When David Cameron became PM, and announced his austerity plans… many were the hosannas, from both sides of the Atlantic. Pundits here urged Obama to “do a Cameron”; Cameron and Osborne were the toast of Very Serious People everywhere. Now Britain is officially in double-dip recession, and has achieved the remarkable feat of doing worse this time around than it did in the 1930s. Britain is also unique in having chosen the Big Wrong freely, facing neither pressure from bond markets nor conditions imposed by Berlin and Frankfurt.
Cameron is expected to double down on the Thatcherite bullying of the vulnerable and coddling of the rich with the inevitable pageant of contraction to continue on and on. Funny how you can't eat your civilization and have it, too.
If France switches horses mid-fuck to the milquetoast socialism of Hollande the table is possibly set for a course correction back to macroeconomically literate Euro policy amidst the entirely predictable ruins of the unforced error of Very Serious People who pretend that Keynes and Hicks (and possibly Copernicus) never happened.
Needless to say, here in America we are still struggling to clean up the mess even more deeply illiterate conservatives wrought in the Killer Clown Administration of George W. Bush while the soulless plutocrat Mitt Romney wants to argue that we should return to Bush's shit policies because Democrats haven't managed yet to shovel all the shit Bush dumped on us all the while Republicans have struggled with every ounce of their energy to tear from our hands the shovels we need to shovel the shit with. If I may say so. Here in America, of course, conservatives not only fail to learn their Keynes, they read the terminally awful Amway bodice-rippers of Ayn Rand (when they aren't reading The Bell Curve or visiting the Creation Museum or masterbating to The Handmaid's Tale) instead of Keynes and fancy the resultant sooper-stoopidity constitutes a form of sooper-genius.
If Obama wins a second term with the coat-tails to regain the House and retain the Senate, and Hollande begins to turn the tide in Europe away from austerity there may be a window for some sanity sooner than later. This will require lots of people to work hard for results that scarcely seem equal to the effort, and it will require a whole lot of luck of a kind that tends to be in short supply, but that's where we are.