UNEMPLOYMENT: Look at the back numbers to see the real problem we face.

The current UK economic model can never work

I suppose there will have been much oohing, aahing and shaming during PMQs yesterday, although I don’t know because I never watch it any more. The hear-hears, cheers, brickbats and bouquets (if any) probably concerned the new set of unemployment figures.

“Dire” would be most people’s one-word judgement: fewer jobs, fewer full time jobs, and fewer young people’s  jobs.

“And fewer claimants!” the more loony young Tories will exclaim. Except that the figures show more movement towards part-time work ‘because I can’t find full-time work’; and with the mid 1940s baby boom coming heavily on stream now, many are simply passing from working to retired – or ‘given up bothering’.

“We told you so!” the more loony old Labourites will exclaim. But what’s happening started long, long before they left office. The latest figures merely confirm the big story behind the short-term changes: too many people chasing too few jobs on a small island – and a capitalist form which isn’t generating enough new businesses.

“On yer bike” may have made sense as advice thirty years ago, but it doesn’t today. Forget the ‘unemployment’ figures and vacancies nationally: only 76% of men and 65% of women of working age are ‘eonomically active’. This is Whitehall politesse for ‘they don’t do a job’. No job of any kind. They’re not even Long Term Unemployed. They just don’t work.

The (rounded) figures from the ONS are these: 21 million people work full-time, 8 million work part-time, 8.7 million do nothing, and around 6 million are retired.

But from other ONS reports, we can see that there are just 475,000 UK job vacancies. That isn’t going to make much of a dent in 2.5 million.

As you’d expect, this figure has been dropping since 2007; but the total fall since 2002 has been 22%. Almost a quarter of all job vacancies have gone.

Arcane as this may seem, I would ask you to take a brief trip with me through the highlights of the last 160 years. There is a point to this, so be patient.

A history of squeezing more from less

In 1850 – even though Britain’s industrial revolution was miles ahead of the rest of the world – 20% of total GDP consisted of agricultural produce. By 2009, this had fallen to 0.6% – itself a drop of a quarter on the 2000 statistic.

It is estimated that some 8 million people were directly or indirectly employed in agriculture in 1850, and that virtually no everyday food was imported (by definition).

The 1871 census shows ‘a large majority of working class girls in service‘. Even twenty years later, the census shows over two million people working as servants.

All those jobs farm and household occupations have disappeared. And most of the girls in service now have ‘economic’ jobs –  a trend that has impacted dramatically on employment over the last 40 years.

In 1908, under 4% of the workforce was employed by the Government. Today, estimates vary depending on agenda, but the median figure is around 40%. Only 3 in 10 UK citizens of working age today do an economically productive job.

The total UK population increase since 1911 has been around 20 million. Some 1.7 million were killed in the world wars. At 2 kids per family and average longevity, they would’ve added circa 6.4 million.

Immigration into the UK was counterbalanced by indigenous emigration until 1983, since when it has been in the region of 1.3 million net. There are around 3 million people less than there would’ve been without those wars.

In 1935, a majority of children left school at 14. Today, 44% don’t look for work until they are 21.

But capitalism as currently structured still employs a lower precentage than it did 90 years ago.

In the 1950s middle years, we had full employment. Today we have 9 million people doing nothing. Without the two massacres, the figure would be 12 million.

The bottom line is that our current economic structure cannot satisfy the employment needs of our people. So the Government pays quite a lot of people to be reasonably happy about doing nothing.

Why there are fewer jobs

1. There are more of us. 4 million people not born in the UK are employed in our economy today.

2. Mechanisation and a shift away from manual jobs. Since 1948, productivity per head of employee has risen by just over 200%. That is 6 times the figure from 1900-1948. (Put another way, far fewer employees are required to get things done today).

3. Since 1960, 4.5 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared. In 1960, 36% of us made or sold manufactured stuff. Today just 14% of us do. The killer fact here is that the fall curve becomes a steep cliff after 1980. The shift from manufacturing to financial and marketing services has killed millions of semi-skilled vacancies

4. An appalling physical exports performance which has seen our share fall in every single major world market with the exception of some hitech and financial service niches.

5. Working women. 13.5 million women work full or part-time in the British economy.

Why we are not economically viable any more

1. A vast increase in work-related welfare and HS&E requirements: paid-for maternity and paternity leave, job seekers allowance, holiday entitlements, special equipment and other ‘must haves’ dictated by quangos with no proper commercial perspective.

