Monday 3 October 2022

So: busking it on economic policy isn't smart after all?

That's it, really.

And these people draw salaries, as my mother-in-law used to say.



Afterthought:  you don't suppose the hedgies at that notorious 'champagne reception' told him he'd been courageous, do you?

If I was Starmer, I'd be thinking my biggest risk was catching something unpleasant over the next few months.


Clive said...

Well since that seemed to stun everyone into silence (or they’re just not up yet, being old, that’s not surprising but mea culpa I’m old too now so I won’t throw stones in that glass house...) so I’ll go first.

To put this in perspective, ditching the 45p top rate cut means the rest of the package will survive. That’s the important bit. That, and Northern Ireland being picked up from under bus (and we’re still having to wait and see on that one, too comp to go into here but it’ll no doubt be returned to in the future).

Truss stuck it out but it simply wasn’t a hill to die on. If you’re going to u-turn, get it out the way as soon as possible. And in doing so, Truss has dumped a rather messy question in her detractors’ laps. Which is: “is this really what you want?” Yes, if we turn on each other like rats in a sack, the media will govern, not us. Now it’s looking very much like the wets are the dog that caught the car. Okay, says Truss, I’ve given you what you want. But what, exactly, has it solved and what are the costs? Do you really, Truss has ended up asking the wets, want to be in power? If so, then this isn’t going to be how it works. If you don’t want to be in power, well, that can be arranged.

Matt said...

No election on the horizon so there was no need to be concerned about the 45% rate cut being unsellable as suggested by some in the Tory party.

Sure, it might have meant that some of the MPs decided to vote with Labour against the cut but I'd have fancied my chances against that bluff.

The Tories were basically dead anyway, this at least put them on life support. As usual, they can't not shoot themselves in the head, so they will be out now whatever happens.

DJK said...

None of it matters at this point, as the Conservatives will soon be out of power for 10-15 years. Apparently, the Conservative party now stands for:

Cuts to welfare, plus shedloads of borrowing to fund tax cuts for the super-rich.

Unlimited immigration to stiff the wages of the working poor.

How do you think that is going down in Middle England, never mind the Red Wall?

That these things won't happen is beside the point; it seems to be what the party actually wants. You can add to that jacking up interest rates to crash the housing market. I think that's a good thing, but house prices won't fall far enough in two years to help young people. Instead, what it will do, is create a lot of pain and anger amongst Conservative voters.

To some extent, Truss is a victim of timing. Covid, war in Ukraine, etc. means that suddenly the world economy is turning. It's just that she's appeared at exactly the right time to take the blame for all the misery that follows.

Jan said...

The Bliarites are out to get Truss and Kwarteng from every angle. It's pitiful to see the amount of pure venom directed at them, quite a lot of it from their own party. They must hold their nerve especially when it comes to the necessary restructuring of the welfare state.

Diogenes said...

This is only the first of the U-turns.

On energy, there is no incentive to save as there is the belief the cost is "capped". It's not. And what's the capping mechanism? An open ended cheque to the power companies, traders, hedgies and the odd dictator here and there.

So come mid-winter there will be a financial crisis as capping will be unaffordable.

Then there is the knock-on of the poor finances on mortgage costs. Unaffordable to both the mortgagors and mortgagees. Wonder how many banks it will take down.

Just when you need someone sensible at the wheel (not Boris) you have these cosplay Thatcherite's.

Take your money and run to somewhere warm.

jim said...

Budget in haste - repent at leisure.

The Tory Conference, just a waste of hot air, Starmer no better. GB plc needs a better job instead of cut cut cut.

Papers are full of 'must up productivity', 'must get more education/infrastructure/industry', must get more 'R&D'. Which makes for good sound bites but when the rubber hits the road we run straight into the NIMBY and economic reality. I fear we have a phony narrative.

The problem is economic reality. Anyone can do anything anywhere and water flows downhill to those places with the least aggravation and the most fertile pastures. We already have become the industrial equivalent of a desert land, far from sources of economic nourishment and with the equivalent of camel trains for trade flows. The lessons of those old Silk Road cities may come to haunt us.

