Friday, April 23, 2010

Crick Needs an Economics Lesson

Quite an astonishing assertion by Michael Crick on Newsnight. He thought David Cameron had made a huge mistake by criticising the size of the public sector in parts of the UK. Cameron mentioned Northern Ireland and the North East, where the public sector accounts for 68% and 63% of the economy. The point Cameron was eloquently making was that it was the role of government to create the conditions whereby the private sector is encouraged to grow. And that needs to be done in regions like the North East.

Crick interpreted it as Cameron wanting to take an axe to public spending in the North East. It's clear why he's not Newsnight's Economics Correspondent. If you increase the size of the private sector, the proportionate size of the public sector is thereby reduced. It does not imply massive cuts.

Having said that, Northern Ireland and the North East will have to share the burden of reductions in public spending along with the rest of the country. But they knew that anyway.

Absolutely brazen Leftist bias by Michael Crick on Newsnight tonight. He (in all seriousness) claimed that Cameron had made a big mistake in his interview with Jeremy Paxman by defending the assertion that attempts ought to be made to facilitate the growth of the private sector in areas of the UK (such as Northern Ireland and N-E England) where there is an unhealthy economic dominance by the State.

Only somebody well to the Left of Brown could think that such a claim was a big mistake.


Thatsnews said...

I think there's a typo on his name.

The first C needs to be replaced with a P...

Matthew said...

Unbelievable. The media really do need to spend some time in the productive sector of the economy. This parallels Brown's comments about the Con's plans to decrease the IN increase as 'taking money out of the economy'.

Texas Pete said...

Surely saying it was a mistake (in the context of winning an election) says nothing about Crick's personal beliefs (in the context of whether it is the right thing to do).

For example, Conservatives (including Cameron) believe that large-scale privatisation of public services, welfare benefit cuts, abolishing the minimum wage and a radical shift in the tax burden away from (wealthier) wealth creator is required to fix broken Britain. But it would be a mistake to say so in an election campaign as the common man is unlikely to vote for it.

So instead Cameron needs warm words and 'Big Society' mumbo jumbo rather than to tell people what the Conservatives real plans for Government are. That's the point Crick is making surely? And surely you'd agree?

ahs benton said...

Have you ever been to the North East?

If there is an unhealthy economic dominance by the State here it is because Thatcher had an unhealthy hatred of private industry here in the 1980s.

Her policies decimated the lives of two generations.

Only now can we hope for a better future.

But if Dave is elected, we are f*****

We don't really care who we work for, we just want jobs.

But with your attitude, we'd rather work for someone other than Dave.

Lloyd B said...

The Conservative Party believes in a zero sum game between the private and public sector. The 'Big Society' is created by a smaller state - private sector growth is generated by government 'getting out of the way'. This is the heart of the Tory campaign.

So you can hardly complain that, when David Cameron talks of a public/private sector imbalance in a given region, it is infered that this will necessarily result in public sector job cuts.

The logic may be false, but it's your logic.

David Lindsay said...

David Cameron has given up on winning back seats in the North East, or picking them up in Northern Ireland, and is now desperately trying to hold on to existing ones in the South East and East Anglia rather than see them fall to the Lib Dems.

LD Increase Taxes said...

Michael Crick has well and truly bought into Browns economic plan on Newsnight, reducing the proportion of a region GDP that comes from state spending does not mean a fall in the number of jobs.

If you expand the private sector and encourage it to grow you will make an area more self reliant and able to withstand economic shocks, this country is in a real mess when this state spending being above 50% of GDP is seen as a good thing. Indeed an area that has a larger Private sector will have more economic choices not less! Its true what they say about Socialists, they equalise things by making everyone poor!

Shows how the Socilast spin machine and its minions are intent on fighting on keeping their client state. Lets hope this Labour regieme is blown into a million bits on 6th May 2010 - it is a leech and will kill the host if we do not kill it!

A said...

What Cameron said was entirely correct but it is a massive blunder: it is ripe for gross manipulation.

Schoolboy error, David: up your game mate or else we're heading for a generation of social democracy.

will said...

