Dear Guardian Editor,
Your spreadsheet comparing where the Labour leadership contenders stand (14 August) confirms that all four have a lot to say about spending money, but little or nothing about making it. Jeremy Corbyn differs from the other three contenders in that he is avowedly “anti-austerity”, which anybody in their right mind would be, if only it were a genuine option. The other three contenders basically agree on the need for “fiscal responsibility”, but none of the four talk about the elephant in the room.
Britain still has a weak, vulnerable and unbalanced economy, propped up by policy interest rates of near zero and a substantially expanded monetary base courtesy of QA, not to mention a dependence on consumer spending, debt, and house prices. Furthermore, the economy is characterised by service-sector dependency, low pay, low skills and cities/regions that have been in continuous decline if not recession for more than thirty years.
Efforts must be made to rebalance the economy, address the dismal capability of British management and expand GDP so that a more equal society can be created by levelling up, not down. The four leadership contenders are silent about this requirement and the government has gone very quiet about the need to rebalance the economy now that it can point to the UK’s “outstanding” GDP growth, which I fear will soon decline.
But then, spending money is always easier than making it, and so much easier to talk about for that very reason.