The rubbishness of Rawnsley
I’ve pretty well stopped reading the Observer, but I looked through it this morning as we stayed with a friend last night.
I read Andrew Rawnsley’s column on how the Labour leadership candidates should not dismiss Blair’s teachings, and remembered why I’d stopped reading the Observer.
Pretty well from beginning to end, it’s garbage - from the vain name-dropping about having employed Ed Miliband through to the conclusion that the Labour leadership candidates should simply heap praise on Blair, whatever he said in his book about hating Labour.
It’s perfectly clear Rawnsley’s not been following the detail of the leadership campaign, and his views on the various candidates are nothing more than rehashing of trite views he’s heard at a dinner party somewhere.
But it’s this attack on Ed Balls which convinces me that he is no longer, if he ever was, a serious journalist.
Comrade Balls made a recent speech which was both superb as a stinging analysis of the coalition’s economic policies and dangerous for his own party because it implied that Labour need not adopt a credible position on how it would address the deficit……
This is sub-Dale in its level of level of stupidity, in its willingness to accept, utterly uncritically, right-wing dogma about the deficit, to ignore any possibility that Keynes might, you know, might just possibly have been on to something.
The WHOLE point about Balls’ Bloomberg speech is that Balls is challenging the Tory lie what a credible position on the deficit actually is:
Interviewers look aghast when I tell them that cutting public spending this financial year and pre-announcing a rise in VAT is economically foolish, when growth and consumer confidence is so fragile.
‘But what would you cut instead?’ they demand.
So strong and broad is this consensus that a special name has been given to those who take a different view – ‘deficit-deniers’ – and some in the Labour Party believe our very credibility as a party depends on hitching ourselves to the consensus view.
I am not one of them…..
By all means, Rawnsley might argue the case that cutting now is more ‘credible’, as David Miliband maintains, but it’s clear that he’s simply not understood the main thrust of Balls’ speech. Does his paper not have a subscription to the FT?
Rawnsley is clearly a fool, and his time has gone. That was a time when you didn’t have to understand too much about the harsh realities of economics to sell yourself as a ‘progressive’ commentator. As Johann Hari has also found to his reputational cost, that no longer applies.
If the Observer is to recover his reputation, then he needs to be put out to grass, and someone with a basic grasp of both politics and economics employed instead.
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