2. An ageing population requiring State pensions, and living longer to require care home help.

3. A massive bailout of the banking system which replaced much of lost manufacturing, added to which was the acceptance of bank debt as a taxpayer liability. This has added roughly 40% to the National Debt since 2007.

3. A huge (and unlegislated) rise in the Civil Service pension liabilities since 2006 – estimated last year at £1.1 trillion.

4. For several decades now, a growing proportion of the population below 65 contributing nothing.

5. Latterly, rising unemployment benefits.

6. Latterly, rising import costs – thanks to a falling Pound…thanks to the bank bailout. And also, it has to be said, the rise of multiple supermarkets supplying a rising desire for overseas food…..and the gradual neglect of our agricultural base.

7. Latterly, rising borrowing costs – thanks to the size of our debt rising….thanks to the bank bailout.

8. Since the mid-1970s, the increasing cost of EU membership. All up this totalled £118 billion in 2010, and yet we have a trade gap with our European partners.

We aren’t exactly helping ourselves

Fewer jobs and rising expenses might seem to be the story of the last few months, but the truth is it’s been the recurrent theme of the last five decades. However, the pace of change in an entirely negative direction started  accelerating after 1980, and coincided with the mass hypnotic delusion otherwise known as Thatcherite free-market Josephism.

Under this entirely crazy view of economics, social care is eroded and education neglected. Infrastructure is sold off into private hands, or contracted out. Shareholders and machines come before citizens. And inequities of wealth soar…although the very poor are technically wealthier than they were before – which must be a great comfort to them, given that 0 x 2 equals 0.

By 2009, everyone and everything were being supported economically by about a sixth of the population….and as the real economy shrank and a world recession loomed, it seemed obvious that the only recourse was to:

reduce dependence rapidly upon financial services,

stop all immigration immediately,

get out of the EU,

force the banks to lend to smaller businesses,

stop paying bankers preposterous bonuses,

stop selling land to community-destroying multiple supermarkets,

invest more in agriculture and increase the acreage used for it.

But the Government is doing none of these things. And that’s the first point of significance to take out of today’s ONS unemployment statistics.

The second point is much bigger: given the physical living space we have, the role afforded to government, the potential cost and doubtful returns of risk banking, and the falling Pound, only a manufacturing and agriculture led drive to pay our way out of this stands even the ghost of a chance of success.

If we reduced the role of government, of course, things would get a lot easier. But the Coalition isn’t doing that either (at least, not with any success) and if they tried to, the Mandarins would have them shot by MI6.

Anyone with the energy and ambition to do something about this thus has a colossal job on their hands; and bear in mind, this analysis only looks at the economic and demographic problems. To achieve the goal of national regeneration, events have to re-educate a massive number of hopelessly dependent people, and a whole new political Establishment has to emerge from somewhere. This new elite would then have to devolve power, break up the banks, reform the economy and pay off the debt.

If one is realistic about this, nothing short of a massive econo-fiscal crash – which winds up questioning every polemic and most of our values – is going to create the environment in which it can happen. I remain firmly convinced that Crash 2 is coming, chiefly because there is not the urgency, intelligence or motivation to stop it: the financial and governmental oligarchies are now so out of touch, intertwined and mutually dependent, they have become an ancien regime which sees the rest of us as irritating sans culottes getting in the way.

It is this sort of outlook which makes me, to say the least, equivocal about the Coalition. I’d like to see them succeed, because I have a learned fear of anything that involves Year Zero. But the complacency of the Government (and the uncaring amorality of financiers) have created a highly combustible catalyst. It’s hard to see a way in which it can be rendered safe.

Apologies for the length of the post today. If the problem was simpler, I’d have made it much shorter.

61 thoughts on “UNEMPLOYMENT: Look at the back numbers to see the real problem we face.

  1. “2. An ageing population requiring State pensions, and living longer to require care home help.”

    Do we really have an ageing population ?
    We are forever being told that we have the highest Teenage Pregnancies in Europe.
    BUT..
    WE have murdered through Abortions over 7MILLION unborn Indigenous British replacements.
    But now we have Maternity Wards saying they cannot cope as Immigrants are having a massive “Baby Boom”
    So, the Natural Indigenous replacements are being Murdered before they are born and being replaced by the Immigrant community.
    We have 30 years left at most before we are truly a MINORITY in our own country with Immigrants holding Political office over us. Which under the 1689 BILL OF RIGHTS is UNLAWFUL.
    And when we are truly second class citizens how do you think the we will be treated?
    ISLAM – Don’t fight the British – OUT BREED THEM.
    And of course with “POSITIVE DISCRIMINATION” the Indigenous worker are the bottom of the list in the Jobs market.

