Posted by: John | January 24, 2009

Devolution makes economic sense

One thing that may transpire is a narrative at least that it doesn’t really matter what sort of economic policies a Government has as it all ends up the same after a recession. Is that part of what the `it’s only global` meme’s all about?

It allows the electorate off the hook regarding the tough decisions they have to make ie `let’s keep on spending just as before`.

There’s a member of OUTeverywhere (LGBT social networking site) who is so politically opposite to me yet still regards himself as `of the left`. This got me thinking that `the left` has ingrained itself so much into British society that it is in danger, out of complacency, of splitting in two properly (not just on nuance and symbolism).

One thing that I like about Nick Clegg/Vince Cable is that they have enunciated a new kind of progressivism that seems to create a new direction for Liberalism; a sort of cross between Christian Democracy and pretty `left-wing socialism`.

This is because the Economic tsunami is simply the biggest event since 9/11 and really defines politics out of which three genuine narratives seem to be developing.

1. Don’t do much – there’s nothing much that can be done apart from loan guarantee schemes. What’s that, you wonder about cutting tax loopholes for bankers? I don’t know about that – we might need their votes and money in the future.

2. Spend spend spend – let’s recreate the `good old days` and bail out the bankers/big spenders. Life is about helping those that take risks whatever they are – those bankers should think the same. No need for anyone to save – we should spend all our money all the time. A kind of Swedish utopia without the balance of responsibility or high taxes.

3. Spend wisely save wisely – the new paradigm has created an even more unequal society where those plugged into `the new labour economic system` whether rich or the `patronised poor` are bailed out and those in the middle lose out. There needs to be certainty and a new economic model that rewards both work and reasonable thrift. To incentivise personal responsibility and saving we need to cut income tax for the low and middle income earners while cutting the loopholes for the superrich.

Added to this is the growing realisation that we cannot do this without reforming our own democratic system by spreading the wealth throughout the regions by devolving power allowing everywhere the chance `to stand on their own two feet`.

Let the cry ring out `you cannot have economic reform without democratic reform`. Devolution makes economic sense!


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