Once upon a time The Hidden Hand helped us out. Natural self interest etc. That was in the days of sail and steam and Napoleon and the Kaiser. The baker/candlestick maker now live in Shanghai or wherever is cheap/easy. Get sniffy about the Chinese if you want, it won't help you, all Asia beckons.

Snag is there are no easily usable new technologies we can afford, fusion etc is still decades away and the political setup is still useless. We can't build time machines or galactic transporters - just do the same old stuff as everyone else. So barriers have to go, Truss & KK and the rest are playing a silly game while reality passes them by.

Bill Quango MP said...

Let’s look at that budget again.

1. planned £5bn of efficiency savings could be found by cutting out "obvious things" which had been identified across departments.

2. national insurance tax rise. A tax on jobs in a recovery, say opposition.

"I set out a budget that I think is right for next year but if you look ahead you have to see how quickly the economy recovers.

"At this stage is very difficult to be absolutely certain about what will happen, for example, on tax; if the economy does well that will help us.

"What I tried to do … is set out a sensible path, that is sustainable. We need to face up to the fact that we do have a lot of uncertainty out there. To try to write a budget for five years time would be just plain daft. We have got to live within our means and ensure our finances are sustainable for the long term.

However, the chancellor admitted public spending would need to be reined in.

"I don't make any bones about the fact public spending does need to be rigorously examined," he said. "We do need to be rather more efficient."

Oh, wait! This isn’t a Truss budget. It’s fro Alistair Darling. But written by Gordon the Mad. In the final agonies of his collapsing and embarrassing reign as PM and architect of the tax and spend and tax and spend and spend and spend and spend, phoney,, fully costed, budget.

Alistair followed it up with the trap that we here urged Osborne to immediately disarm.

A proposed new 50p income tax band for those earning more than £150,000. Raising the rate from 40% that it had been for the entire time of Gordon the Mad’s time as Chancellor.

That 50p rate was in place for only one month of New Labour’s reign of terror.

Anonymous said...

@ If I was Starmer, I'd be thinking my biggest risk was catching something unpleasant over the next few months.

Steer clear of that Angela Rayner then.

iOpener said...

When I read "fund tax cuts for the super-rich" I know I'm in the presence of a commie loon.

Bill Quango MP said...

The real reason Boris went was a combination of serious errors.
The most serious was that he U-Turned too many times.

Not that that matters in itself. If it’s not too often that it looks like indecision. Or unpreparedness. Or lack of scrutiny. Or just a whim.

Why Boris was really booted out was for his U-turns was that he kept sending his Cabinet and his followers among backbenchers to die on a hill that he immediately vacated.
He became untrustworthy.

( obviously he was untrustworthy. I mean untrustworthy in a political party way. He could not be trusted to stand firm once he had decided on a course. And others paid the political price of embarrassment when he too regularly caved.)

Truss was supposed, at the very least, to prevent that from constantly happening. Public, media embarrassment, to party and party spokespersons.

Hasn’t begun well.

No use telling the MPs it’s their own fault. For bringing the PM down when not one, but three, once in a half century events, occurred near simultaneously.

Serious war
Serious debt levels from pandemic AND Sub prime.
Serious energy crisis.

When Johnson’s side said now is not the time, they were self serving, but also, they were actually right.

By taking 9 weeks out for a coup and an election, followed by two more, for the equally once in a half century or more, death of The Queen, meant no government for 12 weeks.

Which I expect is why the lights will go off.
Reading the papers shows that even the simplest of tasks, such as limiting the energy companies exposure to massive fines for not providing the energy due to government’s own embargoes.

Having small and even large business knowing what is coming, not just guessing and hoping.
Getting the ongoing wave of killer strike actions reduced.
Not having a clue how to hold down mortgage interest rates so they don’t cause an 80s style recession. As America is determined to raise theirs.

Everyone has been away. On a fantasy election to power and victory.

