Was that Laurel and Hardy at PMQ’s?

It is hardly a joking matter that the occupants of nos.10 and 11 Downing Street seemed to resemble the eccentric American comedy act of the 1930s during the delivery of the autumn statement. Stan Laurel, who was, of course, an Englishman died in 1965 and might have been mistaken for our fumbling PM. Heavyweight Oliver Hardy, who lived until 1957, was the master of slapstick comedy, a talent now acquired by George Osborne.

David Cameron, in 2010, justified his betrayal of the Conservative Party, the shirking of minority government and  the coalition with the Liberal Democrats (how can a party that lost five seats in the General Election now have eighteen ministerial positions? You might want to read my book “Calm Down Dave” for a more complete view.) by citing the economic position and the national debt. The mantra was “it’s all Gordon Brown’s fault”.

So what have the pair achieved in the two years during which Ed Miliband has left them unchallenged?

  1. The economy in 2016 will be 13% smaller that the Treasury thought three years ago.
  2. Debt is simply not reducing. The objective of eradicating it by 2015 is now cloud cuckoo land.
  3. Real household incomes will fall by 2.3% in 2011.
  4. If the outlook for borrowing deteriorates further there will be a need to introduce further austerity measures if Britain is to retain its AAA rating.

It could not be worse. So what has the decision to form a coalition government achieved? Days and days of irrelevant horse trading and nothing else.

The measures suggested by the Chancellor have mostly already been either forgotten or dismissed. In next week’s blog I’ll analyse the proposals for enterprising businesses. They are not worth the paper they are written on.

All the attention at the moment is on the Eurozone crisis. This allows the Downing Street string pullers to take the public attention away from the comedy act in their road.


The main factor why the economy has stalled is because middle England has run out of money. Real incomes will fall (as above) by £2,500 per family this year. The additional reason is that householders are repaying their mortgages faster than ever. Since 2008 the mortgage debt has reduced every quarter and in the second of this year by a record £9.1bn. That is why the tills in Marks and Spencer are not ringing.

1 comment for “Was that Laurel and Hardy at PMQ’s?

  1. Richard Hoblyn
    7 December, 2011 at 09:52

    I think I worked out at the time of the Coalition formation that on a ‘proportional representative’ basis the LibDems should have no more than 5-6 places at the Cabinet table. The 18 Ministerial posts delivered to Clegg just shows how weak a leader DaveCam really is. It’s over for the Conservatives as the party has failed to deliver on an EU Referendum and when it does come the question(s) will be loaded in favour of the Pro-EU brigade who consistently speak of lost trade with the Eurozone forgetting that the UK dealt with the old Europe in exactly the same way as it does now except with swathes of less legislation and regulation. The Coalition days are numbered too as the countdown to Euro implosion begins.

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