Richard Murphy Profile picture
Economic justice campaigner. Professor of Accounting Practice, Sheffield University. Chartered accountant. Political economist. Co-founder, the Green New Deal.
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Jan 19,
Let’s assume Johnson is going. We all know that he is. What then? That’s the real question. And as it stands the answers are not looking good. A thread….. The fact is that Johnson has to go not because he has failed but because the Tory party chose him knowing that he would fail. That was not just because of his personal failings. It was also about the policies he was promoting.
Read 30 tweets
Jan 16,
We know that Boris Johnson’s days in Number 10 are numbered now. We can’t be sure how many there still are. That his tenure will end well before the time of the next election is, however, seemingly certain. But my question is, so what? What then for the Tories, and us. A thread… The Conservative Party is often described as the most successful party in democratic politics in the world. And it is true, it has dominated UK politics for longer than anyone now alive, and long before that.
Read 47 tweets
Dec 25, 2021
I spotted a discussion on here this morning that debated whether Jesus was a socialist. This is from the Magnificat - the song that Mary supposedly sung in anticipation of his birth:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour …. His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
Read 4 tweets
Dec 19, 2021
I have already suggested in a blog post written this morning that today is pivotal to what happens in 2022, and maybe beyond. Whether the government decides to lock down today will have a massive impact on lives lost to Covid in 2022, and to the economy. A thread to explain…… First, to look at the data and why I am so worried it could be worth reading my blog post on this, written today.…
Read 30 tweets
Nov 14, 2021
A week ago I caused a bit of a Twitter fuss when writing about SNP policy. I wrote a blog in response. This is the Twitter thread version….and is all about whether the SNP’s leadership is serious about independence, or not, and what will make that possible. Wanting to be independent requires a credible plan to deliver an independent country. And this is what the SNP lacks. It has no apparent route to achieving this aim at present, politically, as internal disputes show.
Read 70 tweets
Oct 19, 2021
Our government always appears to do too little, too late. That might look like incompetence unless the real aim is to actively undermine the credibility of government. Suppose it is? Suppose those we have in power want chaos, because that’s what they see as their route to profit? What we have in that case is not a legitimate government. Legitimate governments get their power from people by noting their best interests and arbitrating between them. That’s why we give them power. Our belief is that they will sort the chaos that might otherwise exist.
Read 7 tweets
Oct 10, 2021
I am aware that many in tax justice are deeply disappointed by the OECD tax deal that’s just been signed. Their suggestion is it does not do enough for developing countries. And that’s true, it doesn’t. But let’s get real: deals like this are always compromises. 1/n If this deal was ever going to overcome opposition - from the Republicans in the US to Ireland - and to still accommodate the claims of developing countries it was always going to be a compromise. And it is. But to claim it was a sell-out by the OECD is absurd. 2/n
Read 16 tweets
Sep 27, 2021
I was asked recently to explain the fundamental differences between the economics of the right, centre ground and left of politics. That seemed to be an invitation to do a thread, so here goes…… The big difference between the political right, centre ground and left in economic terms comes down to how they think markets work. They are either true believers, naive optimists or non-believers. That’s all you really need to remember.
Read 50 tweets
Sep 24, 2021
The Tories aren’t working Brexit isn’t working
Read 6 tweets
Aug 30, 2021
People are really worried about inflation. The right-wing media is fuelling that concern by saying government money creation is bound to lead to it increasing. And so people are also worried about interest rate rises. None of this is necessary. A thread…. First, let's deal with that money creation issue. The UK government has created about £900 billion of money in the last 12 years. No inflation in every day prices has resulted. So for those making the claim that it will do so now have to prove why things have changed.
