One of the things that has struck me since my election is the extent to which most Labour MPs either don't accept there is a problem with the public finances or, if they do, attribute all the blame to greedy bankers.
Now of course much of the deficit is the result of the recession but the reason we have a larger deficit than nearly ever other major economy is that we were already running a deficit before the recession and the blame for that can be pinned fairly and squarely on Gordon Brown. And if you care about the long-term future of public services then it is essential to take action to reduce the deficit or we will end up spending more and more money each year on debt interest rather than on doctors, teachers and police officers.
So it was good to hear Lord Myners, the former Financial Services Secretary, acknowledge this point in the House of Lords yesterday. As he said, "there is nothing progressive about a government whho consistently spend more than they can raise in taxation, and certainly nothing progressive that endows generations to come with the liabilities incurred by the current generation. There will need to be significant cuts in public expenditure, but there is considerable waste in public expenditure."