Sunday, April 11, 2010

The shorter Christopher Booker...

"We're fucked."

But, do go and read the whole, barn-storming column—though I suggest that you have some high-quality happy pills next to you whilst you do so. But as a taster, here are Booker's definitions of the four salient points—the "shadows"—that hang over this election.
Four huge shadows hang over this claustrophobic election, about which the three main parties will be trying to say as little as possible. The first, obviously, as part of the catastrophic legacy of 13 years of Labour misrule, is the barely imaginable scale of the deficit in public spending.

This is now growing so fast that it is difficult to find ways of bringing home how stupendous it has become. The Taxpayers' Alliance has tried to do it by pointing out that public debt is rising by £447,575,342— virtually half a billion pounds—every day. With the Government's own projections showing that within four years the National Debt will have doubled to £1.4 trillion, I recently used figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies to show that by 2014, in only four years' time, it will be costing us the equivalent of £60 a week for every household in the land just to pay the interest on the debt—let alone paying off the debt itself.

The second shadow over this election is the unprecedented damage done to our politics by the expenses scandal, which has degraded the standing of Parliament to its lowest point in history. More than anything, these revelations have reinforced the realisation that we are ruled by a political class in which the three main parties are blurred indistinguishably together, almost wholly divorced from the concerns of the rest of us. Never have MPs or peers been so diminished in stature, at the very time when the bloated apparatus of the state has been intruding on our lives more obviously than at any time before.

A third, closely related shadow which the political class has been only too keen to hide away has been the still barely understood extent to which it has handed over the running of our country and the making of our laws to that vast and mysterious new system of government centred on Brussels and Strasbourg. Nothing better exemplified how our politicians are caught by this system, like flies in a spider's web, than the shifty means whereby each of the three main parties weaselled its way out of keeping the manifesto promises of the last election that it would give us a referendum on the EU constitution, otherwise known as the Lisbon "reform treaty". Here was another great surrender of Parliament's power to decide how our country is run, and the MPs of all parties were not only happy to agree to it, but treated us all with contempt as they lied about it.

A final huge shadow which will barely be discussed at this election, because the main parties are all but unanimous on it, is the way our politics has become permeated by everything which can be related to global warming, from soaring taxes to the propaganda dished out in our schools, from the wishful thinking that we can spend £100 billion on building thousands more useless wind turbines, to the disastrous distortion of our national energy policy by the "green" obsessions of both the EU and our own political class, which threaten within a few years to turn Britain's lights out. (Although next week I hope to reveal an unexpected way in which this might be averted.)

This flight from reality was never better exemplified than by the 2008 Climate Change Act, committing Britain, uniquely in the world, to reducing its carbon emissions by more than four fifths. Even the Government admits that this will cost us up to £18 billion every year for four decades, making it by far the most costly law in our history. Though its target could only be met by virtually closing down our economy, such is the bubble of unreality in which our political class lives that our MPs voted for this insane law almost unanimously, without having any idea of its practical implications.

It seems to me that, very soon, we will not be worrying about immigration—but emigration, as vast numbers of people flee the wreckage of what was, not so very long ago, a vast economic power, a liberal beacon and a great country.


Constantly Furious said...

"as vast numbers of people flee the wreckage"

Exactly. I hear Italy is very nice at this time of century...

Anonymous said...

Some pretty hurtful damaging emigration has already happened and seems to be gaining pace.

I'm referring to the many uk companies that are re-locating abroad or falling into foreign ownership.

Mark Wadsworth said...

And a fifth shadow, which none of the parties want to talk about, is the fact that house prices are unaffordably high for most people.

manicbeancounter said...

However, on the debt issue the Drs of spin would counter that the increase in debt to £1.4 trillion is down to the world recession.

By my calculations around half the debt will be down to Gordon Brown creating a structural deficit in the boom years and less than £250bn due to the recession.

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that, very soon, we will not be worrying about immigration—but emigration"

It has been happening for years now. The emigration figures of Brits leaving here is around 450,000 a year. When you hear Labours "net" immigration figures of around 200,000 they mean over 400,000 fleeing and being replaced by 600,000 immigrants year on year.

The people with the skills or money are fleeing as they can find work whereas the unskilled workers are out of luck. The UK will have the rich and well educated (who will always manage.

When companies start to fail, those in the know sale, those who see the trend sale. The schmucks left losing money with stocks and shares are the people who realise to late or those to rich to really care.

When we all clamour to go to Canada / Australia New Zealand / US the "FULL" signs wil already be up.