Read 67 tweets
Aug 28, 2021
Millions of people want to lend billions of pounds to the government. And the government has created hundreds of billions of new money without ever delivering inflation. In other words, this government can access all the money it needs to fund the NHS right now 1/4 No new taxes are required. No cuts are required anywhere. But despite that Rishi Sunak wants to cut funding for the #NHS. That’s despite record ever waiting lists and a Covid crisis that is rapidly getting worse. 2/4
Read 4 tweets
Aug 22, 2021
Nick Cohen says in the Observer today ‘On the left, the list of taboos you cannot break stretches to the crack of doom. Once again, no one admits they observe them out of fear of online abuse or of malicious colleagues demanding their dismissal.’ A thread seems to be required… What are these taboos that the left cannot acknowledge? Let’s start with the big one. It’s that we live in a democracy. We don’t. First past the post doesn’t even vaguely approximate to the democracy that we need. We should say it.
Read 18 tweets
Aug 15, 2021
The government wants to cut its spending. It says we cannot afford it. The claim is that if we have to borrow or increase taxes to spend then that must mean we can’t afford things like more education or healthcare. But they are wrong. We should spend, now. A thread to explain… First, trust me, everything I say in this thread is actually pretty straightforward. It’s just stuff no politician ever talks about. That’s because the truth I relate doesn’t suit a political narrative that wants to cut the size of the state, come what may.
Read 51 tweets
Aug 10, 2021
The world is heading for climate catastrophe. That is not overstatement. That is fact. But what can we actually do? What follows may seem radical, but if we aren’t radical in the face of the risk of extinction when else will we be? A thread…. First, we must make our companies account for the cost of stopping their climate emissions, and insist that they do it now. And I mean stopping those emissions. That has to happen.
Read 19 tweets
Aug 6, 2021
The Guardian has reported that fuel prices are rising this morning. That deeply annoys me….a thread follows…there are ways to tackle this…. Firstly, the reason for the price increases is supposedly because of market pressures. Actually, as massive profit increases at BP, Shell and other companies shows, that is nothing more than profit-taking.
Read 14 tweets
Aug 1, 2021
Gary Neville, @GNev2, suggested we need a peaceful revolution yesterday. It’s not the usual call for an ex Manchester United player who is now a football commentator. But was he right to do so? A short thread…. I am not by inclination revolutionary. But we need to change our head of state.

And we need to be rid of the House of Lords.

We need electoral reform - because first past the post is nothing like democracy now.
Read 12 tweets
Jul 25, 2021
According to press reports this morning 'Britain faces ‘decades of financial risk’ as £370bn pandemic bill mounts'. The headlines seem very familiar: they looks like debt paranoia. But is that true? A short thread.... The headlines are pretty universal. The Observer is guilty of the one that I quote.…
Read 18 tweets
Jul 23, 2021
The government gave some staff in the NHS a pay rise yesterday, and then said that the cost must come out of existing NHS budgets. It refused a pay rise to the police. It’s as if they’re saying there is a shortage of money. There isn’t. A thread’s needed to explain that….. Once upon a time, before most people in the UK were alive, the value of money was linked to gold, either directly or indirectly via the fixed exchange rate we had with the US dollar. But that ended in 1971. In that year the dollar ceased to be linked to gold.
Read 54 tweets
Jul 20, 2021
The idea that national insurance should pay for the increased cost of social care for the elderly is hideous. It reveals that the government does not know how tax works, how the economy functions, or how tax impacts inequality. A thread…… The Times has reported that the government is planning to increase the national insurance paid by both employers and employees to pay for the UK’s social care crisis. As tax decisions go, this one would be terrible.
Read 31 tweets
Jul 11, 2021
The list of things that are failing in the UK is growing:
- The NHS
- Education
- The justice system
- Social care
- Defence
- The police
The government’s planned response is to cut spending and make things worse. How and why do they think that will work for us? The government says that taxes will have to go up to pay for better public services. There is no evidence that this is true. Last year more than £300 billion of government spending was paid for by newly created money, provided by the Bank of England. Why not carry on with that?
Read 11 tweets
Jun 7, 2021
The time for pretence is over: the reality is that the UK is facing another Covid outbreak at least as serious as that earlier this year. This has massive economic consequences. So, a thread on what we need to think about this time. First, the Treasury has to realise we lockdown to protect the economy. We don’t do it to harm it. We lockdown, provide support and accept the costs because the alternatives are worse.
Read 61 tweets