The contest for the next leader of the Labour Party is in danger of becoming interesting. Jeremy Corbyn is increasingly stealing the show – perhaps because he is the only one saying anything of substance. The other candidates seem to have been rendered incoherent or inchoate by the carefully manufactured “Big Lie” that the Great Recession was caused by a Labour government that spent too much.
It has now got ridiculous: with Andy Burnham, while arguing for “balanced and sustainable public finances”, considering it necessary to reassure us that “Labour spending on education and the health service didn’t cause the global banking crisis”. As if any of the electorate believe that buying books for British school children and drugs for the NHS caused the sub-prime crisis in the US housing market? And, while senior Labour politicians are busily apologising for spending too much in the past, the Oxford economist, Simon Wren-Lewis, has shown that the argument that the last Labour government seriously mismanaged the nation’s finances is a myth.
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