Sunday, 25 October 2009

Podcasting Our Way Out Of Recession

In the face of the heinous postal strike, our glorious leader has embraced modern technology and launched his latest piece of 'reassurance propaganda' on YouTube to show that, contrary to all indicators, the economy is behaving exactly as it should and he's on top of the situation.

Rather like the superb 'legal' promise that he and his team would halve debt by 2015, he has now pledged that Britain will have an upturn by the turn of the year. No, he was specific, he did mention 2010 for those sceptics amongst you. He got right to the point. Part of the deal was that he would reform banking and make those suddenly, vilified types embrace the kinds of values that we all share - 'hard work, responsibility, integrity and fairness'.

Of course, it does make you wonder why he tolerated such people who earned millions and did not adhere to those values beforehand, but hindsight is always 20:20, is it not? The hollow words of Lord Mandelson must chime in his ears of how Labour did not mind people making loads of money under their regime. How that has come back to haunt them all.

Another piece of late hindsight is that he will clamp down on lending sharp practice like credit card people and those who raise interest on loan repayments putting people into difficulties. He must not use a credit card himself as interest rates on such instruments have always been at least 10 times that of base rate interest, and some are multiples of that again. It is again, one of those stark moments of realisation for the poor PM where he finds out what is going on in the financial world. There is a good reason why the financial industry is almost without exception very well off and that is because they have carte blanche to do exactly as they like. It's nice of him to change this now but, to be frank, if he ever gave a damn other than saving his political neck, he would have stepped in long ago. It is not as if this is an issue that has arisen recently - it has gone on for years.

Just like the whole banking bubble which is busy re-inflating as we speak.

The final call to arms was that he was working with an international melee of leaders to ward off a Second Great Depression. I should imagine he has missed a few headlines as most other countries, including Italy, have returned to growth while Britain languishes bottom of the league table for economic dunces. He pleads that 'It would be suicidal to put recovery at risk by suddenly cutting off the funding and investment that is supporting young people, families and businesses'.

The funding and investment he talks about is pretty pathetic. While VAT is reckoned to have had a £12bn stimulus to the economy, profiling how it helps us is in real terms would be an interesting exercise. You see, even in modern monthly bills, power, fuel, insurance, food and school things are high on the agenda which are not affected by the VAT decrease. Meanwhile, consumer items are and that was the aim, to keep the High St going. It wasn't to help families and young people.

Over 1m of the unemployment number are now young people - this whole recession and crisis has affected them worse - so where is this mythical help he is giving to them? As for support to businesses, apart from copying the Continental scrappage scheme on a minor scale, he has done little beyond complex loan guarantee schemes to help business and overall business lending is down by nearly £15bn.

The vast majority of any stimulus money went into saving the very industry he now vilifies - how clever was that?

Perhaps he should have thought of that before he gave them a blank cheque to save their businesses, decrease the value of toxic debts so that they are now bargains again and allowed the banks to rekindle their feeding frenzy at the trough of easy money. Not one single, stupid bank was allowed to fail, sending the one message they all wanted to hear to them - 'If the brown stuff hits the fan, then we will get bailed out. So let's party like there's no tomorrow, we have zero liabilities'.

Perhaps, podcast rhetoric would have been unnecessary had the PM thought of all this before he handed out our hard earned cash to save those greedy bankers and gave the proceeds of all those who earned their money through, 'hard work, responsibility, integrity and fairness' to them to help them preserve their current millions and earn more millions again.

It's like Communism in reverse.
What a fitting epitaph for the biggest failure of a PM we have had, perhaps ever.

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