Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oborne on the Economy

Peter Oborne has written a very powerful article in today's Daily Mail, which coincides with the admission by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, that Britain is facing possibly the worse economic slowdown for 60 years.

His article,

Recession and the disturbing lesson of history from a Prime Minister in denial

is a powerful summary of the collapse of Gordon Brown's claims to have ensured "no more boom and bust" and his current inability to recognise that failure and properly address the problems of how to dealing with the economic situation.

Because the one solitary thing at which Brown remains brilliantly successful is destroying his internal enemies and potential rivals within the Labour party, I still have doubts about whether they will be able to find a way to remove him. There is no doubt whatsoever that if Brown had been a Conservative Prime Minister the party would have removed him by now - voluntarily if possible, by voting him out as they removed IDS if necessary. The Labour party is more tolerant than the Conservatives of failing leaders.

But can it really be in Britain's interest for the government to stagger on like this until 2010 ?

Peter Oborne's main point is that Gordon Brown was one of the few Chancellors who

genuinely believed that they had reinvented the art of economic management.

In particular, Brown was utterly certain that he had produced a miraculous formula which had brought to an end the economic cycle.

He must have declared hundreds if not thousands of times that, thanks to his policies, there would be 'no more boom and bust'.

Of course we now know that he had ensured nothing of the sort. Oborne rightly poitns out that we are discovering to our cost that the economic cycle remains as potent, unpredictable and potentially as destructive as ever.

Oborne argues that what makes matters worse is Gordon Brown's inability to come to terms not just with the fact that his legacy as Chancellor is a mess but also - just as hurtful - that he got the British economy completely wrong and

"finds himself in the dire position of a man who every day sees his life's work being destroyed before his eyes."

Rather than admit this, the Prime Minister has gone into a state of denial. For months he has been insisting that the British economy is in a fairly decent state and, what is more, in a far better position than other major economies to confront the international economic downturn.

You can read the full article


Anonymous said...

Do you have a hot line to the Daily Mail and The Guardian or just a a healthy disregard for copyright laws?

Chris Whiteside said...

I have not ignored copyright laws, but to remove any argument have reorganised the posts you appear to be referring to.