Customer Discussions > politics discussion forum

"We Inherited this Mess"


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Oct 2010 03:30:37 BDT
RAB says:
I find this to be a flawed argument. The implication is that a previous government created massive issues in a country, then left it for their successors to take the stick for. It's quite effective, stirs up some anti-opposition feeling, as well as making the current government look as though it has tied hands in making unpopular decisions.

The current government has used this ploy a lot. "It's not our fault." "Woe is us for having to fix it." I hold the view that Labour, by contesting the general election, intended to fix the financial mess it had created. The Tories and Lib-Dems, by contesting the election, thought themselves to be up to the challenge. To then complain that there were issues left by a government is frankly the coward's way out. Who's to say things would have been any better under the Tories?

Anyway, what's your thought on the issue? To me, it's flawed logic that is not given enough scutiny in the public eye, but I suppose to others it could be seen to be too picky.

Posted on 26 Oct 2010 06:04:16 BDT
ezpz says:
Could the Labour Govt have stopped the recession before it began, no.
Could they have tackled the structural deficit in Govt finances that required them to borrow tens of billions annually in the boom years, yes.
Could they have better regulated the banking sector, yes.

The Labour Govt had the power of legistlation, taxation, regulation, appointment to office, and nationalisation. In addition to being in power for 13 years.

If all of the power lies with you, then you must accept the blame when things do not run smooth.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2010 09:56:13 BDT
Damaskcat says:
exactly

Posted on 26 Oct 2010 10:23:49 BDT
RAB says:
I used the current situation as an example, but I've found it happens after most elections when a change of hands occurs, and I personally feel it's a cop-out.

Posted on 26 Oct 2010 13:40:33 BDT
G. Armstrong says:
I largely agree with RAB. The economic crisis threatened to destroy the financial sector of the economy; had Brown not intervened we would have suffered a depression with awful social and economic consequences. Whilst there is a case to suggest that Labour should have reduced spending earlier, the pre-crisis debt level was comparable with previous government, and not outlandish. The central point is, however, that most of the debt is a result of the financial stimulas package; this was unavoidable given the global economic circumstances. It is also needs to be remembered that Labour had to repair a depleted public realm after many years of Conservative under investment. Prior to the Blair/Brown government we were spending 50% less than the European average on health care, which partly explains the shortages of staff, waiting lists that stretched back six years and the yearly winter NHS winter crisis. Labour inherited an awful social legacy, and made great advances in addressing it.

Posted on 26 Oct 2010 15:49:44 BDT
Living9 says:
I read this in yesterday's METRO ... from a very erudite chap called Jason from Essex.

I thought it was very interesting. I must also add that, despite the fact there is/was a global recession so a downturn of sorts was inevitable, running a country is like running a home or a business. Money in, money out, all contributing in some ways and sharing the benefits. If there is extra and you are of a liberal/socialist mind set, you help those less fortunate than yourself. What are we on this planet for anyway?

Ok, several questions in one there; and my opinion. But, I didn't as a family member sanction war mongering, I actively demonstrated against it. How many other uses is my hard earned tax being deployed into without my agreement and wish. Yes, I vote, but nothing changes.

Forward to Jason ...

'Charles, if you think the Tories have introduced 'real poverty', think again (Metro Thu). If we continued to run the kind of deficit we have for the past 13 years without cutting back spending or raising taxes, we would at some point soon 'default' on our interest payment to the banks/lenders who effectively provide the money to allow our government to overspend.

As a nation, we currently borrow money to pay the interest back on the loan we have already taken to run our deficit. This is clearly unsustainable as the loan just gets bigger. If anyone were to run their personal finances in this fashion their credit facilities would soon be stopped and they would be homeless in days.

If the government missed a payment it would seriously impact on our credit rating as a nation (we currently have an AAA rating, the best a nation can have, and we therefore pay a very low interest rate). We wold then become high risk to lenders. Once you become high risk the rate you pay on interest - if someone is prepared to lend to you money - is hugely inflated. The worst case scenariou would be if no one would lend to or invest inus as we couldn't pay our bills. Now that would be real poverty.

