28 August 2010

No Respite from the Debt Hangover

So where were we before the media and the powerful generally conspired to deny that anything serious was happening for a month? Oh yes, we were in the middle of the biggest recession for a century. Now that those further from the spotlight have jetted back from warmer climes and baby Florence Rose Endellion is sleeping peacefully in her crib perhaps we can turn our attention back to this rather serious matter?

The tendency of every debate to fall into a dichotomy is a perennial irritation. In this case we now have the split between the cutters - neo-Thatcherite shock tacticians either born with silver spoons or made rich through the banking boom - and the post-Keynsian, New-Labour-cum-Old-Labour big state advocates, who are prone to use the ugly phrases 'double dip' and 'fiscal stimulus', both of which have sinister overtones of something unpleasant and sexual.

As usual, the green position trascends this dichotomy, and as usual it is not being heard. As I posted previously, our role as visionaries of a green future is to make clear that the economy has grown beyond the planetary boundary and so it needs to contract, but that this should be used as an opportunity to achieve the greater levels of equality that research indicates would make for a happier society. Elsewhere I have argued that we could frame this within the contraction-and-convergence that we use when thinking about climate change. Not an attractive slogan, I grant you, but it might just save the human race.

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