Second British TV leaders’ debate focuses on opposition parties:Once again the women show the progressive lead to Labour

It never ceases to amaze me how the old and deeply false assertions about deficits and debt reemerge at election time. This time is no different despite the fact that the deficit in Britain as a percentage of the GDP is very low and the total debt to GDP very manageable.None of the leaders in this BBC debate including Ed Miliband of Labour, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, nor Natalie Bennett for the Greens  pointed out that what counts is to whom the debt is owed, domestic savers and banking institutions as opposed to foreigners and foreign hedge funds and that there is no intergenerational burden since the younger generation inherits not only the debt obligation but als0 all of the assets of the previous generation including all the public infrastructure which was built and financed by government spending which has been financed in part by deficit spending.It is a great pity that the politicians even progressive ones do not understand these fundamentals of public finance and intergenerational transfers. However, it must be said that once again the women leaders tried to put effective pressure on Miliband  to try to be somewhat bolder in his campaign with respect to public finance and not simply offer as one of the leaders suggested Tory light fiscal conservatism.

There were also mini debates on the health care system, immigration , defense and foreign policy and post election plans on working out a coalition should Labour fail to get a majority.They were interesting and often heated debates. Farage played his by now expected role as the voice of xenophobia and English nationalism but also asked some interesting but mischievous questions of the other leaders. In the end I suspect Miliband emerged from the debate with his leadership persona largely intact and gave more than he got in the exchanges. Nicola Sturgeon scored some points in her exchange with Miliband regarding the likely need to co-operate with SNP to ensure that the Cameron Tories are ousted. David Cameron lost by his absence as the dynamic of a likely Labour led government has become clearer.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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