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The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

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The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by skwalker1964 on Thu May 24, 2012 4:37 pm

First topic message reminder :

(This post is taken from my blog, skwalker1964.wordpress.com)

It happened again, in Prime Minister's Questions, yesterday. It was bound to, really. Rebuked by the excellent Speaker of the House, John Bercow, for using insulting, unparliamentary language toward Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, David Cameron fell back, like an involuntary reflex, on a mantra I can guarantee you will hear in at least 99% of Tory (and most LibDem) interviews on TV or radio, in the press or online.

Withdrawing his comment as instructed, Cameron said:

"I will replace it with 'the man who left us this enormous deficit and this financial crisis'."

And, of course, cue much Tory guffawing and catcalling of the type that only a £25k a year private education can teach.

This (mostly) Tory tactic has been in place since before they were elected, and has continued, unbroken and to the point of nausea, to the present. Listen to any interview, any 'debate' on Newsnight or Question Time (though the Tories like to avoid debate if they can!), and you'll hear some variation of:

'the mess we inherited'

'we're having to clean up Labour's mess'

and so on. Clearly, in order to try to get off the hook of the never-ending run of screw-ups, the Tory PR gurus have drummed this into their politicians until they eat, sleep and breathe 'inherited mess, inherited mess, inherited mess...'

The only tiny problem with all this is this: it's absolutely untrue.

I'm going to try to show you why. It's not really that difficult to see, but a lot of people don't look beyond the mantras and the headlines. Anyone who knows me very well will know that I talk a lot about the 'Big Lie' concept. In a nutshell, this says that the bigger a lie is, and the more emphatically it's spouted, the more people are likely to think, 'Well, they wouldn't dare say it, and especially not like that, if it weren't true!' But of course, it isn't true - that's the whole point. As someone said to me the other day, a plausible lie, shouted loud enough and often enough, usually gets to be taken for the truth.'

Since a picture paints a thousand words and all that, I'm going to use a couple of graphs to illustrate just how untrue this Tory Big Lie is, along with a little commentary. There may be 'lies, damn lies and statistics', but when it comes to nailing a Big Lie, a few objective numbers work wonders.

The 'inherited mess' lie has 2 main parts. The first says that the economic crisis was caused by Labour's overspending. The second says that the resulting 'mountain' of government debt led to such an economic disaster that Dave, George and co had to come galloping in on their big chargers to rescue us with their Magic Sword of Austerity and Competence to clean up the mess and fix our economy.

Let's nail each part of the lie in turn. First, was Labour overspending, and was government debt drastically increasing under Labour? Well, the IMF (see www.scoop.it/t/deficit-myth) say not, and even George Osborne himself, under pressure from Treasury Select Committee members, has to admit it ain't so (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK-h4aiuGIs). Now, on to those pictures:

Graph 1 (first time trying this so hope it works!)



This handy graph shows the changes in UK national debt since 1999 (2 years after Labour came to power). It shows something very interesting. In the years from 1999-2002, the UK's national debt SHRANK to the lowest point it has been since well before Labour took over, right through to the present day. In fact, although not shown on this graph, the debt when Labour took power - the 'inherited mess' from the previous Tory government! - was higher than at any time during Labour's tenure until the 2008 global crash.

From 2002, the graph shows a gradual, managed increase, over a period of 6 years, from about 25% to about 35%. This is the period when Labour - as they had promised to do - started to increase investment in great, beloved British institutions like the NHS, as well as in other public services. This gradual increase was no problem - it was controlled, deliberate, affordable. And it was still lower than it had been under the preceding Tory government.

Of course, in 2008, something drastic happened. There was a global financial crisis that hit virtually every country in the world - hard. National debt increased - but, as the IMF report linked above confirms, this increase was NOT due to excessive public spending! National income fell, and this inevitably pushed up the amount of borrowing. But here's another thing - without being in the same kind of sudden meltdown, the misguided austerity policies of the coalition government have kept the debt growth-line steep! That's because those policies are shrinking the national income far further and faster than spending could or should ever be cut. The way out of the current problems is to stimulate growth - and that's not compatible with austerity budget-slashing.

