Leader: In praise of Robert Skidelsky

In an interview with the New Statesman in late 2009, the economic historian Robert Skidelsky said of the then shadow chancellor, George Osborne, that he "gets away with leaving out assumptions behind his arguments because he's not confronted with them". Since then, Lord Skidelsky has devoted himself to doing just that - confronting Mr Osborne with the logic of his own arguments. A newly published collection of his essays on the economic crisis and the coalition government's austerity programme, many of which first appeared in this magazine, is a reminder of what we owe to that "embattled minority" of Keynesian economists who reject the notion that "universal impoverishment [is] the price people had to pay for universal greed".