Gordon’s golden legacy

While attempting, doubtless unsuccessfully, to settle your stomach after Gordon Brown’s sickening performance on the TV, you should read Jeff Randall’s column in the Telegraph.

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Let’s kick off with the pound: after all, when Mr Brown was in Opposition, he taunted the Tories with the allegation: “A weak currency arises from a weak economy, which in turn is the result of weak government.”

Since March 17, 1998, sterling has lost about 14 per cent of its value against the Swedish krona, 24 per cent against the Chinese yuan, 33 per cent against the Swiss franc and 35 per cent against the Japanese yen.

The euro was not a currency, as such, in 1998, but the website x-rates.com calculates that against a basket of currencies forming the euro, sterling has shed about 27 per cent of its value over the past 12 years. In that time, even the enfeebled American dollar has dipped less sharply than the pound.

I am sure if one looks hard enough (try sub-Saharan Africa), there will be a handful of currencies against which sterling is now stronger than it was on Mr Brown’s big day; but not at the top table. As a result, when buying in overseas markets, the Great British consumer is a six-stone weakling.

Yes, Mr Brown kept us out of the euro. Well done. But in doing so, he has allowed us to see what traders think of the UK’s prospects. Verdict: thumbs down.

Fail #1.

Turn now to the London stock market, where much of what’s left of our pensions, ie long-term savings, tends to be invested. How have we fared?

On March 17, 1998, the FTSE-100 index was 5,834. At close of play on February 10, the day on which I based these calculations, it had fallen to 5,132, a drop of 12 per cent.

Ah, says Mr Brown, this is a global crisis. All industrialised countries have been affected by recession. In which case, what has happened to their stock markets? In France, the CAC index is down, but by less than one per cent. In Germany, the DAX index is up by 12 per cent. In America, where all the trouble began (Mr Brown’s words, not mine), the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up by 15 per cent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index is up by 77 per cent. Of the world’s big players, only Tokyo’s main market has fared worse than London’s.

Fail #2. But as you already know, Labour always wreck the economy.

In a report for the Centre for Policy Studies, John Littlewood, a former group director at S G Warburg, concludes: “The London stock market has always performed poorly under Labour governments… its performance under this [one] has been even worse than during previous Labour governments.”

Hard to believe, I know, but true. Under Labour 1964-70, the stock market’s real return (adjusted for inflation) went down by 13 per cent. Under Labour 1974-79 (which included Denis Healey’s grovelling to the IMF), it went down by 11.5 per cent. Under Mr Brown, the London stock market’s decline in real return is more than 20 per cent.

And there it is in black and white.

On March 17, 1998, he talked much about Britain’s “deficit reduction plan”, “an unshakeable commitment to prudent monetary and fiscal rules” and, get this, addressing the “structural weakness” of unemployment. These were the yardsticks by which he chose to be judged. What happened?

Oh, I know this one.

Well, Britain’s budget deficit, as a percentage of GDP, is running at 14 per cent, the worst among G20 nations, and higher even than in Greece (13 per cent), which is about to be rescued by an EU bail-out. We are borrowing about £180 billion a year, and our stock of debt is heading for £1 trillion.

That’s Fail #3 isn’t?

Monetary rules, prudent or otherwise, were ripped up, after the Bank of England printed £200 billion and pumped it into the economy (inflation, here we come).

#4

As for unemployment, there was no figure I could find for March 17, 1998, but for the spring quarter of that year it was 6.3 per cent. Today, it is 7.8 per cent. For those lucky enough to be in work, real wages are under relentless pressure from millions of economic migrants.

So what are you telling us, Jeff?

In short, sterling is in the toilet, our pensions have been slaughtered, cash savings yield almost nothing, the country is up to its neck in unprecedented debt, the banking system is awash with funny money, our gold reserves were sold off at rock-bottom prices, and Britain’s dole queue is considerably longer than before Crash Gordon began cooking the books.

And that’s just the tangible economic stuff.  This says nothing about the way he interfered with domestic affairs by way of the purse strings or obstructed good government through his constant feuding with (and spinning against) Mandelson, Blair, Et Al.

AJ

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About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

3 Responses to Gordon’s golden legacy

  1. Ethan says:

    This golden Gordon legacy of which you speak. Had me puzzled for a while. Then I realised that his golden legacy is actually ‘golden snow’. As in ‘Don’t eat golden snow’.

    Man’s a thrush.

  2. I reckon both “Captain Queeg” Brown and the pickeninny Obama were sleepers inserted as “time bombs” by Grobochow just before he surrendered in the cold war.

    “I know WE can not destroy them, so let them destroy themselves”.

  3. Ethan says:

    Gordons real legacy.
    A set of privacy and secrecy laws worthy of any communist East European or Fascist state.
    The D notice – used to hide from the people THAT which they should know all about. especially before voting for these perverts.

    See this link.
    http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2010/02/hollie-greig.html

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