Yesterday when I gave some interviews to the BBC I was impressed by the change of aproach. I have always been ready to criticise them here, so let me on this occasion priase them. They were courteous and thoughtful in their overtures. During the interviews on and off air I could see them struggling to understand the fact that I simply do not see the world through the eyes of 13 years of Labour spin as many of their broadcasters have done. The problem is, as readers of this site know, I disagree with so many of the conventional mistakes in analysis it takes time to explain the alternative view.
Two of the crucial issues relate to the public sector. I was asked why Conservatives wish to take £6 billion out of the economy this year. I had to explain we have no wish to take £6 billion out. We wish to spend and borrow £6 billion less in the public sector to leave more scope for private sector revival, and to try to stop a further increase in borrowing costs. Indeed, the £6 billion figure itself is suspect, as we have promised an accelerated reduction of the debt based on a faster pace of controlling public spending and raising the efficiency of the spend. Every penny the public sector borrows and taxes cuts private sector spending.
I was also asked about why we intended “Thatcher” style cuts. I had to explain Margaret Thatcher did never cut the overall level of public spending compared to the previous year. She had to control its growth and cut unrealistic plans. Further more I had to explain again that Conservatives do not come into office wanting to sack teachers, nurses and doctors – that is all absurb Labour myth.
So based on yesteray, let me give one cheer for the BBC. They sounded as if they did wish at last to understand a different viewpoint. The problem is Labour has not just messed up the government for so many years, but has spent much of our money on ensuring the circulation of distorted thinking and misunderstandngs galore about how the economy works and what Conservatives think.
We need to start to establishing that the eocnomy and the public sector are different things. The new jobs, new prospoerity and higher living standards we want are going to mainly come from an expanding private sector. The public sector has spent and borrowed too much and we cannot have a sustained recovery unless we sort that out.