It's budget day today, just one stop in the ongoing debate between the cost-cutters and the not-yetters. But is there a third way? In a blog for Prospect I make the (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) argument for a policy of dishonesty:
The optimal strategy for our government, and for all European governments, is to manipulate perceptions while inflicting minimum real world pain. Governments ought to pursue fake austerity programmes; to talk big about slashing costs and shrinking the state while, in reality, only making the most superficial of cuts. This would restore confidence amongst market-makers and consumers that the problem is being dealt with, while saving millions of people from the misery of unemployment.