Liberal Conspiracy: The UK needs to worry about ‘depression deniers’ not ‘deficit deniers’

I’ve written before that I find the current political debate ahead of the spending review somewhat confusing. The Government, and many of their supporters in the media, now appear to think that the way to gain “economic credibility” is to commit to a fiscal plan that has failed to achieve growth, deal with the deficit or even retain the UK’s AAA rating.

The argument can be summarised as: “our plan has failed to achieve any of its goals and opposition parties will only be seen as credible if they agree to stick with it.”

I’ve argued before that the real debate ahead of the coming CSR should not be whether political parties sign up to it but instead what the UK’s fiscal framework should look like.

A more appropriate framework for the UK would focus on reducing debt/GDP over a much longer timetable.

The more I think about it though, the more I think an even bigger point is being missed in the current debate around the politics of the CSR.

On most forecasts the economy is still likely to be depressed in 2015/16 and indeed 2016/17.

The crucial number to examine here is the output gap – and in particular the OBR’s own assessment of it.

Simply put, the output gap is a measure of how much spare capacity there is in the economy. If the output gap is negative then the economy is operating below capacity and there is a strong case for expanding demand to make good the difference While if the output gap is positive then the economy is operating above trend and may be overheating with consequences for inflation.

Back at in June 2010 the OBR forecast that by 2015 the output gap would be -0.9% of GDP, i.e. the economy would be operating a below potential but not by a huge amount.

The current OBR forecast is for an output gap to be -3.4% in 2015 and still at -2.9% in 2016. In other words, come April 2016 (the time when any new government can actually make spending decisions in a meaningful manner) the economy is still expected to have an output gap of almost three per cent . The OBR’s own forecasts imply that there is room for a fiscal expansion of almost three per cent of GDP in 2016/17.

Recent work from NIESR, funded by the TUC, found that in ‘crisis times’ (when output is depressed – i.e. a -2.9% output gap implies ‘crisis times’) then a capital spending intensive stimulus of 2% of GDP will boost growth, lower unemployment and lead to a lower debt/GDP ratio in the medium term.

Much of the current politics around the CSR feels “very 2010”.

The assumption in much of the political (if not the economic) coverage of the CSR seems that by 2015 macroeconomics will not really matter. The economy will broadly have recovered and the task of the Treasury will the essentially distributional job of managing cuts in public spending and tax rises to close the deficit, rather than actively managing demand and boosting growth. This is looking like an increasing optimistic view.

The economy in 2015 and 2016 is likely to remain, by any reasonable standard, depressed. The case for a new fiscal framework, which gives governments the room to borrow to boost growth in the short term, will remain strong.

To put this all really simply, we shouldn’t be so concerned about the ‘deficit deniers’, it’s the ‘depression deniers’ we need to worry about.

A longer version of this post is at Touchstone blog.

