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Memo to David Cameron re eurozone – this time we really are all in this together

Posted on 23 September 2011 | 8:09am

The news was a little bit scary last night. Because whilst accepting that the media likes to put over the most negative view of the world, even the ones who usually show a bit of balance left you with the impression it was all gloom, gloom, gloom. And there is a horrible feeling of self-fulfilling prophecy attached to the ‘could be as bad as 2007-8’ talk.

The problem is that most of the policy instruments open to leaders around the world appear to have been tried, and they don’t seem to be having the desired effect, whether in the US, Europe or Japan. And whilst the ‘China and India roll on’ narrative holds for now, it is not quite as strong as it was.

Globalisation has had many plus sides. But for the Presidents, Prime Ministers and finance ministers of the world, sitting there trying to work this out, they are all to greater and lesser degrees dependent on the others. That’s why for all the flak that still gets thrown his way, Gordon Brown was right to get the world to act together when the first crisis hit. There is little or no sense of a global approach right now, or anyone showing the leadership needed to get to one.

George Osborne is still fighting the fight of the last election, going on about the deficit when it is clear his Plan A is not working and that he now faces far bigger problems which require a far more imaginative response.

David Cameron is now joining forces with Canada and Australia to put pressure on the eurozone leaders to act more decisively. There is an element of his politics getting the upperhand on his economics again, seeking to convey a sense of superiority by not being in the Euro. But for the purposes of this crisis, effectively we are. If the eurozone fails to recover, the impact on the UK will be enormous. This time, we really are all in this together.

  • Thanks for this article.

    I rather get the impression that the austerity at home but markets available abroad is a position which is so contradictory that it disqualifies our government from ever showing leadership when it is so desperatly needed and where you rightly remind us was so skillfully exampled by Gordon Brown.

  • Olli Issakainen

    It is autumn 2008 all over again.
    Growth is weak and stock markets are tumbling.
    Three years ago the world was only 48 hours away from running out of money.
    This time it will run out of money.
    IMF and World Bank have now issued warnings.
    But policymakers have already used their ammunition. Interest rates are at low levels, and governments have big budget deficits thanks to neoliberalism and banks.
    Political will to solve the crisis in nowhere to be seen. Politicians are wary of the voters.
    Investors have lost faith in politicians, and have already priced in the exit from the eurozone of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
    Hayekian austerity has killed the growth and confidence all over Europe. Keynes warned of collective austerity.
    David Cameron of all people is now lecturing on the economy. Mr Cameron, responsibility starts at home!
    There is now a threat of a Greek default. And solvency of banks.
    The US has problems with fiscal stimulus as Republicans oppose it.
    Markets think that Operation Twist of the Fed will do little to boost interest rates.
    China´s economy is going down.
    We are heading for recession, depression and worse.
    Neo-Keynesian economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz (both Nobel winners) warned about austerity and blind faith in private sector.
    Keynesian economics has made a comeback among mainstream economics with the advent of New Keynesian macroeconomics.
    But the new neoclassical synthesis dominates present day economics.
    Milton Friedman´s monetarism is practiced by the ECB with disastrous results for the eurozone. Interest rates should now be cut!
    But the markets are not self-regulating as Alan Greenspan found out to his great surprise. There is no such a thing as rational economic actor.
    Britain´s society is prepared for a substantial shift in political orientation.
    There is a “new political sociology”.
    New Labour achieved political success and dominated national debate by owning the optimistic national mood.
    It was time of “modernisation” and “reform”.
    But the era ended with the financial crisis.
    British households are now squeezed. Living standards are declining.
    According to Stewart Wood financial crisis signalled the obsolescence of the neoliberal economic model.
    We now need an alternative way of structuring capitalism.
    Ed Miliband must define the new structure and sell it to the voters.
    He must portray a happier destination for the country.
    Ed´s themes are: living standards, the next generation, responsibility at the top and the good society.
    Labour´s support is now 41%. This translates to an overall majority at Westminster.
    (Blairites should remember that Tony Blair won in 2005 with only 35.2%.)
    Mr Blair is right about the centre, but it has now moved.
    Angela Eagle wrote in the Guardian that the era of rightwing market fundamentalism started by Thatcher and Reagan has ended.
    The Tory-led government should take note.
    Free markets do not always produce best results.
    Private sector does not always use money wiser.
    We need regulation of business.
    A low-tax, small-state government is not the answer.
    Market fundamentalism was always a conservative political ideology masquering as economic theory. It was used to legitimise the behaviour of the privileged few.
    It did not deliver sustainable society or a stable system. It must now be discarded if we want to avoid total economic collapse.
    We need a new moral economy based on fairness.
    Meanwhile, we must now reform banks, ease the cuts, give tax cuts to people with low incomes, invest on infrastructure and nationalise at least one bank.
    I do not support a new round of quantitative easing, because in the current climate it would only add to inflation.
    Ed Miliband must say that expect for investment, Labour´s public spending should be balanced with revenues over a cycle.
    People who have bothered to read my comments know that I predicted a new economic crisis months before the prestigious institutions like IMF, OECD and the BoE, who have been backing Osborne´s plan A, had even a sniff of it.
    They know also about my predictions about Greece, Italy and the collapse of capitalism. Plus one-world government and one-world currency after the economic collapse.
    Scotland will also become independent.