Here's another graph that shows very clearly how Labour did not leave a mess behind for the coalition to clear up:

Graph 2:



Now this one's ever so slightly trickier to read, but bear with me. I want you to focus on the thickness of the very light blue block of the graph at the top. Don't look at how high up it goes, as that's caused by the thickness of the blocks underneath it.

This light-blue block represents UK government debt from 1987-mid 2011, as a percentage of GDP (basically, the amount the whole country earns). The striking thing about this light-blue block is that it hardly changes in thickness at all from 1987 all the way through to the big global financial crash in 2008 (in fact it gets a little thinner during most of Labour's last period in government) - debt stays constant as a factor of GDP, which is perfectly responsible. The first 10 years of that period were under a Tory government. The next 11 were under Labour. If Labour were being profligate in their spending, so were the preceding Tory governments of Thatcher (Queen of Austerity!) and Major, and somewhat more so.

Of course, as already mentioned debt went up during and just after the 2008 crash, because national income went down. You can see the light-blue block thicken at this point. But Tory spending cuts, even without a global 'meltdown', are pushing debt up and making the debt-block fatter. Countries like the USA, who under Barack Obama took a positive approach to stimulate their economy, have experienced growth during the same period that we've increased debt and suffered recession. Unlike Labour, the Tories have no excuse for the increasing national debt under their (mis)management - so they invent one: 'the mess we inherited', and repeat it for all they're worth in the hope of fooling people into believing their Big Lie.

There are other things I could draw out of the 2nd graph, such as the fact that household debt and non-financial companies' debt during the same period grew, but that far and away the big debt-increase problem, as the graph clearly shows, was irresponsible borrowing by financial companies (in other words, NOT the Labour government!), and that in spite of such companies clearly being the cause of our crisis, this Tory government is not curtailing the obscene bonuses the banks etc continue to pay themselves (I guess they need bonuses to console themselves for the destruction they caused!).

And there are other graphs worth looking at. But I think I've made my point and given you enough to chew on for now. So I'll round off, for clarity's sake, by reiterating the key point that all the graphs and words above are there to prove. Which is:

WHEN THIS GOVERNMENT AND ITS REPRESENTATIVES SAY 'THE MESS WE INHERITED' - AS THEY OH SO SURELY WILL - THEY ARE LYING: IT IS A 'BIG (FAT!) LIE'!

They want to fool you, so they can continue wrecking our great country and siphoning our money into the pockets of the so-called elite who pay into Tory party coffers (and Tory ministers' bank accounts, it appears).

Don't let them.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:16 pm

Did Cameron's speech at the Party Conference suggest to anyone else that he was proposing to push Gideon around in a wheelchair?

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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Ivan on Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:23 pm

Economist Ramesh Patel is a Tory, though you might not think so if you read his latest article for ‘The Huffington Post’. He says that while the Tories continue to talk down the economy by playing the blame game, there will be little confidence in the UK economy.

(Before going any further, it’s worth pointing out the difference between deficit and debt. The deficit is the difference between the money government takes in and what it spends each year. The debt is the accumulated deficits over the years.)

Patel details false claims which his own party made about “the mess”:-

The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.”

After repeatedly stating that the UK had the biggest debt in the world, George Osborne admitted to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt among the G7 countries:-


(YouTube)

Patel says that the UK is likely to have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because it’s the seventh largest economy in the world, but that those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.

In 1997, Labour inherited a debt of 42-43% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crisis in 2008, that debt had fallen to 35%.

“Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.”

The Tories claimed in 2010 that the UK deficit was over 11%. Patel says that was a lie. That figure was for the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was 7.7% In 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget, like the Tories often claim) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% Hence, it's implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008.

The UK and the USA have the largest financial sectors, and as this was a global banking crisis, it’s hardly surprising that the UK suffered more than most. We did have the second highest deficit in the G7 (not the world, as the Tories claimed) after the USA, but not as a result of overspending prior to or after 2008.

Patel declares that the deficit myth “is the biggest lie ever inflicted upon British people and it has been sold by exploiting people's economic illiteracy. So, David Cameron, when are you going to apologise?” He concludes: “Cameron is playing the blame game to depress confidence and growth to justify austerity. Secondly, to use austerity as justification for a smaller state to gain lower taxes. Thirdly, to paint Labour as a party that cannot be trusted with the country's finances again.”