I agree we are facing tough times but it could be worse. come on, people, pull together.

Actually that was not the article I meant to include ... there is an ehttp://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/02/x-locale/communities/discussion_boards/post2-glossy._V192198669_.gifven better one in METRO which I am now going to have to type in as well. Bear with me ....

Why does the Labour left continue with this pretence that we don't need to reduce the huge national debit

Posted on 26 Oct 2010 16:03:34 BDT
Living9 says:
Aha ... i's too long to type, you can check it on google, just type 'Debit crisis is a cover' Sammy Simic, London N16 he is a radical left winger ... but well researched.

In a nutshell

National debt is unprecedently large and must be reduced .... WRONG
This year the deficit will be 10.1 percent, this is, historically speaking, low
Late 1940s govt debt was almost 250 percent of GDP but no talk of crisis.
Welfare state began, post war, NHS was founded.
Decent pensions paid to elderly and student grants given.
Britains debt is 78 percent of GDP, compared to 93% in UK, 133% in Greece and 227% in Japan.
Tories are creating a panic to destroy the welfare state and give NHS up to privatisation.
The vast majority of us didn't cause this crisis and we shouldn't have to pay for it.

This guy is talking sense.

What do you think? Shall we start a revolution????

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2010 16:33:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Oct 2010 17:46:49 BDT
"Britains debt is 78 percent of GDP, compared to 93% in UK, 133% in Greece and 227% in Japan."

Has he included PFI? 'Real' debt is actually around 103.5% of GDP once PFI, public sector pension liablities and shortfalls etc are taken into account...

Taken from "www.economicshelp.org"

"The cost of National debt is the interest the government has to pay on the bonds and gilts it sells. In the first six months of 2010, the debt interest payments were £21.6bn, suggesting an annual cost of around £43bn (3% of GDP).,..Public sector debt interest payments could be be the 4th highest department after social security, health and education. Debt interest payments are rising close to £70bn given rise in national debt."

Any macro-economist will tell you 3% of GDP on dept interest payment is untennable in the long-term, and will increase if the debt itself is not tackled.

"National debt is unprecedently large and must be reduced .... WRONG
This year the deficit will be 10.1 percent, this is, historically speaking, low
Late 1940s govt debt was almost 250 percent of GDP but no talk of crisis."

He's comparing two completely different eras to make his point, which is fundamentally wrong. The UK post 1945 was bruised and battered yes, but the infrastructure was already in place to sustain the (then) predominantly primary and secondary sector output that the UK was so famed for late 19th and early 20th century.

As the secondary sector specfically has declined (debateable as to whether primary sector has diminshed) it has been filled with a tertiary sector economy (i.e. financial services and the 'service' sector in general) which, comparable to the fiscal generation output of an efficiant secondary sector, is no way near as liquid as people many have you believe. As inflation devalues currency, growth must outstrip it to allow for the gradual increase in costs relative to inflation, something which, if the current defecit is allowed to grow, could reverse, and generate a currency with less worth, which in turn would devalue our output in general terms (which is bad obviously).

(Oh, let us not forget the Marshall plan, and although the UK didn't get must income directly from it, the regeneration it caused in Europe post 1945 was amazing, and certainly contributed to the UK's regeneration in that era).

"Decent pensions paid to elderly and student grants given."

The figures of the elderly then and students then are incomparable to today. We also ave a huge 'blackhole' (I dont like that term but there you go) in public sector pension payments, with some councils actualy having a shortfall of almost their entire years budget on pensions, causing further borrowing.

"Tories are creating a panic to destroy the welfare state and give NHS up to privatisation."

NHs privatisation existed in NL far more than anything under previous governments. Quasi-privatisation was the staple diet of the centrist third way ideology of giddens and blair, and has already caused the part privatisation of vast areas of the NHS. Spending on the NHS went 'up' under Thatcher as well.

"The vast majority of us didn't cause this crisis and we shouldn't have to pay for it."