  • Ian Eastwood.

    I have not heard one serious economist state that Greece will not default on its debts, sooner or later. Yet all the political leaders seem to be in the ostrich stage of this process. Get on with it, give Greece it’s Drachma and self respect back, deal with the issues and move on.

  • ambrosian

    I’ve been wondering which carries the greater risk: the risk of burglary if I draw money out the bank and stuff it under the mattress or the risk of the cash machines shutting down if I leave the money in the bank.

    Maybe a better precaution is to stock up on food because if the worst happens the recent looting will look like a vicarage tea party and the supermarkets will soon be closed and boarded up.
    In the run-up to the last crisis, a city banker bought a flock of sheep from a farmer neighbour so he’d be able to feed his family. A few weeks ago a pessimistic American economist said now was the time to buy a supply of tinned food and bottled water. Being American, he also included a cache of guns but being British I’ll settle for a hoodie and baseball bat.

    Hope this cheers you all up. But although I lasted only two weeks in the Cubs, I do remember the motto ‘Be Prepared’.
    Anyway, I’ve just had the first Daddy Long Legs in my house and that scared me more than the economic crisis.

  • R Parks

    As 40% of UK’s trade is with Eurozone countries, our economic fate is inextricably tied to theirs, so massive intervention by UK as with Ireland is both essential and inevitable, once the EU politicians stop being frozen by fear and act decisively. The rumours of Drachma banknotes being printed doesn’t help matters, with Greeks moving their savings out of the country to avoid the inevitable devaluation if they are forced out of the Euro. No wonder their economy is in free fall. 

    With speculation over further “Quantitative Easing” by the Bank of England, British savers might be looking for safer havens too, to avoid the associated devaluation of Sterling.  Those without savings like myself are focused on overpaying their mortgages to defend against repossession in the event of unemployment.  Changes to UK income tax won’t modify this behaviour, but a further temporary reduction in VAT would provide incentive to spend more and save less. I’m not sure the millionaires in the cabinet appreciate this. 

  • Nick

    Cameron is to busy posturing and trying to position himself as a saviour to us and the rest of the world !.
    Osborne is a man bereft of any ability to have a plan B.He has no concept of what is right for the country !.Only his own narrow minded right wing dogma !.
    I fear for this country if this conolition continues with its stagnation policy !!

  • No, not everything has been tried because leaders are not recognising the substantial differences between now and the 1980s created by the broadband infrastructure now in place in the first world. 

    The economic reforms of the 1980s were so brutal because they had to be sweeping and therefore carried much good away with the bad.  We did not have the capacity to respond in detail to the detail of situations because we did not have the communication infrastructure to facilitate the appropriate flow of communication of action.

    Now we have so things are different.

    We needs lots of small scale intervention grants for individuals who are capable of using them to make wise and stable economic differences.  That is we need to invest in those individuals and specific situations which will lead to deep and stable economic grownth.  There is also talk of investment in capital infrastructure.  This must be done very wisely – not for its own sake but in areas where not to do it will cripple and collapes other aspects of society.

    Let’s have no more of  ‘let’s tax the dirivatives traders less so that they move from other countries to this one’.  That’s not generating wealth – it’s moving it from one country to another and it’s bringing in the people who are not deeply connected to investing the prosperity they have in the people and communities around them. 

    If anyone wants to know more they should ask me.  The relevant insights come from having a detailed understanding of the economic reforms of the 80s combined with a leading understanding of the capacities of online mass communication and the insight to understand the differences this makes to what is possible. 

  • ambrosian

    Is this a comment or a job application?!

  • to what job?  I already have more work than I can handle (here’s just a tiny example and lots of children so work in parallel timespace …. :-).  Don’t worry I’m not after money.  I’m just looking at this general situation and am worried by the lack of insight from those in authority and think some of them should be listening rather than talking.

