Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Scary Kerry

Didn't see PMQs today - I was having lunch with Dr Robert Shapiro, former economic adviser to Clinton, Gore and Kerry (the other one) and now an adviser to the Obama transition team. By all accounts it was a massacre (PMQs, not lunch). Cameron is caught in a difficult position; he can't re-establish his credibility unless he talks about the economy. And he can't re-establish his credibility if he does - because (a) the Conservatives are all over the place on it, (b) he doesn't know very much about it, and (c) Gordon does.

In response to a journalist's question at the seminar which followed lunch, Dr Shapiro described Gordon's response to the economic downturn as 'superb'. He then slightly spoilt it by adding 'especially when compared to George Bush and Henry Paulson'.

Speaking of Kerry (the other one), I was visiting a friend at the weekend and he was wearing the 'Scary Kerry' T-shirt I'd bought him in Washington at the time of the last election. Kind of wish I'd kept that for myself now.


Bristol Dave said...

Gordon knows about the economy?


Our economy is pretty much in ruins and it's ALL Gordon's fault. Claiming it's down to a "global problem" is just an insult to our intelligence. Yes, other countries are in trouble. But we have it BAD. Let's remind ourselves of Gordon's "prudence" and "competence":

* £8bn lost on nationalising the banks.

* Plundering of pension funds - not to mention remaining funds affected by an average annual growth rate of -26.2%, the worst of any chancellor/PM for 100 years

* Sell-off of 60% of the UK's gold reserves at the worst time in history, publishing the sale beforehand so the price plummeted, losing the UK *at least* £2bn

* Directly responsible for recession in the European telecoms development sector due to the telecom radio frequency auctions for 3G licenses, the costs (£22.5bn) of which were passed onto consumers

* 10p tax rate

* Huge amounts of other stealth taxes, the list of which is far too long to be reproduced here but can be found elsewhere

* Gordon's version of debt as a percentage of GDP (37%) which nobody else agrees with does not include:
- PFI/PPP obligations
- Guarantees for Northern Rock deposits
- Bradford & Bingley obligations
- Net borrowings to fund UK bank bailout
- Guarantees made available to same banks
- £21bn gurantee for Network Rail's borrowing
- £70bn nuclear decomissioning liability
- £1070bn (no, that's not a typo) public sector pension liability

... all of which come to 158% of GDP (and yes, that's BAD), £2,200bn, all off the books.

Please explain how Gordon knows about the economy where he clearly either a) lies or b) is totally clueless.

To top off all of this, he's going to bribe the feckless electorate with tax cuts - which will cost us all further in the long run. I just despair. The Winter of Discontent (yeah, that was your lot too) is going to look like a walk in the park. I don't necessarily think the Tories would be any better but please, for goodness sake, get a grip on Gordon Brown's real economic abilities.

John Pickworth said...

Only a fool could believe Gordon Brown knows anything about the economy.

Brown's sole aim has been to cream off as much as he could to spend as he sees fit.

And before you start... this isn't a Left vs Right thing. Fact is Gordon Brown will impoverish the poor just as much as the rich. We're bust and in a majorly bad way.

Its interesting you highlight Cameron's credibility on the economy but ignore the chap who's been running it onto the ground over the past 12 years?

It took this country 40 years to pay off our World War Two debts... its going to take at least that long to pay off Gordon's.

Old Holborn said...

So let me get this right.

Tax cuts promote growth in the economy.

Took him 11 years to work that one out, eh?

God help us all, including my grandchildren.

Hopefully, your 20,000 Somalis will bail us out.

Kerry said...

So you regard Paul Krugmann as a fool? That's an interesting perspective.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

So you regard Paul Krugmann as a fool?

Yes, and a knave.

Old Holborn said...

Doesn't Paul work for the New York Times?

Did they predict that British tax payers would be in debt for two generations because US mortgage lenders just couldn't stop lending money to unemployed black men in string vests?

(starring Lord Melynn Bragg, John Bird, John Fortune)

bofl said...

nick clegg asked about the bankers that we are bailing out keeping their bonuses.

gordon brown replied that the bosses at BARCLAYS were not going to take bonuses.....


Add to that the other 645 other half wits in the h.o.c who also didn't pick up on this!
oh sorry,644, as you were out having a slap up free lunch with Dr Robert Shapiro,an advisor to Saint Obama.
nice to see you working so hard for your Bristolians instead of getting involved in another countries election. are you supposed to do that?

nice to see you open your blog again.
ps i am not in the LPUK,BNP,Conservatives etc.

Bristol Dave said...

So you regard Paul Krugmann as a fool?

Given my list of Gordon's "achievements" above - yes, frankly.

For years Gordon has been lauded as an amazing chancellor, when in fact the economy's successes were not down to him but global growth. Unfortunately, the economy's failures WERE down to him. It's all coming out now, and people are starting to realise that Gordon wasn't the financial expert everyone thought he was. Hardly surprising really, given he has no financial qualifications (or seemingly any knowledge either).

John Pickworth said...

Kerry said...

So you regard Paul Krugmann as a fool? That's an interesting perspective.

Oh, you've dangled someone with impressive credentials in front of us? Well, clearly then, the pain I and millions of others are feeling must all be imagined. All hail Gordon the Great.

Kerry, you're no doubt alluding to this NYT piece from Krugmann: Gordon Does Good?

In it, Krugmann tells us "... the Bank of England doesn’t have anything like the influence either of the Federal Reserve or of the European Central Bank."

And he continues...

"As I said, we still don’t know whether these moves will work. But policy is, finally, being driven by a clear view of what needs to be done. Which raises the question, why did that clear view have to come from London rather than Washington?"

Of course, that's just Krugmann's opinion and he seems really to be holding up Gordon as a shining example simply to beat Henry Paulson.

Having read some of Krugmann's stuff Krugmann Archive I'm not terribly impressed after all.

By the way, he doesn't seem terribly enamoured with your man Obama does he? But like all talking-head fair weather economists, he'll no doubt be hailing him as a economic genius any day soon.