Labour’s response to the situation in Ireland.
Paul has already given us a fairly detailed account of how Labour should respond to the Tories decision to bail out their fellow, axe wielding friends in Ireland.
My response is somewhat more simple. Minimalistic even. But as the Tories have proven in recent times with their highly effective, hard-hitting message over the deficit in Britain, it’s the simple message that often makes the biggest impact politically.
So if I was Ed Miliband this Wednesday, I would have two very straight forward questions for the Prime Minister and his sidekick (Osborne, not the other one);
- I thought we were “on the brink of bankruptcy”? And I also seem to remember something about their being “no money left”? Doesn’t giving £7bn to a foreign government, that has grossly mismanaged its economy, kind of disprove this central tenet of the Cameron/Osborne narrative that has underwritten this governments entire agenda so far?
- Isn’t government intervention to save the economy a bad idea? If not, could we please be reminded what exactly the last government got so horribly wrong during the financial crisis, whilst the current occupants of Downing St sat on their hands?
I imagine that George Osborne has been losing some sleep over this. I’m sure giving £7bn to another country, whilst preaching austerity at home certainly wasnt top of his to do list. But if his dreams of an export led recovery in Britain are to be realised, then the last thing he needs is further deterioration for one of Britain’s major export partners. Not to mention the money that banks such as RBS have tied up in the Irish economy. Quite a pickle eh?
Any government intervention in Ireland could be a major hiccup to the Tory narrative on the economy.
Labour needs to be clear that it still supports state intervention to prevent troubled banks crushing the rest of the economy, and this could be a nice opportunity to subtly remind people of the merits of action taken by Gordon Brown in the face of financial crisis. The fun bit comes in pointing out the inconsistencies in the Tories economic philosophy.