Where are the ideas?
The Office of National Statistics today confirmed that UK economic growth is risible, and slowing down. At 0.2%, it doesn’t have much more slowing down to do before it becomes a slump. And we haven’t had one of those for eighty years. I think we should also bear in mind that almost none of that performance is down to what the Left has once more adopted as its witch doctor doll, The Cuts. For one thing, the cuts aren’t making any difference to the National Debt: it is still growing at an unmanageable pace. And for another, none of the Draper’s scissor-work has as yet filtered through to consumption and output: they are being cut by inflation – a devaluation of the currency by close on 25% that is putting up factory prices through more expensive imports, and the consumer’s inability to afford what is on offer at retail after mark-ups. Don’t forget also that most of us still have enough brain-matter left to realise rainy days are coming, and so we’re saving rather than spending.
Once those cuts (being opposed tooth and nail by the trade union movement) do filter through, we will of course be in a depression. A depression that will get ever more profound as the vicious screw turns on the burrowing machine of Friedmanite fiscal capitalism.
And yet despite all this, it is no good moaning at Osborne, and casting around for a Plan B. The Chancellor is right: there is no Plan B. Where the Chancellor – and most other finance ministers around the globe – are going wrong is in imagining that, at this very late stage in the repair process, we have any chance at all of returning to solvency without debt forgiveness. 3rd form maths should be enough to tell anyone that what should’ve begun around 2004 was begun only last summer….and has been eroded and undermined by civil servants and LibDems ever since. There is not a cat’s tail in Hell chance of returning to a manageable debt load – and from thence to repaying it. Too little is being produced, too few markets want our goods anyway, and far too much was spent by the last lot….or blown by the banks.
The French ‘solution’ remains the same: to spend on regardless, and wait for the inevitable debt forgiveness anyway. Last week our local village became the proud owner of an electronic sign telling everyone what’s going on here. Ours is a tiny community of 2,900 souls. This morning, the sign announced that there would be a seniors’ football practice tonight. It may seem like a smart move on their part: the creditors are not, after all, going to steal all the new road markings and signage that have appeared in such profusion here since 2009. But in reality, credit managers have clocked what’s going on – as have the Germans. The French will find themselves mistrusted in the very different future that beckons; and avoiding the pain will only make the suffering harder when it finally arrives.
The British Government is right to make the austerity effort – even if it is hopeless. But accepting the relatively generous debt forgiveness that might eventually attract, the gaping hole in Camerlot’s plans still remains the same as that of Tory economic strategy since Thatcher: no creativity in terms of marketing, diversification and self-sufficiency is being applied to the problem. With Conservative ministers, the problem as always is, they simply don’t get out enough.
The Cabinet watches an appalling traffic accident taking place in the eurozone, and continues to trot out drivel about our future being ‘inextricably linked’ to that disaster area. Is that the best they can offer? It looks on as banks spit in the face of entrepreneurial business risk, too scared to so much as mention the word regulation, when the rest of us are thinking more in terms of castration. It presides over a farming community on its uppers, when a major part of our problem is the enormous mountain of food we import…and a major part of our EU contribution involves the obscene feather-bedding of French agriculture. And above all, it fails to grasp the obvious reality of Britain’s plight: that our current economic balance and structure stands zero chance of ever employing, on a full-time basis, the citizens we have to support in this tiny island. (Disgracefully, it is backing away from immigration pledges, and bowing meekly to potty Leftist and CBI arguments about needing to import ‘trained’ labour while we have 2.4 million unemployed).
Since the latter part of the Victorian era, occupations in Britain have been wiped out one by one: domestic service, skilled tradesmen, miners, factory workers, farming, independent shopkeepers, roadsweepers, clerks, secretaries, soldiers, policemen, and a thousand other jobs: all have been sacrificed on the altar of mechanisation, multiple supermarkets, shareholder demands, DIY sheds, IT and – the worst cancer of all – the ridiculous aim that everyone must have a University degree, however useless.
Exacerbating this job shrinkage is the staggering trend towards full-time working women, nil-time working benefit cheats, and a tiny, electronically-driven banking community of some 50,000 adults driving over 60% of the economy. Who but a congenital idiot would imagine that Britain could support an adult population of a hundred times that number with an economy more suited to a ritzy suburb of Zurich?
The mantra put out by the Left – and especially by the Brownshirted autistic – was “the last thing we should become is a siege economy”. A fat lot of use he would’ve been at The Alamo. A siege economy is exactly what we need in the short term; but taking the longer view, we need a self-sufficient economy. We need radical realism applied to that goal. We desperately need politicians offering accountable leadership to help us rise to the challenge. We should demand that all those who are able-bodied do something. And we need to both stop immigration, and penalise the desire to have large families without the means to support them.
But above all, we need to stop saying “we are only a pawn”, “globalism is the inevitable future”, “without Bob Diamond the sky will fall in”, and “there is no alternative to EU membership”. It is all complete and utter bollocks. To hell with soi-disant experts, and the tiny, self-serving micro-elite. They have no imagination: they know only what is, and how to extrapolate that in a straight line towards what they mistakenly think will be the future.
They are merely the people in charge now: the three Parties, the Civil Service, the news media, the sociologists, the economists, the diplomatic service and the fiscal thinkers. They’ve been wrong over and over again throughout history. If we let them get it wrong this time, we will never recover.