I used to hold fairly high hopes about Nick Cohen, who had the courage to tell his leftist friends a few home truths about the sheer madness of their consorting – in the case of the hard left – with radical Islamists. He does not adopt the default “Blame America First” line on issues such as, say, Iraq, or for that matter, events in the Balkans. In the very big scheme of things, he’s one of the good guys, in my opinion. The trouble is that he is still a big government leftie; for him, the reductions in spending by this government, which are not that much more than envisaged by former UK (Labour) Chancellor Alisdair Darling, are wicked. Oh well.
He attended the protests against the UK government’s supposed “cuts” on Saturday (the sneer quotes are there because it is not clear that government spending as a share of GDP will actually shrink). Before I return to his comments against the “cuts”, here is what he said about the kind of folk causing a tear-up in the West End:
The folly of ignoring or indulging the far left becomes apparent as soon as you realise that the similarities between the SWP and the BNP are more important than the differences. Both are hysterical totalitarian organisations that love vicious rhetoric and promote anti-Semites. The left wing press and the BBC will never acknowledge the overlap between fascism and communism, because they fear accusations of “betrayal,” and have a mental block that prevents them accepting that evil resides on the left as well as the right of British politics. As a point of contrast, imagine how they would react if the BNP hijacked a Countryside Alliance march. The Today programme would have had a nervous breakdown on live radio.
Quite so. All we have to do now is get Mr Cohen to give up on the nonsense of this Keynesian idea that cutting public spending – and hence debt – somehow reduces “demand” in the economy. Given that a large chunk of tax revenues are gobbled up on debt interest payments alone, it seems fairly good public finance to make an adjustment. Cohen and others would do well to realise that Britain’s public finances were on their way to ruin long before anyone had heard of sub-prime mortgages, collateralised debt obligations, or for that matter, Ben Bernanke.
As an aside, I was in Piccadilly on my way to a meeting yesterday, and could see some fairly extensive damage to shops, banks, etc. Well done guys.