October 12th, 2010

Guido’s Advice to Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson has been very self deprecating about his economic knowledge, promising to get a text-book to brush up. He faces George Osborne at the Dispatch box for the first time today.

In truth to be Shadow Chancellor does not require a knowledge of neo-classical endogenous growth theory. He needs to just pick a few issues with which to harry the government. Guido checked Alan Johnson’s website to discover a flavour of his approach to economics. Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to have one. All Guido could find under the “business and economy” heading was a press release about the PBR dating back to December 2009.

Since Alan seems devoid of his own ideas, perhaps he could borrow some ideas from his fellow progressive Barack Obama? Obama is giving individuals a progressive tax break this year of 6.2% of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for couples, phased out at an income of $75,000. Obama is also giving parents a $1,000 tax break per child (in France it is €5,000) that would please the squeezed middle-classes.

Barack Obama says that the the one thing you don’t do in a recession is raise personal taxes, taking money out of the economy. Alan Johnson should stand foursquare against Osborne’s VAT hike. The Coalition has no mandate for it, in fact half of them campaigned against it. If the economy double dips next year as a result of consumer spending being crushed, Johnson needs to position himself to be able to pin the blame on Osborne’s VAT hike…


  1. 1
    Praguetory says:

    Unfortunately the Labour Party seems to be under the collective impression that reducing taxes ‘takes money out of the economy’.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    from yesterday’s Hull Daily Mail

    Johnson’s cuts worry
    E RIDING: Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson has claimed Hull is still “feeling the effects” of cuts made by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and warned more Government cuts will cause greater damage.

    Mr Johnson launched an attack on the Government’s spending cuts less than 24 hours after being appointed shadow chancellor by Ed Miliband.

    In his strongest attack so far on the coalition’s deficit- reduction plans, he said they would “fundamentally alter our community” and require years of repair.

    He said: “If you think of Thatcher in the 1980s, the most she cut was ten per cent and we are still feeling the effect of that in Hull, the city I represent.”

    Mr Johnson spoke out amid signs that ministers themselves were growing increasingly nervous at the effect of their plans for £83bn worth of cuts – to be unveiled in ten days’ time – could have on jobs and economic activity.

  3. 3
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    I’m not sure where the 5000€ tax break in france comes from, its probably even more generous: every child gets you 0.5 of a tax allowance. So if the top rate of tax is at say 30k for a single person, two people with two children get 90k.

    Oh, and you don’t get the choice to split up your tax affairs.

  4. 4
    Lady Cutlass says:

    When you take money out of the economy, where does it go?

  5. 5
    NeverRed says:

    I seem to remember labour including Johnson supported raising the VAT rate from 15% to 17.5% last January and stating that it would not affect ‘low paid’ workers or the ‘poor’. They also had plans to raise it to 20% before the election!
    Bloody hypocrites!

  6. 6
    Phantom says:

    Grr, taxes do not take money out of the economy… it is a zero-sum game.

    What taxes do is redistribute money, it is not the ‘money’ per se, it is the value derived from it that is fundamentally important.

    If the State was better at exploiting the money than the individual and maximising its value then taxation wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

    However, this is never the case because people know what they need to do with that money.

  7. 7
    HandsomeDavid says:

    “Taking money out of the economy” can be rephrased as “borrowing less”

  8. 8
    filipinomonkey says:

    Mainly China and Germany at a guess?

  9. 9
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    well bugger me backwards.
    1st and 2nd child count as 0.5 of an allowance. 3rd and above count as 1 allowance.

    So if you have 10 kids your tax-free allowance starts at around 60k, and you’d be on 700k to reach the top tax bracket (and thats after social security).

    No wonder renault does so well out of MPVs.

  10. 10
    Fairy elephant says:

    How much is a first class stamp these days?

  11. 11
    Ben 'buggering' Bradshaw MP: ex BBC cunt, and right on massive arse-bandit of socialisms says:

    Guido you fucking drunken Pikey scum the last true technical double dip recession occurred 80 odd years ago.
    Concentrate on digging dirt on the slimy piece of dogshit Khan, rather than trying to impress us with your economic knowledge.

    Your forte like Gordon McBrown, is in digging dirt and smearing, not lectures on economics, of which you patently know fuck all.

