Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gordon is as "bogus as a fourpenny bit"!

I have always been a fan of the much-maligned John Major and his article today in The Times reinforces my opinion. His analysis of the wreckage that Gordon Brown has made of the UK economy over the last 11 years is clear and concise.

"In the days of the late-lamented Prudence, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, promised an end to “boom and bust”. As Prime Minister that promise must haunt Gordon Brown, for he knows that - as Chancellor - he was culpable for the domestic circumstances that contribute to our dire economic plight.....

"Last year, at the Mansion House, the Prime Minister spoke of “an era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the City of London”. Nemesis must have smirked. Within months there was the first run on a UK bank for 100 years, and the collapse of Northern Rock. Since then, the taxpayer has been called upon repeatedly to rescue our once-secure banking system.

"Yet ministers foresaw nothing of what was building up and, to judge by their inaction, understood even less. Their failure to do so is one reason the future is bleak for so many who did not profit from the boom, but will surely suffer from the bust.

"House prices are falling at the fastest rate since records began. Every home is losing value, but the plight of the elderly is especially heart-rending. Many who planned to boost their retirement income by trading down to release a cash nest egg have had their hopes dashed. The soon-to-retire face a double whammy: not only has the value of property fallen, but their pension funds - already weakened by tax levies - have also been cut in value by 30 per cent or more. Hundreds of thousands of elderly people did everything possible - without state benefits - to secure their future. Now, the crisis cut in interest rates is likely to reduce their income even further.

"At the heart of the troubles is debt. Debt has been this Government's biggest growth industry. Annual borrowing - even at the beginning of the recession - is at record levels: no comparable country is in a worse position. When Mr Brown claims that national debt is lower than many such countries, he is being less than candid. He knows he is excluding long-term liabilities such as £100 billion of private finance debt, our unfunded public sector pensions and the debts of Network Rail and Bradford & Bingley. Once these are taken into account, our true debt is nearly three times higher - at a shocking £76,000 for every household. The figures the Government uses to reject the charge of financial incontinence are as bogus as a fourpenny bit."

How can the British people trust or rely on Gordon Brown to get them out of the hole he has dug for us?

UPDATE: This article by Jeff Randall in The Daily Telegraph on 14/11/08 shows why Major is so right.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The ignorance of lemming-like Labour MPs

It's probably unfair to single out this post by Tom Harris MP on his eccentric blog to illustrate the ignorance of the foot soldiers of the Labour Party - or is it the blind obedience of lemmings falling over the cliff? - but I'm going to do it anyway!

There’s a certain kind of smugness and self-satisfaction about Harris's post that makes me feel quite queasy about the way Labour regard their electoral prospects. They think that by continually harking back to events of the 1980s and early 1990s they can discredit and ridicule any new ideas that the Conservatives put forward to the electorate. This type of spinning and Mandelsonesque manipulation of the facts may have worked pre-1997 but it is well past its sell-by-date. But this is all they have left in their armoury after 11 years.

The Great Leader and his acolytes are the ones who have been responsible for the disastrous economic mess that we find ourselves in - note, I didn’t say Gordon Brown has caused it but certainly his policies over the last 11 years have put the UK in the worst possible position to deal with it.

The only defence Labour appears to have is to say that nearly 30 years ago when the Tories came into power faced with the economy wrecked by a Labour government in only five years of power is that unemployment touched nearly 3 million. Since they came back in 1997 they have squandered all those hard won improvements of the ’80s and ’90s by an irresponsible tax and spend policy.

Now we have the former “prudent” Chancellor - the king of the stealth tax - with his “golden rules” - the man who claims to have reduced the national debt - telling us it is “the right thing to do” to borrow even more in order to make some relatively small and misdirected tax reductions. Some say this will end up with the taxpayer being lumbered with well over £100 billion to be paid back over the lifetime of our children and grandchildren.

Oh bliss! What irony! The man who told us he would only ever borrow to “invest” over an economic cycle to maintain economic stability. The man who told us we were best placed to weather this global crisis is now claiming to have the blueprint that the rest of the world should follow.

It is fairly likely that the number of unemployed in the UK will reach 2 million in the next few months and be possibly over 3 million withn the next year. I suppose, to be even more cynical, you could add in the 2.6 million people on incapacity benefit. “Labour’s not working”?

Labour MPs should also remember too that at the end of the 1980s the Labour Party (including Gordon Brown) fully supported Nigel Lawson’s strategy of shadowing the deutchmark (against Thatcher’s better judgement) which led to the Major/Lamont debacle in 1992 and the higher tax and borrowing levels than were planned.

What did for the Conservatives in 1997 was not the economy - they had sorted it out by then which allowed the Glorious Chancellor to build up his war chest for excessive spending in subsequent years. No, what did for the Conservatives was so-called “sleaze” and the electorate being ready for “change”. Sound familiar? Who says history never repeats itself - no matter how much the Labour spin machine tries to re-write it?

Despite Tom Harris's assertion that David Cameron does not really care about people being unemployed as a result of the deep recession we are being thrust into because of Brown's incompetence what he has actually said is: “…the Conservatives have a moral obligation to help people who are laid off, or are at risk of being so.”

That sounds like “compassionate Conservatism” to me and today's proposals from Cameron and Osborne demonstrates they have the vision and commitment to articulate this into sensible and effective policies which, no doubt, Brown will rubbish and then plagiarise as his own.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama is just like you and me!

Barak Obama is (almost) normal according to this list which tells us, amongst other things, that he's left-handed, he reads Harry Potter, he's got big feet, and he doesn't like coffee. And he likes basketball - so do I.

And he still smokes! Well, he's a man after my own heart. Mind you, Bill Clinton liked a good cigar, didn't he?