How can ‘pre-distribution’ mean anything if it ignores the Unions?

9:30 am - September 13th 2012

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contribution by Michael McCarthy

Such a convenient word, ‘pre-distribution’. Close enough to redistribution to charm the left, but also carefully distanced from that dangerous notion of returning to ordinary people wealth which capitalism has so efficiently concentrated in the hands of the few.

We have already had massive redistribution for the last thirty years, only it has been from the bulk of the population to the wealthiest. Or as Warren Buffet tactlessly put it: of course there is a class war, and the rich are winning it.

So what light do Ed Miliband’s recent pronouncements throw on what adopting predistribution as a policy might mean?

Blair/Brown’s New Labour, of course, relied on transfer payments – income support, tax credits, housing benefit and the like – to subsidise low-wage employers and ameliorate family poverty.

Challenges it shirked included getting up the nose of business (and redistributing profits) by enacting serious legislation to outlaw poverty wages, to stop privatised utilities from increasing inequality by ripping off rail passengers and energy consumers, and to remove Thatcherite constraints on trade union activity. Thus enfranchised, unions would themselves have been more able to exert pressure to drive up earnings, resist closures, and challenge low-paying employers.

From what has emerged so far, little is about to change.

What seems to motivate Ed Miliband’s embrace of predistribution is an acceptance that resources for making transfer payments will be severely limited for an incoming government. Especially so for one which, as Ed Balls has made clear, has no intention of doing more than staying “vigilant” in respect of tax havens.

The declared aim then is to create a higher skill, higher wage economy which will reduce the need for transfer payments. But how is that to be achieved?

Improved skills training is apparently on the agenda (as if it had ever been off it) but there has been no more mention of unshackling trade unions than of serious wealth transfers from the plutocrats. Indeed, unions barely rated a mention either in Ed Miliband’s Policy Network conference speech, or in Chuka Umunna’s recent Today programme interview.

It all looks like businesses proceeding very much as usual. They will ignore utterly ineffectual moral suasion by Miliband and Balls to improve wage rates, and so leave largely disempowered workers to be ground between the millstones of reduced transfer payments and low wages.

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Hark, is that the 70’s I hear calling?

Close enough to redistribution to charm the left, but also carefully distanced from that dangerous notion of returning to ordinary people wealth which capitalism has so efficiently concentrated in the hands of the few.

doesn’t predistribution actually mean returning to ordinary people wealth which capitalism has so efficiently concentrated in the hands of the few.

@ Tyler,

the 1870s.

@ Luis

I thought pre-distribution meant…….actually, I’m sorry, I have no idea what it really means.

I think what Labour *want* it to mean is something along the lines of “we’ll make all you less well off people richer, but we don’t have a clue how, not least because there is no extra money for extra benefits and tax-credits”. Essentially an incredibly vague but utterly empty promise.


I think what Labour *want* it to mean is something along the lines of “we’ll make all you less well off people richer, but we don’t have a clue how, not least because there is no extra money for extra benefits and tax-credits”.

Well, it’s at least a stark contrast to the rightwing “we’ll make vast swathes of you much much poorer” in attempt to reach a fantasy rightwing economic utopia.

@ BenM

You still don’t get it do you.

It’s in the best interests of the Tory party for everyone to be well off and less reliant on the state, because it will mean they get more votes at election time.

It’s in the best interests of the Labour party to increase the size of the state and make more people dependent on it, securing their share of the vote. A bit of class warfare (which it seems you’ve fallen for) claiming those nasty rich people have somehoow contributed to the fact that you yourself aren’t richer and happier also goes hand in hand with their strategy. Your typical socialist party will give people a little more, but certainly not enough to remove their dependency on the government, severing the handouts for jobs link.


You’ve ignored the fact that no one has done more to make people poorer than conservatives worldwide.

Every time they’re in power inequality rises and wealth is redistributed to the top.

No one buys this clapped-out rightwing propaganda now.

Osborne has fatally undermined your entire case by crashing the economy using the prescriptions you rightwingers have repeated so insufferably since 1979.

