Blogging is a strange occupation - a solitary writer in search of the sort of communion with others that used to happen in the pub, on the corner, on the bus is now engaging with others electronically instead. So much for progress.

THIS blog is about ideas - big and small - connected with one of the things I care about with a passion, namely the future of liberal thought in this country. I am instinctively a radical liberal, with a grudging belief in the value of markets but an abhorrence of statism and indifference, and a strong belief in social justice. I find Labour bankrupt of ideas, and the Tories intellectually flacid. This is my response.

I am intending always to stick to the point: there will be no rabble-rousing talk, and no wasted jibes at other parties and political philosophies.

Comments will be moderated, but anyone can leave one.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The liberal prescription

How do you get out of a recession? Well, first - as Keynes taught us all if we had the wit to notice - you can't expect to do more than stimulate recovery, possibly at the cost of inflation. The liberal prescription for a recession ought to be, modestly, along the same lines. Whilst Gordon 'Batman' Brown claims he is saving the planet, liberals should be saving our sanity and hope by making it clear that old fashioned deep recessions like this (not the stagflation of the 1980s) are not easily remedied by fiscal or monetary policy alone - that governments can stimulate but can't cure, even if confidence in the financial system were miraculously restored. Liberals know that recessions require a mix of policies, to protect the most vulnerable on the one hand from the effects and to stimulate a macroeconomic response on the other. In this recession, a truly liberal response is to claim less, hope more. We don't only have to fear fear itself, we have to fear the mad machine politics of the Tories and Labour for whom the prescription is driven more by polls than by reason.