The BBC appear to be working in concert with the regional newspapers as hey have the same distorted reading of Cameron's remarks

manicbeancounter said...

"Only somebody well to the Left of Brown could think that such a claim was a big mistake"

Such as the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists? Both semi-nations campaign no cuts here, but are subsided by the properous English (and Tory) regions.

Scotland is a small country with a disproportionate number of some of the most influential people in world history. A country where the majority of my grandparents were born. Now it is lead by politician who stamps his foot, demanding no reduction in handouts and then be considered the equal of those who cover 10 times the population. My pride in my Scottish heritage is purely historical.

SandraFacts said...

Crick, left?

Bears antics in woods.

Most of Newsnight are lefties, Wark holidayed with Scottish Labour and was friends of Dewar. Mason is close to Socialist Workers etc etc.

Simon Harley said...

Said ahs benton:

"But with your attitude, we'd rather work for someone other than Dave."

But with your attitude, you'd rather not work?

wild said...

Sorry Texas Pete it says a lot about his (and your) beliefs. He makes the assumption that VOTERS will think that a big State is a good thing, and conversely that a small State is a bad thing.

It never crosses his (or your) mind that VOTERS might believe that a flourishing (and thus larger) private sector is the best way to create jobs.

It shows by the way that Crick (and yourself) have learnt precisely nothing from the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.

It is entirely possible that VOTERS (not Michael Crick or yourself obviously) might believe that a "big society" (in which communities of all sorts are given the freedom to flourish independently of the State) is preferable to a society and economy which is directed in large part by a political elite.

It is possible to believe that there are VOTERS who might vote Conservative precisely because they believe that the solution to the decline in the profitability of many previously successful local businesses is not for the State to subsidise them or take over them over but for it to seek to create conditions (including low taxes) in which new businesses can grow and flourish, creating new employment.

It is evident that Conservatives do not believe that there are a fixed number of jobs which are either in the private sector or the public sector. They believe in seeking too create conditions in which an economy can grow, and that this is not best achieved in an economy directed or dominated by the State.

To assume that no such VOTERS exist is to make a political assumption. But you have to think that assumption is wrong to even be aware of it - which Crick (and yourself) evidently are not.

David Lindsay said...

will, the Belfast Telegraph is not exactly known as an organ of the liberal Left, to put it at its very mildest.

Nor are the local and regional papers here, let me assure you. The Northern Echo, shown on Newsnight, even carries a weekly column by Peter Mullen, and for as long as anyone can remember has been the nearest thing to an Official Opposition to the Labour Establishment in County Durham.

But you have just lost the Echo, and doubtless the Tyneside, Teesside and Northumberland papers as well. You'll just about hold on in Hexham, but winning back Tynemouth (which it beggars belief is not a Tory seat) or any of your several targets on either side of the Tees is now a lost cause.

And your UUP allies, precisely because they are allied to you, have just lost the Belfast Telegraph, an utterly astonishing development.

I hope that Cameron thinks this a price worth paying for nothing more than keeping seats that you already hold, and either should never have lost in 1997 or actually didn't.

bewick said...

I'm retired now so perhaps I'm free from the Code of Ethics on confidentiality. They can't stop me practicing since I no longer practice! Then again I did sign the Official Secrets Act 40 years ago so I must remain anonymous.

Some years ago I spent some time, over 3 years, doing Management Consultancy work at the major Longbenton (then DHSS) site in Newcastle. This is where NI numbers and much else is controlled (or not).
I happen to live in the North East so working there instead of London was a bonus. It was widely believed that 14,000 people worked on this site and there were other centres (CSA for example) nearby.
It was also widely believed in the North East that the number of people employed was a political ploy.

I believe it. I came across a number of consultants from the Big 5 on the same site. They also must have been gulping in disbelief.

