Work dominates blogging today, by a wide margin.  Hopefully it will be obvious why, later.

In the meantime, these pieces are half-read or waiting for me to have a moment:

A long profile of Paul Krugman; I have not got far enough to understand why it is called “The Deflationist”

Tim Worstall on the myth of a declining manufacturing sector.  Book mark this one for the next time someone like John Redwood complains about it.

Interview with Gordon Brown in the Economist. Nothing about bullying.  I must admit my views have been slightly hardened against Brown’s team when I read this piece from Sue Cameron about the McBride/Whelan behaviour in the past:

Back in 2005, Mr McB, who started his civil service career in 1996, was the Treasury’s civil service director of communications. GB, then chancellor, was his boss but Whitehall officials are banned from party politics. Yet when Chris Giles, the FT economics editor, wrote about the Tories accusing the government of fiddling some figures, Mr McB did not hesitate to take sides. He e-mailed Mr Giles saying how dare he quote the Tories in this way. He added that unless there was a change of tune, Mr Giles would have no more briefings from the Treasury.

And one of my more admired politicians, Darling, is clearly repressing a lot of anger on this.

I am a saddo who reads books about th 1976 crisis in bed. I was amazed to see Norman Lamont in there, berating the government for its policies.  Here he is questioning their fiscal policies, and the interest rates that result.

David Cameron would have been 10.  Now the FT is doing an extended piece on his pre-MP life.  I had no idea what a machine politician he was, and how deeply embedded:

He worked against the grain of a relentlessly hostile press and a poor economy. At the Treasury, he witnessed his boss face the shock of departure from the exchange rate mechanism on Black Wednesday in 1992. That evening, as Lord Lamont started his statement after a “difficult and turbulent day”, television footage showed a tanned Mr Cameron ambling past in the background, hand in pocket, seemingly unfazed by his boss – and his party – losing its reputation for economic competence. Due, perhaps, to that permanent air of unflappability, Lord Lamont grew increasingly reliant on his assistant

Have fun.


5 thoughts on “Some longer pieces

  1. Yes, I recently became aware of the full extent of Cameron’s machine politics history.

    I’d always assumed he made the jump from PR straight to Conservative Party. But no no, it turns out that the Tory Party thought it would be a good idea for him to get some “real world experience”, with a cushy £130,000 a year job as…a PR man!!

    It’s like the Thick Of It:

    CCHQ strategist 1: Dave has potential, but he needs real-world experience

    CCHQ strategist 2: Hmm, you’re right. I know, let’s get him doing PR!

    CCHQ S1: Bingo! Two birds with one stone! Work experience and he can learn how to be a slick, smooth, bastard.

  2. Ah, so *that’s* what the Dave the Chameleon video was referencing. I knew Cameron had been in Tory back-room politics on Black Wednesday, but in that Labour video (a brilliant piece of advertising for the Tories…) the chameleon wanders past while Lamont is making That Statement. I always thought it was just a way to associate the two more firmly; hadn’t realised there was actual footage.

  3. FTE: “I had no idea what a machine politician he was, and how deeply embedded:”

    Cameron is the worst sort of politician, one without any principles whatsoever but a naked lust for power, in this regard he resembles Blair and Brown. Look where those two got us.

  4. From the myth of a declining manufacturing sector

    “The first and most obvious thing is to point out that the Index isn’t measuring how much we make: it’s measuring the value of what we make. This is, of course, the only thing we should be interested in: increasing the value of what is produced means that there’s more value to be shared among all of us doing the producing”

    Please don’t link to this shit again. If i wanted to argue with John Redwood i would probably start by talking about how the manufacturing export share of GDP has risen since the 1970s (albeit marginally). And that in fact the manufacturing value-added as a share of GDP has declined. That’s what the OECD reckon anyway.

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