Gordon’s Modesty About British Economy

Gordon yesterday boasted that

“Britain has enjoyed the longest postwar period of continuous growth. And the Treasury forecast is that growth — sustained under this Government for a record 38 quarters — will continue into its 39th and 40th quarters and beyond”

A strange and uncharacteristically modest boast from the Chancellor about Britain’s national achievement, since Britain has actually enjoyed 56 quarters of continuous economic growth. Indeed he predicted as much as in the March 2005 budget when he boasted
“Today I can report economic growth for the 50th consecutive quarter. The budget forecast is continued growth in quarters 51, 52, 53 and 54.”

So why only boast of 38 quarters this time? Could it be because as Guido pointed out last time he made this claim that the growth included 5 years of Tory economic management post-1992 which laid the foundations for this historic achivement. Could it be that he wants to forget that inconvenient fact and claim all the credit for himself?

As Guido said after his March 2005 budget –

An excellent record going back 12 1/2 years to the autumn of 1992. Guido remembers September 1992 well, the economy was unshackled from the sado-monetarism of shadowing the Bundesbank and White Wednesday began our long unbroken boom…

Lamont sang Non Je Ne Regrette Rien in the bath after he exited us from the ERM madness, but Gordon Brown described the ERM as applying ‘socialist planning’ to the economy rather than ‘relying on market forces’. He told the parliamentary Labour party ‘We can fight the speculators if we join the ERM’. Gordon was a fan of the ERM and the Labour party was enthusiastic for Britain to remain shackled to it.

Guido remembers 1992 well, he was a humble ticket clerk / trainee derivativist studying for his dealing exams at George Soros’ brokers. We did rather well that year, and so has Britain since it rejected Gordon’s once cherished “socialist planning”.



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