An idealistic but untenneble position. Simple facts are there are more 'poor' people than rich, and the rules of rationality dictate that the costs will given to the consumer (i.e. us) from the producer/seller (in this case, the banks). To say otherwise would be A material to win an election, and A material to get riots on the street when the people who promised it reaslied how unrealistic that sentiment is when in power.

"This guy is talking sense."

His facts, far from being 'well-researched' are lousy and seem to have glossed over prima facie evidence that can found on any google search (how he's missed the PFI thing I really have no idea).

"Shall we start a revolution"

What were you thinking of?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2010 22:15:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Oct 2010 22:17:44 BDT
Neutral says:
L9 claims,

"National debt is unprecedently large and must be reduced .... WRONG. This year the deficit will be 10.1 percent". Completely wrong. The deficit is in the region of 70% of GDP, having been as low as 29% in 2002. However, that is only the government's domestic debt to residents of the UK. The cost of interest on the National Debt is currently in the region of £43bn (i.e.3% of GDP). In addition, the government has future pension liabilities which the Centre For Policy Studies estimate could take ND to 103% of GDP. In addition, the government has guaranteed to bailout mortgages if necessary (a potential total liability of £500bn).

Of greater concern is the UK's external debt i.e. monies owed to nonresidents (including foreign banks) which stands at 416% of GDP.

With regards to the post Second World War situation. The cost of pensions was limited to about 4 million people with a relatively short lifetime in retirement. In 2010 there are 10.5 state pensioners, most of whom are living longer, thereby increasing long term liabilities. In addition, "In the 1940s, private sector borrowing was lower. Individuals were willing to do their patriotic duty and buy government war bonds. I doubt there would be the same patriotic fervour to buy 'bonds to save the greedy banks'. The problem today is not just government borrowing, but private sector debt and financial losses. The reaction of the markets, particularly in foreign exchange markets, has shown that there is growing uncertainty over the UK's ability to borrow."

"Public sector debt figures are liable to soon rise over 100% of GDP, because statistical rules means we must include the liabilities of nationalised banks. However, these liabilities do not require present government borrowing."

Sammy Simic, whoever he is, is talking nonsense. His conclusions are politically motivated and bear no relation to reality. The claim that the Tories are trying to destroy the welfare state and privatise the NHS is a typical left wing shibboleth based on ideology and with no reference to the facts.

"The vast majority of us didn't cause this crisis and we shouldn't have to pay for it." True but New Labour had the opportunity to take Northern Rock into full public ownership at whatever financial cost they wanted, including nil compensation. They failed. Similarly they allowed Sir Fred Goodwin to walk away with a pension of over £500,000 per annum instead of holding him liable for the collapse of RBS, suing him and bankrupting him.

"What do you think? Shall we start a revolution????". As an initial revolutionary measure you could start by recognising the dire situation which Gordon Brown hid from the country and Coalition has to clear up. Do not forget either that Brown's decisions to transfer regulation of the banks away from the Bank of England and to reduce dividend payments to pension schemes created an environment in which banks operated effectively without supervision and final salary pension schemes were destroyed. In brief start looking at facts, not speculating about them.

Posted on 27 Oct 2010 12:48:47 BDT
Neutral is correct, however I would contest the additional £500b in additional 'bailout' money signed off by the govt to cover mortgages. I read recently in a journal article that there is a possibility that this will be reversed as the true cost has been brought to light. I'll try and dig it up for your leisure if I remember where I saw it.

Also brown sold off a lot of UK assets at a relatively low Market price (notably but not exclusively gold), meaning national liquidity in the current 'crisis' is lower than it was 13 years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010 15:12:16 BDT
Dreamer says:
"What do you think? Shall we start a revolution????" I'm with you all the way mate.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010 19:42:02 BDT
Neutral says:
FC

It's only a potential liability, unlikely to be called upon. You're right about the UK assets.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2010 19:42:44 BDT
Neutral says:
D

You'd never get out of your armchair.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2010 00:37:17 BDT
Dreamer says:
N
I don't own an armchair. I am currently coveting yours wich must be a truely luxurious piece of furniture if you spend this much time posting from it.

