The Effect of Brown’s Economic Stimulus

January 29, 2009

Fraser Nelson at the Spectator has produced this excellent analysis of the effects of all the economic measures announced by Gordon Brown in recent months. It’s essential reading and another indicator to show the ineffectiveness of Brown’s economic stimulus and proves that Brown has no idea what he is doing except announcing measures for the the sake of a few days publicity and in the hope of an increase in the polls.

Hat tip: Coffee House

Very Gloomy Forecast

January 28, 2009

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has today painted a very gloomy picture on the state of UK finances in the years to come with a prediction that it will take 20 years for UK debt to return to pre crisis levels and that £20 billion worth of tax rises or spending cuts will be necessary to achieve the improvement in the public finances set out in the PBR.

This forecast is in effect confirmation of this campaign video released by the Conservatives two weeks ago in that future generations will be straddled with debt left behind behind by Gordon Brown and his incompetent Government. Despite the plethora of gloomy economic news including job losses and record numbers of house repossessions, Gordon Brown refuses to acknowledge that he hasn’t ended economic boom and bust, a point put to him at today’s PMQ’s by David Cameron.

Cabinet Minutes on Iraq War

January 28, 2009

The decision by the Information Tribunal to order the Government to release minutes of Cabinet meetings in 2003 at which the invasion of Iraq and the legality of the war were discussed is a very important, welcome and significant decision. It will be interesting to discover how the legal advice relating to the legality of the Iraq war was presented and discussed and what concerns were raised regarding the bogus weapons of mass destruction argument.

I suspect that the Government will appeal this decision but its good to see the Freedom of Information Act being put to effective use for a change instead of the spurious and time wasting requests that we too often hear about.

Karen Matthews Sentenced

January 23, 2009

Karen Mathews and Michael Donovan have been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of kidnap, the false imprisonment of Shannon Matthews and perverting the course of justice. That should give them both plenty of time to reflect on their outrageously shocking behaviour , especially Karen who has left her daughter traumatised according to the Judge and in need of psychotherapy.

Brown’s Recession

January 23, 2009

The UK economy is now officially in recession after the release of growth figures this morning which show a 1.5% decline in GDP in the last quarter. This follows a drop in GDP in the previous quarter of 0.6% which means the official definition of two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth has been met.

The 1.5% fall is the largest since 1980 and shows what a perilous state the economy is now in. Gordon Brown refuses to accept that he has put an end to boom and bust but these figures make him look even more foolish when he continues to make claims that this recession is different to previous ones and that he is not to blame. The public won’t buy these feeble excuses. He was very keen to take credit for the ‘unprecedented growth’ as he put it of the UK economy during the first ten years of a Labour Government but is even keener to distance himself from the negative growth in the UK economy.  When thousands of people are losing their jobs and their homes each week, it’s embarassing for the PM of this country to give interviews to the press and media and blame the United States and anyone else he can think of at the time and completely try and absolve himself of any blame for the current economic crisis. He should have the decency to be a little honest – but I suppose if he could he wouldn’t be Gordon Brown.

Just to make matters worse, the pound is trading at $1.35 this morning which is the lowest its been for about 25 years.

Wilders Shouldn’t be Prosecuted

January 21, 2009

I am somewhat surprised to learn that Geert Wilders will be prosecuted for insulting Muslims by comparing Islam with Nazism after a ruling by the Amsterdam Appeals Court.

While Mr Wilders views are repugnant and designed deliberately to offend Muslims and incite religious hatred, I don’t agree that bringing a prosecution is in the public interest. It seems that Dutch authorities will seek to prosecute under similar provisions contained in the UK Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which at the time seemed to be designed to appease certain groups supporting the Government than being a serious attempt to deal with religious hatred.

Any Court action against Mr Wilders will give him a platform to seek more publicity, and if he is found guilty and sentenced he will claim to be a martyr for the causes of freedoms of speech and expression. And quite frankly I can’t see how anything that Mr Wilders says about Islam makes any difference to the beliefs Muslims hold. I doubt if he has the ability to divert a single Muslim away from Islam or prevent anyone interested in the religion to stay away from it – but if he wants to spend the rest of his life trying to do that, then let him carry on.

He shouldn’t be prosecuted for freedoms of expression and speech reasons as well. While inciting violence should be prosecuted, inciting religious hatred should not for the obvious reason that the threshold for prosecuting anyone under this category is too low. For example, Mr X belonging to religion Y could be prosecuted if for example he denied a fundamental belief of religion A, and Mr B, a believer and follower of religion A took offence to that comment and claimed that Mr X was inciting hatred.

The flip side to this argument is that a judge and jury are able to distinguish between hatred and criticism but surely if that is the case, are we not entering into a legal minefield where many subjective matters such as the intention of the inciter would have to be accurately determined? And if every inciter was to say that his intention wasn’t to incite hatred, are we not left with a strict liability offence which undoubtedly encroaches on freedoms of speech and expression? 

Unemployment Up Steeply

January 21, 2009

According to the Office for National Statistics:

‘The number of unemployed people increased by 131,000 over the quarter and by 290,000 over the year, to reach 1.92 million (the highest figure since the three months to September 1997).

More worryingly ‘there were 530,000 job vacancies in the three months to December 2008, down 69,000 over the previous quarter and down 153,000 over the year. This is the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2001.’

We now have uncontrolled debt, rapidly rising unemployment, sterling losing value on a daily basis, property prices down by 20% and Government introducing policies such as VAT cuts and bank bailouts that simply aren’t working. Gordon Brown has made a complete mess of the economy and his claim that the UK economy is well placed to weather the ‘global downturn’ is palpable nonsense.