Monday, 30 January 2012

State of the Nation

I am getting a little tired of listening to people complaining of government ‘cuts’.

The UK state is unnecessarily and unaffordably bloated and unwieldy.

It is that way, largely because too many people reflexively expect it to control so much more of every aspect of our lives than it has any real right or honest need to. So much so that even our ownership of our own bodies is threatened. it is that way because Authoritarian Stateists want it to be. It is that way because of empire building.

One suspects many of the places cuts fall are exaggerated or are made worse by the self serving politically motivated spin and subterfuge of some Local Government.

Ed Milliband (leader of the opposition) is now shifting his basically dishonest and untenable position on cuts slightly. Labour's latest line is that it opposes some spending cuts, on the basis they slow recovery. At least now he admits he would not necessarily reverse them. Many in the LibDem party, Partners in the coalition seem unable to move even that far towards actual coffee smelling.

Presumably Vince cable and Nick Clegg have had their noses sufficiently rubbed in economic reality to be ahead of the average member of the so-called “Liberal” Democrat pack.

OK, so let’s look at the actual figures (as seen in the Guardian).

What do they show?

They show that after inheriting a nice black balance sheet Gordon Brown, first as Chancellor and then as Prime Minister spent money hand over fist that he just didn’t have.

He was running the UK deeper and deeper into debt over the whole period he held office.

He also sold off half the UK's gold reserves when gold was at an all time low and plundered pension schemes helping to create the current pensions "Black Hole", and promised "No more Boom and bust", he got plenty of mileage out of that, but what's all that between friends, eh?

Don’t forget the graph only shows each year’s borrowing, not the total amount the UK actually owes. That is horrendous and still going up literally by the minute, check out the TPA clock on this site (top left). God help us if we loose our triple A rating and have to pay higher interest rates on it.

Look at the last two years of the graph. Those are the years of so-called coalition cuts that Labour and the Lib-Dems have bleated so much about and blocked at every turn.

Those cuts have not been enough reduce the debt. No – those last two years figures just show that the actual speed that we are sinking into the financial doo-doo under the Coalition has finally actually slowed a little.

If the majority of the electorate had the feeblest grasp of simple maths… perhaps enough to avoid being short changed… and if Milliband, or Balls, had any shred of honesty, or were capable of the least embarrassment, they would cringe and hide themselves in a deep cave somewhere from the honest light of day.

Meanwhile the UK economy continues to be crippled by so-called green taxes, an unwieldy unaffordable social security system and wasted billions pumped into our EU membership.

Should we pay out yet more to rescue the Euro? In an ideal world no. The Euro is probably not capable of surviving in anything like it’s present form without much of Europe being disenfranchised and a severe loss of sovereignty for most nations in it.

But the Euro needs to be supported into a landingsoft enough the world can walk away from in one piece, so reluctantly we have to at least to some extent.

Foreign aid? Again used properly it saves us from having to fight wars, and we no longer have the military capability we had a decade ago, thanks to a maintained level of government dishonesty, waste and incompetence over the last decade or more.. As the civil service has got bigger and more unwieldy the armed forces have been cut back and back... so again in our own interests we need to keep up foreign aid.

What can we do about it all, if anything?

Take responsibility and PAY ATTENTION!! for a start, don’t let the politicians distract you with pretty lights and spin.

Make sure you really know the facts and arm yourself with them. Actually think. Is what a politician says really true? Does it fit with the facts? Politicians are careful about the words they choose. Are they true, but still fool you into misunderstanding what they actually mean.

When they talk about inflation going down what they really mean is that it is going up more slowly than it was. It is still going up it is just the rate that has decreased.

What is their track record? Did they deliver on what they promised to get elected? If not, why not - and why should you believe anything else they say?

Ask yourself what might happen down the line if they bring in some new policy, or law and do you really need it?

Check their sums are honest and make sense. Remember there are lies, damned lies - and worst of all statistics. Check your pockets after you hear a politician speak.

Vote. Not like some zombie for whoever your ancestors did, but for what you think makes sense and is best. Watch what they are up to – ALL THE TIME. Don’t take your eye off the ball.

Email your MP if you don’t like something It only takes a few minutes. If you don’t like his answer, or it tries to wriggle off the hook then email them again and tell them so.

Sign single issue petitions you support, email your MP about issues you feel strongly about.