Thursday, February 12, 2009

In The Hands Of A Dangerous Idiot

Planning venue

The Major has always believed Brown to be a Socialist idiot. And even though some of them secretly voted for that nice Mr Bliar, 9 out of 10 Surrey housewives agree with him.

But over the last few months all of them have come to realise that Brown is actually much worse than a simple Socialist idiot - he's a dangerous Socialist idiot. In fact, he is such a clear and present danger to everything we hold dear, I fear the Major is contemplating extreme action. He talks darkly about meetings in the Legion carpark with his "oppo", and "expediting matters with extreme prejudice... before it's too late".

The charge sheet is clear. Brown has spent wildly, yet has delivered public services that have gone backwards: our state schools are a catastrophe churning out a generation with 5 good GCSEs but unable to read; our NHS hospitals are scary Scutari-style plague pits; our criminal justice system has gripped homophobic thought crime but left homicidal maniacs free to go about their business.

All that we've long known. But as the economic slump gathers pace, it's becoming clear the damage is much worse: through a toxic mix of incompetence and arrogance Brown has undermined the entire basis of our future prosperity, and according to the Major, our very social fabric.

Financial melt-down

The latest revelations include more shocking details on just how poorly his financial services regulator did its job.

In the case of busted bank HBOS, it now transpires that the FSA had serious concerns about the risks being run as far back as 2002. In three separate reports between then and 2006, it warned HBOS that the "growth strategy of the group posed risks to the whole group and that these risks needed to be managed and mitigated".

So WTF was nothing done? What did the FSA think it was there for? What idiot set them up and why didn't he monitor them?

On Newsnight yesterday, the Abominable McNulty used the hindsight is a wonderful thing defence, claiming that Gordo couldn't be blamed for the FSA's manifest and multiple failures because nobody raised any of these issues at the time.

Whaaa!!! IIRC right back in 1997, no less a person than the then Governor of the Bank of England objected in the strongest possible terms. Indeed, when Brown bludgeoned it through - insisting that the Bank was to be stripped of its traditional bank regulatory powers - the Governor very nearly resigned over it.

We can only speculate how the Bank would have handled the reckless expansion of HBOS, RBS, the Crock, etc etc. And it is true they bodged BCCI back in the 80s. But Bank Governors never shied away from hauling senior commercial bankers up in front of the port and cigars, and subjecting them to a serious eyebrow raising. The FSA seems to have run a mile from any such confrontations - it simply wasn't up to the job.

Also of course, to the extent that the FSA thought there were serious problems, who did they tell down the other end of town? Did Brown know about the concerns with HBOS? If not, why not? And if so, why did he do nothing? Other, that is, than appointing the now disgraced ex-head of HBOS as Deputy Chairman of the FSA.

So here we are: many of our High Street banks are effectively bust, in large part because Brown's half-baked regulatory system has been a catastrophic failure.

And catastrophic failure is not confined to finance.

Migration melt-down

For years Brown told us that our economic prosperity depended on open-door immigration "policies". He reckoned the extra labour supply lifted our GDP growth by 0.25% pa.

But as we've blogged many times (eg here), in terms of per capita GDP - which is all that matters - Labour's mass immigration has brought us no net benefit. Sure, there have been winners - employers, the nannied classes, and the migrants themselves have won - but many indigenous workers have lost, especially low-skilled workers.

These particular chickens are now roosting noisily. And with unemployment soaring, the recent strikes against foreign workers are a dire warning of what lies in store.

Yesterday, we got a clearer fix on Labour's record when the ONS launched a new statistical release on UK and non-UK born employment. Here's the Big Picture:

So over the whole period from 1997 Q2 to 2008 Q4, the number in employment grew by just under 3 million - as we are constantly being told. But nearly two-thirds (62%) of those jobs went to migrants.

Now, you can argue that this is a quid pro quo for our globalised economy, and many UK citizens went to work abroad. Which has some truth.

But you can no longer argue that the inward migration brought a net benefit to our overall living standards. Although it has put considerable additional strain on housing and our public services (see many previous blogs eg here).

And what happens now Brown's jobs are incinerating? Does anyone really think these 2 million newcomers will simply go home again? It is another catastrophe in the making.

Which is precisely why the "Progressive Consensus" is so aghast that the ONS has published the numbers so openly. Keith WTF-do-we-still-have-to-put-up-with-him Vaz says:

"I think that to put out figures on foreign-born workers on the same day as the release of unemployment statistics is not helpful. The danger is that such information could be misconstrued or misused by those who do not support the view that Britain should be a diverse and multicultural society."

This is the Westminster elite at its patronising deceitful best.

Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag, and attempting to conceal the facts is only going to inflame people like the Major. What's more, dismissing the strikers on Teeside as xenophobic fascist scum (Mandy's line) is going to make people very angry indeed.

Twenty Fresh Divisions

So are we in danger? Listening to the Great Man himself being grilled by senior MPs on the Parliamentary Liaison Committee this morning, you could easily come to that conclusion.

Although bristling with facts and figures, he seemed totally detached from reality. When confronted with real facts from the real world, he brushed them aside, saying the facts were "out of date", or for some reason weren't relevant.

It was classic final days in the bunker stuff: he didn't actually say he was committing twenty fresh divisions to the front, but he came very close.

So what can we do? Can we survive another 14 months with a dangerous idiot at the controls?

Scary stuff. I may pop down to the Legion carpark later to see if I can find out what the Major's up to.

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