As we discuss the Coalition’s handling of the economy 12 months on, two things are clear – it’s difficult to be convinced by any ideological stance and the counterfactual is impossible to know.
The discussion is certainly not as binary as ‘pro- vs anti-cuts’ nor are we able to fully know what the international markets would have shown if the national finances were not brought under control.
The current polarised debate is understandable within a political setting but lacks substance in a pragmatic one. The problem, as I see it, is that the policies of the coalition government are not necessarily incorrect but rather they discard old policies – such as removing Regional Development Agencies and front loading cuts to organisations who can aid the recovery – whilst creating new policy ad hoc – such as Local Enterprise Partnerships and StartUp Britain.
To be able to scrutinise the decisions we need to move away from ideology and towards reality.
Pragmatism over time, not pragmatism in no time.