    Right – nursery run now and then a maths teachers group tonight.

  • Dave Simons

    Either way I think a bit of modesty and humility from Rebecca would not be out of order! We’ve been advised for the last thirty years that ‘you have to sell yourself’, but – blimey!
    We’re still arguing fiercely about the ‘economic reforms of the 1980s’, which I think were essentially about turning the clock back to the time when capitalism was young and entrepreneurs were free to make a fast buck without having to think about such social responsibilties as health, safety, well-being and motivation of the exploited workforce, which was, after all, just another ‘factor of production’ like land and capital. Nowadays of course it’s ‘Human Resources’. One problem though was that the exploited workforce could not then afford to consume much of what was produced. Multiply that round the system and you get overproduction followed by slump.
    But if anyone wants to know more don’t ask me! I don’t have any relevant insights – I just feel that we’re stuck with mind-sets that are leading us down the Swannee.

  • Gilliebc

    OMG something I rarely say but, I so agree and relate to this post of yours ambrosian!  re. your first paragraph,  I’ve also been thinking along those lines.  I came to the conclusion that buying gold might be a good option.  At that stage I had no clue as where to buy gold from even.  Someone on the Telegraph blogs advised the Royal Mint, which hadn’t crossed my mind as I’m quite good at not seeing the blindingly obvious!  But, he also advised against storing it in a bank.  So in other words, it’s back to square one again, because I would be a bit nervous about having gold in the house.  If law and order were to break down, thieves could easily find out who had purchased and were holding/keeping gold at home.

    Regarding your second paragraph ambrosian.  I don’t find it at all difficult to forsee law and order breaking down completely.  There would not be enough police to keep law and order.  I guess the army would be brought in.  But even so, ultimately we would have to rely on ourselves to keep safe.  I think the storing of tinned food, bottled water and other essentials is a very good idea and not just in case there is civil unrest.  But in case we are in for a long cold winter, which I believe we are. The signs are all there. e.g. We had two big “racehorse” spiders come in at the end of August! very early.  Fortunately, spiders don’t really bother me.  (garden worms however freak me right out).  We haven’t had any Daddy Long Legs spiders this autumn, which is a first and highly unusual.  I’m aware that spiders have different names in different parts of the country, so we may or may not be talking of the same type.

    I’m not a pessimist.  Just a realist.  I think being well prepared, together with our British sense of humour will see most of us through almost anything.  Many of us positively thrive in times of trouble.  That’s a well known fact.  As someone said recently on another site.  “At least it’s not boring anymore” and he/she had many in agreement with him/her.

  • Philiptaylor

    Hi Olli,

    Enjoyed the read with a good presentation of financial history
    and economic theories however I am beginning to think that there is a natural “financial
    wave” within the system and no matter whatever tweaking or theorises is applied
    in any situation this wave is self energising complete with boom and bust. Have
    a good weekend

    Kind regards


  • I’m suggesting I’m prepared to chat, at length and for free, with anyone who’s interested and sufficiently well informed to engage in high level discussion, about the details of ways in which we could generate stable economic growth in the current economic climate.

    There are plenty of people who clearly have no idea what to do and want inspiration.

    If you want to ask me questions in public I’ll try and answer them but details are best explored through personal dialogue or I’m quite good with shared Google docs and so on.

    I’m not arguing about the economic reforms of the 1980s.  For me they are just a context for seeing what’s obviously different and could be done better now.

  • ambrosian

    Just after I posted that, Christina Odone (a woman I would walk over hot coals to avoid) loomed up on TV and said her husband who works for The Economist had suggested they draw £5K out of the bank this week and put it under the mattress. Not a sensible thing to announce on TV though, since it wouldn’t be too difficult for a professional to find their address. Further proof the woman is an idiot!

    I thought we were meant to sell gold at the moment while prices are so high. Only yesterday a company sent me a pre-paid envelope in which to send them my gold jewellery etc (if I had any). Like I’m going to entrust a load of gold to the Post Office and send it to a company of which I know nothing.

    I think the proper name of what I called Daddy Long Legs is Crane Flies. They are much more terrifying than spiders. I once had a nightmare about one the size of a microlight, which they rather resemble. But I’m fine with garden worms and even once picked up a bat which had flown into my house. Personal fears seem totally random. Did you know that the murderous psychopath Ronnie Kray was not only terrified of mice but was so scared of the dark that, although gay, he would if necessary sleep with a woman rather than sleep in the dark alone?
    I’m going seriously off-topic now so will shut up and eat one of those tins of corned beef I’ve been bulk buying.

