April 13th, 2005


userinfo senji
2005/04/13 14:08:00 - Say it with figures
In our first term we banished the demons of […] mass unemployment …
Tony Blair, in "The Labour Party manifesto 2005"


</a></b></a>atreic quoted a section including this earlier, and I found that it didn't match up with my own memories. Granted, I admitted, my own memories were crowded by redefinitions of unemployment at the time, and other such factors, but it still doesn't feel right. Then </a></b></a>ewx was good enough to produce this paper which includes graphs.

Particularly note Figure 2 which strongly suggests that Labour merely maintained an existing downwards trend in unemployment during their first term (1997-2001) (which then appears to level off during their second term).
Current Mood: [mood icon] awkward
Entry Tags: atreic, ewx, politics

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userinfo atreic
[userpic]
2005/04/13 13:31:49
Humour us morons and remind me when labour first got elected?

But you're not argueing about the outside loos, are you? :-p
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/04/13 13:39:47
I didn't know that schools still had outside loos in 1997, however a quick google produces this page which suggests that maybe I should be arguing about that…
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/04/13 13:56:10
Oh, and I edited the dates in for you, as well :)
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userinfo lockymclean
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:32:32
It was May 1997.

Define "outside loos". The main toilets in my school were under a roof and subsumed into the science block but you had to go outside in order to get to the entrance.
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userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2005/04/13 13:38:44
I think it was Clinton who used the third derivative: "The rate of increase of inflation is going down." ie. things are getting worse faster than before.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/04/13 13:40:39
However even further derivatives appear to be unhelpful to the Labour cause here.
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userinfo lockymclean
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:31:10
Surely that statment is the second derivative - inflation was still increasing but was decelerating and thus tending towards a maximum?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:33:15
Inflation is already a first derivative.
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userinfo lockymclean
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2005/04/13 14:41:58
But it is a natural phenomenon and necessary to the economy at a low rate because it is a product of interest rates. At least, that's accepted wisdom AFAIK. So if you take it as a base value X...
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userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:57:17
It probably was tending to a maximum, but the statement doesn't quite say that: if the rate of increase of inflation was (1+1/t), then it would be decreasing, but inflation would always rise unboundedly.
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userinfo khendon
2005/04/13 14:22:40
I think that's a little unfair.

There's nothing to indicate that under the Tories the cyclical pattern wouldn't have continued, rather than a steady downward fall. Just because the Tories happened to leave on a downward stint in the graph doesn't mean it would have carried on in that direction.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:29:09
This is indeed true; it would be fair for them to say "maintained the downwards trend in unemployment figures" or similar. "banished the demon of mass unemployment" is sheer hyperbole though.
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userinfo lockymclean
[userpic]
2005/04/13 14:39:54
Well, I can't speak for the mass unemployment in the early 80s but I have a suspicion that it was caused partly by the economic crises at the end of the 1970s, which were generally caused by a series of incompetent and weak Labour governments (sometimes Conservative, though that was Ted Heath and he has been universally disowned by the Conservative Party for being a lying wimp who can't get over being beaten by a woman).

OTOH the unemployment in the 90s was definitely caused and/or exacerbated by joining and staying in the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner to the Euro. And one of the main proponents of the Euro in the Labour cabinent would be, erm, Tony Blair?

Especially ironic as all our problems in the ERM were caused by Germany breaking the ERM rules and refusing to support the pound, even though they were quite willing to support the French franc. And the only two countries in the Eurozone who have failed to meet the economic convergence rules of the Euro since its inception would be, erm, France and Germany?

Makes Mr Blair's enthusiasm for all things European seem a little foolhardy...
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userinfo ewx
[userpic]
2005/04/13 16:51:22 - generally caused
You don't think spiralling oil prices had anything to do with them, then?
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userinfo lockymclean
[userpic]
2005/04/16 21:56:40 - Re: generally caused
Definitely Maybe
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userinfo requiem_17_23
[userpic]
2005/04/13 15:18:52
Redefinition of unemployment one factor.

Independent central bank another! That turns a destabilising force on the economy (stupid politicians messing up interest rates) into a damping term on the economic cycle (conservative bankers working to keep growth steady and inflation low). Best thing Labour have ever done for the country, except possibly founding the NHS.
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userinfo mooism
2005/04/13 16:41:45 - Independent central bank
Labour actually opposed this during the 1997 election campaign. I remember listening to a radio phone-in the week after that election, a caller was complaining that he wouldn’t have voted Labour if they’d said they’d make it independent.

It was in some ways a refinement of the previous chancellor’s policy. Kenneth Clarke instituted a schedule of monthly meetings between himself and the governor of the Bank of England, to decide on interest rate changes.
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userinfo ilanin
[userpic]
2005/04/13 17:40:33
Including founding the NHS, which was actually a mistake, not that I'm supposed to say that out loud, so I'll hide now.
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Say it with figures - Squaring the circle...

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