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.