ARTYFACTS: Edinburgh Festival: Cable, Fry and Hattersly

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edinburgh Festival: Cable, Fry and Hattersly

Book Festival event on Rebuilding Trust after the recession. Cable was OK, Fry was a large waste of space but Hattersly was absorbing. Cable gave his account of the causes, personal debt became aceptable, property obsession then poor banking. Fry, in an odd and irrlevant five minutes, had a go at the EU and the Human Rights Act. It was Hattersly whp traced the causes of the breakdown in trust much further back to 1) a more cynical and less deferential attitude towards authority and public officials 2) politicians have lost a lot of their power (public ownership not now possible) 3) end of idealogical or 'ideas' based politics. This was smart and addresses the issue directly.

When it came to the future, Cable suggested 1) schemes for youth unemployment 2) public sector cuts 3) scrap Trident. Fry waffled on saying a lot but suggested nothing. Hattersly wanted 1) single European Currency 2) campaign on a more equal society 3) retrun top the radical alliance 4) PR. However, Hattersly admitted he was gloomy, as it was likely that the Tories would get in on a low turnout with a slim majority leading tp polarisation and strife.

Hattersly was fascinating on Blair, who worked for him for four years, claiming that he was likeable but never really believed in Labour values, never really being a social democrat. He also thought that oliticians had become more professional, but in both a good and bad sense. All agreed that public sector pension problem had to be solved, while protecting the low paid.


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