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Ben Chu

Ben Chu has been a leader writer at The Independent since 2004. Before that he worked at the paper on the comment desk, letters department and the personal finance pages. He studied history at Jesus College, Oxford between 1997 and 2000.

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The political kaleidoscope gets a shaking

Posted by Ben Chu
  • Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 06:05 pm

This economic crisis is certainly making for some strange bedfellows. The normally Europhobic Tories find themselves applauding the economic wisdom of "federalist" European leaders like Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy.
           Meanwhile, social democratic Labourites are backing the economic prescriptions of a liberal, but still strongly pro-market, American president.
           Of course, this is mostly short-term political positioning. The Conservatives have not been converted to the EU cause; they are just relieved that Merkel and Sarkozy seem to be sceptical of Gordon Brown's reflationary policies.
           And although Labour backbenchers like the support of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner for a global fiscal stimulus, they probably wouldn't see eye to eye with these two on many other economic questions. I suspect Summers and Geithner wouldn't be to conflicted about privatising the Royal Mail, for instance.
          That said, all this frantic political scrambling, does, for me, summon up that phrase used by Tony Blair after 911 about the kaleidoscope being shaken. Who knows where the pieces will fall?

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