22 Oct 2010, 12:39 a.m.

Johann Hari on the "Swingeing Cuts" - Essential Reading for the People of Britain

If you live in Britain, you need to read this. Even if you just live on this planet it's still ten minutes well spent. Writing in The Independent today, Johann Hari provides the clearest overview I've yet seen of why Cameron/Osborne's economic policy - that of "swingeing cuts" - is deeply ill-advised, is vindictive and will ultimately be disastrous for Britain.

Johann Hari: Britain Just Became a Colder, Crueller Country - and for Nothing.

I'm no expert in economics - I barely scraped an A-level in the subject - but even I can see just how wrong the policy is: decades ago John Maynard Keynes taught us how to survive a recession. Similar cuts in Britain in 1918, and more recently in Ireland, have shown us how not to, in spectacular fashion. Bewilderingly, Cameron and Osborne have chosen the latter route.

Once you're done with Johann's article, and if you're interested in a little more of the economic theory behind the state we're in, then I can recommend reading Robert Skidelsky. His Future Generations Will Curse Us for Cutting in a Slump and By George, He Hasn't Got It: What Would JM Keynes Think of George Osborne's Budget? are particularly apposite.

For a lengthier read, Skidelsky's eloquent biography of Keynes, named Keynes: The Return of the Master, is a skilful relation of Keynesian theory to the current crisis, in fairly layman-friendly terms.

You may be pleased to hear that I'm unlikely to blog on the subject of economics a great deal in future, but I feel pretty strongly about all of this at the moment. Perhaps that's partly because, as a left-leaning liberal, I'm incensed that my vote has been misappropriated to help allow this to happen. But that's another story.

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