The Great Debate 58

It is fantastic to hear austerity economics being challenged before a huge audience, who don’t normally get to hear it. Miliband, Cameron and Clegg arguing like they have never heard of Keynes – rather wish Nicola would mention him which might help frame the debate for some viewers. Farage one trick pony blaming foreigners for everything, very nasty and sinister.

When did anybody last see nuclear weapons directly challenged on mainstream TV?

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58 thoughts on “The Great Debate

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  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Should have written Hobsbawn does NOT mention Keynes’ works in the back of his book, making the failure of the layman to read them much more understandable.

    Site should provide means of correcting such obvious mistakes.

  • Dreoilin

    “The three women all came across much better, particularly Nicola Sturgeon, who many people in England would now be voting for, if they had an SNP candidate.”

    That’s exactly what’s coming across on Twitter … and what came across to me, on the TV.

  • Dreoilin

    “Site should provide means of correcting such obvious mistakes.”

    Stop complaining. You’re not paying anything to post here.

  • Gary

    Thatcher threw out accepted economic practises, New Labour continued in the same vein. Younger voters may be unaware of Keynesian economics altogether or that anyone has ever done things differently. Without practise being challenged no one will think change possible.

  • RobG

    Dreoilin, it’s unscientific, I know, but a quick glance at the mainstream comment threads seems to show the same thing: many people were bowled-over by Sturgeon (Wood and Bennett also did very well).

    People in England tend to live in a neocon lunatic asylum, where the media constantly brainwash them that black is white, and down is up.

    It’s been very refreshing to see some reality injected into this, so hats off to ITV.

  • glenn_uk

    “Site should provide means of correcting such obvious mistakes.”

    You mean, like the lunatic conspiracy rubbish you keep pushing? It has – the mods’ ability to delete posts. I wouldn’t tempt them too much, if I were you.

  • glenn_uk

    Radio-4’s The World Tonight had a special on the TV debates. Hard to believe that they had a correspondent on from to weigh in on the candidates. Breitbart, if people are fortunate enough not to know, is a lunatic far-right conspiracy site, right up there with WorldNutDaily. They specialise in faked news, set-ups, planted “evidence” and defamation, and is run for (and by) wingnuts, white-power xenophobes, teabaggers, and particularly those with Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    The credibility of the BBC goes down by the day.

  • Dreoilin

    “Hard to believe that they had a correspondent on from to weigh in on the candidates.”

    Good heavens … a tea party favourite.

  • Daniel

    “It is fantastic to hear austerity economics being challenged before a huge audience, who don’t normally get to hear it.”

    It was extremely refreshing, I agree. When Leanne Wood said something along the lines of “The bankers had their windfall, it’s about time the people had theirs”, I nearly fell of my chair.

  • Peacewisher

    RobG & Dreolin… yes, Nicola was by far the best this evening. Pity she won’t be leading the SNP in Westminster. If Alex doesn’t win his seat, who will that leader be?

  • Daniel

    It’s amazing to me that Ed is on the defensive in terms of his inability to challenge Cameron on austerity, particularly the Tories introduction of the bedroom tax, the gradual rolling out of universal credit and the coalitions Open Public Services Programme.

    Why isn’t Ed exposing Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review of 2010 which has resulted in the most severe assault on the welfare state since its foundation?

    Why isn’t Ed highlighting that the intention of the coalition’s Open Public Services Programme is to open up all public services (other than the court system and the security services) to competition from “any qualified provider”.

    Why isn’t Ed exposing the Tories false justification for their increased retrenchment of the welfare state predicated on deficit reduction and economic growth?

    Why isn’t Ed highlighting the parallels between the current Tory demonization of the poor, austerity ideology and the Poor Law ideology of the early 19th century?

    Why hasn’t Ed exposed the fact that on the very same day that the bedroom tax was announced in parliament (estimated to “save” the Treasury £480 million) the top rate of tax in the UK was cut from 50% to 45%, resulting in a loss of revenue of £1 billion?

