Blame Osbornomics for Brexit
The Guardian's Aditya Chakrabortty has produced a highly quotable and convincing article, which rightly mauls outgoing UK chancellor, George Osborne, and blames him for the decision taken by some working class voters to reject the EU.
On accentuating inequality, Chakrabortty writes:
"Disabled people could kill themselves to put an end to the government’s reign of terror, and the chancellor would shrug. Working-class kids could live on foodbank lunches and ministers would claim they had no alternative." Yet Osborne was happy to reduce taxes for the better off, which accentuated regional resentment.
"While at Oxford, Osborne was a member of the Bullingdon Club and during his six years at Number 11, he trashed the economy as thoroughly as the Bullingdon boys trashed their restaurants. Under him, Britain has endured its weakest recovery in well over 100 years. The average worker is still worse off than they were before the banks collapsed in 2008. The chancellor, who promised a march of the makers, has presided over the collapse of our steel industry. The enemy of government borrowing has bequeathed to the nation a public debt burden almost three times what it was when Margaret Thatcher was ejected from office."
On financial prudence:
"The arch defender of our credit rating has seen Britain lose its AAA status. And now he leaves the country staring into what David Blanchflower – the former Bank of England rate-setter who predicted the last crash – now warns could be “a crisis bigger than Lehman Brothers: a political and economic disaster.”
And this on regional unfairness:
"Thatcher and Blair might have left parts of the country battered and feeble, but it was Osborne who cut off their life support, by taking away the public sector jobs and benefits. It was Osborne who created the post-crash economy of low pay and zero-hours contracts, at the apex of which stand the likes of Mike Ashley and Philip Green. It was Osborne who took the tax revenue from eastern European workers but refused to reinvest it in schools and local government, thus stoking community tensions. It was Osborne who indulged in the divide-and-rule rhetoric of skivers v strivers. He has to take part of the blame for Brexit, even while he no longer has to shoulder the responsibility for it."
Osborne reportedly feared that a referendum was too much of a gamble. Given that many of his policies played into the hands of UKIP, it is is not hard to see why.