James Robertson reviews The Courageous State

Written by Ashwin Rattan Friday, 20 July 2012 11:43
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Economics commentator James Robertson reviews The Courageous State


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I can enthusiastically recommend these books to readers interested in their subject matter.


(1) Richard MurphyTHE COURAGEOUS STATE: Rethinking Economics, Society and the Role of Government, Searching Finance Ltd, 8 Whitehall Road, London W7 2JE, 2011, paperback, 317 pages, £14.99. For full details, including Contents and Reviews, see


In recent months Richard Murphy has prominently criticised how rich people and businesses avoid paying their due contribution to society through the tax system, and the shameless activities of bankers and accountants who get rich by specialising in tax avoidance. This important book deals with those and wider issues.


I support it wholeheartedly, although I have some differences with it. For example, I believe that historically the problems of our money system today go back much further than to what has followed Keynes and Beveridge since 1945.


We have to recognise that, while it is essential for our political leaders to be more courageous, in the circumstances prevailing today that raises a huge question. How will the nature of democratic politics allow our politicians to be courageous when, in order to protect the survival and success of their political careers, they have to respect the conflicting demands and pressures of so many different groups of people, including electors, colleagues, opponents, and the press and broadcasting?


I hope Murphy's book will itself help to resolve that vital question by persuading active citizens to demand much more insight and courage from our politicians.

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