What I saw was Dickensian in method. You simply would not believe the manual double triple, 10 times handling of bits of paper.
The jobs must have been soul destroying and it is a miracle that so few mistakes actually occur. With this level of handling mistakes are inbuilt and inevitable so quality control must have been exceptional.
Although the Big 5 were trying to computerise some processes (I wasn't but not averse) they were seriously "up against" attitudes as was I.
I have heard no reports of any serious reduction of staff levels in Longbenton in the last 15 years so their and my efforts were obviously ignored but were nonetheless costly.
I would guess that if I returned I would still see the Dickensian practices I saw 15 years ago. And I really DO mean 18th century methods.
There are few if any redundant coal miners or shipyard workers on this site but there certainly are the children of such.
Dave is right but he must also be aware that alternative employment must be created or he will return the North East to a major unemployent blackspot and back into the arms of Labour. Before 1974 Newcastle City was Tory controlled. Then it went Labour and is now LibDem. Advance quietly.

bewick said...

Oops - I meant 19th century - but then again......

Gareth said...

ahs benton said: "If there is an unhealthy economic dominance by the State here it is because Thatcher had an unhealthy hatred of private industry here in the 1980s."

So much so we 'persuaded' Nissan to build a factory in Washington and committed taxpayers to all kinds of regeneration projects across the North East.

Lloyd B said: "The Conservative Party believes in a zero sum game between the private and public sector. The 'Big Society' is created by a smaller state - private sector growth is generated by government 'getting out of the way'. This is the heart of the Tory campaign.

So you can hardly complain that, when David Cameron talks of a public/private sector imbalance in a given region, it is infered that this will necessarily result in public sector job cuts.

The logic may be false, but it's your logic."

Despite Labour's best efforts there are still some unemployed people. Encourage them into private sector employment and you would reduce the proportion in the public sector without reducing the number.

subrosa said...

All these labour supporters who think the public sector is safe from job cuts must be living in la la land. Of course Brown won't admit it - not until after May 6. Then beware. Nobody's job is safe unless you work for yourself.

I think the Paxman/Cameron interview went well although I confess I didn't see the others.

Jimmy said...

Sylvia Hermon must be pissing herself.

Ronald said...

I think that we need a state sector that is smaller in absolute terms and a bigger private sector. This is likely to be more jobs in the South East Fewer in the North East.

Unfortunatly saying so on the telly will lose Cameron votes in the NE without gaining him any in the SE.

What Thatcher hated was industry that needed state support and as such was a cost on the state even if officialy not part of the state.

Jim Arnott said...


If the flow of money was from South to North, then Scotland would already be Independent. Think about it.

Alan Douglas said...

Balancing a region's economy by getting MORE of the jobs in the PRIVATE sector is BAD ?

What a warped idea they have - used to be gissa job, now under Labour it is gissa handout.

Shows how socialism saps self-respect and enterprise.

Alan Douglas

Johnny Norfolk said...

I watched the Paxman interview and Crick put a completley different spin on it in the classic Labour way. The treatment they give Labour is so different.Why does the BBC get away with open Labour support.shocking.

scepticus said...

iain, crick is being perfectly sensible. If cameron really cared about the north east he'd build up the private sector there FIRST and THEN start the public sector cuts there.

what, by the way, is his plan for building the private sector in the north east? is there one?

on this issue cameron must come accross as dogmatic, ideological and out of touch.

Charles said...

The other point that people seem to have missed is that Cameron (or at least Paxman) was asking about the proportion of the state in the local economy:

i.e. those with state jobs PLUS those on benefits

Surely the right answer would be "We are going to fix the broken society...reduce the number of people who are out of work and claiming benefits...grow the private sector...this will reduce the proportion of the local economy accounted for by the state"

Unsworth said...

"We don't really care who we work for, we just want jobs."

And that is a graphic demonstration of the incredibly stupid, limited horizon, tunnel vision, self-interest which led to the downfall of Communism. China and Russia are but two examples.

Dick the Prick said...

@Thatsnews - now our Michael has been working lots and lots and you shouldn't be mean to him. His mummy is very worried.

Weygand said...

I was astounded at Crick's stupidity (it was too blatantly rubbish to be bias).

