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 Post subject: Oh for a grown-up party! /Makes you weep / Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:07 am 
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Oh for a grown-up party!

In asking, more or less rhetorically in one of yesterday's posts, whether "we" care, my actual target was myself as much as our many readers. The question is addressed to myself in terms of whether I care, the uncompleted query being whether one really cares which political party makes the running.

In truth, the economy is in such a mess – and made worse by Brown's maladministration – that, in the short term at least – it will make very little difference. We are going to take some pain and the only real choice is where we take that pain.

View full article here

Makes you weep

As it happens, I have never shared the visceral hatred so many people in Britain display towards bankers and other people who make large sums of money, particularly as those people are keeping the British economy going. Without the City this country will be a sorry place.

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Do we care?

"Gordon Brown borrowed us into this mess, and now he would like to borrow us out of it. We now know what he means by PSBR. It is the Price of Subsidising Brown's Re-election."

That is from Bruce Anderson in The Independent responding to Darling's pre-budget report. And they don't get much more left wing than The Independent. Yet, he writes, "Brown is not after economic recovery, he's after votes."

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:28 am 
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Er ... Bruce Anderson is a right-wing political commentator.

Your guess about voters' reaction is as good as mine. The VAT cut is getting the ridicule it deserves and gives the impression of a government out of touch with reality if it thinks that a 2.12% reduction in some prices will make any difference. My own guess is that people in the private sector are concerned about their security of employment, a concern which the budget will do nothing to allay. In that context, the dip in inflation you referred to is neither here nor there. Both Opposition parties are saying the crisis is serious. Sure, they differ over how to tackle it, but that shared starting point will reinforce voters' unease. The Conservatives need to keep stressing the vast amount of debt to be tackled.

Sorry to sully your forum with domestic political guesswork, but that was one of the themes of the post!

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:39 am 
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John Page wrote:
Er ... Bruce Anderson is a right-wing political commentator.

Your guess about voters' reaction is as good as mine. The VAT cut is getting the ridicule it deserves and gives the impression of a government out of touch with reality if it thinks that a 2.12% reduction in some prices will make any difference. My own guess is that people in the private sector are concerned about their security of employment, a concern which the budget will do nothing to allay. In that context, the dip in inflation you referred to is neither here nor there. Both Opposition parties are saying the crisis is serious. Sure, they differ over how to tackle it, but that shared starting point will reinforce voters' unease. The Conservatives need to keep stressing the vast amount of debt to be tackled.

Sorry to sully your forum with domestic political guesswork, but that was one of the themes of the post!


Yes ... but it's a left wing paper ... he's saying that and they're giving him house room!

And I agree that VAT cut is preposterous, and its going to create an awful lot of problems for businesses - especially given the extremely short time for implementation. However - and the point I am trying to make - is that the politically indifferent will view it differently from those who are politically aware.

That is the difference between the informed judgement and the ill-informed. Electorally, the latter is more important. Those who take their information in very limited chunks, who don't read newspapers (or blogs), switch over when the news comes on and who get their information second-hand probably outnumber by an order of magnitude those who study and analyse the news and keep abreast of politics.

Basically, the view "on the street" is that all politicians are a bunch of shysters, they all lie through their teeth and none can be trusted. The Tories, therefore, can "bang on" all they like - that comes into the category, "they would say that wouldn't they?" And come the election, many of the "ill-informed" will feel marginally better off. That effect - the ignorati versus the chatterati - could be significant.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:13 am 
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I listened in the car to a bit of an interview with George Osborne on the Today Programme this morning. Why on Earth didn't get angry and blame Labour for the mess this country in? Labour on the other hand are allowed to use the word "global" in every sentence in an attempt to hide their culpability.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:15 am 
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pipesmoker wrote:
I listened in the car to a bit of an interview with George Osborne on the Today Programme this morning. Why on Earth didn't get angry and blame Labour for the mess this country in? Labour on the other hand are allowed to use the word "global" in every sentence in an attempt to hide their culpability.


Osborne "got angry" at the despatch box yesterday ... he sounded like a squeaky school kid.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:01 pm 
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Quote:
However - and the point I am trying to make - is that the politically indifferent will view it differently from those who are politically aware.

Hence my comment that
Quote:
The Conservatives need to keep stressing the vast amount of debt to be tackled.

They need to pick 3 points at most and hammer them. This should be one.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:04 pm 
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John Page wrote:
Quote:
However - and the point I am trying to make - is that the politically indifferent will view it differently from those who are politically aware.

Hence my comment that
Quote:
The Conservatives need to keep stressing the vast amount of debt to be tackled.

They need to pick 3 points at most and hammer them. This should be one.


But when the chips are down, whoever inherits the mantle of office in 2010 will be saddled with this enormous debt. Are the Tories going to "magic" a wondrous new way of paying it off, or are we simply to be given a choice of how we pay for it?

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:23 pm 
So inflation is going to come down and they are worried about deflation? The price of goods currently in the shop windows will fall because retailers need to shift them to maintain turnover, even if at a slight loss. However, the goods will be replaced and, given that most items in the shops are imported, the cost of importing the replacements will be greatly increased due to the continued fall in the pound. We can't make the consumer goods here because the industry to do so has departed. Nice one, Gordon! Now how could a 'towering intellect' fail to see this coming?