    I e mailed the above questions to my local Labour candidate but unsurprisingly didn’t receive any response.

  • glenn_uk

    Daniel: Noted that you put quotes around the term “save” :

    <blockquoteWhy hasn’t Ed exposed the fact that on the very same day that the bedroom tax was announced in parliament (estimated to “save” the Treasury £480 million) the top rate of tax in the UK was cut from 50% to 45%, resulting in a loss of revenue of £1 billion?

    It might save the treasury some money (although nothing like as much as this), but it will cost the economy considerably more. A multiplier effect comes into play when introducing money to the economy at a low level, targeted well. There is hardly a better place to put money, if you want to ensure that it is all spent (and spent quickly), than that directed to the poorest in society.

    The reverse happens when it is extracted.

    They are guaranteed to spend all of it, pretty quickly. That money will immediately circulate in the vicinity. Cynics will say it’ll be spent on fags and booze. Fine! Then most of it will arrive back at the treasury in short order – what’s the complaint? It will eliminate urgent need and alleviate poverty in the meantime. Surely even the most cold-hearted, greedy and selfish would grudgingly allow that alleviating poverty is generally a good thing – in their own country, among their fellow citizens.

    Top earners, by contrast, will not be spending every penny to hand. They will either save the extra cash, spirit it away to off-shore accounts, or spend it far from their local economy. This does not benefit the exchequer, nor their fellow countryman.

    People making their living sitting around the pool, waiting for dividend cheques to arrive, are not going to employ local services with an increased income. Commissioning a bigger yacht that originally planned because of extra income does not help the country in the slightest, nor does it encourage greater enterprise.

    Government largess to the richest, such as these top-end tax breaks, is nothing less tawdry than the paid representatives of the rich at work, serving them while in the guise of governance.

  • Mary

    Daniel Why doesn’t Ed……??

    Because the snake oil salesmen are interchangeable.

  • Abe Rene

    I have not studied Economics, so perhaps someone can enlighten me about the following: is Keynes one who believed in government intervention to stabilise the market, so that his popularity depends on political fashion? Thus the Tories (I imagine) would be opposed to him, while I would predict Labour would favour him. Is that the case?

    If Keynes’ popularity is mainly a function of political bias, how is one to find truth in Economics – or perhaps there isn’t any, unless one is already ideologically committed?

  • giyane


    Are you saying that Craig can attack Zionist hate crime when he chooses but others can’t.

    Are you saying that the war on terror, carpet bombing of Afghanistan, droning of Pakistan, imposition of Shi’a coups on Yemen, and the destruction of Libya by Al Qaida are not all Zionist hate crime?

    Islamic State is a project of Zionist hate crime. The female citizens are subjected to sexual violence on their private parts which in itself is a crime against humanity as well as being a form of genocide.

    Why is the west silent about the total destruction of Syria? why do my Muslim brothers say it’s too dangerous to talk on the phone about islamic State? Because Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Miliband are the founders and funders of Islamic State to continue their work of eradicating Islam by fair means or foul.

    unKempt and fuckBrain want to talk about the weather on May 7th.

    Silence means ‘I agree’ in Islam.

  • Resident Dissident

    I have read lots of Keynes and perhaps Craig could point me to where he argued for perpetual government deficits – he did have thoughts about the manner in which deficits should be reduced without damaging effective demand (e.g. read the section of the General Theory about trade cycles) and it is pretty clear that these have had some influence on Ed Balls thinking.

  • Clark

    Resident Dissident perhaps you could point me to where Craig claims what you claim he claims.

    Perhaps you could stop phrasing almost everything as “perhaps so-and-so could such-and-such”.

  • Resident Dissident


    Craig said Milliband was arguing like he never heard of Keynes – I am only using “perhaps” to be polite.

  • Clark

    Resident Dissident, so are you saying that Milliband was presenting a Keynesian argument?

