Saturday, 28 December 2013

Britain of the year

George Osborne Named 'Briton Of The Year' By The Times Newspaper

  Huffington Post almost faints in astonishment as it reports that 'Boy' George is Britain of 2013 for finally getting around to doing his job. That the Guardian chose their Edward Snowden was no surprise. I expect him to have Sponsored by the Guardian advertised on all his clothing.

But George? Man of 2013? 

If I'd been asked I'd have said Denis McShane would have been more likely. 

 George Osborne has been named "Briton of the Year" for setting "the terms of political debate" with his austerity agenda and being "partly vindicated" by the onset of economic growth, says the Huffpuff, using all their own air quotes of disbelief.

And the Huffpo is right to point that out. When the Times has to use justifications such as 'partly' and 'setting the terms of the debate' its clear a bit of shoehorning was needed to make the man fit the award. After all you could conceivably say the same about Miliband.

He certainly set the terms of the political debate for 3 months. And he can claim to have been partly vindicated on pretty much anything. Let's say 'foodbank poverty'.

And against, say, Andy Murray who ended the 77 years of Wimbledon hurt or One Direction's Harry Styles, who has probably done as much for the economy as the Chancellor, was Osborne a good choice?

Anyway- Something to think on. Does George Osborne deserve his award?

14 comments:

dearieme said...

Come now, the Briton of the year is from Downton Abbey: either the girl with the chilling eyebrows, or the delightful Anna.

Demetrius said...

Surely Nigella Lawson for getting the most media coverage in history for the least effort?

Nick Drew said...

not Russell Brand ? haven't they heard the Revolution's coming ?

seriously, finally getting around to doing his job is about the best that can be said

you and I discussed the strategic imperatives quite a lot in 2010, BQ, (e.g. here) and we agreed he had to be properly positioned no later than his FIRST Autumn Statement

I persist in the view that 95% of his most recent effort could have been launched a full 3 years earlier

better late than never, yes: and maybe enough to scrape past the post - but such needless waste

no prizes for him

DJK said...

George Osborne seems a very strange choice. But then the Telegraph's list is equally uninspiring --- with the exception of Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who is clearly a remarkable person.

Sometimes it would be better not to award these titles, rather than invite ridicule, as the Thunderer has done.

George Frimpong said...

Austerity? The deficit is only just changing course and government spending has hardly been cut.

I'm a fan of Osborne but he's not man of the year.

Worse, being elevated means he's only got further to fall. There's the touch of Gordon Brown about him, every fiscal decision is swayed by headlines and "tactics" rather than sound money.

Budgie said...

Time has done more than George Osborne.

CityUnslicker said...

Prince William will be crying uncontrollably. He put that car seat in straight away perfectly.

The BBC said...

Mandela.

Man of the Year

This year, and every year

andrew said...

well, they can't give it to Cameron (what has he done apart from not have the coalition fall apart) the economy is on the up and compared to Holland / Merkel Osborne shines (and he does make the nicest wallpaper)
it reminds me that economies perform despite those in power, not because of them.

Electro-Kevin said...

Hilarious reports suggest that Britain is going to catch up with Germany economically, despite having almost no manufacturing industry, comically bad schools and a collapsing infrastructure.
I can only assume that we will do this by overtaking the Germans in the production of fairy tales.
Theirs are called things like Hansel And Gretel. Ours are called ‘official statistics’, an amazing fantasy world in which crime is down, school standards are up, there is almost no inflation and George Osborne is an economic genius.

(Peter Hitchens)

Timbo614 said...

@ The BBC, sorry but I thought I saw an article that said Mandela had died? Can the award be posthumous?

Budgie is right, Time heals (or at least lets inflation do your work).

Ryan said...

@EK

Astonishing as it may seem there is some truth in it.

At the present time the UK is growing much faster than Germany. Germany is being dragged down by its suppport of the rest of the EU and a high currency. Also its population is in decline.

The UK is making good use of its low currency to grow rapidly, also its population is still growing at quite a lick and is likely to grow faster as an the only improving economy in the EU sucks in more of the EUs unemployed.

As foreigners start to buy into the UKs relative success the currency will gradually rise against the Euro.

All they have done is extrapolate out the curves from where we are today.

The question is will it actually be "good" growth?

I would say no. Nominal GDP might be good but GDP per capita not so good. We might still have relatively high unemployment as we suck in the EU's unemployed. We will probably have to cut back on some benefits and our own people will suffer. Most of all the population will have risen towards 80million with true born Brits making up less than half of the population and with our cities having the kinds of traffic problems you would find in Moscow and Istanbul and no-end of pressure on services that cannot expeand to meet the increased demand because all the immigrants come in at the bottom of the wage scale and won't pay any tax.

In short, if this tiny island does EVER grow to have a GDP as big as Germany it will be a disaster.

DJK said...

As Ryan says, making the GDP total overtake Germany is not hard given (a) unrestricted immigration, to the point where the descendants of the pre-1939 population become a minority in England, and (b) a minor change in the relative value of the pound/Euro.

But is a future in a crowded, expensive, low-wage country with no shared culture or history really something to look forward to?

And, something that is rarely mentioned, there is a large non-monetary reward for being part of an enterprise that makes things --- a pride in their work available to the employees of the German engineering firms, that no amount of burger flipping can ever produce.

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