The paper Road to Recovery published today by Reform (“an independent, non-party think tank whose mission is to set out a better way blah blah”) makes some vital points that chime with much of what we bang on about at C@W.
Their theme is infrastructure of the steel-and-concrete (and cables) varieties; how it gets built and how very bad we are at it in the UK. In particular, they inveigh against picking winners by government (Mandy and Miliband.E, this means you), money wasted on white elephant projects, and general government interference – particularly in rail, roads and renewables.
So we’re all on the same page.
As an empiricist I like their fund of historical examples of good and bad decision-making (not sure Sizewell C should be in the Good list, though). I like their ‘5 Principles’ and good-&-bad industries list; and I quite like their proposed road to recovery. Have a read: it’s not easily summarized but the paper itself isn’t long.
What can be readily identified is the source of their striking optimism, captured in an assertion - “the impossibility [for the next decade] of big public spending” - and a rousing slogan for the future:
“Tight money = better decisions”
Hmm. You’d like to think so, but impossible is a strong word when governments are concerned, and there are quite a few Tory white elephants on the horizon.
Hopefully, Conservative front benchers will be reading this stuff closely. Up against little Ed Miliband on Newsnight last week, Tory shadow energy minister Greg Clark said he’d be approving 5 GW of clean coal projects within days of taking office. This doesn’t bode well.
Mr Clark, there are several months till the election. Spend the time wisely, & give the Reform paper a read.