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  2. Well, the last government spent 7 years persecuting me in the secret family courts. It cost at least £100,000 to make my life a living hell for 7 years. There are (or were, I think Ken Clark is getting rid of some of them, hooray) secret family courts in virtually every town in the UK, there are a lot of people going through those secret courts, generati9ng a lot of loot for the criuminal gangsters who run them. I do not know of a single family or child whose life has neen enhanced by these secret torture chambers, but I do know that the corrupt creature who was my secret family court double dealing corrupt solicitor had a lovely big house, car and enjoyed his holidays in the USA, all funded by Muggins the UK Taxpayers.

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  3. “If one is realistic about this, nothing short of a massive econo-fiscal crash – which winds up questioning every polemic and most of our values – is going to create the environment in which it can happen.”

    I agree…and so did Will Hutton back in 198x.
    The only unknowns are a) how bad will it have to get and b) what will the trigger be. I don’t know the answers.

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  4. In an age of booming populations and predicted worldwide food shortages the vandalism perpetrated by successive British governments on our agriculture sector should be a national scandal. Every single EU directive relating to food and agriculture is examined by civil service mandarins and they decide on the most draconian interpretation of this directive possible. A process known as gold plating. The Government then employ a whole army of civil servant gestapo type inspectors to enforce these rules to the letter, (the same happens to our fishing industry). Combined with gross mismanagement of every major issue to affect agriculture such as BSE, Foot and Mouth, TB etc the effects are devastating.
    For example in the early 1980’s I would go with my father to livestock markets in the South West where upto 800 store cattle alone would pass through a small town market in a day. Now nearly every one of these markets have shut and even large cattle markets such as Exeter only get a few hundred.
    The venom and ignorance with which our urban M.P’s have treated agriculture once one of our most successful industries is shameful.
    Finally a note with regard to BSE / NVCJD. This is a scandal so enormous it deserves a full royal commission of inquiry. This cost the UK taxpayer was billions and devastated our beef industry to the extent that it never recovered. The media at the time whipped the nation into hysteria by quoting scientists (trying to make a name for themselves) that upto 100,000 people a year may succumb to a NVCJD epidemic. A cold hard look at the facts today reveals a rather different story. Firstly it has never been conclusively proven that the two are linked. Secondly deaths from this disease are tiny in the great scheme of things. Between 1990 and 2010 deaths from proven and SUSPECTED cjd of all types averaged 74 per year. To put that into perspective in 2008 alone 642 died falling down steps and stairs. The total number of proven and SUSPECTED deaths from NVCJD in the above period was just 170 ! Figures available from http://www.cjd.ed.ac.uk/figures.htm if you are interested.

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  5. A lot of interesting points here John, but perhaps another key point is that those who lobby for higher spending on all manner of welfare never, ever consider where the money is coming from. Our state is out of money, we are borrowing heavily and even after present cuts that will grow. And yet more and more demands occur. Right now Radio 5 is lobbying hard for far greater support for carers of the disabled, but not one mention is made of the tax increases inherent in that rise. Every person in care requires the total tax take from quite a few families to support them. This approach to life has prevailed for decades and our welfare bill has risen greatly. The private sector has made a fortune out of care homes (annual return of 12% built in to state costings) and huge numbers are employed in the sector.
    Where are the checks and balances in this situation? When does the state say ‘enough’ and start thinking about how every single new initiative will be financed, and start telling electors that they will be faced with very high tax bills in future if they accede to every request for ever increasing help? The BBC could help in this by not broadcasting weeping carers and heavily emotional demands and balancing the pleas with a proper explanation of the total cost that society is already bearing.

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  6. Terrific analysis as usual. As you say, only when the crisis really hits will the motivation for change be sufficiently compelling; our ‘leaders’ still cling to the orthodoxies (bought into, seemingly, by the majority of the media too) such as ‘an increase in population, and therefore immigration, is good, because that means more people undertaking economic activity’ or ‘growth in GDP is good, irrespective of what it comprises or how it’s funded’ or ‘we have to incentivise bankers because they pay a lot of tax (never mind that the banks’ revenues are essentially from sucking money out of the rest of the economy in the first place)’. The problem is that it’s just the way that human affairs work and probably always will – those in power will milk everything they can out of it – look at the escalation of CEO pay in most enterprises, hardly ever linked to performance metrics that matter (if any at all).