“No one buys this clapped-out rightwing propaganda now.

Osborne has fatally undermined your entire case by crashing the economy using the prescriptions you rightwingers have repeated so insufferably since 1979.”

I need no knowledge skill or reasoning! I just need emotional conviction!!!! Welcome to UK politics ~ As a whole it frankly makes me sick.

@ 7 BenM

Some evidence for this please?

Back in the real world the evidence points to exactly the opposite of what you are saying….right-wing capitalism has done more for the poor than any other political-financial contruct out there.

10. margin4error

The article is wrong about so much one has to wonder if the writer was in the UK or had heard of it 10 years ago.

Whatever pre-distribution is supposed to me – one would imagine training to get people into jobs, legislation for a minimum wage, tax breaks for poor workers, cutting tax on energy bills, expanding universities to accomodate more young people, rebuilding the apprenticeship system and so on – are pretty much what is being discussed – and are pretty much what Labour spent its first ten years doing after 1997.

Of course it was criticised for increasing university participation – and of course it was attacked for the minimum wage – and for endorsing a programme to create thousands of union training reps – and so on.

But pretending that stuff didn’t happen is ridiculous when looking at what Labour wants to do now under a rather bizarre heading of pre-distribution.

Of course what we really need to to is challenge the ludicrous mentality of a nation that resents and tries to squeeze its resource needs from the poor (the unemployed, single parents, the disabled, and so on) because we, the UK, as the greatest global backer of tax havens, don’t want to make the world pay their taxes.

@ 7 BenM

You do also realise that *Labour* were in power in 2008 don’t you? And that Labour were responsible for 3 of the 5 (and the 3 deepest) recessions since 1955?

11. Tyler

And the mad rightwing Republicans were in office in the US during the crash.

So what’s your point?

11. Tyler

Whoops! Didn’t read your 2nd sentence.

That’s a bald lie.

All recessions since the war until 2008 occurred under and were exacerbated by Tory governments.

@ BenM

You’d be quite wrong then.

1959 (arguably not a recession as only 1 quarter of -ve growth. Harold MacMillan, Tory

1974-1975 Harold Wilson, Labour, caused by 1973 oil crisis, stagflation, fall of Bretton Woods and a massive increase in spending and taxation. Eventually led to the UK going to the IMF.

1980-1981 Thatcher, Tory, caused primarily by the legacies of the Wilson and Callaghan Labour governments (under which real GDP barely grew for a decade), such as sky high inflation, horrible inefficiency in industry and the labour market left over from nationalised industry (3 day week etc) and enormous levels of debt. A great example of a Tory government having to come in and do unpopular things to clean up a Labour government’s mess.

1990-1991 Major, Tory, caused by US savings and loans crisis (itself sparked by black wednesday), 1990 oil price spike (due to gulf war).

2008-2009 Brown, Labour, caused by financial crisis but left UK in worst recession since the great depression and record non-wartime debts and deficits, primarily because of huge increase in government spending under Labour. “No return to boom and bust” being the famous quote of the time.

2012 Cameron, Tory, double dip after effect from 2008-09 recession. Caused by continuing weakness in Europe and after effects of financial crisis. Government left with record deficit forcing austerity. Another good example of a Tory government coming in ad being forced to implement unpopular policy in response to a mess left by a Labour government.

You should notice the patern by now. A Tory government comes in to power to clean up the mess a Labour government has made. They are forced to make unpopluar reforms, but get the economy on a good footing again. People get richer and more comfortable, and then reject harder policy measures for the promises of an easier life under Labour. Labour come to power inheriting a firm economy, enjoy the fruits of growth and proceed to massively increase spending, either leaving it unable to adequately cope with a recession started externally or driving it into a home grown one. Economy massively damaged, and eventually Labour are kicked out as populace are forced into vooting for a government willing to make tough decisions. Tory government voted in. Repeat ad nauseum.

Happy to bet that the economy will be doing well again with a lot of it’s problems sorted out by the time the next Labour government gets into power, and after a honey moon period of restraint, they will go on another spending binge, with little to show for it , and it will all once again end in tears.

