The growth debate will go mainstream, sooner or later. It gets a little push this week from George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian:
“While economies grow, social justice is unnecessary, as lives can be improved without redistribution. While economies grow, people need not confront their elites. While economies grow, we can keep buying our way out of trouble… We will lurch from crisis to existential crisis unless we address the underlying cause: perpetual growth cannot be accommodated on a finite planet.”
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown remains incapable of making a statement without referring to growth, and without conflating growth and prosperity. This week he praised the opening of a new high speed rail link in the Metro, and his opening words “for more than 200 years, the railway has helped drive growth and prosperity in Britain.” And writing in the Manchester Evening News, ” there are some who say we must accept an age of austerity and low growth. I disagree.”
Showing cross-party support for such a view, Conservative MP John Redwood wrote a blog entry this week entitled ‘All you need is growth, growth is all you need‘. Substituting the word ‘love’ for the word ‘growth’ is pretty telling really.