Matthew Parris in the Times raises a challenge for Tories – but not, perhaps, the one he thinks he does.
The government’s willingness to borrow to get through the crisis, he says, undermines the traditional “Conservative case for prudence in public spending.” And if there are not the limits the Tories thought on public spending, then:
The Tories had better brace themselves serious questions about how we can do it for a virus but not to save a shipyard, or the planet from climate change. Or double the future capacity of our hospitals, or legal aid limits, or nurses and carers’ wages.
I think Tories have – and always have had – two answers here. But they contradict each other.
First, let’s dispose of bad reasons for “prudence.”
In part, it is a legacy from different times. In the