“Every election is a sort of advance sale of stolen goods” H.L.Mencken
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results” Winston Churchill
Labour’s key economic thinking, as advocated by Messrs. Miliband and Balls bears a striking resemblance to the policies of France’s socialist president, Francois Hollande. The president came to power in 2012 with a programme for more regulation, increased public spending, punitive taxation and a worrying disregard of the growing budget deficit.
These policies are now widely blamed for France’s woeful growth performance, the rapid worsening of public finances, unemployment rising above 10 per cent and a serious increase in social and racial tension. “This president’s policies have been terrible for French growth” (Robin Riverton, adviser to Aeroports de Paris) and Hollande’s approval rating has sunk to 13 per cent, the lowest for any president in more than five decades.
Labour’s high public spending, high borrowing and high taxation plans coupled with the unquestioning adoption of increased regulation (from Brussels and Westminster) are virtually identical to President Hollande’s. And the consequences will be the same. The successful recovery of the UK economy will stop in its tracks, unemployment will grow rapidly, public finances will deteriorate, foreign investment will halt, talented entrepreneurs will emigrate (as happened in France) and no doubt the future economic and social agenda of the UK will then be determined by the EU and the International Monetary Fund.
Adopting the catastrophic policies inflicted on France by President Hollande and now advocated by Ed Miliband is definitely not a vote winner for common sense.
“We used to think you could spend your way out of recession and increase employment by boosting government spending. I can tell you that option no longer exists. And so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step.” Jim Callaghan – Labour Prime Minister 1976-1979
Yes, these are the words of a Labour Prime Minister but the party and a large section of the media don’t seem to rate Jim Callaghan’s words of wisdom. In fact if the recent track record of the Labour Party is taken as a benchmark, it doesn’t bode well for a future Miliband/Balls government’s impact on the British economy, living standards and mandatory austerity.
1964-1970 Harold Wilson’s Labour government – Sterling collapses, International Monetary Fund called in – pre-election promises jettisoned and emergency austerity measures inflicted on the electorate.
1974-1979 Wilson then Jim Callaghan’s Labour government – Treasury predicts black hole in public finances, International Monetary Fund called in – pre-election promises jettisoned and emergency austerity measures inflicted on the electorate.
1997-2010 Blair and Brown Labour government – after announcing “no more boom and bust”, the government went on to cripple the country’s finances and to create a record breaking budget deficit (comment from the departing Treasury Secretary after Labour lost the election – “I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left”), followed by, you guessed it, more austerity measures.
On recent form, it looks like a general election win by labour would be a vote winner for austerity.
“There’s still a long way to go. We’re borrowing £100 billion a year – and paying half that money a year in interest just to service our debts. We’ve got to make more cuts” George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The government is adamant that its intention to continue spending around £12 billion a year on foreign aid is justified. David Cameron says “to those who are sceptical, I would say it is not only a moral obligation that the better-off countries have to tackle poverty in our world … but it’s also in our interests that we build a more prosperous world”. John Howell, Tory MP for Henley reckons in a newsletter, “international development is in our national interest and is both the right thing and the smart thing to do … by investing in jobs, opportunities and peace we have moved one step closer to ending aid dependency and creating the world we strive for”.
All highly laudable but hard to reconcile with the experience to-date. Over the last fifty years, the west has “invested” well over a thousand billion dollars in Africa for example, but from various accounts the bulk of its nations are now in a worse financial state (measured in terms of GDP per capita). In fact the counter view is that far from fulfilling its objectives, “aid is more likely to subvert good government, enrich corrupt tyrants and subsidise warlords” (Civitas reporting on Jonathan Foreman’s book: Aiding and Abetting).
However, the real issue is: should the UK be borrowing £12 billion plus a year for such largesse when the country’s structural deficit is so high? Does an ever mounting national debt make us “better-off” ? As recently announced by George Osborne, further public savings in the order of £25 billion need to be achieved by 2017/2018 with the bulk of this coming from further cuts to government departments and welfare. Well here is a good starting point for making those savings. And at a time of increasing geopolitical tension with the consequent serious threat to British security, some of this money would be much better employed in bolstering the armed forces and security services.
“Those who support the increase of taxpayer-supported UK aid need to ask themselves how much of the well-being of the weakest and the most vulnerable people in the UK they are willing to sacrifice for that end.” Jonathan Foreman
The British people are amongst the most generous voluntary donors to charity in the world. Making compulsory donations from borrowed money to finance overseas projects of uncertain benefit to either the intended beneficiaries or UK interests is definitely not a vote winner.
“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself…” H.L.Mencken
Through all the fog of mainstream media bias and anti free choice/low tax propaganda, there is an outstanding beacon for common sense. It’s Daniel Hannan MEP. When commenting via blogs, public appearances, journalism and in his role as a Member of the European Parliament, he consistently articulates the views of the UK’s silent majority.
Recent postings, articles and speeches have covered a diverse range of live topics including the adverse impact of higher taxation on the cost of living, the demise of the Lib Dems, devolution and inevitably, a brilliant focus on European Union issues. His completely logical shopping list for David Cameron’s renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU is compulsive reading for anyone wanting a better future for this country.