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  7. Spot on,John Ward.The market never lies.It is not just the UK.Look at the price of gold or the art market,assets that have no yield but keep on rising.The QE policy is based on a fallacy,the government can protect you from your insane house purchase price,and the idiot in the bank that lent you the money to revel in your life style choice blah blah..There will be a sudden downwards adjustment in 2011,the old rule of buying on an 8 percent yield, selling on 4,still applies.

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  8. Excellent post, bang on the money. To add a further dimension, many of the so called “Jobs” on offer are for charity chuggers, energy switchers or other forms of door to door sales. As I am looking for a job myself I have had to look into some of these and have been really saddened by the number of companies existing by exploiting suckers. Overall, the current situation seems to be a nightmare version of the dream someone once had of a world run by robots.

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  9. Another interesting and thought provoking post. I do not agree with you on the Thatcher era. I lived through it in a manufacturing industry and it was a golden age compared to the years that had gone before. Things started to go wrong with the attempt to join in the ERM and our expulsion in 1992 which gave us another period of growth before we got the madness of Labour.

    On the whole I agree with your conclusions. Number one should be get out of the EU (as well as 2 to 10). We need less government not more. The state has to be cut back, after all the services it does provide are inefficient and of a poor standard. You have spoken of the role of banks in investment (or the lack of it) and we have to find ways of growing manufacturing businesses again in this country.

    It would be interesting to know how much manufacturing is actually in British hands today compared to foreign ownership. In the steel making part which I know well it is practically zero with the major steel companies being Indian, Spanish or Saudi Arabian owned.The metal bashing industry has also suffered, but not to the same extent as it is more diverse but it is under-invested compared to say Germany. There are no car makers of any size that are British owned. The chemical industry is a shadow of it’s former glory.

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  10. Some smartarse always asks that. So I used to tell ’em, and then they’d say “F**kin’ Nazi!!!!!” (with that exact number of exclamation marks) so I don’t do it any more.
    But thyere is a list of Things To Do at the end of the post which would be my starting point.
    Himmler

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  11. Thank you for articulating the scope of the challenge so clearly and intelligently in your summation of our predicament.

    Your conclusion is one I have recently come to terms with, given 3Wave feedback. Total economic collapse is inevitable because the existing Political State Structure is beyond reform.

    No ONE entity can counter influence the direction of events. The size and dead weight of the old 2Wave Structure is too great and the people, en mass, too remote and disengaged from it.

    Collapse will exact much suffering, but the SHOCK WAVE will clear the ground for a new beginning, a new social awakening, a new economic reality. There will be no alternative.

    Benthamism and the age of empiricist awaits.

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  12. All very true, and a sad indictment of the mental illness sorry mentality that was, is and always shall be Labour.

    But lest we forget, 780 billion quid could’ve built a lot of care homes for decades to come.
    But we mustn’t blame the banks…after all, they did wivout deir ikkle wikkle bonuses last year and nobody said fankyoo so I WILL have one vis year I will SO.

    The banker spin machine is working overtime at the moment, by the way. How horribly ironic it is that banks are spending PR money they wouldn’t have without us….to tell us we shouldn’t mind really. Jonathan Swift would’ve had a field day: but his peers would’ve hung them all.

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  13. Brilliant comment, this.
    First off, the BSE thing: even including Iraq, this was the biggest cockup Moral Tone got away with in his 12 year stint. But the Tories and the press were asleep/pissed as usual.
    Second, no doubt you’ve been to Defra and typed in ‘securing our food supply’. Every last cockmamie word is pc environmental bollocks, and not a word anywhere about self-sufficiency – it’s all about the sustainability of frogweed and such like.
    Guess who was Environment Sec when this was drawn up? Why Mr Ed, the talking horse-nose…who else, listeners?
    Dear oh dear oh dear.

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  14. Very good one. And the taxable economy is declining as the Alternative Non Taxable Economy increases, at a time of persistent increasing spending and commitments.

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  15. There are times, John, when reading your posts that I could swear that I’m reading something by Cobbett. Splendid stuff.

