Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The that it?

I watched the budget. I listened to the Chancellor. Almost every word.

Usually you get a "steer" from the wording and the emphasis of the speech. The "steer" would be what the Chancellor wants you to think, the message he wants to send, the headlines he wants to read in the evening papers, whatever else is the real meat of the budget.

But this time..... I really got no impression. No spin. No "steer" from the politicos.

Except that we're in a really bad place. We have to borrow eye-watering amounts to stay afloat. And we hope to be out of it soon.....

On the other hand, the budget will not balance again before 2015/16, which seems an awfully long time....

One thing is clear though, and that's the weakness of the Conservative position. Cameron made a stinging attack on an open door, on the lines of "the situation is dire". But since the Chancellor had already admitted that the situation is dire, the Cameron angle, - "I agree, it really is dire" - seemed blunted and obvious. And it exposed the fact that he had no realistic alternative proposals.

Because the Tories seem to oppose measures to boost spending, they seem to prefer "responsibility" (i.e. cuts, or at least no easing) but they have no detailed, worked out, spelled out, policy alternative.

If the situation really is dire, shouting out as loud as you can "it's really dire", is not a solution.

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