    The postman’s approcach will be ‘cor blimey guvnor I be a simple working class shyte wot cares about the less well off, the fact I served willingly in a cabinet which beggared the nation is a mere detail, me chum’

  12. 12
    Billy Hague says:

    I repeat “Lord Ashcroft is a shit”

  13. 13
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    That depends. If you are a socialist, money taken out of the economy goes into the pockets of private individuals who can then spend or save the money as the individual wishes.
    If you are a conservative, money taken out of the economy goes into the coffers of the State to be squandered as a few ideologues wish.

  14. 14
    Paul Owen says:

    We aren’t in a recession. The economy has been growing again for months. At some point we have to pay down the debt. I agree that the VAT rise is regrettable but Labour’s policy, such as it is, would mean that the debt continues to grow meaning interest payments growing and tax rises in the future. The new rate of VAT is similar to that across Europe

  15. 15
    Albi Here says:

    Wow one “expert” going to argue with another “expert”,I suppose that both of them will have those tv type ear pieces in and have their own “experts” tell them what to say,let the puppet show begin,what are they going to call the show, the Muppets,no been done,postman Johnston meets Ossy the paperhanger.

  16. 16
    POSTMAN TWAT says:

    People like Johnson can’t even read the fucking numbers written on the envelopes they push through the wrong doors!

  17. 17
    Stepney says:

    Lower taxes by all means and the sooner the better thank you but VAT?

    Come off it – a rise of 2.5%? Like that’s going to cripple demand?

    A flatscreen telly at £576 at 17.5% or £600 at 20%? Who’s gonna give a fuck? They’ll still buy the damn thing.

    All the 15% did was to deny the coffers billions of quid. UTTER TWATTERY considering where we are now..

    in an ideal world we wouldn’t have vat but a 2,5% rise aint going to cripple the economy just like a 2.5% reduction achieved absolutely fuck all.

  18. 18
    POSTMAN TWAT says:

    they buy second homes with it and hoard the rest !

  19. 19
    Left Footer says:

    O/T I see that “sainted” Claire Rayner has departed this life. She’ll now be in a better position to see if a) she was correct to be a Humanist and b) her comments about the Pope & Church were appreciated.

  20. 20
    Selohesra says:

    Nobody really noticed when Darling temporaily dropped VAT by 2.5% and I reckon we wont all notice when it goes up by 2.5% – (a smaller % change). If the lowest incomes stick to spending their money on essential items they can avoid much of this tax – if they fritter it on stella, plasma tvs & take-aways they will suffer and deserve to do so.

  21. 21
    NeverRed says:

    Let’s hear more about the millionaire socialist scumbags and criminals sitting on the opposition benches, like the Balls’s, Ghengis Khan etc.

    Much more suited to Guido than a fairy story about postman pat, whose wealth is ??? from screwing trade union members and taxpayers.

    Let’s have a lot more dirt on excessive salaries/pensions/perks that trade union leaders have ‘stolen’ from their membership and us via the modernisation fund.

    How about looking at spouses of labour MP’s getting massive salaries in quangos and government related jobs.

    Let’s have some imprisonment for these public sector thieves.

  22. 22
    Red Dave says:

    He’s such a milk the rich type socialist he’ll likely cook up some potty scheme to attack the better off. Like announcing that those on £44,000 should have their child benefits taken awa…. oh right!

  23. 23
    Hampshire Tory says:

    It is not like they all will be spending their own money. We tax payers will be still funding the 56″ plasmas for the scroungers because it is not a “luxury” anymore, innit.

  24. 24
    concrete pump says:

    Her last words being; “Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I’ll come back and bloody haunt him.”

    Ooooh, scary!

  25. 25
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    If God is Eastern orthodox, you’ve been wasting a lot of effort.

  26. 26
    POSTMAN TWAT says:

    So much for the “New Generation” of Labour politicians
    A pair of Ball’s
    etc etc !
    seems to me the only ones missing is brown straw and lard arse !

  27. 27
    Rip Van Winkle says:

    Guido, are you taking the piss!! Following Barck Obama’s economic policy is a guarantee to third world poverty status. God forbid ANYONE in this country thinks Obama is da man!