  • Ooops – these posts crossed. I gather constructive ideas are not wanted, rather apologies, humbleness and humility.

    Sorry for missing the mark.  Shall skulk of to bed duly told off but not entirely sure quite what for.  Enlightenment tomorrow perhaps.  Hey ho.

    I think I’ll set up a forum to discuss practical stuff instead on linkedin.  Looks like I don’t belong here,  but I need a logo which is 100kb or less.  Where do I find one of those which is copyright free?

    Gimme a logo guys and I’ll naff off and stop pestering you.  🙂  xxx

  • GJ

    Brown was the one chance we had for leadership, when he could have been shoe-horned into the IMF. He has many critics, and he can’t be absolved of blame, but he was the one person who “got it”. He was the one person, at the time of the banking crisis, who talked with the vision required, when all others were looking to the sky for answers. He also warned of the problems in the Euro-zone some months ago, and still, Osbourne ignored the signs. 

    It is vision, as well as leadership, that is missing. After the British goveernment changed, the right-of-centre European leaders returned to the familiarity and misplaced comfort of austerity, the Americans have returned to tribal politics in Washington, and after the world took a stride forward, and George Osbourne took several hundred steps in the wrong direction. 

    It was the vision of the last British government, and the strength of their argument against austerity and protectionism, that guide the world away from the edge – and it is sorely missed. The quicker the Lib-Dems get rid of Clegg, and jump ship, the quicker we can re-elect a new government, who can pull us back from the brink.  

    P.S. I enjoy reading your insightful comments Olli, and agree with most of your observations – but if you understood the tribalism in Scotland, you would realise that Scotland won’t vote for independence. Salmond only got a majority, because Ian Gray was too quiet, and the public were sick to death of a one-dimensional sectarian debate, that is still rumbling on, north of the border. There was no great sea-change of thought, just a protest from people, fed-up with the politicians labeling them as bigots.

  • Gilliebc

    Totally agree about Christina O.  She is an idiot and a hypocrite.  She gets so many comments on her Telegraph blog saying exactly that.  How she keeps her job, I really don’t know!

    No, I think we should be buying gold right now as a safeguard for the future. Lol, hark at me trying to sound as if I know what I’m on about.
    This is what other people who know a thing or two are saying though.
    In my case it would be a few coins.  But the problem remains of where to keep them.  So I probably won’t get around to it.  Yes, definately no one should entrust gold jewellery to those pre-paid envelope people, they are known rip-off merchants.  Someone also told me not to buy gold from a vending machine either.  I didn’t know there were such things. But certainly wouldn’t go near one, if in fact they do exist.

    Daddy long legs and Crane Flies are one in the same.  Usually there are a lot about this time of year.  But, I haven’t seen one so far.  Haven’t seen a single wasp this summer either, which is fine by me.  I knew Ronnie Kray was afraid of the dark, but didn’t know he was afraid of mice, overblown wuss.  You’re right about personal fears being totally random.  I guess it must be to do with things that happened in childhood or something.  Or, maybe in a former life even.  Not that I believe in reincarnation.

    I should be careful about eating into your stores ambrosian, you may regret it later 🙂  Hope you have a pleasant week-end.  I prefer week days myself for various reasons.  I’m completely off topic also.  Hopefully, AC will be tolerant.  It’s not as if we make a habit of it.  A nightmare about a Crane Fly the size of a microlite!  Maybe you had seen a microlight earlier that day.  There’s often a tracable reason for some nightmares, though not always.

  • Gilliebc

    Flippin’ eck Rebecca, how do you pack so much into a 24 hour day?

    Lots of children, (your words), working and studying also.  Blogging and commenting too.  It makes me feel tired just thinking about it!  Please tell me you’ve got a nanny or at least some paid help around the house.  Otherwise I’m going to feel really inadaquate.  As some people in my corner of England i.e. Devon might say, “I don’t know how you doos it dear”  No time to watch TV, I wouldn’t imagine 🙂

    • No nanny Gillie and OH works away.  One friend helps with cleaning for 2 hours once a fortnight to try and scrape off the worst of the mould and I don’t wash much. 🙂

      Being a heads of maths of a school in special measures (7 inspections a year + the job) and a single mum the same time upped my endurance levels a lot.  The jobs I have now are all part time so fit in with everything else in a much more natural and less stressful way than full time work ever did which helps a lot.  I’ve also been blogging a long time so it becomes just like speaking –  I find it mixes really well with kids for me provided they get their own computer.

