Hammersmith business and residents are suffering because, both locally and nationally, the Tories are peddling a debt myth and using it as a smokescreen to do what they want to do ideologically – cut down the state.
"The biggest lie in British politics" is what Independent journalist Johann Hari called it in a remarkable piece yesterday. He points out that when the economic crisis hit, Britain actually had the second-lowest debt of the leading economies. And as a proportion of GDP, Britain’s national debt has been higher than it is now for 200 of the past 250 years.
Hari says "To react to a recession by increasing spending, and so keeping the economy afloat, is the only rational response. The real reason why David Cameron is imposing these massive cuts has nothing to do with the national debt. It is because he regards himself as, in his words, 'the child of Thatcher', and he wants to pursue her agenda harder and faster than she ever dreamed."
Hammersmith Tories are doing the same, falsely blaming the council’s debt for their decision to slash a third more than even the government demanded. They have added another 4% of cuts to Eric Pickles's 11% and decimated most early years Sure Start services.
exploding the Tory myths about Hammersmith's debt burden, the local Tories' economic arguments, just like those of their national leaders, don't stack up.
Perhaps one day they'll come clean about the real, ideological reasons behind their cuts. Or perhaps ....