via Duncan Weldon Liberal Conspiracy

God Is In The TV: Thunder, Whitesnake, Journey – Wembley Arena, 29th May 2013

A triple whammy of classic rock rolled into Wembley last night. Openers Thunder were more than capable of setting the pace, ripping into ‘Dirty Love’.  Singer Danny Bowes has a down to earth charisma, and the years haven’t diminished his pipes in the slightest. Last time I saw Thunder they had reformed to play the High Voltage festival, their rendition of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’ that day in Victoria Park was a sunny highlight. It looks like their reformation is a semi ongoing affair. Judging by the crowds reaction to gems like ‘Backstreet Symphony’ and ‘I Love You More Than Rock n Roll‘, their retirement can be put off for a good while yet.
Photo: Neil Kitson
Next up are Whitesnake, who for many steal the show tonight. David Coverdale is the poshest frontman in rock, he regally invites the crowd to ‘make some fucking noise’ as they launch into ‘Give Me All Your Love’ and ‘Ready and Willing’. After 35 years his vocal range may be slightly shorter and grittier overall, but his trademark rock deity swagger is as fun as ever. Coverdale may be Whitesnake’s only constant, but the rest of the band are no mere backing players, guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach trade solos, and longtime drummer Tommy Aldridge turns in a trademark solo that finishes with him punishing the kit with his bare hands like Animal from the muppets. New boy bass player Michael Devin also gets a bit of a harmonica solo. No one wants a bass solo. Chops duly proven it’s back to the hits, on a clear road to the land of ‘Here I Go Again’-dia.  It’s been a long time since Tawny Kitaen danced on the bonnet of Whitesnake’s car, but that tune is still a solid gold classic.
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Photo: Craig Thomas
Whitesnake2 ross gilmore
Photo: Ross Gilmore
After Whitesnake’s dirty blues rock, Journey come across as positively squeaky clean. Uplifting, harmonious and the epitome of radio friendly rock they cruise through their back catalogue, perhaps leaning a little on the rock edge, given tonight’s company. Lead Singer Arnel Pineda bounds around the stage, hitting every note perfectly, grinning from ear to ear like he still can’t believe his luck that he landed this gig. Neal Schon’s guitar playing is exemplary, never overly flashy, but driving and melodic.  Highlights include the beautiful ballad/singalong ‘Lights’. Where it seems mobile phone screens have replaced lighters as THE item to hold aloft for such songs now. ‘Anyway You Want It’ and ‘Open Arms’ are further highlights. But as with Whitesnake, (or Motörhead, Bryan Adams or Sinatra in his day) there’s one song they have to play before being allowed to leave the building. ‘Don’t Stop Believin‘ may owe a debt to Glee and The Sopranos for it’s new lease of life, but that doesn’t diminish it’s power and grandeur. Topped off with confetti cannons and a hearty goodbye, few could deny they got their money’s worth of RAWK and then some.
 Photo: Dom Henry
Journey Performing at Manchester Arena - 23-05-2013
Photo: Sakura Henderson
Photo: Dom Henry

Thunder Set List Wembley 29/05/13

Dirty Love

River Of Pain

Higher Ground

Low Life In High Places

Backstreet Symphony

The Devil Made Me Do It

Love Walked In

I Love You More Than Rock’n’Roll


Whitesnake Setlist

Give Me All Your Love

Ready an’ Willing

Can You Hear the Wind Blow

Don’t Break My Heart Again

Is This Love


(dedicated to Mel Galley, Cozy Powell and Jon Lord)

Love Will Set You Free

Guitar Duel

(by Doug Aldrich & Reb Beach)

Steal Your Heart Away

(incl. Drum Solo by Tommy Aldridge)


Best Years

Bad Boys / Children of the Night

Fool for Your Loving

Here I Go Again

Still of the Night


Journey Set list

Separate Ways

Anyway you want it

Chain reaction

Only the young

Guitar segue

Stone in love

Keep on runnin

Edge of the blade


Keyboard segue

Open arms


Dead or Alive

Wheel in the sky


Be good to yourself

Don’t stop believin’


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  • Whitesnake-002 craig thomas
  • Whitesnake2 ross gilmore
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  • Journey Performing at Manchester Arena - 23-05-2013
  • Whitesnake-002 craig thomas

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via Mark Williams God Is In The TV

Rocksucker: Singles Reviews (the rest): Splashh, Phosphorescent, Hooded Fang and more!


This week’s singles are such a strong bunch that a few in here might have made the Best Of category on another week. Commiserations, then, to all those affected as we continue our three-part Singles Reviews with The Rest Of them…

Andrew Cedermark – “At Home”

Subtle, lightly drunken lo-fi blast that brings to mind, ooh, all sorts of people but does so with a particular sludgy charm over a deceptively pounding rhythm. Good stuff from the Titus Andronicus guitarist.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Fun Adults – “For Water”

A compelling skipping groove amidst something ethereally akin to a slightly math-ier, much more laid-back Grizzly Bear

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Hooded Fang – “Graves”

Pixies meets The La’s meets the Ramones? Something like that. Curiosity well and truly piqued.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Phosphorescent – “A Charm, A Blade”

Those ‘lonesome cowboy’ harmonies don’t half stop you in your tracks. It’s graceful, soulful and majestic, but very much encased in a moment and feel. That is to say that it doesn’t really go anywhere, but where it is nice enough as it is, so what of it?

