Friday, 19 December 2008

Happy new year?

It’s what everyone will be saying soon isn’t it? If Gordon Brown happens to address the UK population in this manner at any point over the next couple of weeks though, my foot is going through the telly. I would hate to be seen as the harbinger of doom on an already cynic weary website, but what has happened over the past few months is merely the tip of the iceberg for the shit that is yet to come. I am not a politician and only an apprentice economist but I can foresee a bleak 2009 and it’s all thanks to those clueless bastards in power. Not that those buffoons in the Tory are any better mind you.

They say that when the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold and I suspect 2009 is going to see the UK go down with full on manflu. It would be easy to blame the bankers but the supposed regulators and auditors who let them get away with nothing more than intricate pyramid scheme investments for so long should also be held to account. And what do we do to our failing banks? We throw more money at them! And when I say ‘we’, I mean we, every single taxpayer will be paying for it.
Want a better NHS? Forget it!

A pay increase for those brave fireman? No chance!

Reduction in school classroom sizes for your offspring? There’ll be none of that.
Nope, the Government has decided to give those taxes straight back to the banks, so that they can loan it back to companies and individuals at higher rates so that the economy doesn’t grind to a halt. You’ve fucked up the economy and paid yourselves handsomely for doing it and guess what here’s a big chunk of public money for you to go and spunk up the wall and make the same mistakes as last time.

Unfortunately, we can’t live without banks as they are the prime distributors and collectors of cash, if not to you then the company you work for. Without them the whole system falls down and as the banks will continue to lend on their terms, which are now roughly in line with what they should have been in the first place, companies and individuals will struggle financially while the bankers get away with their fraudulent crimes scot free, with you and me paying their salaries to boot.
But this rampant nationalisation may start to branch out into key industries in 2009, following the trends of 2008 with the US car makers going cap in hand to the White House. Already Jaguar, like the Corus steel group, owned by Indian conglomerate Tata have got the begging bowl out to the government – who then raise money that money via me and you by increasing the public debt, which will only be recovered by increasing tax or cutting future public spending. Preserving jobs is indeed for the public good but seeing as Tata are owned by an Indian billionaire and he doesn’t want to put any cash in (despite paying a small fortune to sponsor Ferrari in F1 next season) and neither you would presume do the financial markets so Brown’s government are now borrowing off me and you and giving it to foreign investors who are savvy enough to take it with a grin whilst realising that the loss of a large number of manufacturing jobs in this country could be the catalyst to another depressing wave of bad news after bad news.

This is all very admirable but it seems that if you’re going to preserve your job you will be at the mercy of untrustworthy, corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and we will be left with some grand scale Dragons’ Den where the Government are left with the decision to inject funding or pull down the shutters. Traditional (outdated) wholesome British retailers like Woolies are dead meat. If your firm is in a marginal constituency or wants to spend their last few bob giving the local MP a well paid Non Executive position on their board, or alternatively an old fashioned back hander, then you might just be in a position to ride the recession. So expect bugger all in Wigan as Smith & McCartney will shrug their shoulders as per usual when there’s a genuine crisis to deal with knowing full well that Wiganers will continue to vote them in.

Expect dozens of other traditionally British owned companies now owned by foreign parent companies to follow suit – they aren’t stupid and can see easy money when it’s there to be made. For my money, the government should buy up our factories under threat lock and stock and get them producing something the public wants that will be manufactured here and used here. We might not be able to make cars or tellies as cheap as the Japanese or Koreans but that is exactly why we got in this mess in the first place. The Germans seem to be advocating manufacturing as a way out but how many industries do we actually own in our country any more? Well there’s financial services I suppose.......

Whatever happened to those ‘Buy British’ stickers you used to see everywhere?

And the Government’s teasing incentives offered in the form of interest rate cuts and VAT reduction are hardly going to tempt anyone into a shopping spree whilst the threat of losing their job hangs over them.

There is even talk of attempting a last ditch printing of money, which always sounds fantastic in principle but will make the pound even more worthless than it is already. You can fool the country Gordon but you can’t fool the world. However, at least you’ve saved those people who will still be able to afford a holiday abroad the effort of having to work out the conversion rates from pounds to euros as any day now they will be at parity. Which means – by the way – don’t even think about leaving the country for good because thanks to Labour’s economic policy, your saved up pound notes aren’t going to buy you very much at all let alone earn you any interest if you keep it where it is.

Where will it all end? The real thinkers are predicting forthcoming depression, famine and war to follow the more mundane episodes we are seeing at the moment of recession, write downs, write offs, close downs and bail outs. A good riot always blows the cobwebs off the country but this recession will not hit specific industries and social classes, it’s going to hurt every fucker. If the trend of late 2008 continues we will end up with some kind of socialist capitalist hybrid society where the government, using our money will pay for car factories to build cars no-one wants to protect unemployment, and continue to weaken our trade deficit by subsidising their foreign paymasters who will continue to take home any profits should the whole thing work. Our taxes have been misappropriated and our pension funds have been decimated yet still the decision makers are still decision making on our behalf.

What money we have may soon ceases to be a familiar currency, like the lottery winner who falls on hard times, the pound is an ailing hobo of a currency and it seems the Eurozone might be waiting in the soup kitchen with a tin of warmed up Oxtail. We have bemoaned for years that our EU membership has given us little benefit yet passed millions back to other member states, so maybe it’s now the time to collect our debts? Given that the Blair policy of hanging onto the American’s coat tails has blown up badly it seems that both the US and UK’s days as world powers are about to come to an end, and it’s all brought about by greedy bankers and self –interested politicians who have been rewarded and will continue to be rewarded handsomely for bringing it all about. At least someone will have a Happy New Year!

In the meantime

Don’t trust anyone
Don’t buy anything
Don’t sign anything
Keep your head down
Tighten your belt
And good luck

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