    I didn’t watch the debate (there would be little point in my doing so since I live in a very safe-seat Tory constituency where my vote is almost guaranteed not to count). This is what I mean when I ask you not to assume prior knowledge. Does your use of “he” in your 11:36 am comment refer to Milliband?

    Obviously you know what you mean; the trick is to make your intention clear to a wide variety of readers who can’t read your mind. I think that much of the animosity you encounter in these comment threads may be reactions to your vague style of criticism – your comments clearly criticise something or someone, but because your target is often so ambiguous you make far more enemies than you really deserve; a characteristic you share with US foreign policy.

  • Miss Castello

    Habbababble @ 8:56 pm

    Reading your comment – and remembering the desecration of Gaza, in the summer of 2014; (over 2.000 humans, including 571 children) needlessly slaughtered by ‘heroic’ Isra-hell, in their insatiable thirst for Palestinian blood, you are without doubt the most vile, loathsome, creature I have ever had the misfortune to ‘encounter’ on any blog. A slug beneath a stone has more appeal.

  • RobG

    3 Apr, 2015 – 12:38 am:

    “RobG & Dreolin… yes, Nicola was by far the best this evening. Pity she won’t be leading the SNP in Westminster. If Alex doesn’t win his seat, who will that leader be?”

    I’m not knowledgable enough about the SNP to be able to comment on that.

    What I do know is that the ‘7 leaders debate’ really backfired on Cameron. No doubt Tory HQ thought that by including leaders from the ‘smaller’ parties it would take some of the flak away from Cameron (diluting down the debate, if you will), and would show the smaller parties to be incapable of running a country.

    Instead we got a small lifting of the curtain, to reveal real politics and real people.

    I don’t think the British public will forget this one for a while.

  • Iain Orr

    I was struck – but not surprised – at how today’s headlines in the papers reflected their own editorial biases. The seven leaders debate was not a format likely to produce clear winners or losers, primarily because each leader approached it with different concerns and objectives. I therefore decided to devise my own matrix for assessing the outcome. Choosing, as objectively as possible, which six parameters to measure, was not easy. Nor was awarding marks: I had to correct my initial scores to remove an instinctive bias against the three largest parties in the 2010-2015 House of Commons. So,

    BioDiplomacy’s marks for the 7 Leaders debate (scale: 0 woeful to 10 perfect):

    A – Stuck least mechanically to their party’s line
    B – Displayed debating skills
    C – Employed few debating tricks
    D – Came across as honest (for politicians)
    E – Supporters pleased at their leader’s performance
    F – Made points effectively and was applauded

    Leader....... A B C D E F - Total
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Bennett...... 9 7 8 8 8 8 - 48/60
    Cameron...... 5 6 6 5 6 5 - 33/60
    Clegg........ 6 6 5 6 7 6 - 36/60
    Farage....... 7 9 4 6 8 5 - 39/60
    Miliband..... 8 7 6 7 8 6 - 42/60
    Sturgeon..... 8 9 7 9 9 8 - 50/60
    Wood......... 7 5 7 7 7 8 - 41/60
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Totals (/70) 50 55 43 48 53 46

  • Abe Rene

    @Iain Orr
    Your marks tally with my being impressed with the Green leader. Now if only they would commit to building 1 million Y-cubes …

  • Iain Orr

    It helps explain my markings (at 4.53 pm on 3 April) to ask: “Who said that Fararge’s attack on “HIV tourists” was disgraceful?” Not Cameron, Miliband or Clegg. Step forward Leanne Wood, supported by Nicola Sturgeon. Male politicians are cowards.

  • Daniel

    “Daniel Why doesn’t Ed……??

    Because the snake oil salesmen are interchangeable.”

    Hi Mary. Agreed. My questions were rhetorical. The fact that my local Labour Party candidate didn’t respond to my questions says everything we need to know about the tweedledee and tweedledum nature of the mainstream parties. Where I live it’ll be a close race between the Tories and Labour. So as awful as the latter are, I’ll be voting for them in order to keep the former out. Had we PR, I would vote for the Green candidate.

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