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half out of Five!

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Splashh – “All I Wanna Do”

Sounds like some sublimely fuzzed-out melting pot of Tame Impala, The Jesus and Mary Chain and “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground. How could we not like this?

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Sparrow and the Workshop – “The Faster You Spin”

Well, that’s video of the week sorted. The song itself is good sleaze-rock fare, too. The accusatory chorus refrain of “Fame whore!” is an infectious one. Er, so to speak.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Veronica Falls – “Waiting for Something to Happen”

Feels just a little flat in the wake of some of these other singles; this cut from their recent second album is cute and jangly but feels too close to pastiche, unlike Taffy who just about manage to stave it off by putting more character into it.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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See you next week, everybody!

Singles Reviews (the rest): Splashh, Phosphorescent, Hooded Fang and more! appeared first on Rocksucker. Visit Rocksucker for more music news, reviews and interviews.

via Rocksucker

Liberal Conspiracy: Andy Coulson, David Cameron and Immigration Frankenstein Monster

Andy Coulson apparently has some advice for Cameron on how to deal with the rise of UKIP and public about immigration:

I’m not convinced that’s where the public are. Broadly speaking, they care less about where someone is from and more about the basic principles of fairness and in particular the impact of immigration on pubic services. And in those areas – especially around free housing and benefits – good policies are in place. The trick is to find ways of communicating them to the public more frequently.

Put aside for a moment that the Tories think they have good policies in place. What we’re seeing is the slow realisation on the Right that they’ve created an Immigration Frankenstein Monster – one that could consume them too.

James Kirkup in the Telegraph adds himself:

In other words, voters aren’t so much concerned about immigration as its consequences. That’s a point I’ve heard a few Tories — ministers included — make in private, but few, precious few, will say so publicly. I wonder if Mr Coulson’s candour will encourage others to speak up?

Others won’t speak out because the big elephant in the room is the right-wing press.

The Immigration Frankenstein Monster theory works like this:

While in opposition, the Conservatives constantly stoked up paranoia and anger about immigration by making absurd and baseless claims. The tabloid press wasn’t just a willing partner – they were pleased that senior Tories fed the conspiracy lunacy.

But with the anger stoked up, Tories are having a hard time keeping a lid on it while in power. They know it undermines growth and deprives UK of foreign student cash, but they need to please their base. Despite increasingly draconian speeches and measures, voters aren’t convinced and think the Tories can’t deliver on promises.

So some of them are moving back to Labour on the issue in disappointment.

But the voters most obsessed with immigration are moving to UKIP, which presents Cameron with a terrifying dilemmaL if he ignores them then UKIP remains powerful and he gets lambasted in the right-wing press. If he reaches out to them he will lose more moderate voters but may not actually tempt many UKIP voters back (since immigration is genuinely difficult to control / predict).

There is no easy way for the Tories to ‘communicate’ that they have this under control, as the tabloid coverage maintains the lunacy of the past. This gives the impression that the Tories don’t have it under control. Therefore, voters most angry about it aren’t even willing to come back.

The Frankenstein Monster of Immigration, which was once an electoral asset, is turning into a big liability. Ed Miliband has done an admirable job of avoiding the same trap so far and he should stick to it. But Cameron is in a mess of his own making – a mess that the right-wing press will only add to.

via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy

God Is In The TV: Track Of The Day #281: The Veils – Sign Of Your Love

London quintet The Veils seem to have been around for ages, but I suppose ten years is a fair old stint, particularly as they’ve met with little commercial success. Right at the start ‘Guiding Light’ was a great song and still is. They’ve never really matched it since, but their latest album, ‘Time Stays, We Go’ is not half bad. It’s very much like Starsailor if that doesn’t turn you off and, if not, here’s a track from it.

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via TC God Is In The TV

Rocksucker: Singles Reviews (best): Boards of Canada, Kanye West, TMBG and more!


