Friday, July 11, 2008


Gordon Brown is never slow to boast about his "prudence" during the long period of boom which, fortunately for him, coincided with his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The fact that this relatively stable period for our economy had little to do with any measures he put in place - far from it - never prevented him from grabbing the credit.

It never stopped many supporters of Blair's government - particularly in the media - from crediting Brown and the Labour Party for their sterling efforts in guiding the British economy even though, managing the economy at the time was like sailing a dinghy on a benign lake in a gentle breeze - pretty much anyone would have looked good doing it. Now that the dinghy is stuck in the open waters of the North Atlantic with a stiff squall bubbling up, things don't look so good.

If you want to know how competent anyone is at managing finances - whether it is in government or in business - the best thing to do take a look at how they manage their own finances at home. Chances are that if they are in hock to their necks with no way of paying off the mountain of debt and reliant on the benevolence of someone of dubious character then it is probably not a good idea to employ them as your finance director.

Or trust them to manage your economy.

Labour is bankrupt. While Gordon Brown lectures us on saving money and making ends meet by not wasting food, his own party is in debt to their eyeballs and incapable of managing their own finances let alone anyone elses. They rely on the unions for 88% of their funding - with that funding becoming increasingly dependent on concessions. Although we're still a long way short of giving the unions the sort of power they wielded in the sixties and seventies - to the huge detriment of the British economy and industry - with a public sector as bloated as it is now the unions do not need those sort of powers.

To be fair, the Tories are no better at managing their finances. They are also in debt - just not so much - and equally dependent on the benevolence of a single group of key supporters with a vested interest (albeit slightly more diverse and less coordinated).

And these people want us to trust them to run our economy? I wouldn't trust them to run a market stall.

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