  28. 28
    Albi Here says:

    So as an MP Johnston is a fuckin waste of space,he supposed to be at the HOC to further the interests of his constituency,that includes helping to bring jobs and prosperity to them,so for the 13 years he had to help his constituency,it’s all been a total waste of time and money,serves them fuckin right for voting the turd in,if all he can do is blame a PM from 25 years ago .

  29. 29
    Confusedius says:

    Why is it called ‘value ADDED tax’ when it clearly subtracts ‘value’ from the goods that we buy ?

  30. 30

    Tell you what Dave “I Can Call You Dave Can’t I ?”
    The amount of tax you will be getting off me this year
    wont even buy you a subsidised pint in the riverside bar !

    the country is still fucked !

  31. 31
    California Dreaming says:

    You’re kinda ignorant, bro. A 2.5% VAT hike hits everyone every time the cash register clangs, not just when they buy a new telly.

    John Q Public takes home 20,000 pounds per annum, of which probably 5k is disposable income for the entire year. Maybe 1k goes to vehicular upkeep. another 500 for Christmas, birthday, charitable gifts… That 25 extra pounds is MASSIVE.

    Irwin R Shyster takes home 100,000 pounds per annum, of which probably 75k is disposable income. He banks probably 50k of that and will be living off the interest come the age of 50. The other 25k goes to whatever he chooses. OF COURSE 25 pounds means nothing to him.

    Consumption taxes are regressive and antithetical to the concept of ‘fairness’.

  32. 32
    john in cheshire says:

    Progressive = Marxist

    Cut the VAT level and reduce our contributions to the EU by the corresponding amount.

  33. 33
    The blood spattered teacher in No Pressure says:

    The sad reality is that when Margaret Thatcher left office state spending was higher than when she came to power. Thatcher never cut spending. The BEST SHE MANAGED WAS TO REDUCE THE PLANNED LEVEL OF INCREASE! She also signed up to the single european Act which massively ramped up our subservience to the EU. I dont subscribe to the Saint Margaret myth and neither in reality do most true conservatives. If Labour politicans want to engage in serious debate about public spending it would serve them well to quote facts rather than myth!!

  34. 34
    Tapestry says:

    If VAT rise is accompanied by the removal of all low paid from income tax and national insurance payments – at say GBP 140 a week (GBP 3.50 X 40 hours). And if that becomes the new minimum wage. Then employers might find they can create a few million jobs to absorb the six million idle at home, and get the economy rolling once more.

  35. 35
    keddaw says:

    VAT is a particularly poor tax to raise in a recession.

    However the maxim that you should never raise taxes in a recession is wrong.

    Taking taxes from the wealthiest and redistributing to the poorest will lead to a much higher ‘bang for your buck’ (or multiplier effect for economists) and increase economic activity.

    While the morality of redistributing wealth and/or income can be debated the economics is a (dismal) science.

    You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

  36. 36
    Left Footer says:

    Not to mention that being a ghost does rather go against being a Humanist.

  37. 37
    Tapestry says:

    most recessions have double dips actually

  38. 38
    Left Footer says:

    I was always told that God was an Englishman. Whether or not he is still CofE is another matter.

  39. 39
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Maggie liked them!

  40. 40
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    But like so many english folks has a second home in italy?

  41. 41
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Going through Guido’s comment on Oh’bama, you cut taxes in “the good times”, and in a recession you cut taxes “to stimulate demand”. No wonder the USA is in such deficit, they are not collecting enough taxes to keep their economy afloat, which is why the Dollar is tanking.

    On the other side of the pond, we had Gordon Brown, who taxed the UK AND borrowed money like it was going out of fashion in “the good times.” Most of this money went on a massive benefits splurge – vote buying. Then the recession hits (NOT caused by the bank bailouts) there is no money left, so goes off to borrow a shed load more.

    Both idiots show that you should not be borrowing money like it’s going out of fashion, and live within your means.

    Unfortunately, the Labour party still believe that international investors will continue to bankroll a near bankrupt economy – they will not. That’s why the USA is angry at China over it’s currency rate, but nobody mentioned it is a self-created problem because they sent American jobs to China. The UK did the same thing, so we are no better.

    You can look at all the economics books you like, but what you REALLY need is an understanding of maths, in particular how to add and subtract to create a balance sheet.

