.. and apologise for everything except spending too much.

The Economist's "Blighty" blog has a good item here about the Labour leader's weekend speech in which he attempted to apologise for some of Labour's mistakes.

"Political Parties"
it begins, "recently evicted from government, and headed by a new leader, should take the opportunity to admit past failings."
Ed Miliband did indeed admit that Labour should have been more open before the election about the fact that, as their own plans assumed there would eventually "have to be cuts" in public spending.

(An advance on certain Labour figures in Copeland who don't appear willing to recognise that even now.)

According to the blog post, Red Ed was

"effusively apologetic for almost every other vaguely regrettable thing that happened in Britain between 1997 and 2010. He is sorry for failing to properly regulate the banks. He is sorry for allowing the financial sector to become too big a part of the British economy. He is sorry for relying on redistribution to fight inequality, instead of somehow prodding the private sector to narrow wage differentials in the first place. He is sorry for playing fast and loose with civil liberties. He is sorry for not being green enough. He is sorry for being "too technocratic and managerial" and for the "target culture". I haven't checked, but he may have said sorry for the creative decline of Oasis after their second album."

What he didn't say sorry for was "allowing public spending to run out of control in the years before the financial crisis. After the longest economic expansion in British history, the government should not have still been borrowing to spend. Instead of going into the recession with a warchest, it went in with a deficit."

Labour's refusal to accept responsibilty for the deficit is bad enough if this is a matter of political positiong. But if it's not just a matter of spin, it would be even more worrying if, as the blog's author says private conversations with shadow ministers suggest, "they actually believe it."


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