    I like to refer back to my imaginary village at times like this. In this village are about a hundred souls who rub along rather well, led by a chieftain who is well-regarded and is a reliable leader of his people. Everyone has a task which is essential to the well-being of the village: there are hunters, there are farmers, a smith, a couple of leatherworkers, the women raise the children, spin wool and allow the men to think that they are in charge. The children are often given into the care of their grandparents while the parents fulfil the more immediate needs of the family. The children revere their grandparents who teach them the necessary skills with a patience that can only come with advancing years.

    The village grows and the chieftain is overworked. He takes on a couple of clerics who are paid from the overall wealth of the village. Whilst not productive, they are accepted by the villagers as being essential to the general good; and anyway, they always look so pasty and overworked… There is mention of possible hostilities from another village so fighting men are paid to protect the village. Their fees come from the overall wealth of the village. After a while, it transpires that the clerics and the soldiers need more people for overall administration. They have convinced the chieftain – who is now stricken in years – that there is also a need for additional overseers of the work performed by the villagers…

    You can see where this is heading.

    Now the village consists of about 200 souls, of whom perhaps 30 do any real productive, creative and sustainable work. There are whole families who do nothing, lie in their thatched huts (built and maintained by the few hard-working villagers) all day drinking cheap mead while their equally unproductive progeny congregate next to the latrines and leer at anyone who passes by. The few who do work have their every waking moment regulated, policed and made a general bloody misery by other villagers who rely for their sustenance on the very people they are victimising.

    The chieftain, meanwhile, sees the potential unrest and gives his fighting men more powers to control the restless villagers who by their efforts sustain the village.

    It’s a little early in the day, but I think I’m going to have a restorative….

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  16. Thanks again for another good and data filled blog – containing some substance. However any conclusions drawn are very subjective.  
     The current voque to critizise Thatcher ignores the state of the country at the time. Hindsight is wonderfull.  
     The vast industrial problems, in the 70’s and early 80’s, were caused by Union intransigence, a lack of investment and poor management.
     The production plants that I was involved with, in the 1980’s  ( both UK – now closed) were still using pre war presses. (yes, 1st war)
     As to your conclusions:
    #  Out of the pan into the fire. 
    The rubbish currently being spouted by NL, who appear to have some 45% support in the country, suggests no solution.
    #  How to you eat an elephant – In small bites.
    At least the current government is making a start – We are, after all in a pretty poor state and almost any change suggested  is generating much opposition. The BBC seems to have lost all objectivity.     

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  17. I thought it appalling that brown got away with responsibility for the Purbright leak of a non field virus strain of FM that was only used for vaccine preparation ( which is not even utilsed in the UK!)Despite requests for repair money, he denied sufficient funds to maintain the discharge pipes
    -and any way effluentt that could (and did) contain such a labile demanded stringent standards/inspection- non of which met by labour.Another enormous crippling cost to UK agriculture. God what a curse they are. The Coalition does nothing to reassure me.

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  18. That sounds exactly like our village here in Portugal. With the exception of the militia, of course, since everybody has a gun and would use it, were any robber mad enough to try to get past the guard dogs, who would savage any intruder, since they are on a ‘restricted diet’. The humans wanting most of the food.

    And anyway the Political ‘elite’ – ha, ha!- have arranged for the Policia to get engaged in hostilities with the Militia; but thankfully, in our little village, that is far away. And a lot of people have a restorative for breakfast, and several more during the day, until they are so drunk, that by nightfall they collapse into a stupor after a hard day’s work on the merciless land.

    Great fun if you are one of the idle ones. I believe it has been this way ever since the Revolution in 1974. But I could be wrong on that point. I think it may have always been that way, in our little village here in Portugal

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  19. A previous commenter: “Every person in care requires the total tax take from quite a few families to support them. This approach to life has prevailed for decades…”

    Sounds about a whisker away from implying it’s time the disabled were just euthanised. Of course you’d have to factor in the costs of identifying the individuals and policing and administering such a scheme, have you carried out the full analysis yet?

    From the article, much of which I found very interesting and insightful:

    “8.7 million do nothing”

    Right….

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  20. Long may everyone have the right to do nothing. The alternative is bound to include slavery or serfdom of some kind.

    Of course doing nothing should include not being a burden on the state. Defining “burden on the state” is not that easy unless someone has never ever worked to pay taxes. Does that mean all children are a burden on the state?