“Back in the real world the evidence points to exactly the opposite of what you are saying….right-wing capitalism has done more for the poor than any other political-financial contruct out there.”

Really? I can’t think of any right-wing capitalist examples which can remotely compare with, say, the Chinese Communist Party in the past two decades, the Democrats in the USA from 1932-1968 or the Western European Christian Democrats postwar for raising the living standards of the poor.

The only thing that causes recessions, creates inequality and depends on a large state to re-distribute wealth is capitalism.

Your average socialist is anti-state and accepts that it is the capitalist system which creates excessive wealth and poverty, individuals are actors within that system including the very wealthy. Socialists also dislike the benefits system and would prefer the market to find it’s own outcomes.

17. margin4error


Just wow! Really. Wow. So stupid. So decietful. Just wow.

Nope – you are lying.

Recession started in 1973 Q3 – page 20

1980-81 “caused primarily by the legacies of the Wilson and Callaghan Labour governments”

You are either lying or stupid – having not attributed the previoous recession to its prior government (which, as discussed, was actually in power when it started – despite your lies)

And as for the rest…

If Tories are in power it is some one else’s fault – if labour are in power it is the government’s fault.

Such unthinking stupidity or deciet is of absolutely no value to political debate or historic assessment.

So please consider not coming back.

“The only thing that causes recessions, creates inequality and depends on a large state to re-distribute wealth is capitalism”

Your insane….

Look, Tyler, you a Tory, so no-one with any sense of decency will expect you to tell the truth, but can you not at least tell lies that do not fall on their face at the first examination?

Your political Party have deliberately caused every rescission and depression. No-body, but no-body has created more people dependant on welfare handouts than the Tories. Mass unemployment and low pay is the easily the most obvious defining characteristic of the Tory Party. To be frank, unemployment is what you cunts do.

The obvious difference between the pre and post war years is that post war, thanks to a great reforming Government, your previous terms in office have meant that you have failed to get the same level of satisfaction from your destructive policies, because the unemployed do not starve. Which is why you cunts have spent an entire generation decrying the welfare State.

Do you know the greatest success of the Welfare State? Ironically enough, the rise in smuggling children into this Country for the sex trade, because our own disadvantaged children do not need to provide rich men blow jobs. The biggest complaint for the Right is how can children ‘in poverty’ have playstations. Yeah, how can the Right prey on young children who have playstations is the real problem.

Please don’t be horrid to Tyler. He’s got two degrees in physics from Cambridge and he works in the City so he’s REALLY clever and has special insights the likes of common folk can’t understand.

Either that or he’s a trolling fantasist. The evidence is in the LC archive and on this page. Judge for yourselves.

22. margin4error

Interesting bunch of lies in that article. Shows the selective myopia of dumb right wingers at its most blatant.
Thanks. Much appreciated.

“Interesting bunch of lies in that article.”

Is it? Oh, shame, I thought I had discovered the reasoning behind the pathological hate of the rich for at least one class of our society.

@10. margin4error: “Of course what we really need to to is challenge the ludicrous mentality of a nation that resents and tries to squeeze its resource needs from the poor (the unemployed, single parents, the disabled, and so on) because we, the UK, as the greatest global backer of tax havens, don’t want to make the world pay their taxes.”

Isn’t there a smidge of hyperbole in the above?

I think it is fair to say that middle England resents the poor, but it is a resentment based on ignorance or propaganda. It can also be said that middle England resents the rich on similar grounds, only expressing approval for the “self made”, our local version of the American Dream, which turns out to be bullshit under the most cursory examination.

I dunno whether people really believe that cutting redistribution to the poor saves a lot of money. My feeling is that popular support for benefits cuts is based on moral superiority rather than expectations of economic transformation.

A possible gain from the predistribution theory is to put a boot into meritocracy. Predistribution, if it means better continuing education opportunities or recognising that some people are underpaid for their work, undermines the ridiculous suggestion that we all start from a common playing field; it acknowledges that some people had a head start owing to random circumstances.