This week’s singles were a strong bunch, you know. Here are the best of ‘em for you to pick the bones out of, lick the bowl, or whatever it is that you do…

Boards of Canada – “Reach for the Dead”

New Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming new Boards of Canada album coming! Tomorrow’s Harvest out on June 10th and they’ve tossed us this juicy morsel to tide us over with.

If “Reach for the Dead” is anything to go by, Tomorrow’s Harvest is going to be a darn sight different to any of its illustrious predecessors: the slow, sticky beats and lush analog mongedness remain intact, but where once there was a heavy dose of the ‘distorted childhood memories’ there is now an enraptured lament (if such is possible) of synth paddery.

So electronically hewn is it that you could see it as harking back to their first two albums, 2005′s The Campfire Headphase having incorporated live instrumentation (albeit heavily treated)…but “Reach for the Dead” is a different sort of feel; more Sigur Rós-y, we’re surprised to find ourselves saying. Let’s see what the album holds.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Gaz Coombes – “One of These Days”

A brand new single from the erstwhile Supergrass genius, whose Here Come the Bombs debut solo LP made the top ten of our top 100 Albums of 2012 list, directed by his brother Charly. It’s an absolute corker as well, arousing suspicion with initial U2-iness before blossoming into something else entirely, some divine swirl of subtly exquisite melodies and progressions over a skittering beat and gloopy electronics.

And that’s without mentioning the impassioned lyrics and delivery, which align it with Coombes’s also-wonderful prior single “White Noise”. This is looking like being a very fruitful solo venture indeed.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Kanye West – “New Slaves” (projected onto the side of a building)

“It’s leaders and followers / But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” rants West over a thumping, unsettled rhythm, sounding out a relentless, rhythmic flow of consciousness that, befittingly of its having been beamed onto buildings in ten cities across the world, delivers its message in no uncertain terms.

“New Slaves” ends unexpectedly with West taking on a falsetto classic soul croon; he may not come across well at times but he seems willing to try almost anything, and most of the time succeeds.

He’s a fruitloop, perhaps even an asshole, but Kanye West is one talented so and so.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Liars – “I Saw You from the Lifeboat” and “Perfume Tear”

Click here for the official free download of these tracks

The former’s an entrancingly bleepy, blaring blast of analog distortion riffs and a vaguely trip-hoppy beat, the latter’s an alluring yet menacing twinkly twilight of chopped up, tripped out mix features. Their WIXIW LP of last year is also superb, just so you know.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Spectrals – “A Heartbeat Behind”

We were ready to write this one off as derivative rockabilly unnecessariness…and then that absolutely divine chorus kicks in. They sure showed us.

Big Star, is this you? Fabulous stuff.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Taffy – “Tumbling”

As with The Spectrals, an indistinct intro and verse teed up a cynicism that was smashed asunder by another belter of a chorus. What is going on this week? A light-hearted, energetic and fuzzy take on the current trend of resuscitating C86 pop.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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They Might Be Giants – “Icky”

Goodness knows what “First name getting all up in your last name face” means, but it sounds fantastic invested with that masterfully staggered early ’60s delivery. This is just one of many great songs on TMBG’s typically excellent recent album Nanobots, served up with a flippin’ tremendous animated video directed by David Cowles and Jeremy Galante. Treasure this band.

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Tom Milsom – “Take Me Out”

Jeepers, this is tremendous too, not at all what we were expecting. Fans of Animal Collective/Deerhunter/Flaming Lips/Tame Impala, get ready to receive this blue-haired bloke.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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T’ra for now!

