familiar. In the recent election Labour simultaneously hammers National for their borrowing but at the same time told us all they would borrow billions more and miraculously pay it all off sooner.

A year on, Balls has lost the argument. Even he agrees with the need for drastic cuts in public spending. The only remaining matter of dispute between Government and Opposition is the relatively minor detail of timing – ie how quickly the cuts should be made. In all essentials, Ed Miliband’s Labour Party now accepts the fundamental economic insights of the Cameron Coalition.

NZ Labour is yet to admit they were wrong on their economic planning. They still oppose any cuts, in fact they want to spend even more money we don’t have.

It’s the same story with the welfare state. This is an area where, for more than half a century, the liberal Left has refused to countenance any meaningful change. In his early years as prime minister, Tony Blair explored the idea of radical reform, but he backed off at the first sign of opposition.

Hence the importance of Tuesday’s remarkable intervention by Labour’s welfare spokesman, Liam Byrne. In a Guardian article designed to anticipate this year’s 70th anniversary of the Beveridge report, which founded the post-war welfare state, Byrne made a very brave admission: something has gone horribly wrong with William Beveridge’s brainchild, which is in need of urgent surgery.

Byrne does not say so explicitly, but his article amounts to a belated acceptance that Iain Duncan Smith’s programme of radical welfare reform is fully justified. Labour has come to accept Duncan Smith’s profound insight that welfare payments can trap people in poverty, rather than offer them a hand out of it, thus forcing generations of families into dependence on the state.

It is fairly monotonous is it not? The similarities, the issues, the problems. All the same and the causes similar too. Rampant liberal meddling. And so it is the same with teachers and teacher unions.

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