Thursday, June 11, 2009

Smug Grins And Spins Fool No-One

Beaming Brown thinks he's on a winner playing the 'Tory cuts' card, lifting the gloom on his recession depression. But times have changed. The savvy public have seen through the sham. Never smile at a Crocodile. No-one is taken in by the great big grin. He's just imagining how well you fit within his skin.

With perfect timing, news on the economic 'recovery' front came at just the right moment for bullet-ridden Brown. What a co-incidence.

Prayers were answered in the shape of a think-tank report that the economy bottomed in March and has started to grow again.

So that's it. Time to come out of the Bunker with a large dose of "I told you so" to all the doubting Darlings? Time for a smug grin at September's Labour Party conference? Now Things Can Only Get Better - but only if you stick with Brown sauce.

Er, not quite. It all depends on where you are standing, according to The Times business editor, David Wighton.

The claim from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) was remarkably clear. The economy hit rock bottom in March. Growth is tiny, 0.2 per cent in April and 0.1 per cent in May but enough for its boss to declare: "The recession is over".

But even if the claims are accurate, it means the country is coming out of recession months before chancellor Darling predicted. No wonder Brownballs wanted rid of him.

Downing Street is pretending not to get too excited but behind scenes they must be rubbing their grubby little hands all the way to the ballot box. Or so they think.

Of course the recession depression will bottom out sometime. It cannot keep going through the floor. With billions of pounds borrowed and using the cute trick of printing even more money, it was bound to come to an end some day.

But the legacy of monumental debt piling up will still be there for generations to come. The economy may well grow but it will be darn slow. Unemployment will continue to rise.

Economic recovery may be V-shaped, U-shaped, W-shaped or pear-shaped. No-one knows and no-one can predict the unpredictable.

Back in the real world, unemployment is going through the roof, hard-pressed families are struggling to make ends meet and pay off their own mountain of debt. What little there was left of UK manufacturing has taken such a severe hit, it's impossible to predict when or even if it will ever fully recover.

Signs of improvement sure. The FTSE 100 rallied and sterling gained against the dollar. The City cats can start to make a fortune again. But if something looks too good to be true it probably means it is.

Look beyond this bottom and the country has still a long way to go. What is clear is the tired old mantras of "downturns" and "cuts" are still being trotted out and voters are frankly fed up to the back teeth with them. How times have changed.

'Tory cuts' was soo 2001. Painting New Labour as the Party of bountiful investment battling to keep out the nasty cost-cutting Tories cuts no ice anymore.

Once again it is the Sun wot captures the mood of the country as it sets about capturing votes for the Tories: "Where is the disgrace in making cuts? Who really believes some services WON'T need cutting to pay back the monstrous debts we are running up to beat recession?

Whoever is in charge there will be cuts and they will be deep. The legacy of Brown's smoke and mirrors accounting won't just evaporate. Who is to blame for that bloomin' Boom and Bust is not something voters will forget in a hurry.

Cameron had a hard job explaining away his shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley's revelation that Tories are planning 10 per cent cuts to public spending if they win the next election. But the Lansley "gaffe" line didn't last long. Now Brown's Burnham is in a pickle over NHS 'cuts' policy as he tied himself in knots.

It is all there in black and white in deluded Brown’s own treasury figures. The budget sets out plans for a seven per cent cut. But play the "Tory cuts" line they will ad infinitum ad nauseam. It's the only deceitful line they have left in a depleted armoury of spin.

The struggling Supreme Leader will play his last roll of the dice for all its worth. He was right while everyone else, including his own chancellor and Saint Vince, got it wrong. Who needs democracy and parliament when he's the only one to save the world?

But beleaguered Brown is forgetting vengeful voters. In case they need any reminding and it's doubtful they do, a little dose of reality from the wonderful world of retro Disney won't go amiss:

Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile
Don't be taken in by his welcome grin
He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin

Mid Picture: New Labour campaign poster 2001

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