      I’ve found some wonderful people who are going to be professional grandparents to the youngest which will be a huge help.  In the past she’s always come with me which has been a handful.  Our family is a mine, ours and two breeds of his family hence the vagueness of numbers (if you know step-kids you know you’re damned if you do count them and damned if you don’t) so all the others can go to their other parents when necessary (but two of them are grown up and – huge credit to them – employed 🙂   )

      No – I don’t really watch much TV.  Just Have I Got News for You, X-Factor and Outnumbered (no suprise there I’m sure) when they’re on. 

      OH working away means I often work and collaborate on articles in the evenings after the kids are in bed.  Like this one:

      I think mass online discussion is a medium with incredible potential just begging to be harnessed for positive good.  But it’s being deliberately misused by many and there are all sorts of issues associated with have to be addressed if we are going to learn to use it to enhance democracy and rapidly generate intellectual capital.  I really want to work with people who are keen to explore its potential for good.

      Sorry if this sounds like self publicity.  It’s not meant to be.  I’m just interested in chatting about potential positive harnessing of emerging technologies in ways which are relevant to the topics under discussions and it seems appropriate to be honest about who I am and my motives. 

  • Anonymous

    The situation with the global economy seems clear to me, it boils down to this:

    Nobody really knows what to do and so they are keeping their fingers-crossed and hoping for the best.

    I know this may seem a bit shocking, but there is a part of me that hopes it fails. Yes, it will cause hardship but in the longer term something better will come out of the ashes.

  • I don’t usually pull out the Christian trump card and am aware it will win me few friends online BUT I am so glad I know who is really in charge and that my faith takes me gently through each day.

    I am not a head-in-the-sand happy-clappist! Nor am I a pessimistic evangelist..I just do my level best to keep a short account with God and take in the news with the view that plus ca change, what goes around will come around again, and it is best to concentrate on one day’s tasks, joys and lows, at a time.

    Planning? Mm, not an easy one…I tend to plan for disappointment…ouch, harshly sad of me. By this I mean, having ill-health has taught me that I will survive disappointment and whenever the worst case scenario has loomed, I have got through it.

    This is all very parochial, I know. How I view the world is rather different, of course. This is why I come on here, to keep in touch with free thinkers and those ultimately more qualified to inform my opinion. I reserve the right to examine those opinions against what I believe and find that helps my levels of peace and harmony endlessly.

    End of sermon…won’t do it again too soon, promise.

  • Richard

    Global recession, famine, civil strife, food riots, banking collapse and wars……..but we might get another Labour government……..”something better” eh? Much better!….and GB back as first Tsar!
    Keep hammering the scrumpy, Tc!

  • lebourg

    “But the new neoclassical synthesis dominates present day economics.” Never was  a truer word spoken!
    “ crisis signalled the obsolescence of the neoliberal economic model.” Hear hear.
    “We need a new moral economy based on fairness.” …, where can I buy one?
    “…nationalise at least one bank.” Why not all bans, or no banks?
     You statements of Fact, totally not backed up, render your “theories” just that……academic twaddle.

    Your predictions are suitable for Mystic Meg.

  • ZintinW4

    The Euro sceptics appear to be taking delight with the problems in the Eurozone but these little Englanders are probably economic illiterates. So much of our trade is reliant upon a stable European Economy that to ignore the problems of the current currency crisis is ultimate folly.

    However all the difficulties are political.  This is one of those areas, like taxation, where the absence of a clear pro-European agenda means that we will always be playing political catch-up. In practice the future prosperity of GB depends upon a stable and prosperous European economy.

    Finally there is little doubt that there is a need for political reform in Europe’s key institutions. This must be a condition of any further economic retructuring. The European ideal is a good one, we just need to make it work on a transparent basis.

  • In the Telegraph they have a report that Germany and France are planning a two trillion bailout of the banks and a managed default of Greece. The question is who is going to pay, are the German and French tax payers going to get the bill, or is this plan a EU centric that is doomed to fail once its sees the light of day. If the two trillion is based on the EU countries paying have my doubts on that score, its just so depressing. As you don’t read the Daily Mail AC saw that Ed Balls sexed up Government forecasts as to allow budget busting spending, thus the structural deficit that the UK faces, also in the Guardian Ed Miliband is accussed of not connecting to the public. Its fun if you’re a Conservative, the Labour Leader is the third leader in UK politics, that’s why you get for stabbing your brother in the back and now wanting to stab the Unions in the back, no wonder Ed Miliband leads only Ed Balls in Polls, so what your spin for the above, “we ” to used Lady Thatcher’s phrase are interested, always check out what ex spin doctors spin.

