Posts Tagged ‘Martin Wolf’

Labour has big ambitions for a crisis-ridden economy

13/09/2023, 10:57:11 PM

by Jonathan Todd

The British economy, which Labour intends to make the fastest growing in the G7, confronts major and interlinked crises.

The immediate crises of our crumbling public realm. Schools that do not open. Prisons that do not contain terror suspects. Councils that do not balance their books.

Spent 5 hours at Homerton hospital A&E,” a friend messages. “The state of the NHS is just terrifying. Many people were there not because of accidents, but rather long-term health conditions. They turn up at A&E because other parts of NHS and social services (e.g., mental health) are so diminished.”

Our workforce is reduced in size by a health and social care system that fails to keep us fit and firing and in efficiency by other features of our dysfunctional public realm, such as closed schools, late trains, and unsafe streets.

Emma Duncan also linked the public realm and economic performance in the Times this week.

The squeeze on local government services is making Britain look and feel poorer and uglier. Councils have a more immediate and visible effect on people’s lives than anything national government does, and because care swallows up most of councils’ spending, the funding for mending potholes, cleaning off graffiti and clearing up rubbish has been slashed. A grimy, depressing environment is not just bad for morale: it’s also bad for our economy if Britain looks like a developing-world country that’s not worth investing in.

We also act, beyond our vapid bluster of “Global Britain”, like a developing-world country in being unsure of our international position. Britain, to paraphrase Dean Acheson, has lost a tailored and privileged membership of the EU and not yet found a role.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Ed Balls may be winning the economic argument – but he could still be wrong, says Anthony Painter

10/09/2010, 02:22:53 PM

The consensus – and a fair consensus at that – is that Ed Balls has had a good war. He has punishingly exposed the illogic and perverse masochism of the school building cuts. Michael Gove, who before entering the department for education was the government’s highest flyer, now seems sheepish and cautious. He’s still standing but his confidence has taken an enormous knock.

And then came the Bloomberg speech. Widely lauded by some of the leading economics columnists including Martin Wolf and Samuel Brittan of the FT, its core plea for the government and British economics establishment not to repeat the deficit denialist errors of the past has struck a nerve. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon