01 January 2009

New Year thoughts

What the party leaders are saying about our problems in their New Year messages today is very, very telling. Gordon Brown has decided he is Churchill and talks of Britain's ability to come through tough times. He is right, but the last time our Government had created a real economic mess, in the late 70s, we got through it by electing Conservatives. The PM should remember that.

The PM also talks abut Britain "hitting the ground running" after the recession. He fails to explain how we will do that when our taxes will be rising and petrol prices escalating.

David Cameron has offered a great sound bite in response to the PM:

"The prime minister tells us to find our blitz spirit when he is the one dropping the bombs"

But he also tries to be positive, interestingly as the only party leader talking about tackling Government waste, which is the area where I think real political capital is to be made (more importantly, it's also the right thing to do). Cutting waste is potentially a win-win. Using the savings to both invest and to cut taxes, albeit it is a difficult balance to make. I think most people now realise that there are untold billions of pounds of savings to be made from cutting waste and, perhaps more importantly, from cutting Government interference.

Nick Clegg starts off 2009 in typical Lib Dem fashion. Making huge spending commitments and huge tax promises with absolutely no comment on how they are to be funded. It is something that is easy to do when you have no chance of power. Easy to do both locally and Nationally. It is the fact that it is so easy that is probably the reason the Lib Dems are good at it.

Last year I predicted that Gordon Brown would not see the year out as PM. It was very close to coming true, and it is a shame for Britain that it did not. It is somewhat ironic that the reason he managed to stay in power was because of his biggest failure; his claim that he is the only person to get us out of the economic mess we are in saved his bacon, yet he is the one that has masterminded the situation through irresponsible taxation and borrowing.

I am concerned that as the true depth of our problems start to emerge, as unemployment rises and our recession deepens , we will start to see unrest in some of the areas that are hit hardest. It would be unwelcome, but it is hard to see where long term hope comes from for some people. We are deeply in debt as a Nation and with a plummeting economy. It is one way that people could react to that situation.



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