Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stranger than fiction

The remarkable scene yesterday of an emergency budget being introduced at a time when there was no financial or economic emergency took some believing. This stuff is stranger than fiction. The only emergency was in Downing Street where Labour were in a state of complete panic about their vote meltdown.

No doubt there will be a bunch of deadwood Labour backbenchers who will claim credit for this monumental uturn (the same ones last year who were praising or voting for the budget, and who earlier this year voted for the Budget resolutions). The reality is that this was simply the action of a shattered government desperately trying to bail out guy they crowned unopposed as leader.

The actions of this past day have now shot to pieces the position of the government and completely undermined what credibility was left of Labour on the economy and finances. They have constantly claimed that tackling poverty is best done through their vastly complicated tax credit system. They have just gone against their own system. They constantly claim that they are prudent with the nations finances. That claim is now shot to bits. And they constantly attack the opposition parties for uncosted and unsustainable spending plans. Their credibility on such claims, not great before hand, is now gone altogether (though don't expect Labour to stop making such claims.)

We all await however the small print of the government's uturn. With Labour, we all know the devil is in the detail. What will happen to allowances next year is anyone's guess. One likely effect of the emergency budget however is further cuts in interest rates are less likely.

Black Wednesday finally shot to pieces the last Conservative government's credibility on the economy and the nations finances. Whilst crashing out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism was a solution to some of the problems caused by the preceding recession (though many of these problems were starting to be solved by a growing economy anyway), it was the decision by the government to reverse a major policy that completely undermined the Conservatives' credibility. Last year I felt the cancelled election had the equivalent effect on Labour in terms of credibility. So if last year saw Black Saturday for Labour, yesterday must be Black Tuesday. That leaves five days of the week for Labour to completely wreck everything else.

The rapid progression of Gordon Brown from Stalin, master of all he saw, to Mr Bean, (our never ending thanks to Vince Cable for this immaculately accurate but amusing comparison) is nearing completion. The story of Brown as Prime Minister is indeed stranger than fiction.
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1 comment:

kevin scott said...

The result next week in Crewe & Nantwich will indicate whether this current government is on borrowed time.

Already Labour are getting bad-tempered with their campaign mainly directed at the Tories this time.

If Labour hold, the relief will be apparent for all to see.

If Labour lose: panic stations!!