Labour Needs Paul Krugman for Shadow Chancellor

Labour Needs Paul Krugman for Shadow Chancellor

A few weeks ago, the Hollywood actor Danny Glover began a petition urging Barack Obama to choose Paul Krugman as his next treasury secretary. The president, sadly, opted for Jack Lew "“ presumably on the grounds there weren't enough deficit hawks, compromise merchants and former Wall Streeters on his team already. Still, one progressive leader's passed-over economist is another's potential star hire. If the Democrats don't want Professor Krugman, then Labour should snap him up. There have been few stronger critics of the disastrous orthodoxy of austerity than the Nobel laureate. True, Ed Balls did mount an impressive plea for fiscal stimulus in the Labour leadership campaign of 2010 "“ but the daily grind of frontbench politics has reduced him to mouthing "too far, too fast". And where the shadow cabinet would rather accompany Eric Pickles on a jog than defend Labour's bank bailout, the Princeton professor says plainly that Gordon Brown did help save the world in 2008. He's also called for serious job creation, tackling inequality and protecting social security "“ precisely the things a Labour Treasury spokesperson should advocate. And unlike certain New Labour veterans, he has no record of kissing up to the banks. True, there would be some procedural hurdles before the American could be brought to Westminster "“ but Ed Miliband could surely put him in the Lords, and then as George Osborne's shadow. As Mr Glover would tell you, Professor Krugman would make a very lethal weapon.

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