OK, so Prime Minister's Questions is not renowned worldwide for the trading of a factually correct information, but this outburst by Blair, in support of Brown, is beyond belief.
Before examining further, it did get worse;
"This chancellor has produced the strongest economy, the lowest interest rates, the lowest unemployment, the highest employment, in our country's history," said Mr Blair.
This requires some understanding of the terms, as well as what has been ignored, to understand the depth of the rubbish being spouted here. It is the equivalent to seeing entire air-fleets of pigs flying in V formation over London.
So from the beginning; the strongest economy. Since 1997, average UK growth has been 2.6%. This is in line with the long-term trend started after the Thatcher economic revolution in 1983. However, at the end of 2005/6 general government debt was £529.1 billion, equivalent to 42.1 per cent of GDP (here). So alot of this growth has been funded by government debt. This is before we add PFI projects into the mix; this would change skew the numbers even further (see Wat Tyler)
Of course we will always have a historically, by numbers, 'the strong economy.' This is due to inflation. But say in 1850, the UK have 50% share of global GDP, today we have 5%. IS our economy the strongest it has ever been?
"The lowest interest rates" well last month the bank of England raised rates to 5.25% and they are heading upwards. So this statement must be a non-sequitor. A few years ago we did briefly have low interest rates and low inflation - but this has all changed radically with both heading upwards quickly now. Real Inflation RPIX is at at least 4.4% currently.
"the lowest unemployment" - so is this true in that unemployment peaked in 1993 at 3 million and has declined ever since. However this effect has bottomed out in the last 2 years and unemployment is now creeping up again. The other part Mr Blair ignores is that those on benefits, including sickness benefits, has shot up. This skews the unemployment figures and shows how much is now hidden.
"the highest employment" - again similar to above, with a growing economy and growing population it would be difficult to see how you could have anything other than this term. he is in effect congratulating Mr. Brown for not overseeing a huge recession. Also of course the 500,000 immigrants who have found jobs in the UK since 2001 help this figure; but what other effects do they have on our society?
No wonder people don't take Blair seriously, as can be seen he just misquotes and fibs openly in Parliament. Time to go with Broon to follow swiftly after. Sadly, I think I may be referring to this post in a year or so's time as the recession sets in....