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Thursday, 23 September 2010

terms of debate

if this is true, and it does seem close to the mark at least, it's very sad. i wrote recently about Ed Miliband being called Red Ed and stupid that is, well:
"Why cannot the Business Secretary seek to address a lightly regulated market, or at least question the merits of unfettered capitalism? The acceptable debate has leapt from concerns about banks and the short-term recklessness of some businesses to one about the inefficiencies of the public sector. Savings in the public sector can and should be made, but surely it must be possible for public figures to highlight other issues without being portrayed as revolutionary Marxists.

Yet the younger Miliband has been christened "Red Ed" for daring to argue that the state has a role in regulating markets, and Cable is called a Marxist. Both are compared to Tony Benn for veering a millimetre away from Cameron/Blairite orthodoxy. It seems that the acceptable perimeters of debate in Britain are very narrow. The wacky reaction to Cable reminds me of a brilliant lecture that Gordon Brown delivered in 2003 in which he argued that while markets worked in most spheres, there were limits in one or two areas. The lecture was widely dismissed as a disastrous return to Old Labour."

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