All hail the State! All hail the State.
Those of you who claimed that the only way to recover from the International Banking Crisis of 2008 was to cut, cut and then cut some more, have now been exposed as the phoniest of phoneys – all thanks to this Tory – yes, Tory! – Government’s recent double budget. Theresa May’s Magic Money Tree has been found! And it isn’t just one, miserable tree – oh, no, no – rather it’s a whole forest of Magic Money Trees, prepared to bail us out.
Austerity, meted-out by the Tories for a decade, was a political choice, cloaked in a dishonest narrative, regurgitated by our right-wing press and lapped up by far too many of our citizens. Throughout the last decade, George Osbourne’s project to rewire the country, to penalise those who relied on the State, was proved intellectually and morally bankrupt by all key life indices, yet still too few people took the time – nor had the curiosity – to appraise themselves of the facts. In light of recent events, I dare you to argue with me that austerity wasn’t a choice.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending bonanza – “to do whatever it takes” – to get us through the Corona Depression has killed, once and for all, the Tory lie that the principle which should guide a family’s finances (that you shouldn’t spend more than you have, with some tucked away for rainy day) is the same principle by which a country’s finances should be managed. It isn’t, and never has been. Name a family that can print money, nationalise a bank, create a bond, build HS2. Managed correctly, the State can create confidence, stimulating demand, increasing the tax-take.
Out of the ashes of World War Two came the NHS, Legal Aid and the modern welfare state, even though the world’s economy was on its knees. But what will arise from this Corona Depression? Like World War Two, this virus is no respecter of class. At rapid speed, more people realise that we are all interdependent; that we all rely upon the other. If one of us is destitute, we are collectively all worse for it.
For example (should an example be required), if someone is too impoverished to isolate then spreads the virus, we are all impacted. If someone doesn’t wash their hands, then we all suffer. If one business lays off staff, we all pay to support those unfortunate people.
For those who previously doubted it, know now that we rely on most of our public sector services, as well as our key private sector employees, such as delivery drivers and supermarket personnel. We must all do our bit. Private sector no longer trumps public sector: we need both. And now, surely, we can all accept that if we don’t adequately fund our NHS – just as people have chosen not to do this last decade – we will all catch the cold?