Saturday, May 16, 2009

The credit crunch and the political credibility crunch 

One of the standard claims of an opposition party is that it will ‘Pay for budget priorities by eliminating wasteful expenditure’.

After the ‘events’ of the last week or so the idea that there is ‘wasteful expenditure’ out there to be cut looks quite persuasive. I suspect the general taxpayer needs no persuading. Who will the enraged public trust to identify and carry out such a financial purge though? The claims of Parliament in general to be an efficient monitor of expenditures is not necessarily credible at this time.

With massive tightening on public spending necessary as the credit crunch grinds on, this is the worse time possible for Parliament to be exposed as a regulatory incontinent. Better late than never though.

Or will the argument about poachers making efficient gamekeepers strike a chord?

At the very least as part of the credit crunch response, our political representatives have to renounce the greed-anointed morality of the Thatcher years.

Our general economic argument in the upcoming General Election (whenever that is) will face a huge degree of public cynicism, probably only exceeded by the derision coming up for the Tory semi-policies as floated so far.

However Vince Cable has already been making the case that we need massive reform of our Parliamentary procedures in order to bring in proper oversight of government and other expenditures. Parliamentary eunuchs is the phrase he uses.

What a bulwark and treasure he is.

Can we build on this ?

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