    Are companies that require invisible staff subsidies (personal tax credits etc.) also a burden on the state?

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  21. Put up with it is bad karma and leve is the frying pan/fire thing (or in the case of Australia, lake).

    So it’s fight. But only on a three -day week.

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  22. If you made that ‘nothing useful’ it would include most of the banking community, and all the lawyers.

    Euthanasia is a slippery slope in a culture as damaged as ours….it would be abused very quickly. So I wouldn’t advocate applying THAT to bankers.
    My thought was to use them as target practice for the squaddies they shat on over the last five years. With the MoD mandarins thrown in for good measure.

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  23. Multinationals who hire squads of tax accountants to avoid paying their fair whack are a burden on the State, yes.
    Perhaps we should abolish tax accountancy and fire 6000 mandarins.
    There’s only one way to settle this (as Harry Hill would say)…..

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  24. John

    You write, “..and a capitalist form which isn’t generating enough new businesses.” Bingo!

    The size of the private wealth creating sector is equal to the fat corrupt self-serving useless public sector riding on its back. Bigger Govt sucking wealth from the private economy equals smaller weaker drained private sector.

    Every political decision has unforeseen consequences. The Minimum wage for example doesn’t ‘lift’ the poor it cuts them out and keeps them in State poverty driving cheap valuable jobs abroad (as does every extra regulation burdened on business).

    The problem with the job creating British economy is ENTIRELY the FAULT of the job destroying Westminster Lib-Lab-Con Socialist Boys Club

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  25. Excel

    Do you think the disabled have less brains than an ant?

    No, so how do you imagine an ant gets by quite happily without the need of a social security net???

    Pensioners demand their bus subsidies. How do the lower order IQ animals ever get around without Govt subsidies.

    Here’s a clue to the answer? They THINK about it, they think for themselves, they sort their OWMN lives out (no Govt or other peoples money required).

    The idea people can’t manage their own lives without State intervention is precisely the sort of liberal ignorant idea that’s turned the social and welfare State into a mountainous cancerous bankrupt pile of shite.

    The Westminster Lib-Lab-Con Socialist Boys Club have got exactly what THEY deserve. THEY built this giant vampire squid sucking money out of productive peoples pockets to siphon into wasters and dependants pockets.

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  26. Good blog John. Don’t apologise for the long ones – they are interesting and enlightening to those of us that appreciate your insights – often less able to put these thoughts into words !

    For what its worth I think the current ‘system’ is going to get shafted rather deeply and rather hard in the not so distant future.

    The cuts – that aren’t ! The VAT increase to pay for the Irish bank bailout ! And massive unemployment leading to people losing everything. Insufficiency in welfare to support those who have paid for it is just around the corner. Increasing food prices as we try to inflate our way out of debt – causing everyone (except the insanely wealthy) to have to fight for every mouthful of food. Hugely increasing energy costs (energy drives industry) causing no prosperity in the workplace or ridiculously increased costs. Imposed wage restraints (fear of unemployment being the biggest driver) so collapsing earnings making the other increases untenable for even the working population.

    I predict a riot ! Just as well the reduced military is oversees as it will likely save lives on the home front when they are ordered to the streets – unless the rumour of EU forces based in the UK is true. In which case Tiananmen UK may be the order of the day ! Like I say – I predict a riot !

    For riot read revolt against the obvious targets – the ‘new aristocracy’ maybe ? Madam may once again play her grisly tune but the ‘elite’ cannot (or do not seem to) recognise the music yet. I just hope that the first 20 thousand or so ‘leaders’ that appear get the chopping treatment quick smart as anyone who wants to be in charge after the storm is inevitably going to be least suited to be in that position.

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  27. As I wrote earlier, Are companies that require invisible staff subsidies (personal tax credits etc.) also a burden on the state?

    If the minimum wage was abolished (I see pros and cons with this) there may well be far more employment opportunities, if you can call very low wages an opportunity for anyone other than the employer.

    If the state do not raise the wage (subsidise) by means of tax credits and housing benefits then we will be back to the days of families living in a single room with shared cooking and sanitary arrangements. As this is currently seen as overcrowding the law would have to change to allow this. Not good.

    We would then have achieved the real aim of globalisation. Everyone (nearly) is a near subsistence peasant / worker equal to all others around the world.

    So how do those cheap valuable jobs really help our economy and our poor and soon to be poor?