For open-minded people seeking a common sense uplift during these days of depressing opinion polls indicating that Miliband’s wrecking crew are soon to regain power, go to Daniel Hannan – the voice of a vote winner.
“It’s easy to be fooled when you want to believe” – Ferdinand Mount
In the run up to the Scottish independence referendum there’s been a lot of talk about voters being driven by sentiment – and why not? The vast majority of people in the UK want Scotland to remain in the Union. Perhaps not enough of the general public (i.e. non-politicians) have spoken out to express their genuine belief that Scotland is a vital part of our great nation and we want it to remain as such.
The practical issues associated with separation have been well publicised although no-one seems to have focused on the timetable of specific action following a “Yes” vote. The list of matters to be addressed is massive and will directly impact us all. Just consider passports, border control, defence, public sector employment, pensions, currency, the relocation of HBoS and Royal Bank of Scotland, public debt, the BBC and a legion of other consequences arising from Scotland severing links with the rest of the UK.
The perplexing thing is that those seeking for it to leave the UK hope that Scotland can become a member of the European Union. In other words the plan is to replace Westminster (where Scotland is represented) with Brussels (where Scotland or indeed anyone else is not democratically represented).
Far better to remain part of the UK “family” and press for continuing autonomy from within – definitely a nationwide vote winner.
” I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians ” Charles de Gaulle, French President 1959 – 1969.
The need for an early referendum on Europe is now urgent. Douglas Carswell, the well respected Conservative member for Clacton has resigned his seat and now hopes to be re-elected as the UK Independence Party’s first MP in Westminster. The inevitable Tory response, “Vote Nigel [Farage] : get Ed [Miliband]”. But increasingly, people are ceasing to be fazed by this threat given the lack of tangible action by David Cameron’s government on matters of serious public concern. And firing well respected members of the cabinet such as Owen Paterson and Michael Gove has increased negative sentiment.
The priority action for any government to regain the public’s confidence as set out below is well rehearsed but the key word is action – specifically on immigration.
- Strict and effective border control – this means restricting the overall number of immigrants permitted to enter the UK annually and the immediate deportation of illegal immigrants. Appeals against deportation must be conducted from outside the UK. Many people in Britain feel that their customs, traditions and even their safety are under increasing threat – a situation recently highlighted by the appalling child abuse case in Rotherham.
- Better internal security – with the escalating threat to British citizens’ safety especially from Muslim extremists and eastern European crime rings, more effective deterrents need to be put in place coupled with appropriate emergency powers to weed out the aggressors. The police should receive all necessary support to enforce the law and not be encumbered by gratuitous accusations of racism driven by officialdom and political opportunists.
- Leave the European Union after the General Election in 2015 – there can be no competent border control and immigration quota policy until Britain exits the EU. The General Election next year represents the ideal opportunity for the British nation to decide on its future relationship with Europe and regain sovereignty.
The electorate has become disillusioned with the main political parties with many finding it hard to differentiate between David Cameron, Ed Milband and Nick Clegg. The old tribal differences which determined party support are no longer clear cut and people are much more concerned about the massive demographic change which the country is currently experiencing – hence the interest in UKIP.
The party which sets down concrete proposals for effective border control, better security for British citizens and makes EU exit a manifesto pledge will definitely be THE vote winner.
“Sir – We are often told by Europhiles that the reason Britain must stay in the European Union is that, if we left, we would have no influence; the naming of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission shows we have none anyway. We might just as well leave at the earliest opportunity and pocket the £50 million-plus-per-day it costs us to be ignored.” Ian Goddard, Letters to the Daily Telegraph Editor, June 2014.
After Junker’s appointment as the new president of the EU, Ed Miliband said David Cameron had suffered a “humiliation” – a word of which he seems to have had no comprehension when in government. So, the Brussels circus has chosen a new ringmaster. None of the main performers wanted him but allegedly, the main German press (with whom Juncker has co-operated in the recent past) decided he was the man for the job, so common sense didn’t prevail. Bad news for the countries in the southern Eurozone – good news for the bars of Brussels, according to some reports.
Also, good news for Britain. Apparently, there’s an EFTA style deal on the table and we should start negotiations with the EU immediately and seek to exit before the UK’s interests are further marginalised. The British people are totally over taking instructions (EU directives) from a disparate group of overseas based career politicians – Juncker in charge of Europe conjures up thoughts of putting a sommelier on the bridge of the Titanic. The reality is that the people of Germany, Scandinavia and Holland know and accept the economic facts of life but from France down and elsewhere, national finances are a disaster and a break-up of the currency union is the only sensible answer.
The UK does not need to be involved in this impending gravy-train crash. An uncomplicated trade deal instead of full EU membership would change nothing in terms of our relations with the EU, other then returning government accountability to Westminster and driving a major lift to our economy by giving us greater flexibility to trade freely throughout the world. Exit from the EU linked to a trade deal would be a vote and election winner.