Chuka Umunna Economics 101

Chuka Umunna seemed to have had some difficulty with the basic facts during his interview on the World at One this lunchtime. Somewhat worryingly for a shadow business secretary, Chuka reckons:

“Most of our thirteen years in office we didn’t have a debt, er, a deficit, because we hadn’t had the financial crash.”

Allow Guido to explain slowly. As this handy graph from the Spectator shows, the last government spent more than it was bringing in from 2002 onwards.

defici

Chuka’s claim that Labour did not run a deficit for most of its time in power is patently untrue…

H/T @roxley

Percentage of Indian MPs Facing Criminal Charges by Party

Guido India would never run out of copy…

Leaked Tory Candidates List Confirms Dave’s Women Problem
Less Than 1 in 3 Names on the List are Female

Guido has obtained the top-secret Conservative Party parliamentary candidates list – and it doesn’t look like the Tories’ “women problem” will be going away. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, less than a third of the names on the list are women, just 31%. This despite Cameron’s promise to get more women on board and him privately blaming Tory associations for not selecting female candidates, though actually it is CCHQ who have approved twice as many men as women for selection. Even then the overwhelming majority of safe seats which have already chosen candidates have been won by men. Labour’s Michael Dugher is scornful, he tells Guido: “Female Tories will still be in a minority and David Cameron has broken all his promises to do anything about it.” Stay tuned for more revelations from the leaked Tory candidates list…

Government of the Etonians, by the Etonians for the Etonians

tory-etonian-manifesto

The FT has a great spot this morning:

“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.

The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!

Misery Index: Get Happy

You might be reading this with the ground floor of your house underwater but it doesn’t matter: you are officially the happiest you have been this parliament. Today’s unemployment figures provide a statistical anomaly of seeing the rate rise 0.1% even though the actual number has fallen by 125,000. Choose which stat you want to use as per partisan preference. 

There has been a small increase in Retail Price Index inflation, though the small fall in the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement provides some cheer. As you can see from the chart to the right, seasonally adjusted public sector debt aside, there is a clear trend of a decline in misery since February 2011…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Q4 GDP +0.7%

Everything you need to know about today’s GDP figures in one place:

  • GDP increased by 0.7% in Q4 2013 compared with Q3 2013.
  • Output increased in three of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q4 2013 compared with Q3 2013.
  • Output increased by 0.5% in agriculture, 0.7% in production and 0.8% in services.
  • However, output decreased by 0.3% in construction.
  • In Q4 2013 GDP was estimated to be 1.3% below the peak in Q1 2008.
  • From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
  • GDP was 2.8% higher in Q4 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
  • GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.9% in 2013, compared with 2012.

The ONS’ conclusion: growth is not strong but the economy seems to have “a better tone” than previous years.

Everything is ‘Better Than You Expected’, Blanchflower

David Blanchflower, Gordon Brown’s favourite former appointee to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, has come as close as his arrogance allows him to admitting he was totally wrong about everything. Back in 2009 the out-of-luck economist gazed into his faulty crystal ball and predicted that unemployment would top 5 million if the Tories came into power. In 2010 he forecast that unemployment would surge past 3 million to 3.4 million and in 2012 he predicted unemployment would go up the day before it dipped below 8%. So today’s painful admission that UK unemployment is ‘falling surprisingly fast’, which ‘is welcome good news and better than I had expected’, is a bit of an understatement. Better than expected… to the tune of millions of jobs.

 

End of Ed’s “Cost of Living Crisis”

At the beginning of the year Guido predicted that the data would soon show that Ed’s “Cost-of-Living Crisis” was at an end. Today inflation fell to 2%, hitting the Bank of England’s target for the first time in four years and last month saw reported UK wage growth hit a six year high. Wage growth is set to outstrip inflation and with that the end of the rationale for Ed Miliband’s “Cost-of-Living Crisis”. The public are increasingly confident:

icm-confidence

All Ed’s slogans turn to dust “too far, too fast” was demonstrated to be wrong and Labour MPs think “One Nation Labour” is vacuous. Back to the drawing board…

Saturday Seven-Up

In the last 7 days 68,743 visitors visited 174,969 times viewing 282,820 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

[…]

Labour’s Gym Spin Machine Needs to Row Back

Top Labour thinker Luciana Berger has already been widely derided for her spandex-clad election winner that she unveiled last night:

“Millions of people across the country will want to kick-start 2014 by getting fitter and more active. There is a

[…]

Top Ten Stories of 2013

2013

WATCH: Sun’s Footage of Terrorist Attack Aftermath 245,343
Rolf Harris Arrested By Operation Yewtree Police 206,236
Sunday Sleaze Special 122,034
Exclusive: Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops 61,394
WATCH: Serbian PM’s Full Frontal No Knickers Flash Interview 46,115

[…]

UKIP Polling Up to 30% in Key Swing Seats
Donor Buys Page Ad in Telegraph to Rebut Ashcroft

Four more constituency polls from Survation out this morning, bankrolled by UKIP’s millionaire bookie donor Alan Bown. UKIP are up to 28% in Folkestone and Hythe, 30% in Great Yarmouth and 27% in Bognor Regis & Littlehampton. In Crewe and […]



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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