James Moore: History repeats itself, but no war this time please


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Outlook A coalition that has restored market confidence evidenced by low bond yields, which has begun to 'clean up the mess made by the last government', which notes that things are worse in Europe, and says the economy's problems are mainly caused by events overseas. A coalition whose Chancellor may be running a tight fiscal policy but who is allowing for expansionary monetary policy from the Bank of England.

Could this be George Osborne today, in response to the GDP figures perhaps? It sounds like him. But it isn't. Duncan Weldon, a senior economist at the TUC, has been combing the archives. The above is actually a precis of what a certain Neville Chamberlain was saying while Chancellor of the Exchequer at the beginning of the 1930s. The upside for Mr Osborne is Mr Chamberlain eventually became prime minister. But history doesn't judge him too kindly.

We'd better hope it doesn't take a war to get us out of the current slump like it did in the 1930s. Prosperity in our time anyone?