Nipping Public Spending In The Budd

I came across mention on today’s Irish Times Business Podcast of Alan Budd.

BBC News – Chancellor announces new fiscal watchdog

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that a independent Office for Budget Responsibility will be set up to make economic forecasts.

He said these forecasts, the first of which will come out before the Budget, would create a “rod for my back down the line and for future chancellors. That’s the whole point.”

The office will be headed by former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Alan Budd.

Alan Budd puts in an early appearance in David Harvey’s new book, The Enigma of Capital.

..both Reagan and Thatcher orchestrated confrontations with big labour, either directly in the case of Reagan’s showdown with the air traffic controllers and Thatcher’s fierce fight with the miners and the print unions, or indirectly through the creation of unemployment. Alan Budd, Thatcher’s chief economic adviser, later admitted that ‘the 1980s policies of attacking inflation by squeezing the economy and public spending were a cover to bash the workers’, and so create an ‘industrial reserve army’ which would undermine the power of labour and permit capitalists to make easy profits ever after.

That’ll work. For capitalists.

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2 Responses to “Nipping Public Spending In The Budd”


  1. 1 Donagh May 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Another nietzschean return, Adam Curtis has a snippet of a Panaroma program from 1968. (Realise you may have seen this)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2010/05/the_return_of_the_gnomes_of_zu.html

    It’s the vox pop at the beginning that got me. It’s like ‘popular opinion’ is a machine that only generates a limited number of flavours. Either that our vox-pops are an easily manipulated devise for emasculating genuine debate.

    • 2 Hugh Green May 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

      Vox pops are anything but. They advance the suggestion that people’s thoughts and ideas relating to any issue defined by news media are easily and spontaneously encapsulated within concise bursts.

      Noam Chomsky makes a related point here on concision:

      But there is an additional factor when it comes to vox pops, while they use concision in the same way – i.e. for the regurgitation of conventional thought- they also suggest to the audience that this is what ordinary people -not the experts and the politicians and the pundits- really think. So it validates and presents as natural the distinction between the ‘ordinary person’ or the ‘man in the street’ who sits in contrast to the expert and the cultivated member of the elite.

      Basically, they are an instrument of mind control.


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