A left-wing economist, yesterday.
There's a theme developing. Every time anyone is asked to make a sacrifice to reduce the country's unsustainable debt burden, the response is always the same: the banks caused the crisis, so why should we pay the price? Mark Serwotka (usually one of the less unreasonable union fat cats) is the latest:
So public sector pensions are being cut not because they are unaffordable or
unsustainable but because there's a hole in the public finances. That hole was
caused by the banking crisis and the recession that resulted. It was not caused
by public spending, public sector workers or their pensions.
So? Who caused the crisis (and it's easy to blame the banks, but who was in charge of regulating them for the last ten years?) is absolutely irrelevant. If the banks had stolen the money and hidden it somewhere, then there might be some mileage in getting them to return it so that we could all enjoy the lifestyles we used to know. But they haven't. The money is gone. Pissed away, on vanity projects and buying Labour votes, gone. The grown-up thing is now to accept that there is no money left and that, as a country, we are going to have to tighten our belts considerably in order not to pass on these eye-watering debts to our grandchildren. Blaming the banks is, literally, pointless. It won't bring back a penny of the billions that Labour flushed down the toilet while boasting that they had ended boom and bust.In the fairyland of public sector unions, the assertion that something is not your fault changes reality. Money appears from the sky, not because people have earned or saved it, but because you deserve it. It's other people's money, taxpayers' money, Tory money. It's limitless. You're not to blame, therefore no negative consequences should, or will, befall you. On that reasoning, no-one on the Titanic died except the man with the cheap binoculars. It's the world of the indulgent parent, where credit card bills are paid and car repair bills settled because you are special.
There are parts of this society that will have to do a lot of growing up in the next year or two. Expect a lot more of this.