I disagree with expansion of universities. To be meaningful, degree standard education has to be elitist and extreme. I’m not suggesting that education stops for the majority at 18 years but that other forms of education are more appropriate.

25. Just Visiting


> Of course what we really need to to is challenge the ludicrous mentality of a nation that resents and tries to squeeze its resource needs from the poor

What? How can the poor be the resource for the nature.

The poor benefit from the taxes the richer pay.
Not the other way round!

26. margin4error

Your description of the problem of what I called resentment towards the poorest is fare more eloquent than mone, and more apt. Thank you. But whatever the cause, as you suggest, we need to overcome this particular malaise and build a meritocracy rather than pretend on naturally exists and is some how stifled by nasty leftist stuff.

Disagree about universities, but possibly only because you see them having a narrower academic remit and I see them as places for broader education purposes. In reality your outlook is fine so long as,some other institutional arrangement is made to educate those not set to be part of an academic elite. (That said, my uni days would have been less fun without the girls doing drama or theatre studies there to balance out the male bias of science and engineering courses.)

@20. Blah: “”

It’s just a rant, Blah. It is the mirror image of a diatribe from LC’s resident ranter, Sally.

28. margin4error

That’s my point. Trying to squeeze every last penny by denying disabled people a living allowance, or forcing the working poor to pay more tax (tax credit cuts) and selling their social houses just won’t achieve anything worth achieving. Us wealthy lot have the resources we need to re-hire the thousands of cops the Tories have sacked off, and we should be the ones to do so.

29. Richard Carey

@ 19 Jim,

your arguments are so babyish. It may make life simpler for you to think that non-socialists all hate the poor and take pleasure in their suffering, but they don’t. You are basically a misanthrope who disguises it by identifying one part of humanity as ‘cunts’ so you can hate people and still feel morally superior in the midst of a confusing world.

14. Since 1979 no Tory government has left the economy in a good state. The one passed to Labour in 1997 was bombed out, already over reliant on debt and financial services, with low skills and dire productivity.

@ 15 Don

All your examples are free-market (near enough now in the case of China) capitalist structures.

@ 17 Margin4error

Growth was falling in 73 but recession only actually started in 1Q74. I use ONS sources via Bloomberg.

4Q73 Growth 4.8% 1Q74 Growth -2.8%

@ 19 Jim

Why do lefties hate so much? You claim to be fighting for justice, peace and tolerance yet you are pretty much the most bile-filled and intolerant person I have ever had the displeasure to converse with.

Not sure how the Tories created every recession and depression, given Labour were in power for and loong before the latest one….shows at best you are willfully ignorant, at worst, simply delusional.

@ 21 Cherub

Believe me, don’t believe me, I don’t really care. Did my undergrad and masters at Cambridge, work in finance. Really that hard to believe? Your idea of trolling really jsut means “not agreeing with simpering lefties and their revisionist version of economic history” though.

@ 30 BenM

Maybe you should try and actually do some research before you spout absolute rubbish.

The economy left to Labour by the Tories in 97 was in a pretty good state. Low inflation, good growth, falling debt and rapidly increasing productivity (after the dire Labour 70s) and believe what you want about the 80’s and 90’s finance wasn’t overly-dominant in the UK economy. That was another Labour creation. I’m sure you’ll now tell me how industry was destroyed under Thatcher, but the real fall in manufacturing under the 79-97 Tory government was only 3.6%. Under the 97-10 Labour government it was 11.6%.

Let’s compare that legacy to what Labour left the Coalition shall we?

32. margin4error

So Tyler – after the economy shrunk in Q3 73 – and again in Q1 74 – you are blaming that on a government that formed at the end of Q1 74 – but for the subsequent recession in the 80s – you are blaming that on a previous government, not the one that came in then…

I mean at least be consistent and blame Blair – the next government – for starting the 81 recession.


31. We can compare like-for-like.

You Tories bequeathed Labour a record debt, higher unemployment than in 1979, millions on the sick, a crumbling criminally neglected NHS, ditto schools, a bombed out industrial base, a country that could never afford to host an Olympics (it always takes Labour governments to bring infrastructure standards up to world class).

