Published: 10th Apr 2012

  For the third time in as many days, someone took umbrage at my policy pessimism. ‘It will get you nowhere, that kind of thinking’.  Of course they are (sort of) correct.  No point in whingeing on, talking things down, ‘not looking on the bright side’.  It’s a personality trait I suppose, maybe I’m a ‘glass half empty’ kinda guy?  Nevertheless, is this optimism deflecting us from the gravity of the situation? Could it damage the quest for real policy prescriptions? These sunny people are the ‘ragged-trousered optimists’.  Like the workers in Robert Tressel’s book The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists, who threw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters, these optimists are throwing themselves into seeing the good in policy which offers only meagre solutions. Take the unemployment situation. This is an unprecedented national crisis.   I am optimistic about what we could do -national … (To read the full article, subscribe below)