George Osborne’s declaration yesterday that we are “turning a corner” with the economy will come as welcome news to millions. But going on to say that recent growth has “decisively ended” questions about his economic policy may not be the best approach.
No matter what your political persuasion, everyone wants to see economic growth, even if you’re Eds Miliband and Balls. But the triumphalism with which the Chancellor declared victory over critics of his economic policy will sit uncomfortably with those who are still caught up in their own fiscal battle.
Osborne’s approach illustrates everything that is wrong with politics at the moment, and is a big reason why youngsters feel disengaged from Westminster affairs. But he’s far from the only one to blame for the decline in interest. The news is dominated by MPs either knocking down historical opposition policies, or gloating about their own. The Commons frequently descends into mayhem, with behaviour more akin to the monkey enclosure at a zoo, MPs hooting at each other across the benches. Negative politics is once again dominating the landscape. Why can’t politicians leave the past where it is, and discuss what is best for the future?
In my view, the best way to get today’s youngsters - tomorrow’s politicians - interested once more is to get all sides presenting policies and arguing the pros for their own ideas, not just knocking down others’ proposals. But, if you disagree with me, don’t just jump up and down shouting. Have the courage to put your cards on the table so we can debate the respective merits of our proposals.