Real Capitalism Is Fairness and Freedom for All; MONDAY VIEW

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Morgan

WHAT with the Leveson inquiry and a string of Budget U-turns, these are hard times for the Government.

Statistics confirm what some of us have been saying for a long time, which is that the economy, distorted by a decade of private borrowing and public spending, is not about to recover any time soon.

Britain is mired in the worst economic slump since the 1930s, and all the Government seems able to do is dither about how to tax pasties.

Perhaps the gloomiest aspect of the slide back into recession is that, but for higher State spending, the economic slump would have been even worse.

There is indeed austerity in Britain, but that austerity is being felt by working people, not by the State. Statistics confirm that there have been no big overall spending cuts. Wages, meanwhile, are falling ever further adrift of the cost of living, the prices of essentials continue to soar, and taxes have risen.

And what is being done about this? Well, step back a moment and ask yourself this - what does this government actually stand for? What really makes David Cameron and Nick Clegg different from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown? This is important, because a government which is going to rescue Britain from crisis has to stand for something, and voters need to know what that something is.

In 1945 everyone knew that Attlee's government stood for welfare. In 1979, with Britain nearly broke, everyone knew that Thatcher stood for de-regulating the economy and breaking the power of the union barons. Everyone knew what those governments stood for.

No one can say that of the Coalition.

Well, what should the Government stand for? In a report published recently, I argue that it needs to stand for two things.

One of these is reforming our economic system so that it serves everyone, not just a privileged minority.

The Government should also stand for empowering individuals, not just against the State but against big business as well.

Here and abroad, capitalism has fallen into disrepute. …