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23 April 2009 | Paul Gostick Blog
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All At Sea - My Compass Is Broken!
This week Paul looks at Oliver Cromwell's speech in the House of Commons on the Dissolution of the Long Parliament 1653 and asks is history repeating itself?..

Last week in my article on plausible deniability I commented on the disgraceful state of affairs in No 10 and the new low that politics has sunk to.

The fact is that Mr Brown appointed the author of the emails as his chief media adviser, initially at the Treasury and then at No 10. In fact, it could be argued that Mr Brown encouraged the aggressive culture that allowed such unacceptable communication and negativity to breed at the highest level in his Government. Spin doctors not only sit loyally at their master's side, they frequently reveal the real character of the one they serve.

Of course, the Prime Minister is never personally involved in the dirty tricks, although he is a naturally aggressive player on the political field. In such ‘covert operations’ there is a wonderful phrase used to describe the situation - plausible deniability. However, it is difficult to believe that Mr Brown can claim to be blameless when he continues to surround himself by advisers and spin doctors who bite on his behalf. Mr Brown claims that he operates via a "moral compass" and that he hates government "spin" but critics suggest that the Prime Minister is damaged by guilt-by-association with Mr McBride and must also answer for a long-standing practice of employing advisers known to use underhand tactics.

In the Times, six days after the offensive emails were exposed Mr Brown is quoted as saying “I am sorry about what happened, I take full responsibility for what happened. That’s why the person who was responsible went immediately.”  Is this a contradiction in terms? Surely, if this argument is followed logically, it should be Mr Brown who has to go!

After years in politics Mr Brown is incapable of understanding the human factor. Efficient, effective management and delivering results is more important than ‘ideas’, just look at the track record of announcements to grab headlines only for the initiative to die or its implementation to be screwed up at massive public cost. And as history shows, the poisoner is eventually destroyed by his own toxin. Reluctantly saying ‘sorry’ is not an antidote to a career of spite and dirty tricks.

Searching with Google is quite cathartic – you can find almost anything on the web and it does come up with some wonderful pieces. The following quote is part of Oliver Cromwell’s speech in House of Commons on the Dissolution of the Long Parliament, 20 April 1653.

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

… Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

… Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!"

356 years later, history could indeed repeat itself, it could equally apply to the current Government.

Today, the Government broke its repeated flagship manifesto election pledge not to raise the top or bottom rates of tax. Darlings only contribution to the budget was to read it out. It was in fact designed and written by Gordon Brown - it has his unique fingerprints all over it!  No wonder they are now parodied as (Za)Nu Liebour …

The budget said it all - a list of eye-watering numbers, showing that Britain’s debt in 2013-14 will be £1.4 trillion, 79 per cent of GDP, and that borrowing over the next two years will total £348 billion, and £703 billion over five years. To put this in perspective, the Government first borrowed money in 1692 and it took the next 300 years for the level of public debt to reach £165 billion in 1992.

The Chancellor’s forecasts for economic recovery are ridiculously optimistic and with the current depression the tax revenues are crumbling. This could lead to a further gap between tax and spending of £230 billion, 16 per cent of GDP. I'm not sure why anyone would believe the Chancellor's predictions when he has been catastrophically wrong about everything so far. The big concern, however, is that growing defecits on such a scale could risk a run on the pound. The ensuing market panic could leave the Treasury struggling to sell the government bonds, or gilts, it needs to cover its borrowing. But the real scandal of the Budget is that it completely ignored the need for swathing cuts in our bloated public sector. In fact, the government plans to go on expanding it and while wages in the private sector (for those who still have jobs) are falling by 2.8 per cent, state sector pay is rising at 3.5 per cent a year.

HMS Great Britain’s Economy has been holed below the waterline and is sinking fast. The damage was believed to have been caused by global forces, but it is emerging today that sabotage by the ship’s captain is to blame. The lifeboats have been seen, full of talented people and companies fleeing the sinking ship to set up a new life in safe harbours around the world.

Mr Brown’s entire world-view and his great delusion that high state spending makes for a strong country has been shown to be fatally flawed. Labour utterly failed to show value for money but they haven't the slightest intention of paring back the state spending. Such excesses in public spending creates the illusion of boom while the borrowing and tax rises tell the truth of bust.

Intellectually, in one small respect, the Prime Minister has done Britain a favour, he has tested Labour economic policies to destruction and proved beyond all doubt that they do not work. Unfortunately, the price the country has paid for his incompetence is truly breathtaking.

Mr Brown’s latest achievement is to move from an unelected, incompetent PM to unelectable as PM, leading a party whose behaviour and tactics are utterly reprehensible. Brown for all his 'moral compass' twaddle has proven himself to be even more dishonest and deceitful than his predecessor.

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!! 

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