Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Busy Day

A lesson we should have learned by now

Tyler is off to the TPA today to help analyse the spending announcements. So no time for a proper blog. But three quick thoughts:

1. Punching above our weight

Much talk yesterday of Cam's defence cuts stripping us of the ability to punch above our weight. Er... what ability is that exactly?

From Suez to Iraq, for the last half century we've had to follow Washington's instructions. Simple as.

And apart from that freakish 19th Century encounter down in the S Atlantic, we can't think of any modern example where we've actually benefited from this supposed punching ability (and even the benefit of holding our Falklands colony is less than clearcut). Sending our boys to die alongside the Americans ain't Tyler's idea of high weight punching.

2. BBC

Pinch me. Is this actually happening? Cam is actually downsizing the BBC? Large ones all round.

Forcing the BBC to pick up the £350m tab for the World Service is a brilliant way of making a start. But longer term we stick to our view that flogging would be better than starving (see this blog).

3. Public sector jobs

Much gaffawing at Danny Alexander's gaff of allowing photographers to snap his cuts briefing. Apparently he's let slip the shock news that 0.5 million public sector jobs are set to go.

Clearly the gaffawers (like Newsnight's Trotskyite Economics man) have forgotten that everyone already knew this. In fact 0.5m is rather less than we were previously told - during the summer the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast 700,000 government jobs losses. And of course, they also said those losses will be more than compensated for by 2m new private sector jobs (not mentioned by the Trot).

See this blog for the details, and here's the pic:

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