Conservative policy leading up to the election was based on three deliberate fallacies, says Tony Fretton
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Mismanagement by the previous Labour administration caused the recession. In fact the real cause was an international failure of the banks, and the economy was in better shape under Labour than under Conservative Chancellor Kenneth Clark.
Steep reductions in public spending were necessary to put this right, when history and eminent economists such as Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman showed the exact opposite to be true.
Austerity brought the country out of recession, when in fact it actually slowed down a recovery that was already under way.
The motivation was not economic but political. It allowed the coalition to take credit for a recovery that was not of its making and to portray the Labour party as a threat to its continuation. With the aid of the press it worked, as Conservative voting friends of mine have told me.
The deeper political motivation is even more serious. Cameron, Osborne and Johnson, along with some Lib Dem members of the coalition have indicated their aim of permanently shrinking the social state and transferring wealth to those who already have it. In their cruellest moments they have contrived to blame to recession on unemployed and disabled people.
If you are an architect you are relieved that there are good levels of work and hoping for continuity. If you are a teacher in a school of architecture you will have less job security and work longer unpaid hours. If you are a cleaner or security guard, you will be wondering how you are going to live. If you are an unemployed person or disable your life is being made a misery.
How does this affect architecture? At a fundamental level it alters the social attitudes that underlie the profession and makes life much more difficult for compassionate Conservatism, moderate Liberalism, Green thinking and the Labour project of social security and opportunity for working people.
Worse, under the new government there is a serious possibility of departing the European Union and Scotland succeeding with considerable economic and social fallout. Guiding us through these travails will be politicians who combine amateurism and social emptiness with an overweening sense of entitlement, a type that the post war social settlement aimed to replace with more representative governance, but who seem to have nonchalantly returned and persuaded the population to vote against its own best interests.
The election result alters the social attitudes that underlie the profession