Sunday, October 24, 2010

So Just Who Is Running Britain?

We know who is meant to be running Britain, a Tory led Coalition government, but it certainly does not feel like anyone in this government is actually in control.

We have a prime minister in David Cameron who was political adviser to previous Conservative Chancellor Norman Lamont in 1992 at the time when Lamont played bingo with this country's finances, gambling £3.3 billion and lost the lot by throwing it at the ERM trying to keep us in the ERM.  Cameron was still political adviser to Lamont when in May 1993, Norman Lamont was sacked. During the time Lamont was trying to keep us in the ERM during the fiasco interest rates were being increased as the pound crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the pre-Euro attempt to harmonise currencies.
Back then, very much as people are warning this government *right now* that their crazy gamble with peoples livelihoods, homes, public services and children's futures cannot and will not pay off, many saw the ERM debacle as inevitable, warning that Britain had entered on impossible terms two years earlier. By early 1992, currency speculators were betting massively on a devaluation but John Major and his government stubbornly persisted in trying to prop up the pound.
Black Wednesday was a day of absolutely futile and farcical events, which saw interest rates pushed up from 10 per cent to 12 per cent to 15 per cent in a few hours. It ended with sterling taken out of the ERM, a large devaluation and a bill of billions for the taxpayer to cover currency reserves lost in the doomed battle.
With interest rates rising to stabilise the pound, the country nosedived into recession. Interest rates rose to 15.9% and stayed there for just over a year. This caused unemployment to soar, people to lose their businesses, their homes and their jobs, our high streets resembled towns from the Wild West, deserted, all that was missing was the "tumble weed" blowing down the streets and roads and the haunting sound of the wind making hinges creak. It was the time of the  3 R's - Recessions - Redundancies - Repossessions. In fact there was record repossessions with record numbers of people losing their homes and record numbers of redundancies, there was a rise in another extremely sad statistic as the number of suicides also grew to record levels.
I genuinely fear, that what is about to happen to us this time round, under this Tory government, (and it is really a Tory government) with a few Lib Dem fig leaves along for the ride, will be much worse than anything many of us remember in the early 90's, and that fills me with terror for my children and grandchildren and for all families and children in this country.
Apart from this job and the job he held as a "spin doctor" for Carlton TV, David Cameron has no work experience, he has no experience in economics, in fact he is of average intelligence and had he not come from a Etonian background and attended university simply because his parents could pay for his privilege, no one would have really known him, he is only marginally average. His privilege opened doors for him.

Same with Nick Clegg, what has he ever done? What life experiences has he had that qualify him for the position he is now in, he has no record in economics, he was an MEP but gave it up because it was too much like hard work and then he returned to this country and managed to bag the safe Liberal seat of Sheffield Hallam. he was against nuclear power stations, but has now reneged and caved in, he has infamously cave in over university tuition fees, he along with every other Liberal Democrat MP signed a pledge not to put up tuition fees and that is another pledge and promise broken. In fact on just about everything that matters to people, Clegg has caved in and given into the Tories. He is really a non entity, the Churchill nodding dog has more of a presence than he does. He doesn't do much, just fetches tea and coffee we think.

Conservative chancellor George [Gideon George Oliver] Osborne, no experience in economics, in fact there are many in his own party who believe that he simply does not have the capabilities to be chancellor, especially at this time. It is rumoured that he only got the job because his mate is David Cameron, the leader of the party, scarily though, George Osborne has designs about becoming prime minister. 

''George is silly.
George has poor judgment.
George is unreliable. George is, to coin a phrase, a dolt.
Can a dolt aspire to hold a great office of state?''
 Osborne was an ineffectual shadow chancellor, the heir to the 17th century baronetcy of Ballentaylor, again his privilege opening doors for him. It is true to say that you can no more blame the privilege of Cameron, Osborne and Clegg and the other millionaires in the cabinet for their birth, than we can blame people for being born poor, however, there is a real debate to be had to ask if these men that we now have in power can ever know what it is truly like to be born into a poor or ordinary or disadvantaged background? And some of the decisions they are making and taking right now, would point to the fact that they know absolutely nothing of what it is like to have to fight for your very existence, born into a home of hand to mouth, born into fearing what the postman would bring, and being terrified of the knock at the door that would usually mean trouble has arrived at your doorstep, in the form of the bailiffs etc. If these people did understand this, they would not be inferring that everyone who is forced to draw benefit is somehow  work shy and has opted for this "lifestyle choice", they would not infer that all people who draw benefits are somehow "benefit cheats" or "welfare scroungers" as David Cameron has referred to them. And they  certainly would not have perpetuated the myth that people did not want to work and that they all sat around from when they got up drinking beer out of cans and watching daytime TV and in doing so, deliberately trying to turn working person against working person and to make people peer at a disabled person and question if they are disabled enough to deserve their help. This is all wrong yet it is exactly what these men born into great wealth and privilege have done, they have only been in power barely 5 months and already they have made this country a more unpleasant place to live, already they have caused arguments were previously there were none and they are doing exactly what Margaret Thatcher did, turning this country into a country of "haves" and "have nots", where people do not care about the other person and they trample all over them to get what they want. Unfortunately, I have lived through Thatcher's legacy to this country, have experienced her inequality and sheer nastiness, the Tory party was indeed the "nasty party" and guess what? That party is back and it is nastier and meaner than ever, you may want your children to grow up with this legacy, but I do not.