    How many in parliament right now have a maths degree? Nearly every one of these losers has history, art, politics, English, Latin as their degree subjects – all completely useless to the real world, and it shows why the UK economy is so f’ed up.

  42. 42
    filipinomonkey says:

    For the sake of pedantry, if a TV costs £576 at 17.5% VAT then it costs £588 at 20% VAT, so its an extra £12. Given that the prices oif these things are coming down all the time I doubt you’d necessarily even see that.

  43. 43
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    One can scare children with a bogeyman, even if one does not believe in the bogeyman.

  44. 44
    Taxfodder says:

    So you say,

    When an economy is doing well your statements may well be true however a 2.5% rise is seen by many as an unwelcome challenge and by reducing your personal spending a fingers up to the un-elected government.

    The problem that exists is that the UK it is already one of the most highly taxed countries in the world and even the UK taxpayer is not a bottomless source of cash.

    If you are saying when a man has sunk and drowned is not likely to matter if the water rises a few centimetres then I agree.

    The point surely is not to drown?

  45. 45
    Stepney says:

    One crap idea behoves another.

    Seeing as Public Service workers are paid out of taxes why not simply cut their pay by 25-40% and take them out of the tax system altogether?

    To pay tax on your income which comes from tax is lunacy. It’s just a waste of time and money.

    Think of the admin savings. That’ll be 10,000 jobs gone at HMRC for starters.

    This has been a Think outside the box? What fucking box? production.

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    My post man is very good at delivering all my neighbours mail to my house, and he does this often. Obviously if he does it to enough houses he can save a considerable amount of time himself.

    So the other day, once he had delivered to “all” of my street and was half way round the next street I went to him gave him back my neighbours letters.

    You see postmen are not daft are they or Johnson wouldnt be shadow chancellor now would he?

  47. 47
    Sir William Waad says:

    It’s an extraordinary fact that Chancellors and shadow Chancellors are nearly always ignoramuses on finance and economics. It means that they are easy for bankers and others to fool. You expect your surgeon or your plumber to be properly qualified, so why this trust in the enthusiastic amateur when it comes to running the public finances? All the evidence us that Chancellors are pretty poor at their jobs.

  48. 48
    Champagne Socialists says:

    I’m voting labour next time. I’m a champagne socialist and Red Ed says, that despite me n the wife’s millionaire status we are still going to get Child benefit off them, so I’m gonna vote for Labour. The new wealthy party and sod the poor.

  49. 49
    Anonymous says:

    A lot of companies may not pass on the rise anyway.

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    Osborne is Labours secret weapon, he will make sure Labour wins with a landslide. He is taking as much as possible from the middle classes (conservative voters), child benefit, tuition fee, pensioners who provided for themselves, etc.

  51. 51
    Sir William Waad says:

    I suppose some public sector admin workers have other sources of income that might be taxed. After all, they have to find something to do while on a sickie, using their flexitime or taking their five weeks’ paid leave.

  52. 52
    do you use your socks? says:

    the Labour party are the equivalent of sitting in a motorway service station toilet a 2lb of splatter the pan, a messy bum caused by splashback and no toilet paper

  53. 53
    Tapestry says:

    If the recession is of an inflationary variety, requiring the raising of interest rates to curb price rises, raising prices through VAT increases is counterproductive.

    If the recession is deflationary, then raising VAT rates might prevent prices from falling, and help to keep demand from falling.

    Raising taxes on the wealthy such as pushing CGT to 28%, as Cable has done, has the opposite outcome to a multiplier effect. People don’t sell out of profitable trades so often. Trade and investment are suppressed.

    Try again please.

    Taxes have an efficient level with wealthier people, where their activity can be increased or suppressed by varying rates of tax, leading to a loss of investment and jobs, or an increase.

    If you suppress the activity of wealthy people, you hurt everyone. Equally countries like Japan, France, Germany and Italy that have more private wealth find it easier to borrow cheaply on international markets. Britain suffers from not having enough wealthy people and our government finds borrowing expensive as a result. Wealth has a lot of advantages and not just for the wealthy.

  54. 54
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    “Seeing as Public Service workers are paid out of taxes why not simply cut their pay by 25-40% and take them out of the tax system altogether?”

