Friday, 24 March 2017

"Austerity amnesia" reaching epidemic proportions

"Austerity amnesia" is now influencing too many of your recent articles, with Andrew Marr and George Eaton especially appearing to suffer from short-term memory, when it comes to recent Tory policy. In the former`s review of Goodhart`s book, The Road to Somewhere, he attributes the Somewheres` contempt for parliament on the Blair government`s "armed intervention in Iraq in 2003", and on "the relatively minor scandal" concerning MPs` expenses, totally omitting the Tory-dominated coalition`s austerity policies, which punished the poorest and most disadvantaged, and which May`s government is happy to embrace (Understanding Brexit, 17th March,2017). Along with economic policies which favoured the south-east and their richest inhabitants, austerity played a huge role in creating the large group of Britons, who felt "left out and left behind".
    George Eaton appears to see Tory Remainers as the country`s only hope, even while admitting that many had only opposed Brexit "in the hope of advancement under Cameron" (For a softer Brexit, Theresa May needs to face a tougher opposition, 17th March,2017). He, like Marr, has a memory block when it comes to recalling which policies these MPs actually support; shrinking the state, cutting taxes and the associated services and benefits, privatisation, reduced funding for the NHS and state schools, are just a few points on the Tory agenda. Yet Eaton can`t resist blaming Labour`s "toxic leadership", which "has made Tories reluctant to ally with them", when clearly, their lack of principle is the most important factor. 

    Of course, a "stronger opposition" is needed, but it would be helpful if writers concentrated more on Labour`s principled stance against austerity and inequality, and less on joining in with the Tory media`s blame-game.

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