Am I the only one to notice that we don’t see much of George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer and author of the economic master plan?
Is it just me or, when we do see George, does he really have the expression of a rabbit confused by headlights?
According to the biographies selected by Google the comptroller of the nation’s finances has enjoyed an illustrious career as a clerk entering details of dead people into an NHS data base before failing Selfridges’s management training. His desire to become a journalist also failed. Fortunately he inherited the fortune of some wallpaper business I have never heard of and he had nothing to do with.
I can sympathise with his ambition to be a journalist without qualifications or experience, while working on his master plan. I went to college, the first time, after ‘on the job’ training as the lowest of the low, for four years. Whilst at college I was entitled, as a National Insurance contributor, to claim unemployment benefit. This was in the days of Keynesian economics and I was at risk of being offered a job. To avoid this I signed on the Dole, £4 a week, as a brain surgeon and for my qualifications I submitted that I owned my own knife. This ruse allowed me to keep myself in an unheated house while I completed my studies. It was so cold I finished the course and passed my first qualification examinations in the first six weeks of the three month crammer. Perhaps George completed the master plan in a similar time. Sadly it is about the only government policy that has not been withdrawn for review in the face of professional opposition.
This government is, roughly, the same as was in Opposition during the debacle of the past thirteen years and were outraged by the ruling Oxford graduates inventing 66 new forms of taxation. This would never happen under a Tory government they repeatedly shouted. The Tories understood business and economics. I have not noticed any of those taxes being revoked.
I know I harp on about this, but I did the research that showed the cost of employing someone, even one as poorly qualified as George Osborne, has increased almost fourfold in the past fifteen years. As a result almost as high a percentage of our adult population have no paid work as during the Winter of Discontent. That winter, incidentally, was the last of Keynesian Economics in the UK. During that fifteen year period the only real wealth generators have been the BRIC countries. Perhaps that is why George Osborne has the look of total bemusement; he hasn’t yet twigged that after a sustained period of super taxation and rising costs and the obvious 100% increase in the average salary, the population of the UK actually doesn’t, in the main, have any money. They do have a lot of debt, taken on when it was cheap and affordable.
Am I also the only one to notice that the banks, who are held to blame for the current economic mess, are acting as a cartel. Cartels are illegal under the laws of most developed countries. A few supermarkets were recently fined, arbitrarily, several tens of millions of pounds for fixing the price of milk by acting as a cartel (this money will not be paid to the farming victims of the cartel unless they operate under the name of The Exchequer). As an exercise I looked at the interest rates charged on overdrafts and small personal loans by the high street banks. How odd; they are all within one decimal point of a massive 19% APR. That is the rate on borrowings taken on at 5 or 6%, with the current Base Rate at 0.5% and LIBOR at an all time low. The interest paid to anyone silly enough to deposit money with these people is also almost identical at 3% (terms and conditions apply).
Did I not recently hear Vince and Dave bleating on about reform, ring fencing domestic banking and other such nonsense. Enforcing the anti – cartel rules would appear to be in order but it doesn’t appear to be considered politic.
I just can’t help thinking that the alternative to the current policy of removing £10Bn. from the UK economy while predicting growth is ‘I’m sure it will all work out in the end.’
We used to be described as lions led by donkeys. I think the donkeys have been replaced by rabbits. Please save energy by not using headlights.