Relieved that the Select Committee criticism of the usefulness of bombing Syria seems to have made it unlikely that this will go forward, and a somewhat better informed discussion on Today.
Unfortunately, they then spoiled it with a very biased interview with Liam Byrne. John Humphries claimed he was behind a ‘fightback by Labour moderates’ against ‘Corbynomics’, but the interview made clear that he was actually trying to contribute constructively to a policy debate that Corbyn has called for, focused on how to reduce inequality. Humphries tried to portray Corbyn as supporting widespread public ownership – though in practice he has only called for public sector ownership in the power sector (where he is likely to get his wish in part – though it is the public sectors of France and China that will own our nuclear power stations!), and in the railway sector – a natural monopoly that many economists would argue should be in public ownership.
The other piece of nonsense was Humphries repeating the Canard that when the coalition came to power ‘there was no money left.’ This was a very poor joke by Byrne when he left the Treasury, the actual fiscal position in 2010 was worse than expected, but the mainstream economic view is that the subsequent austerity policies of the coalition Government went too far and resulted in the slowest economic recovery in our history. Humphries made the point that our recovery was the fastest in Europe – but not the point that Europe as a whole has done very badly compared with the US and the rest of the world precisely because the Eurozone has been forced to adopt the tight policies favoured by Chancellor Merkel, and remains mired in recession as a consequence. Another example of BBC not being well informed enough to ask intelligent questions, and just being content to try to batter politicians over the head.

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