Posted on 30 Oct 2010 09:43:09 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I really love the assumptions people make about other people's lives without having any idea of how the people concerned actually live.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2010 17:34:04 BDT
Neutral says:
D

"armchair revolutionary" is a perjorative term and your left-wing credentials were confirmed by your admission that you are coveting the property of others. In your case it's not a chair you need it's a desk, pen and paper, so you can learn to spell correctly.( e.g. which, truly). Speed is no excuse for sloppiness.

Posted on 30 Oct 2010 23:13:23 BDT
catspoo says:
there is no right or left, cons or labour, they are both faces of the same coin they bicker for theatrical value in an attempt to perpetuate the false, left right paradigm, to give the people whom the politicians are supposed to serve the illusion that they are not being gnawed on by vermin.

being an "armchair revolutionary" is far, far better than being a couch mushroom (who is kept in the dark and fed $%"£).

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Oct 2010 23:40:48 BDT
Dreamer says:
I'm dyspraxic. Sometimes I don't have total control over my fine motor skills. Particularly aty speed.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2010 09:18:26 GMT
Living9 says:
You can see how nations go to war with each other; can't you. Witty and clever as your dialogue is desist now & return to the topic under discussion!

Er ... Just because I poked my head above the parapet don't shoot me. :))

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2010 09:29:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Oct 2010 09:35:09 GMT
"there is no right or left, cons or labour, they are both faces of the same coin they bicker for theatrical value in an attempt to perpetuate the false, left right paradigm, to give the people whom the politicians are supposed to serve the illusion that they are not being gnawed on by vermin."

I would heavily dispute this claim. Centrism is the new consensus true, but to claim that specturm orientated politics is an 'illusion' glosses over an awful lot of the evidence of political systems not just here, but worldwide. The UK context has, far from seeing a centrist overhaul in the past few decades, seen a 'blurring' of political affiliations, which has in turn created a void in which so-called 'extremist' parties have flourished. Case in point, you cite Tory/Labour consensus in the "left right paradigm" (never heard of it but ok, I think you may be reffering to centrism post Giddens/third wayism?) meaning that give the 'illusion [of choice]'? Well, OK, explain then the severe left-wingism found within Northern Labour party offices in areas such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, and (previously) areas of Halifax (to name a few)? (Halifax central is now Tory but it has seen a lot of yo-yoing. In fact my partner's grandad was a Labour Mayor in Halifax in the 70's, and back then extreme left-wingism was par the course).

Far from being all 'one way traffic' regarding political ideological affiliation, i would say that the proliferation of parties such as UKIP, the BNP, (formally) Veritas, Respect, the Greens (among others) and the increase in leftism within several areas of the Labour northern heartlands shows us that quite the contrary is true.

Interestingly there have been a spate of articles in APSR, British Politics and the Journal of Local government citing this very fact, ill dig them up for your pleasure (but only if your institution has access, otherwise my ass is ripe for suing =[ )

"being an "armchair revolutionary" is far, far better than being a couch mushroom (who is kept in the dark and fed $%"£)."

I think a lot of problems regarding disenchantment and political apathy would be solved if people actually read the basics of political science instead of swallowing the media/spin machines of the political parties and accepting prima facie nonsense. Politics is a wide ranging subject. The party political systems of nation states (and or) are simplistic in the extreme compared to the history that created them.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2010 18:06:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Oct 2010 18:07:05 GMT
Neutral says:
FC wrote,

"Case in point, you cite Tory/Labour consensus in the "left right paradigm" (never heard of it." See: Rodney Needham. Right and Left: Essays in Dual Symbolic Classification. U of Chicago P.(1973).

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Oct 2010 18:08:41 GMT
RAB says:
Yes?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2010 20:20:08 GMT
Dreamer says:
Target locked. Aim. and Fire. =)
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the politics discussion forum

More Customer Discussions

Most active community forums
Most active product forums

Amazon forums
 

This discussion

Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  26 Oct 2010
Latest post:  2 Nov 2010

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 2 customers

Search Customer Discussions