The Plastic Hippo

October 19, 2010

The madness of Prince George

Filed under: Politics — theplastichippo @ 2:02 am

Ask a coalition politician for the time of day and he or she will tell you that the budget deficit will ruin the country and that you should go and buy your own watch. Ask for directions to the local A&E and you will be told that reckless spending under Labour has resulted in its closure. Ask for the price of a cup of tea and you will be informed that your resultant head wounds are the fault of the profligate Mr Brown.

On Wednesday at 12-30, Gideon Osborne will present to parliament his Comprehensive Spending Revue. Heir to the Ballentaylor baronetcy and beneficiary of a £4million trust fund from his daddy`s company, the Chancellor after a glittering working career that saw him go from the Bullingdon Club to Conservative Central Office and then to the commons, will spell out the misery that awaits us all. We should listen carefully because when the axe falls it will fall quickly and the cuts will be masked by the hollow chatter of the dreadful inherited deficit, toughness and fairness, scroungers and lead swingers.

It is worth, at this point, considering the consequences of such irresponsible public borrowing perpetrated by the former government. Savage cuts are necessary to reduce the £180billion deficit – sorry – £150billion deficit, it went down in the last financial quarter. Gawd, that Gordon Brown eh? The fall-out of carrying such debt means that we are all in this together and we all must suffer just like the American Citigroup bank who have returned a £2.2billion profit during the last financial quarter. After all, the massive debt is the fault of people claiming disability benefit, isn’t it? What Gideon and his pals have failed to recognise is that debt is not just paying for the damage to some Oxfordshire restaurant. Perhaps he should scurry along to a library before they are closed down and read some John Maynard Keynes. Governments operate by borrowing. Take a look at this chart from the excellent ukpublicspending.co.uk:

This graph sets out the interest paid in each financial year since 1910 as a percentage of Gross National Product. There is a massive spike around 1914 which continued into the 30`s and then another spike in the 40`s. What on earth was going on then? What did they need to pay for? Then it settled down until the 80`s. Did anybody else apart from Thatcher miss the Thatcher birthday party at number 10? Then the debt decreased until the banks engineered the financial crisis that they now profit from. The debt is still lower than it was throughout the Thatcher and Major governments.

Here is another graph that estimates the level of public debt that is likely to be faced if the the current coalition government continues. Erm…take a look:

The deficit, which seems to be on auto repeat every time a coalition minister speaks, is not as dire as they would like us to believe and they have managed to instil into the national consciousness a fear of an imaginary disaster that is not going to happen. Indeed the Defence Revue suggests that the major threat facing the country is cyber-terrorism yet wishes to maintain a rather expensive Trident deterrent. Quite how that very expensive multi-warhead nuclear missile system launched from a submarine will protect our computers will remain a mystery for as long as the manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction remain in profit.

The horrendous cuts in public sector jobs and the enforcement of cutting benefits to people with disabilities will be, in theory, balanced by the private sector conjurating jobs from out of nowhere. Sadly, the group of “business” people who signed a letter supporting the cuts that Gideon will make have not created more employment and have actually laid people off. So, to be pedantic, where are the new jobs in the private sector coming from? The answer is…nowhere.

If you are lucky enough to own a watch, check that you still have it on your wrist on Wednesday afternoon. If you still have a watch after that, sell it and buy a ticket out of here. The country that we love is about to go native and the unpleasantness is about to begin…

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