Labour fixed the roof that the Tories had allowed to leak for 18 bad, long years. It accepted far too many Thatcherite assumptions about the economy – including the lauding of useless financial services that became its nemesis.

Imagine had Labour challenged the power of the City and locked the place down under a justified tsunami of regulation? The Tory screeching would have been insufferable as much as it would have been inevitable.

That crash, which also occurred under a nutty rightwing Republican administration in the US (no Left Wing crisis this) has Tory fingerprints all over it.

34. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Interesting premise if Labour, Conservatives and the Unions weren’t all the same manifestation of the Capitalist State.
Also really sad to see so many people here equating Labour with socialism or the Left. Labour is a Capitalist party and always has been.Modern politics is all about how to run a dwindling Capitalist economy in the face of mounting international competition with a financial sector that is so powerful it cannot be tamed. I think he’s right,though, that without higher wages the economy will continue to stall, a point that Osbourne has so practically demonstrated.

Political speak if you have nothing to say make something up

@ 32 Margin4error

Economy DID NOT SHRINK in 3Q73. It GREW 6.9%. This is UK ONS data, which I am getting from Bloomberg, who get it direct from the ONS.

@ 33 BenM

Labour fixed the roof while the sun was shining? Maybe in Gordon Brown’s wibbbly wobbly world, but actually looking at the REAL data, the 79-97 Tory government massively cut the national debt, growth was very good (averaging over 3%) and inflation came down massively. Debt was falling as Labour took over and did so whilst Labour stuck to Tory spending plans (to 2001). After they moved from Tory spending plans growth slowed (to an average of 2%) and debt went up. Don’t take my word for it – look at the data, which is exactly what I just did (again, via Bloomberg). I realise you are probably incapable of doing this, not least because it hurts your fantasist world view.

As for regulation: Labour were in power for 13 years with large majorities. They could have regulated more, but in fact de-regulated more and faster than the previous Tory government. Saying they could have done otherwise is such a poor argument. I could easily say Brown could have not sold gold at stupidly low prices, or could have restrained spending money like water….but he didn’t. So.

You do also realise that the crash in the US housing market was in principle caused by Democrat legislation and de-regulation….namely the CRA act and the repeal of Glass-Steagal under Clinton. Again, dreams are INSIDE your head, reality OUTISDE.


Fancy linking to your stats – so we can see you are not making them up.

It’s just they seem to run contrary to the Bank of England’s assertion that the recession started in Q3 1973 – as I linked to.

Also – still no explanation as to why you won’t blame legacy for the 1973-75 recession but will for the early 80s recession?

Because without it you still look like you are lying and stupid and thus offer no value to political or historical understanding.

ONS data

Q3 1973 -0.7%
Q4 1973 -0.1%
Q1 1974 -2.4%

Really – seriously – the only think I can think Tyler has done here is…

1 – lie and hope no one notices (very very dumb)
2 – confuse real and absolute growth in an era of high inflation (very dumb)
3 – found a data-set with an error in it and stand by it it despite other people linking to other information (dumb)
4 – found data no one else knows about (either a fluke or quite clever)

Any one fancy betting?

@ Margin4error

I am using UK GDP chained at Mkt Prices YoY from the ONS. On Bloomberg for those lucky enough to have it the ticker is UKGRABIY. Unfortunately I can’t copy/paste the data directly in here, else I would happily do so (Sunny – maybe implement ability to post images on LC?)

Eurostat data unfortunately does not go back far enough. Bloomberg are normally 100% accurate for this kind of thing, especially when they are getting their data from national statistics agencies – I’d be willing to bet as much.

Your data is the QoQ (quarter on quarter) data…where a negative number is NOT the same as a recession. it means the GDP growth rate is lower than the previous quarter, not that the growth rate is negative on an annualised basis.

So nice try, no cigar chum.

