A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is Britain going bust?

The days before casino bankingGordon Brown's government is borrowing money as if it is of little or no consequence. They borrowed another £4.3bn last month to plug the growing hole in the UK's finances. Soon the amount owed will be too much for even penal taxation to repay. The country does not want increased taxes. It does not want job losses. So politicians try to follow a kind of Tommy Cooper routine with financial magic.

Private Fraser in Dad's Army comes to mind at the moment. Are we all doomed? How is Britain ever going to repay this cash. It seems the financial experts are filing into two opposing camps. Those that think the deficit should be tackled now annd those that think not. Lord Skidelsky thinks the other side is trying to "frighten" the public over the scale of the deficit. Lord Layard is an emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics, so he should know something about bean counting. He says Alistair Darling's plan for reducing the deficit was "sensible". The Conservatives, who believe in tackling the growing national debt have "Twenty leading economists, plus business leaders, including Richard Branson, who agree with us that the failure to have a credible plan to reduce the deficit threatens to undermine the recovery and push up interest rates. We are happy to have that debate with the government."

So are we, the public, to be docile bystanders whilst these two sides have a ding-dong about whether or not it is OK to have a colossal debt or not? I have long held the belief that having any number of degrees and qualifications is no bar to those who have a propensity for deviousness or political subterfuge. Having a doctorate does not stop a person from human desires such as greed.

It could be that the truth is nearer to the fact that Britain has exported jobs to countries like India, China and Brazil. We are beholden now to banks and their whims and fancies. At one time we had merchant banks who lent judiciously to businesses. Now we have investment banks who play a kind of Las Vegas game with other peoples money. If anyone attempts to enter the casino with the slightest whiff of censure, then the banking bigwigs scream blue murder and threaten to take the wheels of fortune elsewhere.

So we have blackmailing bankers encouraged by dubious financial experts who give investors the idea that things like mothballing steel plants is a good thing to do. If things get any worse, we may get riots outside these banks. Darling has only a short time to make any sense. What we don't want are prima donna pundits squabbling over who knows best. Everyone knows that if you borrow money you either pay it back or default. For a country, either way is going to be very painful indeed.


Absolutely On The Nail Arden. The banks used to be facilitators for industry. Now they have become the tail that wags the dog, while real jobs and industries get vapourised.

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