It may well be true that Labour will use DC's remarks to say that the Conservative Party would axe swathes of jobs in the North East but it was his duty to explain that what Cameron's meant was we must redress the disequilibrium (which all recognise) by increasing the private sector in those parts.

Indeed, this is essential to preserve the public sector and save the jobs of so many people working in it in such regions.

The BBC should make sure that Crick acknowledges his error and apologises.

Mark M said...

Even Alistair Darling recognises that there will need to be job losses in the public sector. This country cannot support a public sector of 6 million. The point about this is that it doesn't need to imply massive job losses. If government can provide the right conditions in places like the North East and Northern Ireland for private enterprise to start up (a helping hand is needed rather than the brick wall of regulation) then those public sector works can switch to the new private sector jobs.

There doesn't need to be an increase in unemployment. The point is to get government sufficiently out of the way to allow the private sector to grow. Oh, and end national pay settlements - businesses in the North East cannot compete with the state's pay and conditions.

javelin said...

Brown has no experience of the private sector. He sees the public and private sector as an Us and Them.

That's why he thinks stopping the NI increase is taking money OUT of the economy. Clearly the reverse is true. Taking money out of which economy is the response to Brown.

Brown has subsidised the Labour heartlands and marginals with unsustainable public sector jobs. He has been neglegent and damaging to the wealth creating sector. Now he has run up this HUGE debt those areas of Labour voters are going to lose lots of jobs. If I lived in those areas I would never be voting Labour again.

This is a point Cameron needs to RAM home. That Brown has wrecked THEIR economy and they need to switch to the Tories.

Libertarian said...


You clearly don't understand what a zero sum game is. It's when one part of the economy is subtracted from another part and always balances out to zero.

Dale and Cameron didn't say or imply that at all, they were making the point that currently 68% of NE jobs are public, but if you increase the private sector the proportionality figures drop.

Socialist have to believe everything is a zero sum game otherwise their arguments never work.

Lady Finchley said...

The man's a lefty moron who purposely miscontrued what Cameron said.It was brave of DC to say what he said knowing it was open to deliberate misinterpretation. However, if you listen closely he said nothing about cuts - just about re-balancing the local economy. And that's a bad thing?!

The problem is DC didn't allow Paxman to de-rail him which must have really pissed off the BBC.

Grand_Inquisitor said...

Paxman's interview with Cameron was enlightening. He made Cameron stumble a few times as the Tory plans were given a level of scrutiny that the great debate did not.

In the same way that Darling considers a NI increase with all the associated job losses as a 'price worth paying', so it is with Cameron in regard to other policies.

I await the interview with Brown with even greater excitement. Can Paxman get Brown to actually answer a question???

simonh said...

But is Cameron - or are you, Iain - really saying that the absolute size of the public sector in the NE and N Ireland are irrelevant?

And even if he is saying that, how long does he think it will take for the private sector to double in size so that it represents 60% of the regional economies?

However you read Cameron's comments, they seem to entail some pretty steep cuts in the public sector in these areas. It would be surprising if this wasn't the case, wouldn't it?

wild said...

BBC socialists such as Michael Crick are great believers in the redistributive State - redistributing money from tax payers to themselves in the name of social justice.

The interesting thing is just how few of the Leftist elite that ran the USSR were at all concerned about the fact that they were upholding a system that kept most people in povery.

The Bolshevik coup was supposed to be about helping the poor, but in reality it was about replacing one elite with another, and then carrying on with feudal system.

J_T said...

Mr Dale don't get your knickers in a twist.
Are you really going to complain about media bias when you are backing the Conservatives?
Peter Hitchens outlines the Cameron delusion that the media is under.
Examples of Cameron being given an easy ride:
Shows like Question Time are tougher on the government
Screen captions on 24 hour news channels obsessively concerned with subjects like 'Browns woes -latest'
Interviewers seek division and dissent in New Labour
Photographs of Brown are often taken at unflattering angles
Discussion focuses on 'troubles' of Labour and 'recovery' of Conservatives.
Cartoonists in left wing papers are unusually savage with Brown
Major bias at BBC and especially at ITV. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom Bradby and Chris Shipp were having affairs with David Cameron.

