Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Cut One's Budget Deficit

Amid a ceremony which might have been required some 300 years ago, the Queen will today effectively be the puppet to Lord Mandelson and read out what he thinks the General Election will be fought on next year.

There will be the grandstanding and total impracticality of a bill designed to curb bank bonuses which you can almost guarantee that it will not make it to law but if it does it will just cause chaos because it is so ill thought through and irrelevant. Then there is the superbly named 'Fiscal Responsibility' bill which will be a Government pledge to cut the budget deficit by half over four years.

The chances of the latter making it to law in the 70 or so business days left for the existing Parliament are virtually nil but should it actually get enshrined in law then it will probably be meaningless. By 2014, it is predicted by authorities like the IMF that Britain's borrowing will be over 90% of its GDP. The only thing that could decrease the budget deficit by half would be an incredible upswing in the UK economy so as to wipe out the requirement for further borrowing over that period - the sort of suicidal growth the country does not need or swathing cuts to public expenditure which the Government tells us it will not do.

Other than that, the whole thing is a complete con trick to make you think that the sad bunch has an iota of knowledge about what it is doing. That has been decisively been proven to be not the case in the last two years, though arguably for the last 12.

There are important things that need to be attended to between now and May of next year. Yet again, we have a missed opportunity to get to the heart of some the real problems in Britain for the sake of leading us down the vote decision making path as early as possible. The opposition are up in arms, maybe be rightly, as they don't get the same opportunity. But the howling shame will be that, despite Harriet Harman's lie the 'most' of it will be come law before the election, hardly any of it will actually get on the agenda to become law.

We now have one of the Milliband's spouting off to tell us that we will hang about in Afghanistan until the Taliban are no longer a threat, condemning our Armed Forces to an interminable new Northern Ireland - a tour of duty no one will want as it is where an unseen enemy can take potshots and hone their killing skills on you without much you can do in return. Such a vague strategy has been at the heart of the issue - what is it we want out of Afghanistan as illegal drug production is at a peak, the violence is getting worse and the democracy there - which we sponsored - is a sham amidst a corrupt regime?

The Queen's Speech is about as irrelevant as the content of it - the only important thing to note is that she and the Commons will be summoned to Mandelson's feet in the process.

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