Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Brown Says The D-Word And Says It All

Deluded Brown let slip the D-word during PMQs, leaving voters again bothered and bewildered but not bewitched, highlighting the confused state of the State and the state of his mind. Iconic images of strikers, bankrupt Britain and soon more troops for Afghanistan. Welcome to the crazy world of Gordon Brown, cross-over politics and the rise of economic nationalism. 

Telling MPs: "We should agree as a world on a monetary and fiscal stimulus that will take the world out of r... depression ...",  the saviour of the world and banks said it all. How depressing for him and the country.

For so long Downing Street in collusion with the BBC has tried to play down the looming recession, clinging onto a soft landing of the downturn to mask incompetence. Now the world is latching onto Brown's Depression, thanks to US site Drudge featuring the Times take on the 'slip'.

The Orange Party is heartily sick of the silliness of this spinning strategy, as the recession turns into a full blown depression. Brown has dug a deep hole and now he's fallen in it. Trying to sprinkle a bit of fairy dust on a deepening problem for fear of panic only made matters worse. 

Strikes over foreign workers are now being deliberately played down as just another 'industrial dispute' with talks of a "breakthrough" and "calling it off", to take off the heat. As if it was that simple. 

At the heart is the age old issue that in times of hardship, what may be good for the country in the long term isn't necessarily good for people now, struggling with debt, scared about their jobs and how to make ends meet. 

Economic nationalism is rising, as highlighted today by David Cox, while the government buries its head in the sand, hoping it will all go away. It won't. Brown and the gang are living in the past with ideas suited only to the failed and false 'boom' years, hopelessly out of date and out of touch with the fears and anxieties of ordinary people. 

When times are tough, it's human nature to circle the wagons, man the barricades, protect yourself and no fine words about 'for the good of the country' will help. 

It's throwing left, right and pseudo liberals into a tizz. Free trade for goods across national boundaries is a good thing for the economy and the country. But ignoring the realistic fears of people worried about their jobs, struggling with debt, is a bad thing. 

The government is on a high-horse urging voters to shun protectionism and avoid a US-style Great Depression but it's the intensity of the argument which is disturbing, performed with an almost fanatical religious zeal.

The only way to prevent protectionism is to lessen the pain and hardship, so it will triumph over the vested interests of individuals. There's no evidence of that in the government's misguided and confusing rhetoric. 

Whatever the outcome of the 'jobs for British workers' dispute, the fine balance between government and people has been crossed. It will flare up again in another time and another place.

Fighting the corner is Brown's unelected deputy, Mandleson, from the safe sanctity of the House of Lords. Waving that flag of anti-protectionism and stoking the fires of anger, he's already backed the bosses and now trying to play the xenophobia and racism card. 

That pale pink hankie is like a red rag to a bull for backbench Labour MPs and workers on the picket lines, thankfully swiftly put down by Labour backbencher, Jon Cruddas and angry workers.

Traditional political divides are all over the place and no more so than in the confused and double standards of a once "Labour Party" now left with pseudo-liberal left-overs from a bygone age. 

Jamie Oliver's messianic and highly laudable food campaign to "Bring Home the Bacon" throws it into perspective. Supporting UK pig farmers and condemning vile EU pig rearing practices for profit is a good thing. But buying British bacon as a cure all, er, where does that fit in the weird world of protectionism? 

The current mess will not magically go away with the odd bail-out, debt guarantees and printing money. It's impossible to run up a budget deficit big enough to keep all the people in work. 

Over in Obamaland, the great Messiah is having to back track over his 'Buy American" clause in the trillion dollar bail-out rescue package because it smacks of that dreaded word 'protectionism'. 

Yet the clause was inserted deliberately by his own Democrat Party as they used the rescue to bundle up and push through all Democrat pet policies in one fell swoop. The BBC got its knickers in a twist over that one - but hey there's a get out clause. Apparently he was showing his "sensitive side". 

Meanwhile MoD spinners are hard at work as round the corner is a massive US troop surge for Obama's war and Brown set to be the new president's poodle in the bloody, hopeless and unwinnable war in Afghanistan.  

The spinners will have a hard job convincing voters. How strange that Bush, Blair, Iraq and invisible WMDS = Bad Thing. Now Obama, Brown, Afghanistan, invisible Taliban = Good Thing? 

The depression recession has been a wake up call for the left, right and pseudo liberals, all trying to come up with solutions. 

As the arguments rage, it's  difficult to make sense of a crazy, mixed up political and economic world. But the occasional political polemic sure as hell helps. 

Picture: Private Eye front cover,  Issue 1229 

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