I find it hard these days to praise any establishment political figure. Too often their actions are devoid of principle, too often their words are hollow, and too often their demeanour smacks of a rank ignorance on matters of economics and liberty.
And undoubtedly, Cameron’s austerity policies are not sound. As I have noted in the past, the time for austerity at the treasury is the boom, not the slump.
But today David Cameron seems to have bucked that trend.
From the BBC:
David Cameron has refused to join an EU financial crisis accord after 10 hours of negotiations in Brussels.
Mr Cameron said it was not in Britain’s interest “so I didn’t sign up to it”.
But France’s President Sarkozy said his “unacceptable” demands for exemptions over financial services blocked the chance of a full treaty.
Britain and Hungary look set to stay outside the accord, with Sweden and the Czech Republic having to consult their parliaments on it.
A full accord of all 27 EU members “wasn’t possible, given the position of our British friends,” President Sarkozy said.
There is an obvious fact here: scrabbling to reach an agreement in the interests of political and economic stability — which is exactly the path Japan has taken for the past 20 years, and America for the past 3 — allows broken systems to continue to be broken. All this achieves is more time to address the underlying issues, which as we are discovering is something that does not happen, because markets and policy makers fool themselves into believing that the problems have been “solved”, and that there is “recovery”.
Cameron’s intransigence could well be the spark that Europe — and perhaps even the globe — needs to degenerate to the point where the necessary action — specifically, some kind of debt jubilee — can occur.