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  28. “ridiculously increased costs”.

    I don’t think the costs need to increase ridiculously. Such a massive proportion of the country live hand to mouth, not much is needed to tip people’s finances into difficulty.

    However, the most concerning issue is that nothing much has even started yet. We are still borrowing as a nation at completely unsustainable levels. Personal borrowing is still crazy.

    However, I still have not seen any news about massive cut backs in Sky subscriptions. Surely this would be an obvious indicator of pain starting to be felt in “middle England”.

    Also, I haven’t yet noticed the motorway full of travellers at 55-60mph, knowing they get between 10-15% extra fuel economy.

    For those of us still needing to make a living by selling stuff to those with spare cash, it is challenging times.

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  29. Just a quickie which others may be able to enlighten me about !

    How does the banking bailout compare to the subsidisation of British Nationalised industries in the past ? I cannot get my head around which was most beneficial (yeah I know) to the British economy.

    Its an issue which I cannot get my head around very clearly. If Banks were too big to fail – how come these industries were allowed to fail ? Surely in their day they would have been considered in the same vein – yet they have been allowed to move abroad (through foreign ownership) taking the jobs out of the UK. Now I know that ‘the global economy’ is only good for the ‘top boys’ and is shite for the lower minions (private sector) in society. But I cannot see how protecting the UKs job market is not a good thing alongside making foreign investment worthwhile to gain a financial input to our huge domestic market.

    Would I be correct that a tax on ‘produced’ imports against a lower tax (or tax breaks maybe) on ‘produced’ goods produced in the UK would create more jobs in the UK and therefore generate growth – or am I missing something. Of course low employment taxes ERSNI would be required too. How about hugely taxing people who employ foreign nationals as against home grown workers.

    Don’t get me wrong – I object to tax in general but realise its necessity for given social requirements. But surely the system needs to work for the UK and its home businesses and not for the ‘Global’ economy.

    I know I’m being a tad simplistic – but having things explained clearly helps me establish my position. And I cannot think of a better site for getting these things explained clearly.

    Thanks – sorry ! Wasn’t a quickie after all !

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  30. I was down the pub last night (and ironically maybe) there was much talk about how people could not afford their energy bills – yet I think ‘we ain’t seen nothin’ yet ! Most people talking about how they hadn’t had a pay rise for a couple of years – and been told there was an (official) pay freeze for the foreseeable !

    A particularly glum driving instructor I know – was pleased that he had got a new signup (after xmas is usually his biggest new signing time).

    All this I think shows the direction things are going. The only thing is that as you say – people still have credit open to them – but it will dry up fairly quickly as things get harder !

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  31. Assuming we are thinking of the same person….(who else) – off point in a way but worthwhile to add…
    —————
    It seems to be thought that this is a mere question as to the greater or less fitness of the one Member or the other, to fill the office of Speaker of this House; but, in my opinion, there is another point which in a still greater degree requires our most serious consideration: I mean how the people will think on the subject, what regard they will consider has been paid to them in our choice, and what opinion they will form of us from our first act—the appointment of a Speaker. It has been very much the fashion to talk of the fitness of the Member proposed in other respects—of his experience, and all that; but in this case we ought to look among ourselves for one who may deserve to be considered by the people as an epitome of us. When we put a Speaker once in that Chair, we tell the people, in effect, to “look on that man, he is the chief of us.” He ought, in fact, to be the best of us all; he will be considered the man whom we have chosen as the ablest and wisest among us; the most public spirited; and, in short, as I said before, the epitome of the House.

    Mr William Cobbett
    1763 – 1835
    ——————–

    Says it all really concerning our current parliament with shister Burkow in the honoured position !

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  32. Had a bit of a debate about this last night when people were discussing bankers bonus payments. My argument that they deserve them goes thus :

    They created huge wealth for their shareholders employee’s (and clients) by generating (and therefore creating for the recipients) money that did not exist – so they performed incredibly well. When the scheme collapsed – they created incredible wealth for the same group by convincing the government to give them existing money to hand around to the same groups – (if they are too big to collapse) therefore a never ending tit of money to share out between them – thus they deserve their bonus’ ! Where is the argument ?

    Now the solution as per ‘whatisname’ who collapsed Bearings – should have been short rope long drop for every last one of them (or nearly). Instead they are allowed to carry on in glorious technicolour !

    Ahh – Nick Leason was the name I was grappling with !