As for blaming legacy – growth was pretty good pre-73. The oil crisis in 73 and the subsequent savings and loans crisis in the US sparked the 74-75 recession. There wasn’t really any legacy there. What kept growth muted at best through the 70s in the UK was the UKs inability to reform uneconomical industry not least it’s heavily unionized workforce, massive overspending (ending in a trip to the IMF) and enormous growth stunting taxes.

To be fair, Ted Heath (Tory, 70-74) managed to avoid recession partly by luck (his term ending as the oil crisis started) and partly because of his “Barber Boom” economic policy, though his inheritence from Harlod Wilson was hardly shining. Wilson’s 2nd term saw Labour simply unable to make sufficient reforms to get the economy moving again, and what they did do was raise taxes to bonkers levels and spend huge amounts of money, leaving the UK uncompetative, over-indebted and suffering from extremely high inflation. Callaghan was left with this mess and did indeed start some monetarist reform, trying to reduce inflation and regain competativeness in the economy until the unions (shocker) reneged on their deal with him and thus began the winter of discontent. Ultimately the UK was pretty stagnant all through the 70s and it was only the reforms Thatcher pushed through, at some intial cost, that got the UK economy moving again.

Enough of a history lesson for you?

40. Richard Carey

Advantage Tyler.

41. margin4error


Wow – I mean seriously, wow. So stupid. Just incredibly stupid.

So to sum up – you are looking at Q3 1973 – comparing it to Q3 1972 – and thus concluding that because there was growth in Q4 1972, Q1 1973 and Q2 1973 – that Q3 1973 can’t have seen the economy shrink.

I should advise your employer to save their money on your bloomberg account. You clearly are too ill-educated to make use of it.

Though I should apologise – perhaps you were not lying. You are just be dumb. (option 3 from my last post, btw).

To illustrate this in ladybird book of statistics terms – look at the following sums…


You’ll note that the result of both sums is positive AND above the first number – despite the last number in the actual sum being negative.

And that’s what you’ve done.

You have concluded that Q3 1973 was positive even though it was in fact negative, purely because it was not as big a negative as the preceding three quarters combined were positive.

seriously – you are so stupid.

And yes, I appreciate few people posting on LC would know what a chained YoY series is – so you may have carried on ignorantly not understanding – but fortunately for you, I studied stats at uni and have continued to economic data throughout my career.

So consider this an education – and please god sue your lecturers for being utterly useless if you studied statistics and came away with qualifications despite clearly not understanding the basics.

Seriously – this ain’t even A-level stuff. Moron.

42. margin4error


Only because you don’t understand the words he used.

Trust me – he just outed himself as a statisical novice to anyone who actually uses economic stats for a living.

43. margin4error

And btw

for those without access to high level statistical packages – here’s a link to the data anyway. (It’s not secretive or exclusive – it’s just numbers and they are publicly available)

You’ll note that in the chained series – the figure for 1973 Q3 is down from 1973 Q2.

The chained series not adjusted for inflation is up – but of course only the dumbest person thinks that’s a useful figure – since obviously the increase is made up of inflation and growth – and of course inflation can be (and was) bigger than the contraction in that period.

Seriously Tyler – I hope this has been enlightening for you.

44. margin4error

Also – QoQ is how recessions are determined. Literally a recession is defined as two QoQ contractions in a row.

Even journalists know that these days – so Tyler is either lying and pretending not to know that – or is utterly incompetent.

amazing stuff.

@ Margin4error

You have literally got everything wrong.

Firstly, the definition of a recession is (and read this carefully) *two successive quarters of negative growth*. Growth is measured on a *year on year* basis.

What you have done is take quarter on quarter growth. Essentially the rate of change of growth, not an absolute number. QoQ growth could be a negative number but since it ONLY refers to the rate of growth in the previous quarter, Nominal GDP could easily still be growing. Until the year on year numbers are negative, you don’t have a recession. For example, if QoQ growth rates are +5%, -1%, -1%, -1% the annual growth rate still works out as +1.8%. Not a recession. The Economy has grown EVERY QUARTER, just at slower rates. NOT a recession.