George Osborne the ineffectual man is now the chancellor of this country at one of the most important times in our history, we have to ask if George Osborne is up to the job?

The omens aren't good as he stakes the livelihoods and the futures of all our children on an unprecedented gamble as he attempts to run the British economy.

As one financial pundit put it: "He's too weak, inexperienced and ill-informed about his subject. How could such a bumbling nonentity run the fifth biggest economy in the world?" As shadow chancellor, Osborne failed abysmally to offer a convincing argument about what he would have done with Northern Rock in 2007 (he opposed nationalisation) or how he would have saved RBS and Lloyds, and critics say he has never grasped the severity of the spending crisis.

Leading right-wing commentator Simon Heffer wrote: It seems that no matter how hard Gideon George Oliver Osborne tries, he rarely succeeds and how much confidence does this fill you with knowing that last Wednesday in his Comprehensive Spending Review, Osborne commenced the biggest, unprecedented gambles will all of our money, our lives and our children's and grandchildren's futures? Who gave Cameron, Osborne and Clegg permission to take this gamble? Where is the mandate? These politicians are so full of their own ego and importance they regularly trot out the line, "the country has voted for this coalition" NO they did NOT. People voted for a particular party, whatever that party was, NOWHERE on any ballot paper in the entirety of Britain, did it have a box to check where it said "Coalition" or "Hung Parliament".

"Osborne's costliest faux pas, which could have cost him his job as shadow chancellor, came after Old Etonian friend Nat Rothschild invited him to his Corfu villa.
Another guest was the then European Trade Minister Peter Mandelson, and when Osborne returned home, he spread word that Mandy had been dripping "pure poison" about Gordon Brown.
It was typical Boy George, a rabid gossip who passes tales around Westminster to ingratiate himself with influential types. And typical too, that he should so badly misread the club rules and end up a shunned outsider. Rothschild was furious that a private meeting he had organised was made public, and took his revenge by claiming that while Osborne was in Corfu he had visited the yacht of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and solicited a Tory party donation - which would have been illegal from a foreign source.
Osborne denied any wrong-doing but the damage was done.
The vision of him as an arrogant, upperclass buffoon (already boosted by publication of a Bullingdon Club picture of him posing in tailcoat with an almost comical aloofness) wasn't helped by news that, in between swanning around villas and superyachts in Corfu, he'd flown back to London to make a speech on poverty.
Once more he had alienated his upperclass contemporaries and shown himself to be completely out of his depth against powerful beasts like Rothschild and Mandelson.
And it rocked his standing in a party which had largely accepted him as the supporting act in their dream ticket.
Senior figures despaired at his naiveté, finding it incredible that a would-be Chancellor should spread malicious gossip about a holiday in which he'd rubbed shoulders on yachts with a mysterious foreign billionaire."

Now this is the calibre of the man we have running the finances of this country and who is taking a monumental gamble, which leading economists (which Osborne certainly isn't) have describe as a "terrible, terrible mistake" and Osborne is totally wrong to treat the country's finances as he would a household budget as only soaring unemployment and a growing deficit lay that way, but George isn't listening, Cameron, Osborne and Clegg are way to above themselves to listen to anyone else!

We will all know who to blame when it all goes badly wrong (and it will) trouble is, who will be able to put it right and how? Ed Miliband, certainly has some strong power in his team, several economists and he is of course and economist himself, but the fear is and the £82 billion question is, will the mess that Osborne is in the process of creating be repairable? And if so, at what cost to us?

Gracie Samuels
The Mirror:     Osborne - Tories Little Rich Boy
"George is silly; George has poor judgment; George is unreliable; George is, to coin a phrase, a dolt. What credibility does he have left? This has at least caused people to forget what a disaster he made of his attempts (if they can be dignified with such a term) to mount a response to the global financial crisis.
"Can a dolt aspire to hold a great office of state? For little George could be walking out of 11 Downing Street with Mr Gladstone's dispatch box within months.
"How much does that make you want to vote Conservative?"

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