The Spirit Level Controversy

Last week, a group of academics decided that because of the debt he pumped into the economy and the poison he pumped into the Labour party, Gordon Brown was the third-worst British prime minister since 1945. To which the response from all sane onlookers was: “What, only the third?”

The charge list against him is long enough for a judge to send Labour to a dark cell for years. It would have been grossly negligent for any government to boast that its “light-touch” regulation had “abolished boom and bust”, while failing to notice that it was helping push the banking system towards the edge of a cliff. For a Labour government to set aside social democracy’s well-merited suspicion of finance capital was truly criminal. The Conservatives and Liberals can now use Brown’s failure as a plausible justification for spending cuts and tax rises. The party he left behind is torn by fratricidal strife – real fratricidal strife in the case of the Miliband family.

I would go on were it not for a paradox. Labour people are more energised than they have any right to be.
Carry on reading

One thought on “The Spirit Level Controversy

  1. The problem with the Spirit Level argument is that it could be used to justify the approach that the easiest way to achieve equality is for everyone to be equally stupid, equally ill-educated, equally socially unpleasant, etc.

    I saw this myself at the comprehensive I attended. A lot of intelligent people had to pretend to be idiots in case they upset the academically less able and made them feel inferior.

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