Sunday, 10 February 2013
A sense of denial!
I was greatly entertained to read a recent letter in the press from one of my Labour council colleagues suggesting that I was trying to in some way distance myself from the efforts of the coalition government to reduce the national deficit. Let me make clear that I fully support the need to get our economy back under control and congratulate the government for having the courage to take difficult and unpopular decisions for the common good. This does not mean that I agree with every specific element of the government's approach to the funding of local government - it would be bizarre of me to do so and I will continue to speak out when I believe it is in the best interests of the town. However that does not undermine my support for the underlying policy of financial responsibility. What I find distasteful is the clamour of Labour council members who seem to believe that the imposition of the austerity measures is an aspiration rather than a necessity and who try to pretend that the current challenge is not greater than it would otherwise be as a direct result of the financial mismanagement of their party colleagues who believed that having put "an end to boom and bust" allowed them to spend without provision for the fallow times, waste our assets (remember the sale of gold at a ridiculously low price) and then show such glee that they did not have to clear up the mess (the note from the treasury minister scoffing that the money had all gone!). If anybody is in denial of what is going on in Westminster it is not me and my party colleagues but those who suggest that you can solve a deficit by failing to reign back expenditure and further borrowing and who then have refuse to take responsibility for the contribution of their own party in creating the current challenge.