Re: Paranoid, moi?
Well, they could do what the Tories do and borrow? (Just kidding) Remember, Tories have added £0.9 Trillion to the National Debt in 9 years, which is quite impressive given how they've been slashing expenditure on everything worth having.
At what point does a comment that's factually accurate move from polemic to outright dishonesty?
The Conservatives came to power with the deficit at about £150 billion a year. They've gradually reduced that to about what £10-15bn. Which they've done by basically increasing governement spending less fast than the economy has grown.
What would you have had them do? Not deficit spend at all, but just cut government spending in the first year by £150bn?
Reducing the deficit more slowly may have resulted in slightly more economic growth or may have resulted in a crisis of confidence in Gilts - and thus the interest the government pays jumping from below £10bn a year to around the £60bn+ a year mark - rather than the £30-£40bn it is now. This was unknown at the time.
So is that deficit the fault of the people who inherited it, or the people who created it? Had the last Labour government been running a small surplus - to reduce the exuberance and inflation of the boom - as the Keynesian economics that Gordon Brown claimed to believe in recommended - the choices of the next government would have been a lot more palatable. A deficit of only say £80bn a year (5% ish of GDP) was sustainable for quite a while, but one at around 10% of GDP was pushing government finances to crisis point rather too quickly for comfort. It's always easy to call for Keynesian deficit spending in recessions - but that option is much harder to do if you haven't run the Keynsian surplusses in the booms first.