  • Gilliebc

    Very well said Shirley.  As a fellow Christian, though not always a very good one, I entirely agree with your comments.  To me the fact that Christians are regarded as something of a lower life-form these days, says it all!  By that I mean we tend to be regarded as nutters at best or weak misguided fools at worst. 

    The simple fact is imho, that this old world has strayed so far from the path of righteousness that it is quite obvious who is now in control of things, i.e. the Devil/Satan, call the evil one what you like.  He/it has largely succeeded in destroying the ideas of good and evil.  No doubt many others will disagree with me and Christianity in general.  I don’t care.  I’m prepared to stand up and be counted.  So bring it on.  Probably most people don’t even care enough, one way or the other to even bother, which is also very telling.

  • Gilliebc

    Thanks for the reply Rebecca.

    You come across as a happy and confident person.  So a fast-paced life style obviously suits you.  I don’t think anyone could or should criticise you for being enthusiastic.  I believe you are genuine in your quest to actually try and do something to make a difference and good on you for it!

  • Ehtch

    October has a habit of financial markets stumbling big time right on their faces in the western world, and Dave is predicticting it maybe, maybe stating the bleeding obvious, and trying a double bluff reverse psychology to realise in people what it looks like as present. Or maybe to make himself look good when the bleeding obvious happens? Who knows? I don’t, or do I… crystal ball…. crystal ball….

  • Ah, that was a good grump. 

    It’s caused me to go off and start a thread about modern sustainable micro-community-based economic stimuli structured through on-line debate in the ‘Future of Government’ group on linkedin and while I was at it I’ve found an inspirational thread about Palestinian UN recognition in the TED group.  🙂

  • George

    Weren’t you the one who told Pam to p**s off?

  • George

    Are you serious? ‘…a bit of modesty and humility….would not be out of order……’ You sound like you’re from Downton Abbey…..pompous pr*t!

  • Thanks Gillie,

    Dave if you want to talk through the 1980s in detail as I said before do get in touch.  Since you haven’t taken that opportunity It sounds to me rather like you’d prefer to use them as a excuse for justifying whatever baggage you’ve got rather than actually understand them.

    In the 1980s we had this pull between spending and not spending and it horrifies me that despite the creation of ICT between then and now our politicians are still dropping back into the same models.  Society is now capable of far more detailed, complex and humane solutions and they don’t seem to be able to see it.  Milliband was pathetic on the Marr show this morning.  For goodness sake can’t someone give him a large injection of inspiration/nouse anything but this inane, meaningless vacuous political posturing.  We’re getting enough of that from Davey boy.  It’s like one of them looks down at their Rosette and goes – oh it’s blue that means I’ve got to cut spending and cut taxes for the derivitives traders and that’s how we’ll save the world and the other looks down at his rosette and says – it’ red. We’ll cut taxes for the poor and raise spending and that way we’ll save the world.  BLOIK.  WHERE is all the discussion about detailed interventions to help those who could generate real, sustainable enterprise?  WHERE is the discussion about the variety of ways in which we can stimulate the kind of desirable economic activity which will make Britain efficient, economically active, make best us its natural resources and encourge people to work and live in economically active ways which are good for the communities around them?

    Oh dear I’m not going to have ingratiated myself with many with this post again am I.  Oh well – damn fine burgers and cupakes at the foodfair and Lizzie is convinced we’ve just been to a demonstration where they showed us how to cook a dinasaur (it was a large fish) so who cares?

    Called to Monsters and Aliens, sorry no chance to proof.

  • Robert

    You mean like the micro credit system of Gramin that was promoted by Muhammud Yunus in Bengal from the mid-1970’s?

    Didn’t it work mainly because the community which made the micro loans were involved closely to make sure the businesses were doing OK?

    Modern British Business would resent the advice and supervision and would moan about red tape stifling business initiative, or some such Tory-fed dogma.

    Pity – because it works!

  • ambrosian

    If only you had put a smiley on all your other posts we would have realised they were spoofs and not criticised you. This one is your best yet.

  • Ehtch

    South Sea Bubble? Yes. People are still completely stupid. Anybody fancy buying shares in coconuts? Dodo birds then? Any takers?

  • Dave Simons

    She was just being charitable George. Sometimes tough love is the only answer.

