When Tory spin runs out of span /Who will then be our main man?
In between trying to do a weekend shop, and working out why everything from the wiring via the immersion heater to the log fire doesn’t work properly in the barn conversion, I spent yesterday catching up on events both micro and macro in the country of my birth.
At a macro level, it seems that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party won the Oldham by-election with an increased share of the vote – to a level as high as anything Michael Meacher ever achieved. But Labour detractors said this was the very least Corbyn “needs to do to remain safe in the job”. Er, this despite him having gained a sweeping First Round victory in the leadership contest with 60% of the votes cast – nearly four times as many as his nearest challenger. My oh my, what high standards the Labour Boss Class sets when the People elect someone not to their liking.
As for UKip, well….what can one say? They failed yet again to persuade absent Tories to vote for them, and enjoyed almost exactly the same rise in the share of vote as Labour. This despite a very large immigrant population in Oldham….which Nigel Farage is accusing of having ‘bent’ the vote. Even had they bent 100% of the postal votes (a feat even I think unlikely) UKip would still have lost. The fact is, the Party continues to underachieve under Hairgel’s leadership – this despite the EC having tried everything in their power over the last week to hand the Kippers thousands of votes.
But while Corbyn defies the dire predictions of the very Labour metrojerks who handed the Tories another five years in power, the other C word Cameron continues on his endlessly deviating mission to persuade the electorate that down is left and upright is centre. Blairite Labour’s response to this is to keep handing him permission to do it, while waiting for its chance to show that it could do it even more effectively if required.
So moving to the micro level now, what exactly is this ‘it’ I’m talking about? I mean, is the Labour Establishment really damaging the Party’s credibility that much? My predictable answer is ‘yes, of course it is’. Those who are ‘aspiring’ or ‘through the tape’, ‘comfortable’ or just plain rich really do not get (or choose not to see) the degree to which UK government is now turning to theft from the weak on a grand scale. The fact that the ‘progressives’ (rebranded Blairites) see this as not something they can do anything about suggests that they, not the Corbynistas, are in the wrong Party. The Highgate Hoorays are an alien species to the Oldham electorate; at least they get what Corbyn’s on about – even if (like me) they don’t buy into his Internatonale/Red Flag flying credentials.
While Rickaay and Byancoh were bribed by the Thatcher administrations to accept privatisation and demutualisation, at least the Mad Handbag gave them instant share profits and bonuses to seal the deal. Now there’s nothing left to screw up with full-frontal greed – and the wheels are coming off Friedman’s academic applecart – Camerlot is coming after those who did worst of all during the Neolib Putsch….and who have the least ability to resist, as a result of poverty, lousy public transport – and motivation levels decimated by years of pauperisation and denigration at the hands of anti-welfare politicians and the media.
The fact that they’re not only doing this but accelerating the process gives away the real situation Britain is in. Hidden for the time being behind the acrid smoke of Osborne budget lies, risible international comparisons and Cameron’s cherry-picked statistics, the Truth is seeping out via Government actions. Or rather, it would be if half the population wasn’t asleep, and the other half Alright Jack.
When the female pension age was raised to 66, Osborne said the changes wouldn’t come into effect until 2020. They’re here now, and it’s still 2015. This act alone reflects the terrifying conclusions of the Centre for Fiscal Studies (itself co-founded by the Blessed Margarine) and those UK wealth managers with whom I stay in touch – viz, Osborne had his deficit sums wrong, underestimated the bite on growth, failed to pump action into real UK manufacturing expansion, bet wrong on EU recovery levels – and now faces a total fiscal debt spiralling upwards at a rate perilously close to uncontrollable. Believe me, if you think things are bad for those at the lower end, they’re going to get much worse very quickly.
The last vestiges of the baby-boomers are now in their sixties. Around 750,000 women in particular – asked to put off their pension for six years – simply aren’t in a position to do so. Also, the Government has no right to ask this of them: the delaying of their access to NI payments is fraud, pure and simple.
Very soon, somebody high up in Whitehall is going to broach the issue of the parlous financial state of at least two British banks – one of whom is RBS, whose accounts are close to pure fiction, and about whose endless subs and ripoffs I’ve been writing since 2010. There is no way that the Treasury can afford to pump any more into failed banks, which is who (naturally) they’ve started calling us creditors, not customers.
The level of customer ‘cover’ haha was dropped four months ago from £85,000 to £75,000, using the surreal reason of euro weakness – as if many UK bank account holders might live in the eurozone. The Government has no fallback position at present; In the eventuality of RBS’s collapse, I understand Camerlot’s half-baked plan is for the Bank of England to print enough money to pay off qualifying depositors, and then slash the cover to something like £15,000. But bank panics don’t happen like that: at least one multi-subsidiary domino will be knocked over by the demise of RBS.
By that time, everyone west of the Urals will be printing fiat currency like mad to stave off similar collapses on their own doorsteps. The only possible outcome of that is hyperinflation. Market reactions to the decision of the ECB to give off not entirely gung-ho vibes about Ezone QE2 shows just how QE has now become every Bourse’s tranquiliser. But it also shows that the ‘slip is showing’ in the EU just as it is in Japan and China. The PBOC is borrowing to prop up the Shanghai: given the effect of austerity on ClubMed, the ECB will have to print to produce the sort of bazooka the markets pretend they’re looking for. As for Japan, it’s a basket case being turned upside down by surreal Abenomics.
Look ahead to a 2018 UK, and imagine all these cockups coming home to roost just as the folly of Syrian bombing begins to hit the UK in the shape of Jihadist atrocities.
Who, I wonder, will be ahead in the opinion polls by then – Corbyn or Cameron? Will there be an EU to leave? How many UK banks will be in the mire? How big will Britain’s trade deficit be? And perhaps most disturbing of all, will a British Emergency Powers Act finally hand all the cards to the Black Knights of Camerlot?