Friday 22 September 2023
Office for Budget Responsibility?
According to Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves, everything should have to be approved in advanced by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which has been elected by nobody and which was created by the Coalition. What next, the European Central Bank? Without having rejoined the EU, of course. Taking the rules while having no formal role in making them, but knowing that one was in fact being consulted as gentlemen are, is utterly Starmer and Reeves, who is no less a gentleman than any other product of the Bank of England and of the British Embassy in Washington. It is utterly Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt. It is utterly Liberal Democrat. Voting is vulgar. Voters are vulgar.
After all, and without a manifesto commitment, it was Labour that farmed out monetary policy. The Lib Dems forced the creation of the OBR. On their own initiative, the Conservatives last year created the Economic Advisory Council out of thin air. Yet on none of those occasions have the salaries of the First Lord of the Treasury, of all other Treasury Ministers, and of all senior Treasury civil servants, been halved, as in each of those cases they should have been. If there is an Economic Advisory Council, then what is the Treasury for?
And look who is on it. Imperial protectorates and Indian princely states had British advisers whose advice had to be taken, and our nominally sovereign little colony of BlackRock and JP Morgan is in much the same position. Rupert Harrison was George Osborne's long-time Chief of Staff and then Evening Standard employee, while Osborne, Philip Hammond and Sajid Javid are also all advising Hunt. Harrison has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Bicester and Woodstock, yet there is no suggestion that Reeves would remove him from the EAC, presumably even while he was sitting as a Conservative MP. "Grownup", "sensible", you know how this goes.
But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.
To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.