Making fantasy promises to save the party from the folly of ( insert audience complaint..Johnson, Brexit, Europe, immigration, the bbc, Putin, taxation, borrowing, spending, nhs, online safety, net zero, housing regulation, benefits etc etc.)

Has that end of days feeling.
Not the whimper of John Major’s woeful tenure. That became the out of government for thirteen years event.
But Labour’s Scotland event. That saw them disappear from the most red of red seats on the political map. Never to return.
The shock smash, crash, hard thump of reality of the coalition Lib Dems. Who went from the very threshold of their dreams of proportional representation and becoming the eternal kingmakers of the UK.

To a conference that they could have held in a village parish hall, only needing to put half the plastic chairs out.

DJK said...

To be fair to Liz Truss, seriously bad stuff is happening the world over. Not only is the pound is sinking against the USD, but pretty much every other currency is too (bar the Russian Ruble). The Swedish Krona, the South Korean Won, Japanese Yen, even the Chinese Riminbi are all at record lows. Not only Germany, but Switzerland and Sweden are laying plans for energy blackouts this winter.

In short, it matters very little what the eternally parochial Conservative party gets up to, seriously bad things are coming here soon, and will very quickly overtake whatever policy gets through the HoC.

All together now: "There are bad times just around the corner..."

Anonymous said...

Brexit drained the swamp that held the UK political parties. Now everyone is kissing frogs looking for a prince or princess.

decnine said...

On the bright side, the turkeys that need to be culled from the Conservative Party all came out of the closet shouting, "Look at ME".

formertory said...

@ Anon 5:48: Catching and kissing frogs is all very well (so long as they're the amphibious ones) but some bugger needs to be keeping an eye on the bloody alligators.

jim said...

Went to market today, bought copy of ToryGraph - least bad option.

Centre page moaning about Lizzies growth package - read it through and there was B all about growth there. Sad to say Liz and KK and Rees-Mogg couldn't grow a cabbage. A word for the wise - dig ground, fertilise, sow seeds, wait and don't interfere. Neglect to do those things and nothing will happen, no cabbages, no growth - geddit.

Caeser Hēméra said...

I'm currently advising someone on not just focussing on the problem in front of you, but stepping back and asking if the problem(s) originate from the path you're taking, and, if so, are there other routes available that don't create such problems. You'd be amazed at how much time and money is wasted doing the business equivalent of building a paper bridge over a river when a perfectly serviceable stone bridge exists 5 minutes away.

Looking at the state of things, I really should've been hawking for business in Birmingham.

Don Cox said...

The Tory government's problem is that it has far too many MPs. They are underemployed, bored and mischievous. A majority of 30 would have been healthier than 80.


Sobers said...

"Everyone has been away. On a fantasy election to power and victory.

Making fantasy promises to save the party from the folly of ( insert audience complaint..Johnson, Brexit, Europe, immigration, the bbc, Putin, taxation, borrowing, spending, nhs, online safety, net zero, housing regulation, benefits etc etc.)

Has that end of days feeling."

And yet the opposition just want more of what has got us here in the first place. More immigration, more Net Zero, more regulations, more taxes (despite being against Rishi's tax rises), more spending paid for by either borrowing (or when that proves too much for the markets to swallow) more money printing. No-one is so much as attempting to articulate a realistic (as opposed to fantasy 'If I say it it will be true' political analysis) way out of this morass, and if they did (and stood even a glimpse of a chance of power) would immediately get the full weight of the 'X is a far right fascist' thrown at them by all the usual suspects, backed up by weight of the Deep State.

The political elite class know that their only chance of survival is to keep hold of the reins of power at all costs. If they let an outsider in then they may all be toast, so regardless of what happens to the country and its inhabitants, one thing will drive their actions - the necessity to keep their own noses in the trough, and their hands on the tillers of power, and their necks out of nooses. That is all that matters now. We are not a democracy. We are a sort of Henry Ford Dictatorship - you can have any government you like, as long as its the one we (the political class) agree with.

Elby the Beserk said...

Testing testing .... unable to post anything y'day...