It's pretty frustrating watching Michael Gove announce cuts to the school building programme.
Seven hundred communities will not get the schools they need.
As Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer puts it:
The furore around Michael Gove ought to serve as a caution to his colleagues. It illustrates how easy it is to swagger your machismo as an axeman when you are talking abstract percentages and how hard it is when you have to bring down the blade. It is one thing to type some numbers into a Whitehall spreadsheet and quite another to translate them into real cuts to real services used by real voters.
The turbulence around the education secretary is but a light squall compared to the dark tornadoes of trouble coming over the horizon.
Oh, so true.
But what is worse – none of this is needed. As the Green New Deal has shown now is the time for serious investment – not the time for cuts. Cuts will increase the size of the government deficit. Investment would reduce it.
Yes I know that sounds perverse, but remember first at last one Nobel laureate agrees and second, we’re talking about a country here, not a company or a household. Countries are very different beasts – and basically work the opposite way to companies and households. So if a company sacks someone the cost has gone away. If a country sacks someone the problem is still there, but now it’s not doing anything useful to pay its way. And that makes them more costly than when they ere employed.
Confusing? Maybe. But right, all the same. And that’s why the ConDems are going to be offering trauma for no good reason at all. Unless William Keegan is right when he wrote today confirming another argument I have presented here – which he summarises as follows:
Now, I have never been a believer in the politics of envy, but it seems to me that, from the insouciant way they are going about the cuts, and the savagery of their approach to the public sector, the coalition is in danger of reviving an old-fashioned class war.
I have no doubt: the only explanation for this is class war, but by those with privilege on the rest.
And that makes it particularly sickening.