I’m thinking, how is it that under Labour we were OK, maybe a bit overspending but nothing too bad, and now suddenly we’re in melt down if we don’t save 80 billion RIGHT NOW!
Is somebody exaggerating, just a little bit?
Then I thought maybe they were going to say that the situation was terrible and huge cuts were needed, and then announce on 20th October that the cuts weren’t as bad as we expected. But that didn’t happen, they WERE as bad as we expected. So I’m still baffled.
I think there is an element of doing it all now while it can still be blamed on the previous goverment, and then before the next election we can have some of the finance given back as tax cuts etc as a bribe to get us to vote the Tories in again. (The Lib Dems will have imploded by then).
But I also think there’s more than that.
– it’s not that Labour overspent massively
– it’s not that baling out the banks cost us THAT much
– I think it’s that we, as a nation, are genuinely bankrupt. It’s not a sudden thing, it’s been gradually piling up, ever since the 70s when our manufacturing became uncompetitive against the Japanese, so all our industries (cars, electronics, steel, ships etc) disappeared. A few union conflicts made no difference to the big picture, we just weren’t good enough. We’re not as clever as the Japanese or as cheap as the Chinese. (With a few notable exceptions, but in general terms it’s true)
Does it matter if manufacturing has dwindled? Not if we have North Sea oil, and a deregulated City raking in the cash. But what happens when the oil starts to run out, which is now happening? And the shell game of the banks gets exposed, which it has been? We’re left with what? Incestuous service industries which all feed off each other and don’t generate any money or export anything. Oh dear!
Add to that the ageing population, armies of longer-living pensioners who don’t generate any money or pay any tax, and who in fact need more money to keep their pensions going and their increasingly exotic healthcare going, and you have more demand and less supply of money. Oh dear!
The fact is that we have been living beyond our means since 1970 and now we are having to correct for that, all in one big lump. This could be scary.
I hope I’m wrong!