Politicians and the pursuit of 'fairness' (BBC News)

Head of Economic Research Ryan Bourne was interviewed by BBC News for an article on ‘fairness’ in politics. 


“Politicians from Barack Obama to Nick Clegg have promised to work towards it – even as wage freezes, relatively high inflation, rising unemployment and falling GDP have an impact on people’s standard of living in the UK.

But Ryan Bourne, head of economic research at the centre-right think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, is sceptical.

He said: “Who’s ever going to campaign against fairness?”

Mr Bourne told the BBC: “The idea that the government can influence fairness is based on a false premise. That is that the government is able to select areas of the economy or different social groups who are more deserving or worthy…

“Fairness is more about the idea that what you get out is proportional to what you put in.”

But does fairness offer at least some hope in difficult times?

Mr Bourne said: “The economic conditions mean that politicians don’t really talk about GDP or wealth, as it’s not going up. They are forced to talk about other things.

“The appeal of ‘fairness’ is that everyone has their own view of what it means in their head. It has an intuitive appeal.””

To read the full article, visit the BBC News website.

Date Added: Monday 30th January 2012