Osborne as sadist.
If anything, it's the worst of all possible worlds. George Osborne has rightly been under severe pressure over the past week, with a further credit rating downgrade from Fitch, the IMF finally getting off the fence, saying the chancellor's austerity programme should be loosened, and the borrowing figures that showed a minute in real terms drop of £300m. He's used the 0.3% to claim, against all the evidence, that it's "an encouraging sign the economy is healing". It could well be a sign that this year will see an extremely modest return to growth, but even if it is it's not going to do almost anything to reduce the deficit, nor is it proof it's his policies that are responsible.
Indeed, for all the coalition's talk of rebalancing the economy and Osborne's laughable march of the
Of course, if Osborne were to suddenly decide that continuing with his plans as they stand is more damaging in both the long and short term than bringing the deficit down at a slower pace with the risks that entails, he would still be able to borrow at close to record lows, in spite of the credit downgrades he once scaremongered about and said his policies would prevent. Despite Plan A not really existing any longer though, such has been the success of austerity so far, we simply have to stick to whatever it is we're doing now. We've gone past the point at which this was a mere fetish to it bordering on full blown S&M, where Osborne's the sadist and we, like it or not, are the masochists. It's hurting but it isn't working doesn't even begin to cover it.