How we got to where we are.
I guess there may always be issues about which the representatives of organised labour and the Governor and the Bank of England may differ, (particularly is respect of how to restore the public finances) but I thought Mervyn King’s speech at our Congress yesterday was pretty well judged.
When I was listening to the speech I got pretty animated when I heard Mr King’s explanation of the origins of the financial crisis and couldn’t help comparing it to the passage on the crisis in David Cameron’s speech to last year’s Conservative party conference, which of course was delivered in the same hall.
Firstly, this is how David Cameron explained how the crisis came about;
Why is our economy broken? Not just because Labour wrongly thought they’d abolished boom and bust. But because government got too big, spent too much and doubled the national debt.
And this is Mervyn King’s version
Before the crisis, steady growth with low inflation and high employment was in our grasp. We let it slip – we, that is – in the financial sector and as policy makers – not your members or the many thousands of businesses and organisations around the country who employ them. And although the causes of the crisis may have become rooted in the financial sector, the consequences are affecting everyone, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Whilst accepting that the debate has moved on somewhat from what caused the crisis to how we sort things out, to hear the Governor of the Bank of England state unequivocally that the crisis WASN’T the fault of union members – most of whom are in the public sector and who are being expected to sacrifice pay, pensions and even their jobs in order to sort things out – should increase the confidence and determination of those same workers and the people who rely on the services that they provide, to campaign against the Coalition government’s planned cuts.