Singles Reviews (best): Boards of Canada, Kanye West, TMBG and more! appeared first on Rocksucker. Visit Rocksucker for more music news, reviews and interviews.

via Rocksucker

God Is In The TV: WIN Tickets – Converse Presents: Lower Than Atlantis & Nina Nesbitt Acoustic @ 100 Club



Nina Nesbitt and Lower Than Atlantis confirmed for specially curated Converse Gig @ 100 Club on Monday 10th June 2013Converse invites you to another one of their exclusive intimate shows at the 100 Club, this time with one of Britain’s most exciting young talents, Nina Nesbitt and an acoustic co-headline set from Lower Than Atlantis.
In the last 18 months Nina Nesbitt has gone from playing tiny Edinburgh shows to touring with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Example. She is currently recording her debut album with Jake Gosling (Paloma Faith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction), very impressive for an artist who is still only 18 years old.
Lower Than Atlantis emerged out of the ashes of the Watford hardcore scene in 2007, and after years of self-funded albums and constant touring and growing, the band have now established themselves as one of the UK’s finest rock bands. In 2012 they played their first sell-out headline tour and signed to Island Records. Fusing Punk, Hardcore, Rock with a pop twist, Lower Than Atlantis are a genuine force to be reckoned with.


For a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to the gig,  go to: – ‘like’ our Facebook page AND share the Converse gig photo, simples!  The winner will be announced on Friday, June 7th. Good Luck!


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God Is In The TV: STREAM: PJP Band – And So It Goes (LP)

We’ve been given an exclusive first stream of Plymouth rockers PJP Band’s debut album ‘And So It Goes’ out next week on the 4th of June. Stream it below.

The PJP Band recorded their debut album ‘And So It Goes’ with respected rock Producer Pete Miles (The King Blues, Sonic Boom 6, We Are The Ocean, Dry The River). Miles has described the debut in Rocksound magazine as “one of the finest albums I’ve produced ever” before going on to say in his ‘Tips for 2013’ post:

“Pat’s vocals and lyrics are overwhelmingly uplifting and the sound that comes from just the three of them playing together in one room is so powerful. We recorded the whole album as live as possible, if we didn’t get it in the first 3 takes we scrapped the whole song!. Never before has a record I’ve worked on made me want to dance, cry and love life as much as this one!”

Links: /

Also here’s the new video for eponymous album title track for a taster


15th May – Great Escape Fringe, Brighton

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via Bill Cummings God Is In The TV

Liberal Conspiracy: The ten most cringingly bad #guardiancoffee tweets

So the Guardian has a coffeeshop now!

This has predictably started some attempts at humour on Twitter.

Some were genuinely funny…



But sadly it went downhill very quickly. The bitterness couldn’t be stopped


In fact the jokes got painfully worse and worse…








And the joke might even be on the jokers…

Internet you let yourself down today…

via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy

God Is In The TV: MIXTAPE: The RW/FF Compilation Volume 6 – listen

RW/FF is a weekly column written by Ben P Scott for music and culture site God Is In The TV. Those of you familiar with the column will know that it usually gets published every Friday. Here is the fifth edition of The RW/FF Compilation, which you can listen to via the Mixcloud player below. It showcases the music that has featured in the column over the last few weeks. 

The idea is to buy all of these tracks and burn onto a blank disc, hence why each compilation will be roughly the length of a CD. Alternatively, you can also listen to the whole thing via Mixcloud below… just sit back and enjoy the best new music of the last few weeks…

These tracks are from artists mentioned in editions 16,17 and 18 of the column.


RW/FF With Ben P Scott #16

RW/FF With Ben P Scott #17

RW/FF With Ben P Scott #18



  1. Deej Dhariwal – EMPTY
  2. Primal Scream – RIVER OF PAIN
  3. The Fall – LOADSTONES
  4. Savages – CITY’S FULL
  5. Queens Of The Stone Age – MY GOD IS THE SUN
  6. Editors – A TON OF LOVE
  7. Dingus Khan – KNIFEY SPOONY
  8. Gary McClure – FAMILIARS
  9. These New Puritans – fragment two
  11. Mugstar – BLACK FOUNTAIN
  12. Electric Eye – MORNING LIGHT
  13. Gentleman’s Dub Club – RIOT
  15. Delta Mainline – FLORENTINE REGIME
  16. Gaz Coombes – ONE OF THESE DAYS
  17. Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs – THINGS WE BE

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via Ben P Scott God Is In The TV