The incompetence of Osborne and Cameron

An interesting study by Warwick University, reported here in the Huffington Post, shows a remarkably high correlation between the effects of austerity and voting Brexit, as the map below suggests.

“In other words, by curtailing the welfare state, austerity has likely activated a broad range of existing economic grievances that have developed over a long period,” the study says. And of course scapegoating immigrants thus became all the easier for Farage and his friends.

Osborne and Cameron and their friends thought they could promote the austerity dogma and that they would still win for remain.

As the chart above, from the same report, shows, welfare benefits and education spending had been declining rapidly for almost six years when the referendum was called. The government was asking for a bloody nose.

For Osborne and Cameron, their empathy-free lives doubtless made such an outcome inconceivable, but there is a certain irony that their unpreparedness had the effect of pushing them both out of politics.

For this duo it was an own goal of considerable incompetence. It is most unfortunate that it is now, too, for the country at large.


  1. Sean Danaher -

    Thanks. I have no dobut austerity played a large part in the Leave vote and the lack of appreciation of what life is like for normal people is quite astonishing in modern Tory politicians.

    I’m not sure about the meaning of “austerity incidence” in fig 1 and GBP in fig 2?

  2. Peter May -

    The report concentrated on areas especially affected by the most prominent austerity measures for most people:
    “As well as the wider impact of cuts to tax credits for the working poor, the study focused on three main welfare cuts – the spare room subsidy or ‘bedroom tax’, disability living allowance changes and council tax benefit reductions.”
    GBP is just sterling expenditure inflation adjusted.

  3. Charles Adams -

    Certainly austerity was a significant factor. Unless you live in one of the red zones you may not realise just how devastating austerity has been.

    Political stupidity is to stand back while inequality drives people towards right-wing populism. We should measure success by how much you improve the lives of the least privileged. On this measure the last eight years has been monstrous.

  4. Andrew Dickie -

    I’m afraid I count it as more than incompetence (though the Cameroonies have that in spades: I’ve said from the start, Cameron was not, is not, and never will be fit to be PM, being a humbug in the original sense of, glossy on the outside, but empty at the centre)

    No, I regard their actions as malevolent, as they intended to carry out Phase 2 of the Thatcher Revolution, involving the complete sweeping away of what they termed “the corrupt post-War political settlement”, meaning the whole Welfare State, replacing it with Thatcher’s aim of a neo-feudal society in which the new Barons, aka business leaders, (the 1%) would have ALL the rights, and NONE of the duties (including the duty to pay tax, from which they would be exempted), while everyone else (the 99%), would have ALL the duties, and NONE of the rights (as demonstrated by Tory hostility to the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, to be replaced by the Tories’ “chums Charter”, almost certainly providing rights only for “people like us”.

    And my goodness, with the threat of “No Deal” BREXIT facing us, how close are we to a neo-feudal State? Perilously close, I would say.

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