British prime minister David Cameron has penned a piece for the Guardian today, with one basic message: don’t blame me if the economy tanks before the election.
He’s flagging up all the big concerns for the global economy:
Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.
As I met world leaders at the G20 in Brisbane, the problems were plain to see. The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too. Emerging markets, which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down. Despite the progress in Bali, global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty.
Everything sounds a bit bleak. In 2006, just after he’d become Conservative party leader, Cameron famously pushed an optimistic strategy, saying that the Tories should “let sunshine win the day”. Since then, the economics have turned in Cameron’s favour. While the rest of the eurozone flirts with deflation and recession, the UK still has decent economic growth. It’s not perfect, of course. The poor have basically missed out on the recovery. But the UK looks good in comparison to its peers.
The Guardian piece goes on:
In our interconnected world, wider problems in the global economy pose a real risk to our recovery at home. We are already seeing that, with the impact of the eurozone slowdown on our manufacturing and our exports.
We cannot insulate ourselves completely, but we must do all we can to protect ourselves from a global downturn.
It’s a curious message: David Cameron swept to power in 2010 after an election campaign that asserted that the global financial crisis wasn’t just a global phenomenon, but was specifically the fault of the governing Labour party. He’s now preparing to go into another election campaign warning people that the economy severely in danger from the global economy, but the slowdown isn’t to be blamed on him.
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