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  33. Please tell again – only found your site a couple of months before it was ‘nominal closing down’ so have not come across these ideas and I’m sure I would love them !

    I promise not to call you a nazi (or use excalamation points more than one in number at a time).

    Failing this – a link or 2 to previous items ?

    Pretty please !

    Like

  34. Comparing the failure of large nationalised industries with the banking industry is not really possible on a number of fronts.

    When the former go belly up (as most of ours did due to commie/socialist trade unions and socialist Labour governments) the loss is of jobs and the GDP from the shoddy goods they produced. But if the banking industry was allowed to go belly up, it would affect every business/personal banking transaction within hours/days. IOW the whole economy would likely grind to a halt immediately because the banking industry is woven into the very fabric of our economy.

    The banking industry’s crucial importance to the economy is why any government in office has a duty to conduct effective oversight of it to ensure it remains healthy and does not place the economy at risk. As we know, Gordon Brown and his army of socialist whacknuts completely failed in this duty
    but he was allowed to get away with blaming the banks themselves and the American sub-prime issue.

    Like

  35. Always respect the chair! (Except perhaps when gross misconduct is in the air).

    Whingeing about the Speaker and trying to remove him, attempts to deny elections (only every five years like it or not), you may only win an election with over 50% of the electorate (good enough for unions then should apply to all elections) all sounds a bit National Socialist to me.

    Like

  36. My personal view is that objecting to tax per se is lunatic. I object to INCOME tax. I object to it because it’s completely arbitrary, and there are 50,000 better ways of making people pay to be part of the ant hill, sorry, society.

    Like

  37. Good stuff this BT, but if the banking system cleaned up its own mess, individual banks could indeed go belly up.
    The banks scream that this isn’t affordable, but we should remember the different types of wealth in the world: notional, GDP turnover, corporate capital and personal wealth.
    You may or may not be surpised to know that the last is by far the biggest amount, and a frightening % of it is held in banking families like the Rothschilds. The second biggest is the corporate capital of financial concerns.
    All of which, I think, sort of speaks for itself.

    Like

  38. A free society, as it has existed and operated perfectly well without Govt for oh, 2 million years.

    If you want to see how a free society works, look at a flock of birds, schole of fish or a herd of bisson. There’s zero Govt, zero law and zero beauracracy. Humans like animals operate by natural socially accepted standards and instinct of what is and is not acceptable.

    Nothing Govt, its law, legislators, police and all the other expensive twatishness has changed that one iota.

    Check the history books, check the farce on drugs, check any social activity. It runs on natural law perfectly well without the quack handed authoritarian garbage Govt throws into the ring.

    For a bright guy John you sure ignore a lot of patent evidence in front of your nose. I think its the baggage you’re carrying in your mind about needing a Govt. That’s the most liberal and dangerous idea you need to address of the beliefs you hold.

    Please think about it, one day the penny will drop and everything will fall into place. Society is what it is and cannot be changed by intervention. Especially by that criminal Ponzi scheme foisted on society by the scum (bankers and monopolists) called Gov’t.

    Society like the weather, like animals, like free markets are a self regulating mechanism. Think about it

    Like

  39. Stigsblade Thus it was always so . My advice is to risk the ‘greener on the other side’ plan. Only total meltdown is ever going to restore some semblance of reality to this poor misled country. I ‘escaped’ back in ’67 as Wilson was developing the ‘socialists dream’. 50 years on and another socialist nightmare has unfolded .Just who is to blame for this continued decline (morally and financially) is hard to define. My own ideas for what they are worth can be encapsulated in a few sentances. The British willingness to accept shoddy goods and workmanship alonside very poor politicians taking advantage of an outdated poorly regulated sham of a parliament which has existed mainly for the benefit of its members with scant attention to the people who elected them. Also the high level of (government)secrecy that has pervaided and been allowed to fester to the detrement of the people. It’s almost as if the British have some kind of ‘death wish’that we have accepted the trashing of our society and culture. Could this be so . Why have we allowed this to happen . The insidious bile of ‘lefty ‘speak seems to have paralised the nation. QWe know what is wrong and we ‘know’ what needs to be done but ‘who’ is going to lead us to the ‘promised land’?

    Like

  40. Sorry Velo, that’s cloud cuckoo.
    I appreciate your input, but you’ve told me about my ignorance enough times now, let’s just agree to disagree.

    Like

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