Thursday, March 17, 2005

Gordon Brown's Hubris

Guido Fawkes has a great post today on Gordon Brown's supposed 51 quarters of economic growth - what he doesn't say is that a third of these were under John major after White Wednesday in 1992! Here's what Guido has to say...

Yesterday Gordon took credit in his speech for an impressive 50 quarters of consecutive growth. "Today I can report economic growth for the 50th consecutive quarter. The budget forecast is continued growth in quarters 51, 52, 53 and 54."

An excellent record going back 12 1/2 years to the autumn of 1992. Guido remembers it well, the economy was unshackled from the sado-monetarism of shadowing the Bundesbank on White Wednesday and so began our long unbroken boom...

Lamont sang Non Je Ne Regrette Rien in the bath after he exited us from the ERM madness, but Gordon Brown described the ERM as applying 'socialist planning' to the economy rather than 'relying on market forces'. He told the parliamentary Labour party 'We can fight the speculators if we join the ERM'. Gordon was a fan of the ERM and the Labour party was enthusiastic for Britain to remain shackled to it.

So the foundations of Gordon's 50 consecutive quarters of growth were actually 5 years of Tory economic stewardship with a policy opposed by Brown."

The bit Gordon Brown edited out of his speech comes courtesy of the ADAM SMITH INSTITUE Blog...

In pointing to 50 successive quarters of economic growth, I would like to thank the previous Conservative government under which the first 19 of those growth quarters occurred, and which set Britain on the road to economic success.
I would like especially to thank Margaret Thatcher, who with great effort and courage gave us a flexible labour market and an adaptable economy. This has enabled us to move to high value service industries and adjust to a decline in manufacturing. I thank her especially for doing this despite the total opposition of my own party. Thanks are also due to British businesses, most of which have struggled to bear the extra load of taxation and regulation I imposed upon them, yet still manage to survive and even to prosper. The Chinese deserve my special thanks for helping to keep down inflation. By supplying us with low cost products, they have held down prices and helped us avert upward pressure on wages. And their demand for energy has boosted the revenues we derive from our North Sea oil. Our French and German partners are to be thanked for piling extra costs upon their own businesses, and making ours more competitive by contrast. The investment which has come to Britain instead of to them I particularly appreciate. And of course I must thank the British taxpayers who have paid all of my stealth taxes and seen their own burden rise. More of them than ever before have been swept into higher tax rates, inheritance tax and stamp duty. Tax Freedom Day now comes several days later as they struggle to pay the government’s increased portion of the economy. I thank them. Without all of these brave contributions, the UK’s economic success would not have been possible; and I am duly grateful.

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