For sure, Gordon Brown — like the Rubinites here in America — made the great mistake of buying into the promises of high finance. But is there any doubt that a Tory government would have done the same?
And I understand the sense that Labour has been in office too long. If I were British, I might well consider voting Lib Dem.
That’s nobel prize winner and all round good egg Paul Krugman today.
But its not just him who are confused that anyone would support the Tories, the endorsement for the Tories from the Financial Times and The Economist have brought some other big guns of the American Blogosphere out in shock. Brad DeLong succinctly titles his post “The Financial Times and the London Economist Lose Their Minds.”
DeLong quotes Matthew Yglesias who explains why so many across the pond are confused that the Tories are being widely supported by our press.
[The] FT, in the course of endorsing David Cameron, concedes that “As a crisis manager, Gordon Brown has been a better premier than his critics claim” and simply doesn’t say anything about the substance of the Tories’ opposition to stimulus, a policy that had it been adopted would have sank the economy.
The Economist does take this issue head-on and concludes that the Tories “were wrong to oppose the economic stimulus after the banking crash” but endorses them anyway….
Britain confronted a giant economic challenge and the center-right party responded with such bad policies that even center-right business-focused newspapers think they were wrong, but… [urge] voters are urged to vote Tory anyway…
I’m no Brown fan, but the Tories have managed to get pretty much every important call of this financial crisis and recession wrong.
These papers both once supported Labour and have been relatively impressed with Labour’s performance throughout this recession but they are breaking ranks now. But what strikes me is that they are really unenthusiastically breaking ranks.
The only convincing explanation is that they’re doing this because they’re rats and the Labour Party appears to be sinking. The Tories are not doing dreadfully and are certainly in the ascendant even as their poll lead wobbles.
This makes sense for these papers, they have their circulation to think about and that will partially rely on the access they can get to the next Government and they are betting on a Tory win. This seems a sensible policy even if the Lib Dems do well, they are not going to begrudge a non-endorsement from papers they were not expecting to back them anyway.
However, the support from across the pond for the anyone but the Tories vote illustrates just how foolish their economic pronouncements have been at times. These American bloggers don’t have particular axes to grind against the Tory party, they’ve just looked at the policies and personalities and decided they are a really unsafe pair of hands.
Can’t say I blame them really. I’m glad that David Rendel now has the nobel laureate vote sewn up.