A stinging rebuke of PM Gordon Brown’s financial mismanagement from Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP for South East England. Just about everything Hannan says about Brown is equally applicable to the Obama Administration, which is doggedly albeit unwittingly following the hapless Brown’s failed prescriptions.
. . . [Y]ou have subsidised – where you have not nationalised outright – swathes of our economy, including the car industry and many of the banks.
Perhaps you would have more moral authority in this house if your actions matched your words. Perhaps you would have more legitimacy in the councils of the world if the United Kingdom were not going into this recession in the worst condition of any G20 country.
The truth, Prime Minister, is that you have run out of our money. The country as a whole is now in negative equity. Every British child is born owing around £20,000. Servicing the interest on that debt is going to cost more than educating the child.
Now once again today you tried to spread the blame around, you spoke about an international recession; an international crisis. Well, it is true that we are all sailing together into the squall – but not every vessel in the convoy is in the same dilapidated condition. . . We are now running a deficit that touches almost 10% of GDP – an unbelievable figure. More than Pakistan, more than Hungary – countries where the IMF has already been called in.
Now, it’s not that you’re not apologising – like everyone else, I’ve long accepted that you’re pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility for these things – it’s that you’re carrying on, wilfully worsening the situation, wantonly spending what little we have left. Last year, in the last twelve months, 125,000 private sector jobs have been lost – and yet you’ve created 30,000 public sector jobs. Prime Minister you cannot go on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorging of the unproductive bit.
You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt. And when you repeat, in that wooden and perfunctory way, that our situation is better than others, that we’re well place to weather the storm, I have to tell you, you sound like a Brezhnev-era Apparatchik giving the party line. You know, and we know, and you know that we know that it’s nonsense. Everyone knows that Britain is the worst placed to go into these hard times. The IMF has said so. The European Commission has said so. The markets have said so, which is why our currency has devalued by 30% – and soon the voters, too, will get their chance to say so.
They can see what the markets have already seen: that you are a devalued Prime Minister, of a devalued Government.
Best of all, not a single teleprompter was harmed in the delivery of this brilliant speech.
Hat tip: Iain Murray