What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

February 01, 2007

Hard to argue with

The Economist's verdict on Gordon Brown:
... Mr Brown's larger difficulty is that he has failed to make the most of a long stint as chancellor in which he has been blessed with generally favourable economic conditions. For a politician with a reputation for thinking far ahead, his conduct of policy has made little strategic sense. Sharp tightening followed by excessive expansion is a bad way to run things. The chancellor's undesirable legacy will be a bigger state that is palpably failing to deliver value for money for its hard-pressed taxpayers.

1 comment:

Bryan McGrath said...

A campaign promise to keep to tory spending plans for two years after the 1997 election forced the initial restrained public spending prior to the year 2000 (sharp tightening I think is something of an exaggeration). The expansion of 2000 until 2005, justified by bring health care spending up to 'European' levels was justified, however, completely screwed up by being rushed: examples include the rush for IT solutions and an over generous GP contract.
After Prudence was ditched Mr Brown made great play that Britain did not go into recession in 2002/3, which was prevented only because he was throwing money around like a drunken sailor.

Effectively he was making a 'dash for growth' that never really happened as the industrial base continued to decline with the economic slack being taken up by a low wage service sector.

Mr Brown, who will probably be remembered as the shortest servicing Prime Minister, my guess
is July 2007 to June 2009, i.e. less than two years.