Whilst still absolutely rejecting the shrill right-wing chorus of “deficit discourse” as the only game in town and brutal public spending cuts and enforced austerity (for all but those most responsible for the situation), the Guardian has a nifty little flash “game” which allows you to implement your own spending cuts across Whitehall departments.
Whilst I have a few issues with this, namely that it doesn’t feature a concurrent taxation programme “app” which is vital to any deficit reduction programme and also doesn’t have a comprehensive list of pork barrel and white elephant (woah there, steady with the metaphors) spending projects to cut e.g. Olympics spending, Crossrail etc…
This said though, it’s a great way of showing that these 40% cuts to major departments simply aren’t necessary and nothing but nakedly ideological economic masochism, carried out by a government which has no concept of or respect for the real hardship that their dismantling of public services will engender.
Whilst my own cuts plan does involve some radical proposals: the scrapping of Trident without replacement, phased withdrawal from Afghanistan beginning immediately and a 25% cut in the Cabinet Office budget, with a relatively modest approach involving evenly spread cuts of 10% to selected departments and the regions spread equally, it is quite simple to reach and surpass the Chancellor’s thin air figure of £49billion. Again, this is without taking any tax rises into account at all.
The sanctimonious drivel from the Right gathered around the “there is no alternative” banner must be resisted, if only on the grounds that it simply isn’t true and the destruction of what remains of British society cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.