Wednesday 13 January 2010

Deceitful Brown deficient on deficit and debt knowledge

Now there is a Sun headline you will never read. Nonetheless it is true to say that in Prime Minister's Questions today Brown kept up his meme of conflating the National Debt with the Government Spending deficit.

One is the total amount of money the UK owes, the other is the current overspend. Here is what he said, courtesy of the Guardian:

Bill Wiggin (Con) asks Brown if he regrets the fact that Britain went into the recession with one of the largest deficits of any major economy. Does Brown regret that?

No, says Brown. Britain had the second lowest debt in the G7.
You see Britiain DID go in with a large deficit, over 3%, but we also went in with a relatively low total debt, at 40%. Of course this 40% is now nearing 60% and headed for 80% or 100% in the next few years.

That is becuase of our enormous deficit. The answer Brown gives is telling though - where is his proud boast now about the 'Golden Rule.'

The truth is this is patheic, not answering a question at all but bringing up another topic which he just hopes will make the question go away and fool those watching. I notice the BBC fell for it straight away as their journalist was also economically illiterate:

1205 Mr Brown also promises aid to help the people of Haiti recover from the "devastating" earthquake. Tory MP Bill Wiggin has the first question - about the economy. Does the PM "regret" the level of debt before the recession? Mr Brown fires back with a list of countries Britain was lower than, in terms of debt.

Of course it is also quite possible that Brown does not understand the question and so it not being underhand; he is instead just an idiot. His economic track record as PM and Chancellor make it hard to discount this analysis.....


Old BE said...

Calculus has been badly taught for at least a generation...

Bill Quango MP said...

He understands fully.
He believes with all his heart that answering a question with an answer from a different question is the the correct response.
He used to do it all the time as Chancellor on the Today program when they could drag him onto it.

Anon@9.30 said...

He is not stupid,
neither is he particuarly clever.

Politicians answer the question they wanted to be asked all the time.

The better politicians (Ken Clarke springs to mind) get away with it, especially if they make the answer more interesting than the one you were expecting.

G Brown and interesting are not words that usually go together.

Mark Wadsworth said...

GB is a twat, agreed, but most people conflate the two, and even put gross PPP/PFI liabilities on a par with gross unfunded public sector pension liabilities.

Firstly, the latter outweighs the former ten to one, and more importantly the net PPP/PFI liabilities are quite small in relative terms (despite being horrendous as an absolute figure).

James Higham said...

And this man was Chancellor?

Budgie said...

Brown used to boast, interminably, about how well he was running the UK economy so he cannot now shirk responsibility for the subsequent economic mess.

Letters From A Tory said...

Brown definitely understands what he is saying, but he is hoping that if he repeats it often enough then someone, somewhere, might believe him that it's not serious.

measured said...

The PM has so many balls in the air at any one time..Er, ...except all his balls are on the ground and soon they will be on the block.

(Why doesn't anyone draw some nice diagrams to explain it all? That really would shock a few. Last night on Radio 4, there was talk about how to attack middle class wealth as it was an easy target and served no real purpose. They opined that cutting jobseekers' allowance would cause an outcry, even if it kept recipients above the poverty line. Don't they understand that they are going to squander savings by pouring good money after bad? Brown has so much to answer for.)