Sunday, 8 January 2012

Conservative Keynsiasm (no, really)

From the FT:
The minister responsible for the Olympics rounded on those attacking the government for spending money to promote the UK, saying the event was “a massive Keynesian boost to the economy”.
So, the Conservatives aren't even just a bit soft Conservative, but full on Keynsians now? Of course, it would help if Jeremy Hunt actually understood Kenysian economics, you know, that whole thing about having a surplus to use in the bad times. We don't have a surplus, so Keynsianism doesn't work.
Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, told the Financial Times: “This is the government saying, ‘We are going to ignore the siren voices telling us to back off.’ We are never going to have this again. We want to make sure we do everything we possibly can to help Britain.”
So stop spending money on the Olympics. Probably not worth cancelling now as most of it is paid for, but spend no more. Use it to fund science, research, education.
The opening ceremony was an opportunity to reach a TV audience he claimed could reach 4bn, and he said it was an occasion worth hundreds of millions in publicity.
I have no idea where he gets 4bn from, when the LOCOG site says that the Beijing opening ceremony had a live audience of 1bn people. And I doubt that Jeremy Hunt can back up his "hundreds of millions" in publicity. No-one spends money because of the Olympics, there is simply no data to support that.
The government is facing further questions about Olympics-related spending priorities, with Labour’s Tessa Jowell warning in an Observer interview that the Olympics would go down as “one of the great missed opportunities” to boost sports participation among young people unless funding for school sports was restored.
And Tessa Jowell is lying here, because she put her name to a government report, that the Olympics makes absolutely no difference to sports participation.

I'll reiterate my acid test: any politician that supports the hosting of the Olympics as a good use of public money is not worth your vote. The Olympics are a clear-cut waste of money. If they support them then they're a bloody idiot. That pretty much means that you don't want to trust them with anything. And that's all 3 parties.

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