Monday, October 12, 2009

Gimmicky Fire Sale Will Raise Peanuts

Christmas sales have come early in a desperate dash for cash from the attic, with a government fire sale of the last few state assets at a knock down price. The cheap gimmick is nothing new and set to raise peanuts.

Desperate to pull a flea-ridden rabbit out of the hat after been throughly out-flanked by Honest Osborne's cuts, Beleaguered Brown is trying it on with a cheap gimmick to gain some political high ground.

The fire sale plans to sell £16 billion of assets including the Tote, Channel Tunnel rail link and the student loan book, is spun as huge asset sale to balance the books.

But any cash raised from the fire auction is a mere drop in the ocean of the mountain of debt and a confusing mixed metaphor. Confirmation that Deluded Brown is living in La-La-land.

The sell-off was revealed here at beginning of year and confirmed in Darling's pre-budget report. Ministers have been quietly forming a new firm of Sellit and Soon, (the Operational Efficiency Programme) as part of the sell-off strategy, with details buried in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report (p119). (click to enlarge)

Targets included the Forestry Commission, Westminster Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, Covent Garden Market Authority, Royal Mint, Tote, buildings owned by British Waterways, British Nuclear Fuel's stake in uranium enrichment company Urenco and the Oil & Pipeline Agency.

Few choice plums remain. What is left to sell off in the recession fire sale is set be auctioned off to a lone lowly bidder hunting for a cheap bargain basement bargain at a knock down price. The reported £3 billion to be raised over two years is a one-off, raising peanuts in a depressed selling market.

The economic swindle was laid bare at the beginning of the year, when the sale of the government's remaining share in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) to an American company was sneaked out without telling parliament.

With the sale of the AWE share, the Orange Party warned this was the thin end of the wedge and other state assets would follow.

Plans to sell off some of the state silver have been shelved, with the country in the grips of economic recession depression.

But setting up the new firm of Sellit & Soon was the only option, as the fag-end government struggles with the disgrace of a £175 billion debt and tries to avoid the election suicide note of tax increases.

Desperate Brown needs desperate measures for desperate times. The cash-strapped government also plans to sell surplus real estate to top up the depleted treasury coffers.

But Saint Vince has already poured scorn on the silly little plan and who are mere mortals to argue: "Much of the family silver's already been sold. There isn't very much left … What worries me about the government proposal is that they're proposing to sell off in very depressed markets. This is not a good time to sell assets."

Selling off the country's gold reserves at a rock-bottom price was the beginning of the slippery slope to the disasters to follow to prop up the false economy of cloud cuckoo land. The true price of Brown’s economic incompetence is laid bare.

Many voters will be surprised to learn there was anything left to sell.

No comments: