Yanis Varoufakis is, I know, a controversial figure. Anyone who changes things is, almost by definition. This week the Conservatives have mocked Labour for talking to him. Well they’ve mocked Labour for talking to me as well, and as Varoufakis makes clear, talking to Labour does not make him Labour, anymore than it did so with me. But he did have this to say in Newsweek:
The Labour Party has an instinctive urge to protect those left behind by the long years of uneven private-debt-fuelled growth and its austerian aftermath. This is good and proper. However, it would be a mistake to waste Labour’s energies on tirades against austerity. If I am right that austerity is a symptom of low investment (and of a government keen to push the inevitable burden on the weaker citizens), Labour should concentrate on policies that will shift idle savings into investment funding, engendering new technologies that produce green, sustainable development and high quality jobs.
Such an economic program will require the creation of a public investment bank that issues its own bonds (to be supported by a non-inflationary Bank of England quantitative easing strategy targeting these bonds), but also a new alliance with enlightened industrialists and parts of the City keen to profit from sustainable recovery. Labour, I believe, will only overcome its infighting, and the toxic media campaign against its leader, by escaping into a Green, investment-led British Renaissance.
Unless I am mistaken that is very explicit backing for the Green New Deal, Green Infrastructure Quantitative Easing, or People’s Quantitative Easing as Labour call it, and a bond issuing National Investment Bank; all of them ideas used as the basis of Corbynomics that originated on this blog.
What is more the logic of business and government partnering each other is part of my cappuccino explanation of how to build a good economy that I talked about at the British Chambers of Commerce conference yesterday.
I am pleased we’re on the same hymn sheet, controversial or not.