This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Labour still has to be more honest

At last Labour seems to have started to change its message on the economy.

I thought Alistair Darling's speech in Cardiff today was better because it was more honest.

The Chancellor spoke of 'hard choices' ahead and went further than any other senior minister has done to talk about spending cuts.

He also made a vigorous defence of why cutting spending now (but not necessarily in the future) would only prolong the recession and have a negative social and economic impact. Heaven forbid, it was almost an attack on Tory policy.

So much so the better.

But I still think Labour will have to be more direct about where it thinks cuts might fall. I don't think we have been honest enough with people about the scale of the problem.

On the other hand David Cameron has been very clear that a Conservatve Government would impose cuts. To show he is serious about cutting public spending, he has said that he will reduce miniserial salaries and end subsidised food and drink at Westminster.

I know this all populist nonsense and will only save a relatively small amount of money each year but I think it will go down well with voters. And it sends out an important signal.

It will certainly make it easier to sell public spending cuts further down the line if politicians can show they have made sacrifices as well. I wish Labour had made a similar suggestion first.

Labour still needs to be more honest with people but the Chancellor's speech today was a start.

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