  • Dave Simons

    Yes I am deadly serious and I’ve never watched Downton Abbey so the reference is lost on me. Are the last two words a reference to some kind of confectionery or am I thinking of pretzels? I prefer Rebecca’s response – it’s coherent. But anyone saying ‘If anyone wants to know more they should ask me’ is laying themselves open to the kind of response I made. Pomp doesn’t come into it – you invented that.

  • Ehtch

    Since money markets are going up down and sideways, might as well post a Sheffield song, and why not, from good old Heaven 17. Plusnet – grow up, ask me when I am not posting shite.

    Right, my shite, I’m your Money, from Heaven 17, merlin-like from way back in 1981. Incredible song prophesing,

  • Gilliebc

    George, I think you are new to AC’s website, unless of course you are an “old” commenter now using a different name?  If you are a newby, it looks as if you’ve just taken a cursory glance at the comments of others and jumped to wildly inaccurate conclusions and therefore have made ill-informed, way off beam comments in response.  Your response to a post by Dave Simons is quite simply laughable.  Now Dave S doesn’t need me or anyone else to leap to his defence.  He may probably reply to you himself in his own inimitable, educated and often very humerous way.
    Meanwhile I can tell you that there is nothing remotely pompous about Dave S.  He’s far far from that.

    So George, how about you write a stand alone post in response to one of AC’s blog posts, then we can get the measure of you and your opinions on various topics?  Just a suggestion.

  • Thank you so much Robert that’s exactly the kind of comment I’m looking for.  Yes, that kind of thing. 

    But with the discussion about proposals open sourced onto mass online discussion to allow objections on all sorts of grounds, including that competitors are established and there is no spact in the market, and also to engage wider offers of support than just money.

  • or to the kind of reponse Robert gave.  🙂   

  • George

    You know I never read about the love part, maybe it was just my interpretation and then again I don’t know if there’s any history between them.
    I’m relatively new here so, I’ll keep a look out for the interactions but thanks.

  • George

    Are you sure you won’t tell me to p**s off too….that’s a joke! You’re right, I know very little about Dave Simons but having read just what he had written, it occurred to me that that was what he was demonstrating in his response to Rebecca Hanson.

  • George

    Ok, it sounds like I’ve offended you so, guess an apology is in order. I’m sorry that you’re deadly serious but if that’s your nature then so be it. By the way, you still are a pompous pretzel in your language.

  • Dave Simons

    I did say in a previous post that it would take me ages to get through the books and reports which you have recommended, so that’s the only reason why I haven’t yet got back to you yet, and I don’t anticipate it being soon. I have got other things to read as well. I should add though that I was an adult during the 1980s and I kept a regular diary and journal of that ‘low, dishonest decade’, so anyone who was a child during that period needs to bear that in mind. I am curious as to how your dad managed to reconcile his basic Christian beliefs with economic policies (‘reforms’) which I and others, like the Bishop of Durham of the time, regarded as fundamentally un-Christian.

  • Dave Simons

    Thanks George and I’ve no objection to being called a pompous pretzel!

  • Gilliebc

    I have to admit Rebecca that I don’t entirely understand what it is you are trying to get at or achieve.  Although Robert seems to have an inkling.

    What’s the point in discussing the 1980’s.  Of course I know that history is important, but surely we’ve much more important stuff to get to grips with right now.  Quite a few of us were adults during the eighties and need no lessons on that particular era, thanks all the same:-)

    It also worries me slightly on how much store you place on the internet.
    Given that there is a very high probability that we will not have access to it for much longer and that’s not just my opinion btw.

    I tend to take the view that whatever happens and there are very big things about to kick-off shortly.  We will hopefully muddle through as best we can.  Most of us are at our best whilst under pressure, statistics show!

  • MicheleB

    ……………….”Scotland will also become independent”…………….
    I’m sure there are some Scottish and international observers that think this is just a matter for the Scottish people to decide on but it isn’t.

    It wasn’t ‘pure’ Scottish investment that discovered North Sea Oil. 
    It was ‘pure’ British altruism that formed and has stumped up for the Barnett Formula for decades. 
    It’s not simply a matter for Scottish people to decide whether or not to become separate (as well as always being grumpy separatists)  ….  it’s a UK matter.
    The whole UK can be proud of one Scottish decision in recent years and hopefully most of us will always support them for it.  Releasing Mr al Megrahi was a surprising and good decision.  PA103 had never been an attack on Scotland, the bomb was never intended to explode where it did.

    Oooops, what brought me to that?  Ah well ……

  • MicheleB

    I’d like ‘George’ to respond to the post that others had.

