Wednesday, 28 October 2009

'My Farts Smell Better Than Yours'

I think most people would agree a fart is a fart. I suppose there are those connoisseurs of the subject who would claim that some are more powerful, deadly or obnoxious than others but in reality they are pretty unpleasant generally.

Why do I mention this odd subject? Well, I have just listened to the weekly puerile urinating contest which is euphemistically called Prime Minister's Question Time. It has been a dodgy old week for the PM as the news that the size of our economy has been over taken by Italy's was not ideal but the fact that we have now experienced 6 quarters of successive contraction of our economy denoting the most prolonged recession since records began has taken some precedence. It gets worse for the PM as he has been somehow persuaded to go lobbying in Europe to have Tony Blair elected as the first permanent President of the EU. It could not have got much worse when David Cameron fired a few salvos at him about the economy.

Perhaps the PM has led a sheltered life but he grimly clung onto the notion that despite the obviously dire economical position the country finds itself in, when he has repeatedly claimed that Britain had a superb economy and so would not be badly affected by any recession, he actually argued well at least it was better than if the country had followed the Conservative policies. To round that illogical argument off, he claimed that unemployment was ONLY 2.5m and that he had proved that for every decision he had made on the economy he was right and the conservatives were wrong.

It's the kind of daft thinking that comes from desperate people but sometimes you have to believe your own bull. He basically argued that he had 'farted' but at least it wasn't as smelly as Cameron's.

The fact remains that prior to the whole crash the bill for those claiming benefits for being unable to work was at an all time high while unemployment is now at a higher percentage than when Labour took office. Finally, despite all reassurances to the contrary, our recession continues to dog us despite the enormous amount of 'Stimulus' we had given it and we have not even tried to get rid of wastage on the annual public sector budget, let alone start prioritising spends.

It could be described as monumental hubris as opposed to sound financial acumen, yet that has been the path followed in order to get us into this mess so we should not be surprised that it is the same methodology used to try to rescue us.

The one moment of 'victory' for the PM was the announcement that the EC will not stand in the way of the plan to split up Northern Rock so that the profitable bit can be sold off while the smelly bit with all the dodgy debts in is retained and underwritten by the taxpayer. In doing so, the PM claimed this had saved 3,000 jobs by nationalising the bank and now the public could get some of its money back while underwriting the toxic debts of the 'bad bank' left behind.

For those of us with an iota of intelligence, we will have noticed that the first prospective bidder is none other than Virgin who actually made an offer for the bank when it hit the crisis. At that point, the Government argued that the deal did not inject enough capital in and so rejected it for nationalisation instead. A while down the line, Virgin will bid for the profitable bit and not have to provide any capital for the smelly part. It may be argued that the same deal could have been done at the onset of all this and the same number of jobs been saved as the public would have had to have underwritten the whole thing then and now. So we have paid £90,000 per month for Sandler's fees and much more for the army of consultants used just to get back to the same basic position. Some 'victory'.

It about sums up the whole economic policy of this Government - a whole load of knee jerk reactions costing £1.4 trillion which has not got us anywhere. The whole process of rescue has been one colossal 'fart'. But at least it smelt better than the Conservative's fart, had they indeed been in a position to exercise their muscles.

Small comfort as we view the potential cost of the economic mess we are in.

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