As Josef Goebbels used to boast: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ramesh-patel/growth-cameron-austerity_b_2007552.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:00 pm

Even today's (or yesterday's if you are the Prime Minister) announcement of a 1% rise in GDP can be a sign of anything - or of nothing. We are always being cautioned against reading too much information into what may be a single blip in the statistics.

The real interest will be in the numbers Gideon trots out to support his "Autumn Budget" in six weeks time.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/oct/25/george-osborne-recession
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by sickchip on Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:40 pm

skwalker - excellent post. Thanks for graphs and info.

Before Thatcher: We had more reasonable levels of equality, more social mobility, wage differentials that were fair, average house prices that required a mortgage 3x the average salary instead of 8x, affordable rented accommadation and social housing, affordable university education, etc.........

Consider the following:


1949 - 1979: the share of income going to the top 0.1% of earners decreased from 3.5% to 1.3%. By 2000 their share had increased to 4.6%. Under Labour '97 - 2010 inequality continued to grow at pace. Anaylisis reveals that between '97 - 2008 (prior to recession) the bottom 50% of persons saw income growth of 7.2%, while the top 10% saw income growth of 13.1%, the top 1% income grew by 34%, and the very top 0.1% saw income grow by 64%.

The richest 1,000 persons now sit atop of £414bn, a sum more than three times the size of the entire UK budget deficit. The richest 1% of the population, about 300,000 persons with an income of more than £3,000 a week, are estimated to possess wealth of about £1trillion. The richest 10% control wealth of about £4trillion. To put these figures in perspective, Britain's total GDP is £1.45trillion. What they've gained in the past 30yrs could more than pay off our deficit and still leave them filthy rich.

....and we wonder why the economies in crisis, where all the money went, and why we have to suffer stagnating wages, austerity, and hardship?

Since '79 the general workforces share of GDP shrunk by 12% up to 2008.....and their share is still shrinking. That share of GDP/money has been redirected/redistributed back into the hands of the few.

: In 2011 the lead executive of BP earns 63x that of the average employee. In 1979 the multiple was 16.5.

: Barclays top pay is now 75x the average worker - 1979 the figure was 14.5x. The lead executive's pay since '79 has risen by 4,899%.

These figures are similar across many other companies too.

In the past year alone executive pay has rose by 49% compared to just 2.7% for the average employee - whilst many others have seen wages stagnate or in some cases be reduced. And now we can add people forced to work for nothing and treat with no decency or basic respect.

Some might suggest that this is the 'politics of envy'. I tend to think it's more to do with the politics of unfettered greed, and wreckless social irresponsibility, of the very wealthy.


We need to reduce wage differentials across the board. Pay cuts for those in the top 30% and pay rises for the bottom 50%. Ideas such as a maximum wage or wage ratios where the top earner at a company can't earn more than 10x the lowest employee should also be considered.

......I await the usual response of and threat of 'all our highest earners will leave the country blah blah blah...'. Call their bluff - if they want to go let them because others will always be capable of stepping into their shoes.

The 'working classes', public and private sector, should strike en masse, down tools, and withdraw their services.Such a show of unity and such a demonstration of strength in numbers is the only way to prevent the continuing redistribution of wealth from those at the bottom into the hands of the few at the top.

For 30yrs we've suffered Robin Hood in reverse - robbing the poor to pay for the rich. It's time for that to stop.

Here's an interesting article:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/10/better-way-tackle-high-pay-predistribution
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:34 am

Ivan wrote:Economist Ramesh Patel is a Tory, though you might not think so if you read his latest article for ‘The Huffington Post’. He says that while the Tories continue to talk down the economy by playing the blame game, there will be little confidence in the UK economy.

(Before going any further, it’s worth pointing out the difference between deficit and debt. The deficit is the difference between the money government takes in and what it spends each year. The debt is the accumulated deficits over the years.)

Patel details false claims which his own party made about “the mess”:-

The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.”

After repeatedly stating that the UK had the biggest debt in the world, George Osborne admitted to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt among the G7 countries:-


(YouTube)

Patel says that the UK is likely to have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because it’s the seventh largest economy in the world, but that those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.

In 1997, Labour inherited a debt of 42-43% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crisis in 2008, that debt had fallen to 35%.

“Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.”

The Tories claimed in 2010 that the UK deficit was over 11%. Patel says that was a lie. That figure was for the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was 7.7% In 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget, like the Tories often claim) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% Hence, it's implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008.

The UK and the USA have the largest financial sectors, and as this was a global banking crisis, it’s hardly surprising that the UK suffered more than most. We did have the second highest deficit in the G7 (not the world, as the Tories claimed) after the USA, but not as a result of overspending prior to or after 2008.

Patel declares that the deficit myth “is the biggest lie ever inflicted upon British people and it has been sold by exploiting people's economic illiteracy. So, David Cameron, when are you going to apologise?” He concludes: “Cameron is playing the blame game to depress confidence and growth to justify austerity. Secondly, to use austerity as justification for a smaller state to gain lower taxes. Thirdly, to paint Labour as a party that cannot be trusted with the country's finances again.”

As Josef Goebbels used to boast: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ramesh-patel/growth-cameron-austerity_b_2007552.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Great quote, Ivan. I wrote mine some time ago, but it's nice to be endorsed by a Tory economist! Very Happy
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:39 am

sickchip wrote:skwalker - excellent post. Thanks for graphs and info.

Before Thatcher: We had more reasonable levels of equality, more social mobility, wage differentials that were fair, average house prices that required a mortgage 3x the average salary instead of 8x, affordable rented accommadation and social housing, affordable university education, etc.........

Consider the following:


1949 - 1979: the share of income going to the top 0.1% of earners decreased from 3.5% to 1.3%. By 2000 their share had increased to 4.6%. Under Labour '97 - 2010 inequality continued to grow at pace. Anaylisis reveals that between '97 - 2008 (prior to recession) the bottom 50% of persons saw income growth of 7.2%, while the top 10% saw income growth of 13.1%, the top 1% income grew by 34%, and the very top 0.1% saw income grow by 64%.

The richest 1,000 persons now sit atop of £414bn, a sum more than three times the size of the entire UK budget deficit. The richest 1% of the population, about 300,000 persons with an income of more than £3,000 a week, are estimated to possess wealth of about £1trillion. The richest 10% control wealth of about £4trillion. To put these figures in perspective, Britain's total GDP is £1.45trillion. What they've gained in the past 30yrs could more than pay off our deficit and still leave them filthy rich.

....and we wonder why the economies in crisis, where all the money went, and why we have to suffer stagnating wages, austerity, and hardship?

Since '79 the general workforces share of GDP shrunk by 12% up to 2008.....and their share is still shrinking. That share of GDP/money has been redirected/redistributed back into the hands of the few.

: In 2011 the lead executive of BP earns 63x that of the average employee. In 1979 the multiple was 16.5.

: Barclays top pay is now 75x the average worker - 1979 the figure was 14.5x. The lead executive's pay since '79 has risen by 4,899%.

These figures are similar across many other companies too.

In the past year alone executive pay has rose by 49% compared to just 2.7% for the average employee - whilst many others have seen wages stagnate or in some cases be reduced. And now we can add people forced to work for nothing and treat with no decency or basic respect.

Some might suggest that this is the 'politics of envy'. I tend to think it's more to do with the politics of unfettered greed, and wreckless social irresponsibility, of the very wealthy.


We need to reduce wage differentials across the board. Pay cuts for those in the top 30% and pay rises for the bottom 50%. Ideas such as a maximum wage or wage ratios where the top earner at a company can't earn more than 10x the lowest employee should also be considered.

......I await the usual response of and threat of 'all our highest earners will leave the country blah blah blah...'. Call their bluff - if they want to go let them because others will always be capable of stepping into their shoes.

The 'working classes', public and private sector, should strike en masse, down tools, and withdraw their services.Such a show of unity and such a demonstration of strength in numbers is the only way to prevent the continuing redistribution of wealth from those at the bottom into the hands of the few at the top.

For 30yrs we've suffered Robin Hood in reverse - robbing the poor to pay for the rich. It's time for that to stop.

