progress is not the elimination of struggle, but rather a change in its terms’ - Aneurin Bevan

a price worth paying?

During the last few days it became apparent that Sir Alan Budd, the head of the newly-created Office for Budget Responsibility, was to depart his position before the new department (quango?) had been established in law.

Given that one of his last acts was to issue a rushed report on how, contrary to expectations, the private sector would create enough jobs to reduce unemployment in the face of huge public sector lay-offs (and associated private sector job losses). This worked very well for the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who was able to use the OBR report to back up the case for the emergency budget.

Watching the Finance Bill being voted on last night, I recalled the words Budd uttered during an interview for a 1992 documentary by Adam Curtis. The programme "The League of Gentlemen" was the third episode of Pandora's Box, a series which dealt with the sciences, of which economics is famously one of the more dismal.

This clip has been shared by various Labourists (as Katie Doubleyou calls us) through Twitter and was even picked up by Paul Waugh, the political editor of the Evening Standard, after Clifford Singer of the Other TaxPayers' Alliance blogged it.

Of course, now that all that's happened, I find that someone else had created the exact same clip a few weeks back. D'oh.

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