    Because public sector workers can have second jobs, and income from other sources, including savings.
    Would you ban public sector workers from buying shares?

    What would you do with a supply teacher who works in state, private or opted out sectors within a year?

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    This country is just a fucking load of whingers. You deserve your declining status cos no one wants to work any more. Up and coming states are more hungrier than the lazy english, scots n welsh. All you do is fucking moan and wont get up off yur arses to lift a finger. You deserve all what is coming to you till you wake up to the reality check.

    You are just one heck of a lazy country and the US is going the same way.

  56. 56
    Mad, Bad & Dangerous Gordon McRuin says:

    Alan should take a leaf out of Harold Wilson’s book. Just keep spending Taxpayers’ money until we completely run out and the IMF have to be called in.
    I was on the same path to destruction before you bastards voted me out ( temporarily )

  57. 57
    Southern Softy says:

    In the good ‘ole US of A, Johnson = Prick.
    Seems it’s no different over here.

  58. 58
    ouch says:

    Punch to cull 1,300 pubs as profits slip

  59. 59
    California Dreaming says:

    Actually Labour ran on a rise on National Insurance Contributions INSTEAD of a rise in VAT, which the Conservatives wrongly labeled a ‘Jobs Tax’. ‘Call me Dave’ opted for a ‘Livelihoods Tax’ instead. Darling said retrospectively that they probably should have raised VAT instead but that was only in response to Labour’s election loss.

    What’s funny is that Dave somehow forgot to let the public know ahead of the election that he would put up VAT in lieu of the NI rise, even when pressed directly. Just like he ‘forgot’ to mention that he’d gut every benefit imaginable. Keep swinging those axes, fellas.

  60. 60
    Ratsniffer says:

    As a former postie turned union hack his only knowledge of economics is likely to have been ‘who’s buying the next round?’

    He has been put there to appease the unions, and to act as a man o’ the people in contrast to Osborn’s posh toff.

  61. 61
    Champagne Socialist says:

    So what do I care if my kids and their kids have to pay for my life style now?

    I think we should continue to keep putting off the day of reckoning so that I can ciontinue to enjoy my inflated lifestyle. Why shouldnt they pay for me ?

  62. 62
    James Bund says:

    up yours Dr Congo

  63. 63
    Trucker with the runs says:

    Ah yes, fond memories…

  64. 64
    Champagne Socialist says:

    There are many chairman and chief executives of companies that have been drafted in to companies where they nothing about the industry they are in. That is today’s culture in the city. They did it in the banking industry as well. Look what happened there. It’s only ever about status.

    No one has to “work” their way up any more. It’s alla bout corporate strategy.

  65. 65
    Left Footer says:

    The question is; Does David Cameron believe in Claire Rayner?

  66. 66
    Ratsniffer says:

    Yes, historians will look back and scratch their heads at why the one eyed mongster sold off our gold at rock bottom prices, despite a warning from his own treasury advisors that it was not a good time to do so, and that we (the taxpayers) could lose out on the deal. As indeed we did..by several billion pounds…

  67. 67
    Anonymous says:

    yes, thank you bwana

  68. 68
    Ratsniffer says:

    Try telling that to the likes of Bob Crow.

  69. 69
    Hampshire Tory says:

    Yeah that’ll work because the Labour Party have not got a track record of clobbering the Middle Classes has it?

  70. 70
    Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget that Johnson and Hain both worked for the same trade union…..

  71. 71
    BBC are taking the Piss.....Again says:

    What’s with your Barry Obama love in Guido?

    The USA’s first socialist President is destroying their economy.

    And why is the BBC paying some Luvvy £900000 just because his services are no longer required? Thisisan UTTER DISGRACE!!!

  72. 72
    purpleline says:

    AJ appointment was pure politics, he is not tarnished with the Labour economic failure and as a Union man will fight for the working man lower paid.

    Because of the above they have taken the easy street by following Darling, darling favoured a rise in VAT so an easy one for George to bat back.

    Vat should be higher but on top products that only the higher paid can afford, it is not a regressive tax on the poor as most items the poor buy are exempt

  73. 73
    concrete pump says:

    Either ‘hungrier’ or ‘more hungry’, not ‘more hungrier’. If you’re going to slag off England could you make an effort to do it in English?