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:04 pm 
"Taking into account the drop in inflation, those people will be winners and by the time of the 2010 general election they will feel marginally better off."

Thou jesteth? You forget the rule,"Utilities will raise their prices to consume any increase in pension". Sorry we know the money is pre-spent. For example last years Winter Fuel Allowance, quite coincidentally I'm sure, was only a couple of quid over that quarter's fuel bill.

The other rule is "Announcing a pension rise and paying a pension rise are not the same thing", by the time the rise arrives, real inflation, has already beggared pensioners.
Again coincidentally, my Water Rates ate last year's rise in the pension.

The Christmas bonus is like the 2.5% drop in VAT, insignificant. Forget inflation and interest rates,the only thing that counts is disposable income,that is what is going down the pan.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Peter wrote:
"Taking into account the drop in inflation, those people will be winners and by the time of the 2010 general election they will feel marginally better off."

Thou jesteth? You forget the rule,"Utilities will raise their prices to consume any increase in pension". Sorry we know the money is pre-spent. For example last years Winter Fuel Allowance, quite coincidentally I'm sure, was only a couple of quid over that quarter's fuel bill.

The other rule is "Announcing a pension rise and paying a pension rise are not the same thing", by the time the rise arrives, real inflation, has already beggared pensioners.
Again coincidentally, my Water Rates ate last year's rise in the pension.

The Christmas bonus is like the 2.5% drop in VAT, insignificant. Forget inflation and interest rates,the only thing that counts is disposable income,that is what is going down the pan.


Wait and see ... the pension rise is, effectively, above the inflation rate. Prices are falling and are set to continue and the government is leaning on the utilities companies, particularly on the pre-paid meter charges.

I suspect that the government is quite deliberately targeting its "client state" in the expectation that it can tilt the electorate sufficiently to make the difference. If this is as calculated as I think - and some newspaper commentators seem to agree - then it means the government has abandoned any pretence at its "big tent" approach and is going solely for electoral advantage. It cares not if people like you are upset ... you are not going to vote for Brown anyway.

Whether it will work, I cannot say, but it does suggest - which is the point I am making - that Cameron has a fight on his hands.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:52 pm 

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The big question is can Cameron fight? So far there has been little sign that he even knows that there is/should be a fight, on top of which does he know how. The last few years are not encouraging. Of course we should not forget that the MPs, MEPs and "public service" workers will not be affected by all this, but oh boy the middle and lower classes (in terms of income) are really going to suffer. At least Stalin allowed the peasants to drink and smoke to help them through the bad times, not so McBrown, punish, or should that be...."exterminate, exterminate!" PDT_Armataz_01_02


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:53 pm 
"Wait and see ... the pension rise is, effectively, above the inflation rate. Prices are falling and are set to continue and the government is leaning on the utilities companies, particularly on the pre-paid meter charges."

The rise will not be effective until next April if the standard procedure is adhered to.As for prices falling,where? There is certainly nothing that I fritter my money away on, like food which is coming down.

Perhaps prices are falling in Statistic Land, but here in "Nutritious Recipes With Old Shoes" land what went up stayed up. Gone are the days of, "A bit of what you fancy does you good". I eat what is cheapest or on offer. Red meat is but a distant memory. Might hire a piece of beef for Christmas to impress the neighbours, back in the butcher's the day after.

A trip to the pub, if it hasn't been converted into flats,is out of the question. Compare the price of a pint to the rise in pension - not much high jinks there.

People are not stupid. They know borrowed money has to be repaid. Now nobody knows if they will have a job, a roof over their heads, be able to heat it if they have, be able to afford to run a car or what the lunatics in government are going to do next.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:43 pm 
........."Inflation is forecast to come down sharply, reaching half of one percent by the end of next year." He adds: "Lower commodity prices and..............


hmmm....................but oil is in a steep contango!!! and to a lesser extent so is corn
http://new.quote.com/global/futures/quo ... ?s=BRN-ICE
50$ for jan09 delivery, 60$ aug09, 70$aug10, 80$ mar12

this tellls us inflation will be taking off in hte none too distant future


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 Post subject: Re: Do we care?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Hi Helen,

Great piece Helen, as always.
Quote:
It now emerges that of all the jobs created since 1997, two thirds have been in the public sector


PDT_Armataz_01_19

NuLabour is a fraud :(

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 Post subject: Re: Makes you weep / Do we care?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:03 am 
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Lifted from the ToryBoy blog comments ... this closely approximates my "take" on the situation:

Quote:
Whatever people may think about labour's ability to run the country, they are not stupid. They know their electorate and how to play the political game, or they wouldn't be in power. A shrewd player makes use of situations that arise to kill 15 birds with a single stone... and keep the stone.

So maybe this is all a deliberate plan by labour. They can see the country is a mess, and their chances of winning the next election are poor. So, address the crisis with measures designed to look good to your traditional supporters, while simultaneously generating a pile of trouble for whoever next gets into government. Since there is a good chance it may not be labour, they can then crow about the failure of the government in 4 years time ("it was never close to this bad under labour") before storming back in on a massive majority after just 1 missed term.

The biggest worry is whether it's actually possible to defuse this.

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