Letter to ACPO 19 Nov 2013
From Alderman Michael Poulter MBE. 60 Corporation Street
2001-2009 Chairman, Stafford
Staffordshire Police Authority 07722078478
Sir Hugh Orde,
Association of Chief Police Officers.
Dear Sir Hugh,
Cuts in Policing Budgets and The ACPO Conference
The Need for Austerity and The Deficit Crisis
Fact or Fiction?
On a recent visit to Cheadle Hulme Conservative Club Teresa May justified her cuts to Policing Budgets by citing the Deficit left by the last Labour Government.(M.E.News 2.10.13)
From its inception the Coalition claimed that the National Debt was overwhelmingly large.
It must therefore cut public spending dramatically in order to restore the economy to health.
Hence the massive cuts being imposed on Policing and the the Public Sector and their consequent impact on the spending power of our local populations and repercussively on private businesses.
But what if the Deficit was not the problem the Coalition declared it to be?
What if the Goverment’s claim is false?
Let us examine some facts and opinions.
Professor Robert Nield of Cambridge University is the foremost historian of National Debt. He studied the Coalition’s claim and in effect rubbished it! He authoritatively states that for the last three centuries the UK has maintained a National Debt without difficulty. Much of that debt was higher than when the Coalition took power. It did not look alarming let alone abnormal!
He says that the application of Government policies, justified by alarmism, is leading into unnecessarily deep recession.
The Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman explicitly denounces the Coalition Myth that the Deficit is unmanageable without cuts and great austerity! He quotes Keynes “The Boom not the Slump is the time for Austerity”
Life Peer Robert Skidelsky is the foremost commentator on the great economist John Maynard Keynes. He supports the view that Britain’s public debt was far from crisis point!
Will Hutton of The Observer ,Principal of Hertford College Oxford and public intellectual of massive repute,comments- We need a State/Government not to cut but which steps in to halt the plunge in private demand. We need public investment and job creation to survive as an economy.
This essentially is the view proposed by Keynes during the Great Depression and which still has enormous resonance today
George Osbourne and the Reinhard- Rogoff Thesis: Before he took office Mr Osbourne used their paper as key to his intellectual argument for the austerity programme.
‘Should public spending be cut to control deficits-or should States (pro-actively) rekindle economic growth ? Following intense and deeply argued analysis they said Public Spending should be cut to control Deficits. Their conclusion was manna from heaven for those urging immediate and tough action to reduce the public sector. Osbourne suggested they offered perhaps the most significant contribution to our understanding of the origin of the financial crisis.
An authoritative study of Reinhard-Rogoff undertaken by Herndon,Ash and Polin found their conclusion was founded on faulty maths and basic spreadsheet error.. The assumptions and calculations did not stand up. This analysis is supported by Larry Elliot,an economic expert of national repute.
Thus George Osbourne’s intellectual analysis of our economic situation is based on a very shaky foundation.
John Harris (Guardian28.02,2011) “Coalition has sneaked a coup on a sleeping public”He says that what is occurring throughout the Western World is the planned dismantling of Welfare States.
What conclusion might now be drawn?
Given these expert views the rational behind Coalition Deficit policy might be described as suspicious!
The alleged ‘Deficit Crisis’ is being used as an excuse,as in Naomi Klein’s’The Shock Doctrine’ to shock/persuade people that the Public Sector should be swept away as unaffordable!
The Government uses ‘This Fiction’ of an overwhelming Budget Deficit to justify cuts in public spending of 25-40%, attacking Police Budgets as well as causing the demolition of our universally available Health, Education, Retirement, Pensions and Benefits entitlements, for which fair and proper taxation policies have paid in the past.Then follows the headlong drive towards Privatisation and Outsourcing in the interest of large Corporate commercial and financial organisations at the expense of the public interest and its purse.
On the basis of the analysis I and others have deployed this Austerity programme was not what our national situation required.
The cuts you have been forced to make should not have been necessary.
Thus Police Commissioners and Chief Constables have been forced to make massively severe Budget Cuts (31,000 job losses by 2015) based on a false prospectus!
I write this letter in the context of the forthcoming Association of Chief Police Officers’ Conference ‘Leading Change in Policing in Northants on 20-22nd November.
I refer specifically to Sir Hugh Orde’s letter of invitation ;- Conference “to prepare ourselves for the next General Election with specific focus on our budgetary needs”.Thus Sir Hugh provides the immediate forum within which Police Commissioners and Chief Constables can begin to engage in the National Economic Debate.
There is legitimate ground for you and all your colleagues throughout the Police Service to analyse the present economic situation and the needs of Policing within it.
.I hope you and your colleagues will feel able to commit yourselves to this debate.This might re-assert the continuing need for more investment in those essential services which sustain and support healthy social and community life. Notable among them must be Policing!
This letter is sent personally to each Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner. www.michaelpoulter.org.uk