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Friday, January 06, 2012

The voice of realism falls on deaf ears in Wales

This morning's Guardian reports that the shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy has asserted that Labour must reject 'shallow and temporary' populism in which it opposes all government spending cuts, and instead build up credibility by outlining where the party would make savings.

Mr. Murphy told the paper that Labour needed to achieve "genuine credibility" on spending as he revealed he would accept £5bn of the government's defence cuts before a new defence review by Labour to be launched later this month:

Although he limited his remarks to his defence brief the Guardian say that his intervention comes at a sensitive time for Ed Miliband, who was accused yesterday by his intellectual guru Lord Glasman of lacking a strategy, as members of the shadow cabinet express concern about the party's apparent lack of credibility on the economy.

They add that the Labour leadership was recently criticised in a pamphlet by Policy Network, the thinktank established by Lord Mandelson, for "vagueness" in its approach to the deficit. The pamphlet, In the Black Labour, said the party was confirming "voters' worst suspicions about the party's lack of commitment to addressing the fiscal crisis". Balls, the shadow chancellor, moved to address these criticisms last month when he told the Independent he would turn round "public scepticism about Labour's willingness to take tough decisions on public spending".

It would be nice if Peter Hain and the Welsh Labour Government took some of these criticisms on board as well instead of carping from the sidelines.
All political parties need to face the new reality: the era of continual economic growth for most western economies is over. We have to start planning for a net zero growth future.
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