Boy George has got every major decision wrong on the economy. Face it - he aint up to the job.

And as for Cameron spouting on about 'the debt that Labour has got us in to':
The UK public finances were in better shape when the financial crisis began than they were when Labour came to power.
The UK had the second lowest level of debt behind Canada among G7 nations going into the crisis.

LD Increase Taxes said...

Increasing the role of the private sector in the North East of England and Northern Ireland is surely good for the people who live there.

A larger private sector will mean more diversified opportunities and less reliance on large employers under state control. Why is wanting to help people free of the state and thrive as people in a market economy seen as a bad thing by Labour? I know Labour like to trap people into being reliant on the state and count people as the "Payroll vote" but Labour advocates the economics of the madhouse.

The problem in this country is too much government, too much taxation and too much dictation by the state to individuals.

State spending did not save the Corus workers in the Northeast who recently lost their jobs, an economy needs the diversity and resilience only the private sector can bring.

In a nutshell Labour is fighting the same message as 1979 that the public sector should prosper whilst the private sector is left to wither and die. Any advocacy of a greater role for the private sector is met with the Labour cries of protecting their vested interests.

Irene said...

Brown says this proves Cameron is proposing cuts region by region across the country.

So is Brown saying that under labour there will be no cuts in any region?

Weygand said...

And I have now just stumbled across the bloody Telegraph with the same bollocks from James Kirkup -

"He [Cameron] signalled that a Conservative government would cut public spending in the parts of the country most dependent on the state, citing the North East of England and Northern Ireland.

No he didn't.

He said it was necessary to re-balance the economy which he approached primarily from the position of growing the private sector which had withered away in certain areas.

Jobs will inevitably go, but he did not identify these by region, in part perhaps because they will in most cases this will be decided by the nature of the jobs (ID cards and other abandoned policies) rather than be a pro rata loss across the public sector as a whole.

After perusing this and then Heffer and Moore, I despair for the Telegraph.

Cynic said...

Never mind. Gordon has decided that he's been so good in the debates he's now going to play a much bigger role up front in the election campaign.

Cant you see them all, Ed, Peter, Ed2, wee Dougie advising him. "Yes boss. You get right out there in front. We're right behind you. Honest"

starfish said...

You seem to inhabit a parallel universe

The single largest media organisation in the UK is still shilling for Labour

FFS they even have a local labour candidate answering questions on election coverage fairness!

see criag murray's blog

John Coles said...

How true, but will you or any Conservative suggest cutting the BBC down to size and culling that nest of vipers?

awkwardgadgee said...

Despatch from the frozen north.........................................

Amen to reducing the size of the state . I know quite a few people who "work" for one or other of the Government agencies in the North. They are not getting tired. Make the axe sharp.

Gareth said...

J_T said: The UK public finances were in better shape when the financial crisis began than they were when Labour came to power.
The UK had the second lowest level of debt behind Canada among G7 nations going into the crisis.

Is that the crisis of 2001 or 2008? Brown began borrowing after the dotcom and telecoms crashes and to the tune of about £20 billion a year. It was also only this year that Brown's PFI debts of £200+ billion were finally included in the national debt figures after years of getting away with excluding them. That is why our national debt is *already* in the region of £900 billion. This time last year it was only due to be £700 billion even with massive borrowing this year but the insistence that at least some of Brown's off balance sheet borrowings had to come onto it has largely passed the media by.

Brown has already added half a trillion pounds to the millstone around the necks of future taxpayers and intends adding another half a trillion pounds in the next 4 years. Not once have we been asked about this.(Unlike say, the people of Iceland...)

The public finances were on an improving trend started by the Conservatives before 1997, continued by a begrudging Brown until 2001 and then the nation's course was reversed wholesale. The overspending *may* have been wishful thinking initially but the very, very poor forecasts by the Treasury were repeated and compounded year after year. Each budget the potty growth projections were wheeled out and spending allocated on the basis of those potty projections. Did Brown never bother to check how accurate his team were? I guess not as his overspending hasn't stopped since.