The judging panel said that the 2011-12 recession would be an impressive demonstration that when private-sector borrowing and spending have fallen back dramatically and unemployment has shot up, an assault on government borrowing will only weaken the economy. “Their ingenious devil’s advocacy about a ‘debt crisis’ of supposedly overwhelming importance and the virtues of rapid spending cuts should give them the opportunity to provide a reductio ad absurdum of their own, clearly ironic, statements of policy.”
A dissenting minority of the judges suggested that this was already known by anyone with half a brain and a rudimentary knowledge of economic history, following failed US policy in the 1930s, failed Japanese policy in the 1990s, and a great deal of Keynesian writing. However, this was denounced as “crazy talk”.
Some have expressed surprise that Cameron and Osborne should have received such a prestigious award when they have yet to achieve anything in power. Bookies’ favourites Nigel Lawson and Geoffrey Howe were unavailable for comment.
Receiving the prize, Cameron modestly said that the whole nation deserved thanks for the coming double-dip recession:
When we look back we will say not that the government made it happen, not that the minister made it happen, but the bankrupt businesswoman made it happen, the laid-off police officer made it happen, the father whose house was repossessed made it happen, the teacher with years of pay cuts made it happen.
You made it happen.