Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Woe, Woe and Thrice Woe

According to statistics released yesterday the UK is now officially out of the recession. Our economy grew by 0.1% in the last quarter, and given that the error could be as much as 0.5% either way, I’d say the pundits are being as premature as a 6 month baby.

How come it takes two quarters of shrinkage (I hate the term negative growth) to be classified as being in recession and only one of growth for the economy to be said to be out of a recession? It's a bit like saying two steps back and one forward results in an overall forward movement.

I dare say that, like me, the vast majority of you reading this have been totally unaffected by the recession. It was a non-event. You may have cut back on your spending as a knee-jerk reaction, but you probably didn’t really need to – thereby contributing to the depth of said recession and retail businesses going bust.

If you have a mortgage then you’ve benefitted from the lowest interest rates since the Jews forbade usury; if you have savings then you most certainly haven’t benefited - but at least you’re not in deep debt by virtue of having a nest egg.

If you took advantage of the car scrappage scheme then you probably had to borrow money to buy your new car – and contributed to the nation getting even deeper into debt, a key contributor to this problem in the first place.

Some, if not most of you, had to forgo your annual inflationary pay rise last year – but seeing as inflation was negative you lost nothing and may have in fact gained slightly.

A very small percentage of you may have lost your jobs, and it is those people who will have been affected – and deeply.

Have your taxes gone up? Have interest rates gone up horrendously? The number of unemployed is actually smaller than during the last round of mass unemployment. All in all it hasn’t been too bad – yet.

Listen to the comments from the hoi polloi in the press and the BBC news website and you’d think the recession – which was world-wide phenomenon – was solely due to Gordon Brown’s policies. He may be an important and influential man, but even his policies cannot alone cause US banks to fail, and it was in the US that the house of cards began to cascade due to the sub-prime mortgage fiasco.

Some people are totally ignorant of fact and allowing them to vote is like giving a stick of dynamite to a baby. Ask them precisely how Gordon Brown’s policies caused the recession and they’d be stumped, as they’re merely trotting out unfounded pub dogma and haven’t really thought about what they would (or could) have done differently without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

Yes, tighter regulation of the banks would have been a good idea, but ask yourself who deregulated everything in sight initially? It certainly wasn’t Labour. Also, when things are going well and the economy is booming it is a tad illogical to put the brakes on with no good reason – and the reasons to do that don’t become apparent till the wheels fall off due to circumstances beyond your control.

If the UK has suffered more than our European counterparts it’s because we courted the money men and attracted them to London. When we did so, there were no Cassandra-like cries from anyone that this was a particularly bad idea on par with invading the Sudetenland or giving women the vote.

The Equalities Commission has reached the devastating conclusion that the gap between poor and rich is wider than ever. It doesn’t take an A* maths GCSE student to work out that if everyone gets percentage pay rises then the gap is bound to widen with time. Actually, an A* maths GCSE student probably wouldn’t realise that as I don't think percentages are covered till university these days.

I wish someone could explain to me what's intrinsically bad about having rich people. Providing their money is circulating through the economy and creating jobs, then what's the problem? What's important is that the poor are able to sustain themselves, not how much the rich earn. Concerning yourself with what the rich earn is called envy. Anyway, doesn't the bible say that the poor are blessed in some way - along with the cheesemakers?


  1. Concerning yourself with what the rich earn is called envy.

    I presume this implies another variety of Green Party - green with envy?! LOL :)

  2. The only sign of the recession I personally saw was that the local authority decide not to splash out on sweeties to throw to the children during last year's Carnival children's day parade...

  3. I will concede several of your points, but where I am sitting the 'recession' has hit me pretty damn hard with the tailspin that the GBP is in against the Euro!

    Links: I think I've discovered an anomaly in your CSS properties that manages to 'happily' conflict with the Feedjit panel. Mainly because your page background is black and the Feedjit panel is white.

    If you aren't happy tinkering with your template and want an 'assist' to ameliorate the damage, email me direct.

  4. Fletch: and who is to blame for that? Brown for not joining the Euro, or you for decamping to Portugal?

  5. Ah! The the good old Blame-Game (as Maxwell Smart would say).

    My defection to Portugal was not a financially based decision. Not joining the Euro is something else. I think there are as many reasons 'for' as 'against', and GB still hasn't managed to meet his self-imposed tests for that.

    Interesting you should mention William Connor. Not many of us left who remember him with affection. Like you, I wonder what his siren-cry would have been. Not complimentary I suspect!

  6. Fletch: I meant the original Cassandsa.

  7. Hmmmmm ...

    I suspect they wouldn't have listened in any case - whether it was yours or mine ...