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October 5th, 2011


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12:17 pm - Spiv talks
It is fitting that it is during the Conservative Conference that we discover that the economy is falling apart faster than all previous estimates.

Since the current economic strategy was announced, people on the left and right have been making firm predictions, which are now testable against actual events. I think it is incontrovertible that the predictions from the right have been proved wrong, and the policies espoused by the Tories and Lib Dems are wrecking our economy. The type of cuts that have been put in place will increase costs, and harm private companies. Meanwhile income is going down. So the government deficit increases. It is all happening just as we said it would.

And now this. What is Cameron's response to the disaster as it unfolds:
The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That means households – all of us – paying off the credit card and store card bills.

That is a frighteningly ridiculous statement. It shows a complete failure of economic understanding. And in a practical sense, what does it even mean for a household? Pay off our store cards? What about mortgage debt - are we to pay that off (clearly impossible)? If not, why privilege one debt over another? And what about the current Student Loan policy which deliberately increases the level of personal debt? The statement is incoherent even at the level of the individual. As an economic statement it frightens me more than almost anything this team have ever said. It's as if your oncologist said he was going to cure your cancer by impaling a frog.

In any case the government's current rubbish growth strategy is based on the expansion of personal debt. Here is a report from April:
The OBR's projections for growth are dependent on households borrowing more in order to spend more. If people don't borrow more to spend more, the country's finances would be in even a worse state than it is.

I sometimes think younger people are unaware of how volatile the world is. It seems to them that things will more or less muddle on, and work out somehow, and that the people in charge know what they are doing. Wrong. The universe is unforgiving. I don't think it matters now if you are right wing or left wing. You have to stop this, quickly.

ETA I am obviously not the only person who was astounded. Since I posted that Cameron has rewritten his speech to remove call to 'pay off credit cards'. Someone got to him. Someone with a clue. But I have to say, when I say to hypothetical brainy people in the Government's ranks 'you have to stop this' it's not enough to edit an idiotic speech. The catastrophically poor judgment remains, and he will keep causing problems, large and small.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:gummitch
Date:October 5th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
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Oh god. He thinks that if everyone paid off their credit cards and other personal debts, they'd have more money to spend. Economy saved! Hooray!

That's... fairly jaw-dropping, actually.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 5th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
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It really is. Since I wrote it his speech has been forcibly edited by someone clever enough to spot how idiotic it made him look.
[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:October 5th, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
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And I thought I was doing my duty by the economy by going out and buying things.

PS It is possible to pay off your mortgage if, like Cameron or me, you have inherited wealth. As usual, he fails to imagine what life would be like if you haven't.

Edited at 2011-10-05 12:30 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 5th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
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I think for people from privilege there is a choice, to grow and discover the world, or to retreat into a closed world. I genuinely think he and Osborne made decisions as young men to do the latter.
[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:October 5th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
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I honestly think it's a lack of imagination. He really does see an Oxfordshire village as the model for British society.
[User Picture]
From:londonkds
Date:October 5th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
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And what about KEN CLARKE slapping down Theresa May for repeating a bogus newspaper anti-migrant story!
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:October 5th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
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It's fascinating isn't it? I don't agree with Ken Clarke on much, but he's clearly not a stupid man. I guess I interpret it one of two ways. Possibly he doesn't give a monkey's any more about his career, so he feels he can say what he likes. Or possibly he's foreseeing an almighty crash and wants to position himself outside it for career reasons.
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From:julesjones
Date:October 5th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Clarke's always been a One Nation Tory as far as I can see, and prone to living in something vaguely resembling the real world rather than a bubble -- which is why he never got to be party leader. Ever since he was put in charge of the MoJ he's been pissing off the right wing (of both the Tories and Labour) by pointing out that building bigger prisons and putting more people in them for longer doesn't actually bring down the crime rate, and it would be more cost-effective to try to help people not go straight back to a life of crime when they're released. I was pleased but not surprised to see him haddock-slap May.

I think you're right about him having decided that he's going to say what he thinks, and to hell with what the right wing thinks about it.
[User Picture]
From:tehomet
Date:October 10th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
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That Cameron quote (edited out later, or not) actually gives me the fear.

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