By your logic we should also be looking at inflation on a month on month basis – currently 0.1%. In reality though that number means very little, and everyone will recognise the 2.6% YoY number (EU harmonized data). If that MoM inflation number was -0.1% we would still have positive inflation.

Do also try and avoid getting your data from the Guardian.

Secondly; “The chained series not adjusted for inflation….” This data is a chained series *at market prices* meaning it is by definition adjusted for inflation and seasonality. Whoops.

So, when it comes to stupid, you really know no bounds. Not least because you haven’t bothered to check your maths before shouting off that trap of yours. Are you really sure you did stats and economics? I suppose A-levels are getting easier and all.

All of this tells me that whatever you do for a career, it’s not economics or finance.


I’ve been trying to make the same points since I joined LC, seems nobody takes any notice or they make intelligent, well considered replies such as accusing you of being insane.

Richared Carey @ 29

It may make life simpler for you to think that non-socialists all hate the poor and take pleasure in their suffering

I can only really go where the evidence takes me. I see you cunts, here and other sites I happen to visit, or on the media in general, taking great delight in other’s misery, and advocating policies that are designed to drive people further into poverty. How I am I supposed to interpret that as anything other than an getting pleasure from the misfortunes of others? Read the Daily Mail’s comment page for an insight into the Tory mindset.

You are basically a misanthrope who disguises it by identifying one part of humanity

Not ‘one part’ of humanity, just the people who are always on about destroying other people.

One of the criticisms of the Left is that we can care too much about people. We look at everyone and see some value and even a bit of affinity with people. The old ‘one legged black lesbian support group’ syndrome, if you will. We can look past the drug use or the ‘too many’ children, the lifestyle or whatever and still find a redeeming feature. Yes, sometimes we find humanity in some people where most do not.

You cunts cannot. Every time you see a person with a problem, you are looking for a reason to blame them. The disabled person with a nose stud and tattoos, must be faking it, the woman with five kids must be a slut, etc. It is you cunts that look to human beings, eliminate the humanity and focus on the problem. The benefit claimant, the babies or whatever.

How can anyone look at children and not see humans, but see parasites? How can anyone see people clinging onto the underside of a lorry and not see desperate people, but see scroungers? How can anyone look at someone with Down’s Syndrome and see it as an economic opportunity? Who looks at an African child being consumed by flies and immediately thinks ‘condoms’?

You are right, Carey. I hate you cunts, but not because you join a Political Party, people join Labour and the Lib Dems and I do not hate them. I deeply disagree with them and I think they are profoundly wrong, but most have their heart in the right place.

No, I really hate those of you on the Right (inside and outside of the Tory Party) because you hate us. You know how much I hate you cunts? Take your hatred of the disabled, the poor, the old, the sick and the unemployed and half it.

Oh, and by the way, moral superiority? Compared to you and that other scumbag Tyler? I have stuff growing between my toes that are morally superior to you.

48. margin4error


Seriously – how do you not just know this? Everybody knows this. More-over how do you not learn this when pointed out to you?

Here are some links saying this…

And no – QonQ is not a rate of change in growth you idiot. It is not a figure that says the economy grew, but a bit quicker or slower than last quarter. What on Earth makes you think it is?

QonQ is the total output of the economy, over a quarter, compared to the total output of the economy, over the previous quarter. A negative figure of -0.3 does not mean we grew -0.3% less than in the previous quarter. It means the output across the economy was 0.3% less than in the previous quarter.

It is exactly the same as your YonY – a comparison of two absolute figures – turned into a number that shows the % increase or decrease from the earlier figure to the later figure.

And if it isn’t – you presumably think the economy is still growing really really fast.

after all – Q4 1991 to Q4 2008 were all positive figures. So according to you – for all that time – GDP Growth was accelerating and accelerating and accelerating. Not that the size of the economy was just going up – but that it was going up at faster and faster and faster rates. Indeed by Q4 2008, you are claiming we were growing (if QonQ is just how much faster we are growing than the quarter before) by 50.6% faster than in q4 1991.