  • MicheleB

    I think I’ve only seen G.bc swear twice  …. once as you say, telling someone to poff (so much more delicate!) and the other was Oirish so it’s excusable 🙂

    Pam is also Fred btw.

  • MicheleB

    The prevailing religion of Islam and the different attitudes to interest would have played a huge part.

    We’re in a situation now where usury isn’t as profitable as it usually is in the West, I wonder whether that’s why SMEs are finding it as hard as they are to get the loans they need? 
    Funds being held on to till the interest rates are more rewarding 🙁

  • Gilliebc

    Hi Michelle, sorry to but-in on your reply to Olli I, but I just wanted to say I entirely agree that it was the right decision to release al Megrahi on compassionate grounds.  I think he was a scapegoat for the Lockerby/plane bombing.  Jim Swire father of one of the victims doesn’t believe al Magrahi was guilty.  I do have some doubts that he was genuinely released on compassionate grounds though, there was more than likely something given in return for his release.  That’s the way it usually works. Nevertheless I’m pleased that he was returned home to die? seems to be taking him quite a while to do that though:-)

  • Dave I don’t expect you to read all dad’s stuff.  There’s plenty of it around an it’s very much of its time and is dated now (which is a big part of the point).  The essence of it is that the UK economy was constructed totally differently then.  Keynesian economics, whereby it was understood that it was better for people to be in work than out of work, had run away with itself.  Most of the country were employed in non-profitable industries and the unions had become so strong that we were stuck that way.  No-one knew how to change anything and the country was going bankrupt.   

    The was forward wasn’t just political.  It was a whole change in culture, mindset, education and, most importantly, the relationship between the management and workers in companies which had reached a level of relentless adversarial destruction. And lots of mistakes were made during the process of change. 

    The reason it’s relevant now is that some are drawing parallels and understanding the differences leads to interesting and relevant and helpful insights as to how things could be done differently. Monetarism and the criticisms of Keynes were never meant to be absolute as many many of this government are interpreting them.

    Dave I know a chunk of what I say is opaque and some of what I’m suggesting is going to be bunkum.  If you ask about specifics I will do my best to answer.  Some of my comments you could read as meaning I’m super arrogant if you read them one way and not if you read them another.  If you read them the first way you will miss their real point.

    Gillie I’m here and talking because I’m so frustrated at all the abysmal policy which is coming through – especially in education and free speech is allowed here which it isn’t on many public forums.  Beyond that I don’t have any particular purpose.

  • I gather there was an interesting program on the Islamic structure of the economy in Libya on Radio 4 yesterday Michele. 

  • MicheleB

    I read somewhere a few days ago that the only reason Mr al Megrahi has survived so far is that he’s receiving a pill that’s not available in the UK for men afflicted with prostate cancer although it’s proving very effective internationally.  This is it:-

    It seems to be a pill that has more relevance to all sufferers than had Herceptin (the one for very specific breast cancers that NICE hadn’t yet authorised for use as it applied to so few sufferers that they didn’t yet have enough evidence to assess it).

    I do hope no Labour councillor will do what the Tory councillor did about that situation (the woman who sold her house to buy Herceptin for herself and get coverage about that in most of the Press).

  • MicheleB

    conolition LOL

  • Gilliebc

    Thanks Michelle.  I see you’ve turned into whatifwhatif again on the next thread 🙂   You may have a glich on your computer, but more than likely it is down to Disqus.
    e.g. I rarely bother to log out of Disqus but on the odd occasions that I have, I usually forget to log in again before writing a comment on AC’s site.  Therefore after I’ve written a comment and try to post it,  Disqus asks me who I am.  So when I begin by typing in my email address, I noticed it automatically also came up in the user name box at the same time and if I didn’t alter it myself my comment came up under the user name of mc Gill
    which is part of my email address!  Not much attention to security there on the part of Disqus imo.
    However Michelle, your problem could be different and if so feel free to disregard the above.  A lot of people do have problems with Disqus though.

  • Whatifwhatif

    I didn’t hear that RH although I’m often listening with at least one ear to R4.

    Sharia banking is spreading in the SE; a friend is selling her house in east London and most viewers have been using their mortgages, being wary that other/more usual sources’ interest rates at the mo are low but will shoot up for sure eventually.

  • Ehtch

    Amuses me when the answers get thin. Sorry, not all your fault. But I always justificationally laugh when it happens. Blame DISQUS and not me for my jolly. I just have a good sense of humour, that is all.