Could he get accused of “talking Britain down”?
The Guardian is reporting a speech by David Cameron to the Davos think-tank is which he raised the spectre of Britain having to go to the IMF in order to be kept afloat – something that last happened during the 1974-1979 Labour government.
He’s quoted as saying:”…“If we continue on Labour’s path of fiscal irresponsibility, at some point – and it could be very soon – the money will run out,” Cameron said in a speech to the Demos thinktank in London. “Then you will see the return of what happened under Labour in the 1970s, including emergency cuts to many of the public services on which a progressive society depends.”
The Tory leader, who spoke of a “catastrophic fiscal position”, said he was not setting a date by which Britain would turn to the IMF for emergency funds….. But Cameron warned of a real and growing risk that Britain will have to turn to the Washington-based fund which usually helps developing nations..”I am not saying that there is some date by which the government will have completely run out of money and we will end up back at the IMF,” he said. “What I am saying is that we are running the risk of those things happening and those are risks that no government should responsibly run.”
As has been seen already during the crisis Labour have been quick to pounce on any move by the Tories which could be seen as “talking down” the situation – a factor that can make it hard for the opposition to operate.
My sense is that the environment is now much harder for Labour to make such attack compared with last year when the party was able to make some headway about the “Tories talking down the pound”. Then the Tories were very much on the defensive and their poll ratings were on the way down. Now it’s Labour and Brown who, perhaps, are seen to be struggling.
Brown’s problem here, of course, is the memory of what Dennis Healey was forced to do in 1976 when the IMF was called in and stringent conditions were attached to the support.
PB Today: For most of the day I’ll be travelling or at a funeral so I won’t be monitoring the site. This means that comments blocked in the spam box might take a long time to clear. My apologies. A new article has been set to be published automatically just after 1.30pm.