By the end of this week, after we have heard all of the government’s pronouncements on slashes in expenditure, perhaps we may not be as sure as we were about the principle of Self-flagellation Economics.
The Brown-Darling method was the softly-softly approach which combined slow growth with a slow decrease in public expenditure. The major flaw in what they achieved during their 13 years in power was their unbridled expenditure and their total lack of negotiating skill. There are government armaments contracts which have the taxpayer “done up like a kipper” for a generation to come. The various government contracts were negotiated so well (by the suppliers) that it would cost more to unravel the contracts than it would to honour them.
The best example is the farcical situation of having to build two aircraft carriers which will not have any planes landing on them.
The Labour government has left a “Gordian Knot” expenditure legacy which will potentially plunge two generations into poverty.
The coalition government – or should we say, David Cameron and George Osborne know that they are past the stage of papering over the cracks of a broken economy and like Alexander the Great, they have been more-or-less forced into taking the sword to the problem. Potentially that’s the economics and Conservative ideology taken care of. Unfortunately, they have forgotten the politics.
The “We are in this together” mantra which has been continually boomed out by DC and his disciples is beginning to sound a little thin and unconvincing. Agreed that most of us will be well and truly “in it” but the majority of the Cabinet is immune from the upcoming economic trials and tribulations because they are rich and/or have a Trust Fund or two. That is not the Politics of Envy – just straight fact which is harming the coalition’s plausibility.
The government is beginning to lack credibility for two reasons. The first is that many members of the government belong to the high-end of socio-economic Group A. The rest of us tend to be Group B-down, with the majority C1 and C2. That very conspiquous disparity has signalled the potential rekindling of the Class War. The Cabinet is connected at the stratospheric levels of business, commerce and banking and appears to be increasingly detached from the ordinary voter.
The other grounds for the government’s lack of credibility are found in the uncomfortable shotgun wedding that was the Lib-Con coalition. Make no mistake, the Liberals are there purely for the head-count. Had it not been for Gordon Brown refusing to vacate the sand-pit, the Liberals would be building sandcastles with Labour. The coalition was a triumph of duplicity over decency.
After this week, the government will enter the most difficult part of its short tenure. The Federal Reserve has announced QE2 ( Quantitative Easing – The Sequel) and where Uncle Sam goes, we are sure to follow.
It was pointed out yesterday that the proposed reduction in Child Benefit (which will really clobber the C1s and C2s) will contribute more to government savings that the banks. Very soon, the Treasury will be handing more money to the banks so that they can “tidy up” their balance sheets and lend more money to small businesses. Or more accurately, the government will hand banks more pretend money which will be used to buy shares and government gilts which in turn will create profit and bonuses – for the banks.
Somehow, this all feels like a recipe for a very unhappy electorate, so don’t be surprised if very soon you find yourself, Frenchman-like, standing outside somewhere-or-other, holding a placard after having withdrawn you labour (that is if you have any labour to withdraw).
Prepare for a long hard winter.
Message for Wayne Rooney
Piss off. You’re beginning to make Jordan look interesting.
Speaking of socio-economic groups – here’s a “Z”
Another one of those ugly pikey women who looks like a pink Shrek with a ponytail has made the papers. This one has put her 2 year-old daughter on a diet “so that she doesn’t end up looking like me”. She will.
These were her words of wisdom: “With an eating disorder, you can get through it with therapy. But when you’re fat, you’re fat for life”. Not a good excuse to make your young child go hungry – or is she doing it so that there are more chips and fishfingers for her?
By the way, does anyone know why nowadays, women in their early twenties have cultivated such fat wobbly rear-ends – usually accompanied by a ponytail, a Maclaren buggy, arms like a docker and terminal stupidity – you know, the ones who are a TV interviewer’s favourite Vox Pops. They always say either “I think it’s disgusting” or “Words fail me. I don’t know what to say.”
And where can you buy stretchy size 30+ jeans and those plain short-sleeved tops?
In the old days, at least women waited until their 40s before they enjoyed the comfort of accelerated below-the-waist growth.
Spanish Air Traffic Controller: “Tango Yankee Bravo 141 is just entering French air space. I am handing him to you. Over.”
French Air Traffic Controller: ” I spit on your plane.”
I love the French.