Sunak is the velvet glove sheltering the iron fist of total Tory control – that is the point of them

“I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all frighten people and secondly, demoralise them.” said Tony Benn

He needed to add – or certainly we do now – that the people should be heavily indebted too.

When you can persuade the indebted that not only are they indebted but, just like their household, the government is too, then you’re doing even better. Ram it home by ignoring that what the government owes is not actually its population’s national savings and call it again and again the national debt.

So Sunak says:

We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong, and through careful management of our economy, this Conservative government will always balance the books,”

Sacred responsibility indeed. Sacred for his party to preserve the status quo, improve the wealth of their donors and in so doing, treat the economy just like a household and not one that owns its own bank.

His real – indeed ‘sacred’ responsibility to future generations is actually high quality education, healthcare, and infrastructure and even pensions. Government for humanity – not for an abstract, human, allegedly complicated, fiscal invention.

He continues:

If instead we argue there is no limit on what we can spend, that we can simply borrow our way out of any hole, what is the point in us? I have never pretended there is some easy cost-free answer.

He wouldn’t dream of arguing that there is no limit on what we can spend – though in saying so he admits there is an argument. He then asks what is the point in us? He’s blown Tory cover….the ‘point in them’ is to control people by bearing down on spending, make the victims frightened of the impoverishment of losing their jobs and ensure there is – at best – a patchy system of safety for those fallen on hard times, and keep them working or thinking they must (though Sunak himself, of course grows ‘rich in his sleep’, and doesn’t have to).

The irony (or mismessaging would perhaps be a better word) is that the more government fails to subsidise – say cinema for example – the more people will also draw their horns in. If government cannot afford it then people are not likely to consider that either as individuals or families that they can – or even ought to.

So not only are Tories denying the mainstream and straightforward (Keynsian) idea that governments need to spend when the private sector cannot or will not, even objectively from their own Tory standards they will not succeed in getting additional tax revenue from an economy that is in recession.

So they seem to be coming for the less well-off and the downright poor yet again. Nonetheless, of one thing we can be sure – that that will absolutely not help them to balance the books.

It will however, probably help them to control the populace – just so long as they do not actually over-reach themselves…

Brexit, I suggest, leaves that very much in doubt.


  1. Bill Hughes -

    Obviously Sunak is speaking for the rich, the whole of the rich and nothing but the rich and the devil take the hindmost for the rest of us. He has placed his marker for another round of government spending cuts to make the last 10 years of austerity seem like a lovely trip to the seaside for a poor sluim dweller.

  2. Gerald H Toner -

    Sunak is the Uriah Heep of our times. An insincere and incompetent chancellor for an insincere and toady culture. It is the worst of times!

    1. Peter May -

      Like the comparison!

  3. Graham -

    I don’t like the way he wrapped Government duty in a religious metaphor as if that duty and those discharging it are bound and guided by some kind of higher god-like authority.

    Certainly, Government has a duty, indeed “duties” plural, but it is not what he supposes it to be, as you point out. One of those duties is to ensure that government’s management of its finances provides for all citizens, most particularly those less fortunate than millionaire bankers, those who have to choose between heating the home and putting food on the table, those millions of children living in poverty in the world’s 5th largest economy, those who have issues with health and disability, those without employment and so on and so on. Those whom Osborne characterised as “not our voters” and who could therefore be ignored.

    But the Opposition also has a duty, which is to oppose and not acquiesce with the polemic of austerity and “we can’t afford it.” Where are Labour, the one time party of working people, the poor, the marginalised?

    1. Peter May -

      I agree – they seem to be keeping their powder dry for a suspiciously long time and if they understand the idea of state created money and I cannot believe that someone as brainy as Anneliese Dodds doesn’t then I think that they are frightened of the pandemic and the right wing press.
      I’m still worried…

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