Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A perfect storm

I must say that I found it quite amusing to listen to the boy George reacting to the news that GDP had shrunk by half a percent and blaming it all on "bad weather". He may or may not be right about whether it was the coldest December on record that caused GDP to dip so alarmingly, but it was his use of metaphors that I found amusing - "we're not going to let bad weather blow us off course" he said.

I'm sure the boy thought he was being terribly clever when he said that and, judging by the smug look on his face, it appears that he did indeed think that - but as an analogy he was horribly wrong. You see, as any sailor will tell you, when you get bad weather the last thing you want to do is fight against it. It's much easier and safer to ride out a storm and then return to your course when the weather eases than it is to keep a smashed and broken vessel afloat let alone going in the right direction. So, what you do is you run with the weather and you let it blow you off course - or you find a safe harbour and take shelter.

I don't know if what Osborne and the coalition are doing is the right way to get us out of our economic predicament, but my gut feeling is that it will not help. The problems with our economy run far deeper than the structural deficit - in fact, I think that is merely a minor distraction from the real problem which is that we are a nation addicted to debt, living on credit and with no real way of paying off what we owe.

The coalition - along with the Labour party - have no plans to address the real problems with our economy. Yes, I do mean they have none - zero, not a single idea. The only plan they have is to reduce how much more they spend than they raise through tax - reduce it, not eradicate it. In other words, their only idea is to put a little less on the national credit card each month, but they still plan to spend more than they - we - can afford.

Unless and until we have a government which actually understands the fundamental flaws of our economy we will continue to be blown to pieces by a raging storm while we stay "on course". The trouble is, we're on course for oblivion and our government is demanding "full steam ahead".


Barnacle Bill said...

Better to heave to than try to run a'fore it, you might be running onto a lee shore.
Many's the time I have heaved to on passage, the Boy George by his use of that metaphor shows his lack of understanding/maturity.
But then again what does he know about life in the real world?

nimrod said...

ABSOLUTELY Stan, they are completely insane. The biggest drain on this country's finances is the welfare budget, dwarf's everything else, yet we "need" 300,000 immigrants per year, IN A COUNTRY WITH 2500,000 UNEMPLOYED ! They tell us that pensioners will have to work until they drop when we have over 4 million working age people on some form of benefit, added to that A QUARTER of all people in employment are part time workers, a significant majority of whom get their wages doubled, trebled by tax credits, plus rent and council tax paid.
Stan, if they're sane I don't wanna be.
If I, who left school at 15, with no qualifications can see that this is completely unsustainable why can't they ?
Or are they working to an agenda ?