Of course that means nothing – because in your fantasy Q4 1991 growth might have been 0. So 50.6% faster than 0 is, well, zero.

On the other hand – if growth in Q4 1991 was 1% then by q42008 the economy was growing by over half every quarter.

Can you see how stupid you would have to be to believe our economy was – on that basis – more than doubling in size every half year?

Some basic common sense tells you how stupid you are being – please apply some.

And ask around. Ask some people who do economics whether the economy shrank in the last quarter, or just grew less quickly. Anyone with a grasp of economics will tell you you are a moron for thinking the latter. (You could ask me, but for some reason you prefer not to believe me – which is odd, because the Treasury seems to believe me, as do the various ministers I talk to about the economy and how to generate growth in the economy. Oddly enough they don’t seem to think quarterly figures show a mere change in rate of growth – because that’s stupid – and even ministers are briefed so as not to be that stupid).

I would like to say I suspect this is all because you are trying to bewilder people into thinking you might not have been moronically wrong – but I suspect actually that you really are just moronically wrong.

And on the data – please note the link I posted shows both inflation adjusted and non-adjusted chained YonY figures. Also note that the figures for your YonY chained index shows the same 4.8% you quoted previously – suggesting they are in fact the same figures.

The problem here isn’t the data – it is you. You are too stupid to calculate that while the year as a whole ended with a bigger gdp than it started with, the second half of the year saw the economy shrink.


49. margin4error

Seriously – is anyone else here too stupid to know that a recession is two quarters of contraction – and that QonQ is the same as YonY but comparing the total economy from quarter to quarter instead of year to year?

Please tell me it is just Tyler. Please tell me we don’t live in a country this stupid. I know stats are tough – but when the quarterly GDP stats come out and the figure says we shrank or grew by x% people do understand that that means the economy is smaller or larger than in the previous quarter by x%.

Liberal Conspiracy or Lost Cause hahaha.

They probably aren’t talking about this for political reasons.

One mention of strengthening unions and tories will try and link it to failures in the past and ignoring intellectual arguments about inequality.

I think in office he might strengthen unions, especially if the Unions behave well and maybe donate a bit more to Labour.

Its about time the 99% or ordinary Brits are allowed to stand up and fight back! Inequality is reaching 1930’s levels!

52. Man on Clapham Omnibus


That’s because this place is just a chat show which will use the odd statistic and the odd article to bat generally meaningless monologue about. Its also run seemingly by someone obsessed with getting poll advantage independent of
whether any substance behind that advantage actually exists.
I think a critical look as to whether Labour is really suitable to deliver change,whether it is now or was ever relevant for the left,what those outcomes might entail and a thorough look at what socialism actually means in the 21st Century might be a start. Might be good to define what left means as opposed to ultra left too.

But I doubt that discussion will ever take place on this site.

53. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@35 Robert

Its a politics blog mate not the cooking channel.You’re in the wrong place!

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jason Brickley

    How can ‘pre-distribution’ mean anything if it ignores the Unions?

  2. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – How can ‘pre-distribution’ mean anything if it ignores the Unions?

  3. sunny hundal

    'How can @Ed_Miliband's "pre-distribution" mean anything if it ignores the Unions?'

  4. TeresaMary

    'How can @Ed_Miliband's "pre-distribution" mean anything if it ignores the Unions?'

  5. SheffieldUncut

    'How can @Ed_Miliband's "pre-distribution" mean anything if it ignores the Unions?'

  6. Robert CP

    'How can @Ed_Miliband's "pre-distribution" mean anything if it ignores the Unions?'

  7. Frank Manning

    Someone missed the memo that militant trade unionism does not create wealth. It ends growth ie 70s. Good old @Libcon

  8. Low Profile 007

    Someone missed the memo that militant trade unionism does not create wealth. It ends growth ie 70s. Good old @Libcon

  9. BevR

    How can ‘pre-distribution’ mean anything if it ignores the Unions? | Liberal Conspiracy via @libcon

  10. BevR

    How can ‘pre-distribution’ mean anything if it ignores the Unions? | Liberal Conspiracy

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