  74. 74
    just off the banana boat says:

    No argument there pal, why do you think the rest of the world think it’s a good idea and wants to join in?

  75. 75
    Anna Tolia says:

    Unfortunately it’s too late to swing the axe where it should have been swung just over thirteen years ago: on Brown’s neck. Had it been done so we might not need to now.

  76. 76
    The blood spattered teacher in No Pressure says:

    I agree with the argument in your post: However go easy on people with degrees in history. I have a history degree and can quite confidently say that I can understand enough about any subject to appreciate what matters. ” Neither a borrower nor a lender be””

  77. 77
    Hugh Janus says:

    Postman Prat was an inspired choice – for the government. He won’t go the distance with Ozzy, or indeed anyone with so much as a smattering of an understanding of economics. Nice chap? Certainly. A natural choice for Chancellor? Not in a million years.

    If Liebour want to go the whole hog and put up a front bench of duds, who better than Militwat minor to lead them?

  78. 78
    wayne & waynetta flat screen tv says:

    D’ya wanna bet?

  79. 79
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    wowee. A luxury tax. Retro!

  80. 80
    California Dreaming says:

    Yep, you’re right, I mishit the key there. Hit 1 instead of 2, rounded up the 14.4

    576 @ 17.5% VAT = 676.80
    576 @ 20% VAT = 691.2

    Obviously the point I was making is that that amount hits you every time you buy something. The 14 pounds for this purchase sounds like peanuts, but when you get hit for a couple more quid every time you purchase something, it adds up quicker for those with less disposable income.

  81. 81
    Tapestry says:

    Bob Who?

    The only wealth they agree with is their own, as with Blair. The greediest people of all are the Mandelsons and the Blairs. Don’t bother listening to such types. Just get rid of them.

  82. 82
    Hugh Janus says:

    A spot of capitalization wouldn’t go amiss either. Difficult with text-speak I know, but it should be the least we lazy English bastards we can accept from some lazy poster criticising our lazy country….

  83. 83
    Gonk says:

    My clients are thinking about it
    and first Monday in the new year
    will be world champion suicide day

  84. 84
    double dip says:

    what we should be doing is printing more money

  85. 85
    George Osborne says:

    I apologised for that! It was a genuine accounting error in my expenses.

  86. 86
    Hugh Janus says:

    “If the State was better at exploiting the money than the individual and maximising its value then taxation wouldn’t be such a bad thing.”

    Like not buying laptops at £2000 a throw, when others can somehow manage with gear costing less than a fifth of this? (And other similar examples far too numerous to mention.)

  87. 87
    Nelson's revenge says:

    Nothing will ever happen unless leave the EU and follow the flat tax system as detailed here:


  88. 88
    Stepney says:

    Slap her on the back and thank her (and you), for bringing the macro-solution to its knees.

    For a hap’orth of tar the great ship sank.

  89. 89
    Gaygue Pride says:

    You sure you aren’t talking abour your bungled inept ‘rescue’ attempt ?

  90. 90
    Loadsa dough but no income says:

    Living off the interest income? Have you checked the rates available recently?

  91. 91
    Dave wuvs Barry says:

    Dave does.

    He was on the phone last night telling Obama how far he would bend over for him.

  92. 92
    Tachybaptus says:


  93. 93
    it was not me says:

    you’re either in power or you aren’t

  94. 94
    NeverRed says:

    How about just cutting their pay by 25-40%?

    Or in the case of the troughers, throats might be more appropriate.

  95. 95
    Anonymous says:

    On top of what Labour did, Osborne is clobbering the Middle Classes.

  96. 96
    Fox Blues says:

    Dont talk stupid! He’s a COMMUNIST MUSLIM not a socialist.

    And he’s the Kenyan anti-christ.

  97. 97
    Up sh1t creek says:

    History degrees have their place, but NOT when you’re running something as important as UK plc.

    There is the odd (medical) doctor as an MP, but how many that have maths, physics, chemistry, biology, IT, electronics, or some other sort of hard engineering* degrees? This is the UK’s problem.

    * Social engineering is not a science.

