Friday, September 30, 2022

Is this a rerun of 1992?

Those of us who are old enough to have lived through the UK's crashing out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in September 1992 (yes it really was 30 years ago!) may find some similarities with the events of the last week. The Tories, in one single move, shredded their reputation for economic competence. It took them nearly a generation to recover from the collapse of their key economic policy of membership of the ERM. Despite the improvements in the economy that undoubtedly took place, the Tories were not able to recover and reap the rewards. Instead, they went down to their worst electoral defeat in nearly two centuries, ushering in a 13 year period of New Labour rule under Blair and then Brown.

So, are we living through a rerun of the events of 30 years ago? Does the disaster of the mini budget and the financial markets' response to it mean that the Tories have again shredded their economic credibility? Like shooting an asteroid, it will take some time before we know if the path down which events pass has changed but I can't help feeling I'm reliving the early 1990s.

It could, of course, be a rerun of the 1980s when the Thatcher government was right down in the polls and we all dreamt of Maggie going down to defeat on polling day, only for us to wake up to reality when the Conservatives were re-elected with massive majorities.

Time will tell......

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