The TUC All Together Campaign Mythbuster doesn’t start well:
“Government debt is the highest it has ever been. The UK’s debt has been much higher in the past, and it is lower now than it was during most years of the twentieth century. Just 6p in every pound of spending went on paying off debt last year, compared to 8p in 1996.
“At the moment UK debt is worth 70 per cent of GDP – but the country has spent 180 of the last 260 years with the national debt at above 80 percent of GDP. Between 1920 and 1960 government debt never fell below 100 per cent. After the Second World War the national debt was far higher – around 250 per cent of GDP – but we invested in creating the National Health Service and building the welfare state.
“The TUC has confused debt as a percentage of nominal GDP with gross national debt which is now much higher than before. The truth is more correctly shown in the graph below. Unfortunately this graph stops before the 2000 when gross debt grew much, much worse.”
National debt is explained simply here.
Reagan broke the Soviet Union economically with Star Wars. Bin Laden and the banksters may yet break the western world with American debt creation in response to the World Trade Centre attack.
Mythbusters descends further into the dated Keynesian mythology that spending fictional money is the key to wealth creation. It won’t end well. It never does. The government monopoly on counterfeiting tends to destroy paper currencies.
The TUC’s response to cuts would be “investment” of the Gordon Brown variety: theft from future generations.
Writing in The New Criterion, Dalrymple begins his review of Gordon Brown’s new book Beyond the Crash as follows:
There is a certain kind of mentally disturbed person who sets a fire, calls the fire brigade, and then acts as the hero of the hour. Gordon Brown, the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, is a little like that: though whether or not he knows it is an interesting question.
Then the review turns more critical. Of the book:
one of the longest self-exculpatory notes in history… devoid of self-examination… shot through with moral grandiosity… interesting, but only in the way that a paranoid psychotic’s ideas are interesting… demonstrates that there is an intimate connection between his moral megalomania, his imperviousness to reality, his absence of self-examination, his lack of analytical power, and his gross incompetence… high-falutin’ rubbish…
Of the man:
preternaturally dull… the synergy of grandiosity and incompetence… There is almost nothing in economics and social policy that Mr. Brown is incapable of failing to understand. Indeed, one might almost argue that his inability to understand constitutes an ability of a kind… [uses] statistics and figures for the purpose of self-justification, indeed self-glorification… unctuously maudlin, though with a vein of threat… a monstrous and inflated ego, that saw no limitation to his power of decision-making… an intellectual without intellect, compassionate without feeling, a moralist without scruple, ambitious without talent, and upright without probity.
And perhaps the harshest criticism of all:
a very modern man
Scotland can do much better. We can’t afford to keep wasting money on the ineffective. Let’s put accreditation at the top of the list for cuts. It can only save things that are more important.