The secret economy

Greece has become had the honour of being the first eurozone member to have its debt downgraded to "junk" status. Portugal's credit rating has also been cut by two-notches to A-minus.

And, as we all know, the poor old UK is not far behind. In the league tables of Financially Fucked Nations, we're hovering just below the Greeks and the Portugese, behind only on goal difference.

But at least the Greek Government is gettin' busy, running around the world with the begging bowl, admitting to their problems, seeking help wherever they can find it, and making the cutbacks necessary.

What about us? What about our Government? What about Gordon 'Prudence' Brown? After all, he saved the entire world last year, and with his entirely-self-proclaimed financial genius, surely he's made sure that the UK won't face Greece's problems?

Well, no, of course he fucking hasn't

This morning, the Institute of Fiscal Studies have pointed out that not only are the current government not at all clear on what they need to do to keep us off the 'junk' heap, but neither are the other two parties - you know, the two who say they'd like to take over and clear up the mess.

The IFS says that no party has come "anywhere close" to making clear where the axe would fall after the general election. This, they add, was despite the parties' plans implying the deepest cuts in spending since the 1970s.

Now, you could, at a pinch, with a gun to your head, concede that the Lib Dems and the Tories have a tiny reason for this vagueness: they don't actually have any of the figures for the last 13 miserable years. They haven't been running the economy, trying to balance the books. They can only guess at what's been going on, and at the true extent of our problems.

But do Labour have this excuse? Nope. They're holding all the numbers; they guard them jealously, and we'll never, ever get to see 'em unspun and unedited, but they've got 'em.

Labour has refused to publish departmental spending plans, because .. because .. well, why? Purely because it would reveal many more of the endless monstrous cock-ups they've made during their time at the helm.

And has Labour been hoping that they can pull off a last minute fix, prove they were right? Get real. They've forgotten all about the economy, and hope that we do too; they're dicking about with Elvis impersonators and cartoon fucking pigs, and telling us we'll all die of cancer if we vote Tory.

So we've got two parties that are not allowed to see the books, and have to guess at what needs to done to prevent us slithering down the same slope as Greece, and one party that does have all the numbers, but quite clearly has absolutely no fucking clue what to do to prevent us joining the Greeks and the Portuguese in the queue outside the International Monetary Fund.

Let's face it, whatever happens on May 6th, we're fucked.



JuliaM said...

Sadly true. Frightening thought, though.

As the old Chinese curse puts it, we live in interesting times....

Andrew Richardson said...

Maybe this could be the beginning of recovery and realism. Lower taxes and the public sector off our backs and a great repeal act could work wonders. Of course that requires that the Tories sneak in with a small overall majority and then get it right.

Shouldn't be too hard should it?

The Network said...

Brace for impact? maybe nows the time to go and buy some of them dried food thingies while there's still stuff in the shops you can afford to buy. Hung parliament could mean further devaluation and rocketting inflation- gulp!

Anonymous said...

Another communist government bankrupts Britain.

Middle Seaxe said...

Hmmm, I'm starting to resign myself to a diet of vegetable pottage and pulses.

They seemed to survive on it in the feudal era.

Maybe the country needs a shock to wake it out of its slumber though.

It's as if, as a country we've fallen asleep at the wheel in the fast lane of a motorway, completely unaware that we've swerved across 2 lanes and are hurtling, blissfully unaware towards the back end of an articulated lorry.

Jill said...

I'm ok! I share an allotment and chickens with my father, and I got a slanket for Christmas last year. Food. Warmth. Sorted.

Oh deeeeeeeeeeear. Looking at the Tory 4:1 ratio - which seems somewhat at odds with their rhetoric, I cannot even begin to imagine the cuts under Dave. It won't be just Nightjack's evil poor that suffer. Looking at Labour's 2:1, I just can't imagine how any Chancellor could stand up and announce tax rises like that in a budget.

Let's hope Greece pulls its finger out, our bailed out banks shares rise, and we can sell quick-like.

Why is nobody talking about our stake in these banks as a future asset against paying down this debt?

Anonymous said...

You say: making the cutbacks necessary but where the hell are they doing that?

While they have actually acknowledged they're in trouble and need help they don't seem to be willing to take out the kind of measures that will actually fix their problem. That sounds strangely familiar doesn't it?

They'll probably manage to fill their begging bowl but what will happen in 5-10 years time? Their problems aren't going away just because they've managed to blag some new credit, they will come back ever worse and we're doing the same damn thing!

Surely we should be asking ourselves why no one is doing anything about it in our own country? We will all suffer that much worse because we're pretending there is no bloody problem and even if it's Labours fault I get the sinking feeling we deserve it.

Martin S said...

Gordon Brown. He could aave the world, but he can't save us!