The left-wing business correspondent of The World Tonight Jonty Bloom has his counterpart, of course, on Newsnight - 'former' Trotskyite Paul Mason. Mason, like Bloom, approves of government action. On last night's programme, when discussing the serious difficulties facing the economies of the Eurozone (which the BBC used to assure us wouldn't happen thanks to the miracle of the Euro), Paul (dressed down for Friday) made this point about why some countries are recovering more slowly than others, very emphatically: "Where there is growth at all it is mainly down to policy." Amusingly, his supportive 'talking head', banker babe Janet Henry (pictured left), Chief European Economist at HSBC, wasn't as supportive as he thought: "The main differences are policy and competitiveness", she said. Note that this adds something Paul Mason didn't mention, competitiveness. She went on "But the main difference... (is) very much to do with competitiveness." So, whereas he says its mainly policy, she says it's mainly competitiveness. He's a Leftie, she's not.
Mason went on to plug the government line, also very emphatically: "This slow-down will make it harder for countries to do austerity, because it's a fragile recovery and early withdrawal of stimulus could kill it off."