  98. 98
    wasp says:

    64 at 9.47am – (Champagne Socialist):
    ‘working your way up’ is also no longer the way things are done in Local Authorities: eg the official in charge of protecting children at a LA where two brothers tortured two young boys, was a former food factory manager who later admitted he had no relevant experience. His career consisted of overseeing the production of pizza, pies, and sausages before he was hired to run Doncaster’s childrens services at a salary of £103,000. He said that the job was ‘an exciting opportunity’ for him.
    He should have stuck with the pies

  99. 99
    Hugh Janus says:

    Sorry, excess ‘we’.

  100. 100
    the middle class dependency on the state says:

    Why should the so called middle classes depend on child benefit. Is it cause in their heart of hearts they are really just chavs with credit cards ?

  101. 101
    the middle class dependency on the state says:

    and a worrying dependency on Child benefit it would seem

  102. 102
    Filthy Rich Capitalist Trader says:

    Forget the economy. P2 (for those of you familiar with Elliot Wave Theory, a third of a third) down has started today in the world’s stock markets. They are going down about 80% from present levels over the next few years. Which means that there will not be a double dip recession but a depression. All asset classes are going to get hammered. If you want to make money go short for the FTSE 100, I recommend the SUK2 leveraged short contract available from the London Stock Exchange. Our politicians will not know what is going on, nor what to do; they will be running around like headless chickens. The 1930’s will look like a children’s party compared to what is going to happen now.
    Remember you heard it first on this website.

  103. 103
    Up sh1t creek says:

    National Insurance is an income tax.

    Strange how Labour always claimed they NEVER increased income tax, when they clearly did.

    The stupid Labour voters fell for it time and again.

  104. 104
    if only we had more banksters says:

    trickledown bullshit

  105. 105
    Filthy Rich Capitalist Trader says:

    P.S. If like all the Lemmings you have just bought gold, You have just purchased a top. It is us who really know what is going on, not the ignorant politicians who have either failed at their careers or never had one in the first place. We rule, always have and always will. Why? Because we have the knowledge.

  106. 106
    Gordon Brown says:

    I like bogeys.

  107. 107
    Anonymous says:

    Dave’s “Big Society” more criminals on the street.

    Prison governors will today make the extraordinary claim that jails could be forced to shut because of a shortage of inmates.
    After more than a decade of relentless rises in prison numbers, they predict that a government sentencing review could leave 7,000 fewer inmates behind bars.
    This would be the equivalent of closing almost six prisons the size of Wormwood Scrubs in London.
    The Prison Governors Association bases its claims on Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s opposition to what he terms ‘ineffectual’ and ‘absurd’ shorter jail terms, which are given to 50,000 inmates each year.

  108. 108
    Up sh1t creek says:

    You cut spending and control your budget if you want to, the EU has no plans to do that. Despite the dire state of the various economies, the EU wants a massive 5.6% increase in it’s budget.

  109. 109
    Wm. Shagspier says:

    Most hungriest, surely?

    Don’t you know the Queen’s English (or is she German)?

  110. 110
    Deborah says:

    Yeah, In france, USA and pretty much everywhere except the UK, politicians have spotted that kids are actually rather important for a country’s future, but it is expensive to raise them. Giving tax breaks provides help, but not enough to cover the costs so it doesn’t encourage people to have kids they have no chance of supporting and just live off the state.
    Didn’t the Conservative’s get elected by promising that they stood for the family?

  111. 111
    Rip Van Winkle says:

    So printing quadrillions of dollar, euro and pound notes every quarter, buying every Treasury and Gilt and PIIGS national debt on the market is going to make cash king, eh?

    I agree, the westen world is well and truly f**ked – it’s just does it end in a defaltionary spiral or a hyper-inflationary spiral? Unless Benranke, King and Trichet do a complete about turn, I can only see hyper-inflation down the road.

    It’s called Mugabeconomics

  112. 112
    Steve Miliband says:

    It’s effectively a 2.13% increase in prices.

  113. 113
    Dorian Smith says:

    I loved how The Singing Postman’s first statement since becoming Shadow Chancellor was that Coalition cuts were, “worse than Thatchers”.

    It made the BBC website, until it was pointed out that former Chancellor Alistair Darling said he planned cuts “worse than Thatchers” in March. Strangely enough by the end of Sunday, all mention on the BBC website, including the Politics news page had no mention of Johnson’s opinions made earlier in the day.

