These quotes from or about recent statements by Chris Huhne show commonsense that we could do with hearing from the Chancellor. There has to be a fall back plan – of using public funding to stimulate growth if the recession worsens or unemployment does not reduce.
"Of course I'm concerned, and so are most Liberal Democrat parliamentarians with whom I speak. We all accept the need to reduce the deficit, and we all hope that private sector growth will compensate for public sector curbs, but we are not 100% sure that it will. Common sense dictates that the approach may have to be adjusted if the economy experiences a severe downturn."
"Chris Huhne pointed out the other week that a sensible yachtsman trims the sails when weather conditions change. Of course he is right; policies would have to be adjusted if an increase in the costs of unemployment destroyed attempts to reduce the debts. To do otherwise would be akin to the captain of a steamship ordering 'full ahead' after being told that water is pouring in through a hole at the bows."
I don't usually have much time for the wishy washy conservative Labour supporting Guardian newspaper but this column by Simon Jenkins is just evidently sensible.
'Pleading with banks won't do. Osborne needs a plan B
Supporters of cuts can still fear a recession. The lenders will pay no heed: demand and jobs must be kickstarted elsewhere'.
Looking at current spending cuts by the centre and the cull of quangoes it is worth reading Lord (Tony) Greaves' letter in the Independent 19 January 2008, 'Local democracy must be revived'. Greaves calls for a renaissance of local democracy. Whether Victorian solutions are right for today can be debated. Whether the Big Society will be inherently better than the centralised control (whether in town halls favoured by the local government establishment or Whitehall favoured by New Labour) of money and power is unproven. The latter certainly stifled initiative. Liberals do not believe the state or the market is inherently good or bad. That this is the right time to be doing it is certainly doubtful. It seems unlikely that the recession is the best time to carry out economic restructuring as well as curbing unnecessary expenditure.
Note. I think the quotes not from Simon Jenkins are from a Chris Davies MEP newsletter or a Lib Dem Northwest member post on Facebook, November 2010. If they were from anyone else my apologies and credit to you (do let me know). Google let me down as a search facility to find the sources which I should have noted!