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.

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Brown’s Double Standards

November 16, 2008

 

George Osborne rightly points out that if Gordon Brown borrows heavily to kick start the economy we may see the ‘collapse of sterling’ and a ‘run on the pound.’ All those following the value of the pound in recent months will know that it’s value has already dropped substantially as I have mentioned here and here. In addition George Osborne justifiably accuses Brown of pursuing a scorched earth policy of leaving the economy in as much debt as possible for when the Conservatives come in power which I mentioned here.

Both of the above are not only valid criticisms but crucial in ensuring that our country’s finances and currency are not damaged beyond repair. George Osborne’s comments are what anyone would expect a Shadow Chancellor to make especially as he is likely to end up correcting these mistakes. These comments are not talking the economy down and neither will they lead to a collapse of Sterling which is happening already.

But quite bizarrely Gordon Brown instead of responding to the seriousness of the allegations made against him and responding to that charge regrets this ‘partisan talk’. I think the G20 summit and woolly talk about saving the world’s economies has detached him from reality. Only a few of weeks ago, the Labour Party produced a dossier attacking George Osborne mentioned here which was fair game but when George Osborne responds, he is accused of being partisan.

Brown realises that the charge made against him is entirely valid and reasonable but for him it is inconvenient and particuarly annoying at a time when he is trying to portray himself as the economic Prime Minister of the world. Most people will want these partisan attacks to continue to ensure Brown is held to account for his policies and to prevent him from ruining the economycompltely.


Lies, Damn Lies and Gordon Brown

November 15, 2008

Any wonder that the public regards politicians with contempt? The Chief protagonist of political lies has to be our Prime Minister himself. I am was of the view that we shouldn’t refer to the PM of our country and others who hold high office as liars – not in public at least. It isn’t very British and a it’s more than a tad disrespectful. But having heard Gordon Brown recently as he pretends to have the solution to the worlds economic woes, I find it very difficult adhering to this belief.

Recently our PM has been telling bare faced lies which he is undoubtedly aware of. Take his big foreign policy speech on 10 November 2008 and his press conference on 11 November, in which he repeats the lie that borrowing has been kept under control by his Government and is currently at 37% of GDP. This has been repeated by other Labour politicians such as the Chancellor and John McFall MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee who recently appeared on Newsnight.

Brown adds that when he took over as Chancellor in 1997 borrowing was 44% and now it is 37%. Why does he say this? To allow him the chance to say especially on the world stage that (1) he has been prudent in reducing the UK’s debt when times were good, and (2) that by borrowing to cut taxes and increase spending now, he will not be putting the country’s finances at risk as alleged by the Tories.

The truth is somewhat different. In 1997 when Brown took over at Number 11, borrowing was 43.4% as the country was moving out of a recession. This has conveniently been rounded up to 44% by Brown. According to the ONS figures borrowing in September 2008 was 43.4% and not the 37% Brown is claiming. Brown arrives at 37% by removing the debt of Northern Rock which should still leave him with a figure of 37.9% – but he deceivingly rounds this figure down as opposed to rounding it up as he does with the borrowing figure under the Tories.

Not including the Northern Rock debt is simply ridiculous as the taxpayer is responsible for this and which is confirmed by the ONS. If we add in what Brooks Newmark MP has listed in his excellent pamphlet for the CPS then the debt becomes worryingly huge.

John Major in a recent article for The Times sums up his deceit succinctly:

‘When Mr Brown claims that national debt is lower than many such countries, he is being less than candid. He knows he is excluding long-term liabilities such as £100 billion of private finance debt, our unfunded public sector pensions and the debts of Network Rail and Bradford & Bingley. Once these are taken into account, our true debt is nearly three times higher – at a shocking £76,000 for every household. The figures the Government uses to reject the charge of financial incontinence are as bogus as a fourpenny bit.’

Gordon Brown is therefore telling bare faced lies when he repeats that current debt is only 37%. If he continues to borrow in trying to get the economy out of the impending recession, he risks doing lasting damage to the country’s finances which we will all have to pay for and which will send Sterling down even lower than the 30% it has devalued recently.

Cheerfully stating on the world stage that a fiscal stimulus is required and borrowing must go up in a recession isn’t sensible or responsible for the UK economy in its current state. This course of action has come far too late to save the economy from experiencing a deep and severe recession. But as a result of his reckless borrowing and spending policies, he sees this as the only way out of the economic strait jacket he finds himself in and which gives him any chance of saving Sterling from collapsing even further.

Our PM may be enjoying himself in all this economic gloom, but his days as PM are surely numbered.