Before you listen to advice from Blairite minority rebels read this analysis from Paul Krugman about Labour and their GE 2015 mistakes.
By Alan Maddison
The Austerity Delusion : The case for cuts was a lie. Why does Britain still believe it?’
By Paul Krugman, The Guardian 29th April 2015
Here are some selected quotes from this nobel award-winning economist ;
“All of the economic research that allegedly supported the austerity push has been discredited. More austere countries have a lower rate of GDP growth.
Conservatives like to use the alleged dangers of debt and deficits as clubs with which to beat the welfare state and justify cuts in benefits.
Britain’s opposition has been amazingly willing to accept claims that budget deficits are the biggest economic issue facing the nation, and has made hardly any effort to challenge the extremely dubious proposition that fiscal policy under Blair and Brown was deeply irresponsible – or even the nonsensical proposition that this supposed fiscal irresponsibility caused the crisis of 2008-2009.
But this story isn’t over. Cameron is campaigning largely on a spurious claim to have “rescued” the British economy – and promising, if he stays in power, to continue making substantial cuts in the years ahead. Labour, sad to say, are echoing that position.
So both major parties are in effect promising a new round of austerity that might well hold back a recovery that has, so far, come nowhere near to making up the ground lost during the recession and the initial phase of austerity.
For whatever the politics, the economics of austerity are no different in Britain from what they are in the rest of the advanced world. Harsh austerity in depressed economies isn’t necessary, and does major damage when it is imposed. That was true of Britain five years ago and it’s still true today.
If the political opposition won’t challenge the coalition’s bad economics, who will?
According to Krugman, Labour failed to challenge effectively the Tory’s false arguments on the cause of the financial crash (welfare over-spend), on austerity economics, and on the relative past economic performances of Labour and the Tory Coalition.
Ed Miliband was pushed by the right of Labour to appear more pro-business, this led to a confused positioning with hesitant messages. Rather than challenge these Tory myths Labour seemed to ignore them, avoid them, or sometimes adapted their own economic strategy to even accommodate them, offering their own austerity policy! This led to a loss of credibility on the economy.
It meant voters were indeed faced with the two main parties offering a continued austerity with only marginal expressed differences. At the same time, the Tories were allowed to appear as far more credible on the overall economy. This contributed significantly to Labour losing the General Election.
Based on the analyses by Krugman and others, it seems there are indeed important lessons for Labour to take on board for the future. So don’t repeat the same errors as in 2015, don’t let the Labour right turn us once more away from the fight on austerity and its selective punishment of the most vulnerable in our society. Let’s invest to grow the economy and provide jobs, build houses, protect the NHS and Education, and build a better Nation for all with Jeremy Corbyn to lead the way.
Fight to keep Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party, our greatest hope for victory.