Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity


by Paul Cotterill    
8:10 am - December 12th 2011

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It looks like Ed Balls is getting Labour’s approach on Europe right, in an an interview for the FT today:

Mr Balls said the summit had not addressed the crucial role of the ECB to head off the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. He also believes that European leaders – not just David Cameron – must move away from collective austerity and focus on growth.

This position is close to what I suggested yesterday:

I said at my own blog:

The main message should be that Cameron is now an irrelevance. Miliband should get on with setting out clearly how the removal of the fiscal stimulus option, under the proposed Treaty, would be an unmitigated economic disaster both for the Eurozone and for the UK as a key trader.

It would be nice to think the interview will go as far as arguing a full Keynesian alternative, developed in cooperation with other European parties of the Left.

This alternative might include not just an unambigious commitment to making the ECB as lender of last resort, and a commitment to a major ‘grands travaux’ fiscal stimulus, but also to the development of coherent long-term measures to address the major trade imbalances within the Eurozone.

Nice, but unlikely at this stage.

Even so, it’s a step in the right direction from the Labour leadership.

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About the author
Paul Cotterill is a regular contributor, and blogs more regularly at Though Cowards Flinch, an established leftwing blog and emergent think-tank. He currently has fingers in more pies than he has fingers, including disability caselaw, childcare social enterprise, and cricket.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Europe ,Foreign affairs


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Reader comments


Oh yes, the Nordic model would be a disaster.

Wait, what?

How are Labour getting it right?

After watching Wee Dougie Alexander on Sky News yesterday and hearing David Miliband on the Today Program this morning, I was shocked about how out of touch the Labour Party has become it such a short time.

To win elections it requires winning votes and as so often it seems Labour are so far away from what the public want to beg belief.

The party should take a stance that is supported by the people they wish to govern or do something else – something I suppose that is hard for professional politicians.

Everyone knows the Labour Party rewarded bankers, city slickers and spivs like no government in history and to want to now reward European banks with poor European taxpayers money – which is what it amounts to – is bonkers.

Ed Miliband needs to get a grip of Labour because the polls show the party is going nowhere…

3. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Maybe Paul Cotterill can tell us how much growth is required to pay off the current deficit and at what rate. Futhermore, what level of Keynsian stimulus is required and where that money is coming from.Assuming we can grow,who do we export to?

@2 – Blah Labour should commit suicide blah

Always the same one-track mind.

“Everyone knows”

No, you lie. You lie badly. You copy/paste the same propaganda into 10000 posts, in the self-centred, vain hope it’s a big lie. It’s not – it’s pathetic.

@4 – Leon Wolfson

Which bit isn’t true….

6. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@2 Mouse
like bring back hanging for a start.
Maybe we could have a poll of the man in the street about the current fiscal arrangements as opposed to the merits of Keysian stimuli.
Then based on these answers Labour could fomulate policy.
I do think they would be wise to leave out bombing France or sending the
poor to Australia. For the first term at least!

@4 – Leon Wolfson

So we can clear this up once and for all – everyone of these individuals falls into my description and was rewarded by Labour in government – you should be ashamed if you really are “left wing” as you describe.

Knighthoods – James Crosby, George Matthewson, Keith Whitson, Peter Burt, Mervyn Pedelty, Philip Hampton and John Bond.

Life Peers – Lord Turner Shiriti Valdera, Lord Leitch, Lord Mynors, Lord Acton, Baroness Cohen and Lord Mervyn Davies

OBE – John White, Lindsay Tomlinson, Dennis Licence and Michael Ellis

CBE – Helen Weir, Adrian Montague, Chris Lenchin, Susan Rice, Michael Morris and Philip Williamson

MBE – Andrew Robinson, John Brown, Paulette West and Gary Lumby

Oh I missed Fred Goodwin Wolfy. Sorry but will these do for now?

@5 – Oh that’s easy, any of it.

You show the common complete lack of historical knowledge and complete willingness to ignore facts of the current Government, so it’s no surprise.

The main message should be that Cameron is now an irrelevance. Miliband should get on with setting out clearly how the removal of the fiscal stimulus option, under the proposed Treaty, would be an unmitigated economic disaster both for the Eurozone and for the UK as a key trader.

The problem is, surely, that if Cameron (by extension, the UK) is an irrelevance, why on earth should anybody care what someone who isn’t even in Government, and is at least three years away from a chance of being in Government, thinks about it?

More and more political froth.

Anything, anything but an analysis of the causes of the spectacular failings of the Eurozone and the serial incompetence of those who manage the Euro show to get to grips with the issues. No new treaty is a mercy in disguise given how long it would take to gain all the ratifications necessary for a binding treaty – the crisis won’t be waiting that long to mature.

Will the mounting numbers of unemployed in Europe as the result of all those austerity measures needed to instill the fiscal discipline for an EU fiscal union stay quiet?

Does anyone need to wonder why Eurosceptisim has come to prevail in Britain?

Most folks would want to change a physician who persisted in issuing prescriptions before making a diagnosis based on the symptoms of the malaise.

Labour is getting it right on Eurozone calamity? The calamity that we are not in the Euro. The calamity that we don’t have to submit sovereign matters to unelected Brussel-crats for approval first…. Oh yes…. great calamity.

The people of the country are behind the actions of the PM. As you are so fond of saying, check the polls.

The weak leadership of Ed Miliband is in stark contrast to the leadership provided by Cameron. I am not a Cameron supporter but I do support his actions on this.

The coalition is not in trouble either. The Lib Dems have had a taste of power and they are not going to give that up.

These actions are good for the UK and if this week’s Labour soundbite ‘Isolation & Alone’ that they are all spouting means we have got into the life-raft whilst the remainder watch the quartet play, we are in the right place.

Nordic model sounds very appealing.

12. Leon Wolfson

@10 – Given the catastrophically rising rate of unemployment in this country – 500% of the EU’s – that’s actually a call for EU management of the UK.

@11 – There is no life raft for the 99%.

13. Anon E Mouse

@12 – Leon Wolfson

You seem to have missed my post at point 7 where you are shown to be completely wrong on your assertion that Labour doesn’t reward the rich with poor people’s money at every opportunity….

Anon @ 13:

No, you’ve got it wrong. The Tories are right-wing, therefore they’re automatically worse than Labour. Actions have nothing to do with it.

15. Anon E Mouse

@14 – XXX

Thanks for that XXX – always wondered why as far as Labour is concerned, “Words Speak Louder Than Actions”. (See what I did there)

Actually I think that Leon Wolfson doesn’t mean what he prints and is just here to wind people up – nobody could be as delusional as he appears…


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity http://t.co/fc1VqcYF

  2. Michael Carr

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/LjTMifXQ via @libcon

  3. Len Arthur

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity http://t.co/fc1VqcYF

  4. Janet Graham

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity http://t.co/fc1VqcYF

  5. Alex Braithwaite

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/zBEAxpLr via @libcon

  6. Owen Blacker

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity http://t.co/fc1VqcYF

  7. david seddon

    Labour slowly getting it right on Eurozone calamity http://t.co/fc1VqcYF





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