James O'Brien: Proof That Austerity Was Completely Unnecessary

3 July 2017, 12:08 | Updated: 3 July 2017, 12:33

James O'Brien asked how this country ended up spending more time and money encouraging oligarchs to live in London than to pay our nurses.

Boris Johnson has become the latest Conservative minister to call for the end of austerity, which has led to real-term paycuts for nurses and emergency workers across the country.

And James says this shows that austerity wasn't needed.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "This pay-cap business with Boris Johnson suggesting that it could be removed. It makes a mockery, doesn't it, of people like you and me who try to follow politics with a modicum of intelligence.

"It's just chomping, bovine tabloid commentary that we have now dominating the agenda in this country.

"So what are all the people who've spent seven years telling us it was absolutely inevitable, we absolutely had to have it, we absolutely need it, don't bash the bankers, get another job. They'll all just do a U-turn, won't they, if their political heroes turn around and go 'Oh yeah, we changed our minds.'

"Seven years of penury, seven years of utterly unnecessary misery, seven years of demoralisation, defunding, destaffing: "Oh yeah we've changed our minds, we're going to do it differently now." And everyone will just go 'Oh great yeah.'

"If you listen to this programme, you'll know that we've spent seven years saying it's utterly unjustified to give real terms pay cuts to the most valuable and valued members of our society.

"But of course we're rebuilding society at the moment and they're not the most valued and valuable members of it. That would be a bankers and your so-called wealth creators and your Russian oligarchs for whom we roll out the red carpet so they can come here and spend all their ill-gotten gains in art galleries owned by the brothers and uncles and cousins of people making massive donations to political parties. Or party singular."