It is not just the economic downturn that has got us deep in debt, it is a consumerist politics in which our elected representatives feel compelled to tell us we can have our cake, eat it and walk out without paying.
Writes Matthew Taylor, former policy adviser to the Blair government, in today’s Times. I think that is not quite right. Not “feel compelled” – “are compelled”. Elected representatives do not stay elected very long unless they maintain the fiction for those who voted for them that someone else is less deserving, someone else is paying.
Taylor says ‘leadership’ is the answer. I wonder why we should believe that, when politicians are actually exercising leadership all the time, in the manner their interests direct. Leadership conferred by outbidding other leaders for the favour of the public is precisely where consumerist politics comes from.