Daily Archives: February 25, 2011

Jim Pickard

Nothing sensational so far in the revised Mandelson diaries, but this passage is thought-provoking:

When Ed pronounced New Labour ‘dead’, he was not only being more categorical than was wise, but quite possibly more than he really intended. (xxi) …Even allowing for the tactical choices he had made in his bid to become leader, however, I was struck by the fact that he had given no strong clue during the campaign as to what alternative to New Labour he envisaged. He was quick to say what he was against: essentially, Tory policies and Tony’s policies. But he rarely said what he was for, apart from a belief in greater social mobility and equal chances in life for the young, more strategic government intervention in the economy, and primacy for individual rights in counter-terrorist law. I would sum up his position as being an egalitarian social liberal – different from Tony, yet not a reversion to Old Labour. Read more

Jim Pickard

The reaction inside the Treasury to the original Q4 GDP figures a few weeks ago was, I’m told, one of disbelief at first.

It would be interesting therefore to be a fly on the wall inside George Osborne’s ministry this morning as that number – a fall of 0.5 per cent – was downgraded by the ONS. The new figure is a 0.6 per cent drop. Read more

Jim Pickard

Sorry for the blogging silence on Thursday, I was enjoying a three-hour lunch with Bob Crow and also putting the final touches on our new “austerity calendar”.

It’s in today’s paper FT but also online at this address, where you should be able to see many of the major tax rises and benefit cuts taking place in the next few years; or at least the ones we already know about. I hope it proves a useful tool.