Saturday, June 13, 2009

Listen to Frank Field and despair of our future !

This weeks Any Questions sounded like a good line up. From the left we had an unreformed union dinosaur, and from the right we had three - yes that's 3 right of centre commentators. Can that really be the BBC ?

Only one of those I'm counting on the right was Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead.

And Frank has what we might call "bad news" to tell us all.

In fairness Andrew Langsley must get credit here for setting the ball rolling on bursting our national self deception. We've got an excuse - the government has been misleading us in what they say for a decade - but as they say buyer beware, and that goes double for electors.

Phil Hammond did his bit. He wouldn't provide the details that the chairman, Jonathan Dimbleby (and honoury left wing member), was trying so hard to get the headline for Labour about specific evil kitten drowning Tory cuts, but Mr Hammond did labour on about the figures being Labour's own.

The woman from the think tank confirmed 7% cuts in departmental budgets was a reasonable assumption, from the Labour governments own figures, and our friendly postal trade unionist tried to sound all outraged about public spending - so I think we've got accepted facts here.

But for the enormity of their impact you had to listen to Frank Field. The man put into the then department of social security to think the unthinkable ( and then rumoured to e sacked at Brown's bequest ), is breaking the unthinkable to the rest of us.

In short debt is massive, building and unsustainable. That means that government will have to do less - there's no choice about what needs to be done, just how its done and its timing and management. The alternatives are planned cut backs, or crisis cuts made as Frank put it before the markets open at 8am one day. ( If we're lucky the crisis will be over a weekend so at least some thought will have gone into the measures that the current government is in denial about ).

We've heard all this before, but hearing it from Frank as his suggestion that now was the time for radical ideas really brought it home. ( As did his savage proposals on Pensions and his attempt to explain to the audience about the eventual failure of public sector pensions. )

Untill very recently we had a broad political consensus, built up from three Conservative defeats as the Conservatives ran a platform with some uncomfortable truths for the electorate. And the consensus was to give the electorate whatever they wanted.

But we now know what a terrible disaster that may have been. Certainly financially, and perhaps in terms of education and morals also.

The key imperitive for politicians who love their country is now how to deliver this news to the general public and to present plans for the management and choices of the savage reduction in public spending.

Frank also took all sides to task about their allowing unlimited immigration into the country despite it being the clear wish of the population that this shouldl be stopped. ( I think the truth here is that Labour thought they would build a natural polictial majority out of immigrants, so they had a vested intrest in selling their country out ).

Don't be surprise if when the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse turn up to collect from Gordon Brown if one of them looks a lot like Frank Field.


James Higham said...

Absolutely certain Labour thought there was political capital in immigrants.

Fausty said...

Fortunately, the BBC isn't allowing Labour to get away with its lie about Tory cuts.

They're not going to be too happy about Brown's intention to pass part of the license fee to other broadcasters. Nor will they like Brown's intention to publish the pay and expenses of its staff.