    Not a great start, and rather than “hitting the ground running” as the leftist twatters proclaimed, Ed Milliband (not the favoured choice by the top ten voted in the Shadow Cabinet) has already got it wrong.

  114. 114
    keddaw says:

    Have you been looking at the American data recently?

    Tax cuts to the wealthy result in about $1.09 economic activity for each $1 reduction in tax (and vice versa). Giving food stamps (wealth redistribution to the very poor) results in $1.78 worth of economic activity.

    The marginal propensity to consume (extra income) is much greater for people on lower incomes.

    Keeping prices artificially high using taxes is a rather novel way of stimulating demand. Which school of economics did you graduate from? Was Gordon Brown there too?

  115. 115
    keddaw says:

    Gold is over-valued, always has been and always will be.

    Which kinda means it isn’t over-valued, but I digress.

    Brown’s worst move on the gold sale was informing the market which depressed prices before he could unload the first bar and increased other currencies as they knew he was going to buy them as reserve instead. What he needed was a nice algorithmic trading model to hide/obfuscate the transactions and their size to have the minimum impact on the market and prices. Alas, ‘Prudence’ Brown wasn’t.

  116. 116
    Filthy Rich Capitalist Trader says:

    It will be a deflationary depression for the simple reason that all the money printed and put into the economy by incompetent politicians, will come nowhere near the value taken out of the economy by the collapse of asset values. We have hit the point of no return now:
    1. Dollar bottomed
    2. Yen topped.
    3. Precious metals topped.
    4. Stock Markets topped in counterwave B of cycle wave C down.
    All this week.
    If you aren’t sophisticated enough to short the markets then for safety you should be 100% in cash and only three currencies are safe now, in order:
    A. Swiss Franc.
    B. US Dollar (not because of the US economy, which is shit, but as people liquidate assets in the forthcoming panic, they will have to liquidate into the world’s reserve currency, the US Dollar, thus pushing up its value).
    C. Singapore Dollar.

    You have all been warned by one who has the knowledge, and I have chosen to share it with you out of respect for Guido Fawkes and the work he has done in exposing corrupt, incompetent, self-serving and perverted politicians. Keep up the good work Guido. This is my first and last post.


  117. 117
    Double dip anyone... says:

    Alan Johnson doesn’t have to make any real decisions, it’s the actions on the man with the power that worries me.

    Forget for a minute about who caused this mess, just focus on the fact that Osbourne IS taking billions out of the UK economy in tax hikes, benefit reductions, reduced government spending (remember it is PRIVATE contractors that get most of this money), and huge redundancies.

    Some of the “savings” are genuine savings, but they are the minority. This still leaves a huge amount of money being taken out of the economy…..while the economy is very weak……and while the private sector is not able to fill anything other than a small amount of the gap.

  118. 118
    Liam Foxy says:

    are you calling me odd?

  119. 119
    Chas says:

    Guido, I think you will find it was post-neo-classical endogenous growth theory.

  120. 120
    Lurker says:

    There’s two possibilities here.

    Brown genuinely was that stupid/arrogant etc that he simply ignored the Treasury advice as it “was the right thing to do”
    He did it for a reason most likely to benefit someone else. Posters on here have alluded to GS shorting gold at that time.

    I guess in 75 years the papers will be released and future historians will finally find out.

  121. 121
    Dorian Smith says:

    Okay I’ve taken a minute to forget to think who caused this mess. Minute over. Who caused this mess?

    Don’t you think the billions taken out of the economy with interest payment are worth addressing?

    Are you advocating not making any cuts, or making some cuts or the third way, which is the left way to do the equivalent of throwing the bills in the bin and not think about it.

    Do you agree with Lord Hutton’s findings for example?

    Too often people on here and elsewhere say what they are against, okay down to you, sort out the economy as left by The Labour Party, the floor’s open to you, tells us how we get out of Labour’s mess in less than 20,000 words.

  122. 122
    Bastard says:

    my advice to alan johnson is fuck off

  123. 123
    Tell it like it really is says:

    Not just that, by not increasing the allowance of your wage which is tax free before the rest is taxed, Brown through what is known as “fiscal drag” clawed more and more of your wages into tax. Typical sly shady thieving Brown.

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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”

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