Here's an interesting article:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/10/better-way-tackle-high-pay-predistribution

Great stuff, sick. These posts of mine bear on the same trends:

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/inherited-mess-part-2-a-little-history-the-lie-of-the-tory-clean-up-and-the-true-consequences-of-their-worldview/

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/the-lie-of-unaffordability-the-foundations-of-the-welfare-state-and-the-real-structural-problems/
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Magpie's View on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:49 pm

Let's put things in very simple terms - the 'mess' was a growing economy and deficit lower than expected. The 'cleaning up' has flatlined the economy and increased the deficit and debt.

The Tories have taken a manageable problem and turned it into a crisis so that they can convert public services into a cash cow - I believe it's called the "shock doctrine".
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by boatlady on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:01 pm

By gum, those are simple terms - not wrong though, in my view.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:53 pm

Some further valuable light on the subject from Lord (Dennis) Stevenson, former Chairman of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, HBOS. [Salary £815,000 a year.]

There was a lot of mistaken lending. I wasn't there in the trenches with the people making the decisions - I was only there, at the most, part-time.

Ah, Bless !
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by astradt1 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:21 pm

I,m sure I heard a Tory Mp say, on today's Sunday Politics show that the reason the economy was not recovering was because of the global crisis, now I wonder if this is a new global crisis that only started after the Tory's took power or is the same one the last Labour government was trying to weather?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:33 pm

Whilst Gideon was forced to admit that he had accomplished precisely nothing over the past two years, he had that silly smirk on his face that tells the world he's actually quite pleased with the situation.



What isn't he telling us?

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TORY magazine spanks Cameron for huge debt lie - but misses one

Post by skwalker1964 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:07 pm

Original including links: http://wp.me/p2sftc-4E7

(If, once you’ve read this article, you want to complain to the Ofcom about the Tories’ lie in their broadcast, you can do so here – please do!)

Some years ago, I was in the US and turned on the TV to see an advert for a US car – I think it was a big multi-person vehicle. I knew already that advertising rules are considerably slacker in the US than in the UK, but what I saw and heard still made my mouth fall open.



The makers of this vehicle were pulling a not-very-subtle con on viewers through the phrasing of their claims, which went something like this (in a typical US announcer’s voice together with screen text over footage of their vehicle splashing through pools etc):

Rated #1 against the Dodge Blahblahblah for fuel efficiency!

Rated #1 against the Chrysler Gobbledegook for in-ride comfort!

Rated #1 against the Chevy Whogivesadamn for accessories as standard!

Rated #1 against the GM Pylacrap for crash safety!

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Until you realise that they’re only saying that their vehicle managed to beat one other vehicle – and only in that particular category! Put in less dishonest terms, the ad would have said:

Worse than every other car (because we’d tell you if there was another one!) for fuel efficiency – except the Dodge Blahblahblah!

Worse than every other car except the Chrysler Gobbledegook for in-ride comfort!

Worse than every other car except the Chevy Whogivesadamn for accessories as standard!

Worse than every other car except the GM Pylacrap for crash safety!

(Model names are – of course – completely made up and not intended to imply anything about the selected brands!)

This has long been one of my favourite examples of how deceptively facts can be phrased in order to give a completely misleading impression.

The Tories have plenty of ‘form’ for this kind of weaseling. For example, back in November, Treasury Minister Sajid Javid deliberately chose a misleadingly-low starting point – which had been achieved by Labour – in order to create a false impression and accuse Labour of a huge increase in youth unemployment.

Well, in last night’s party political broadcast by the Conservative party, David Cameron combined one prize example of this kind of weasel-speak with such a blatant, outright lie that even the dyed-blue Tory magazine The Spectator felt it had to slap him down and call him a liar:


Tory Spectator magazine spanks Cameron over his ‘paying down the debt’ lie

What was Cameron’s lie? Well, the outright one that The Spectator was slapping him down for was simple. In his propaganda piece, Cameron said:

So though this government has had to make some difficult decisions, we are making progress. We are paying down Britain’s debts

This is simply not true. In the 2nd quarter of 2010, just after the last general election, the UK’s debt was £811.3 billion, or 55.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At the end of 2012, it had risen to £1,111.4 billion, or 70.7% of GDP. In cash terms and as a percentage of GDP, debt has risen dramatically under the Tory-led coalition.

‘Paying down the debt’ means reducing the debt. Mr Cameron told a blatant lie in a desperate attempt to mislead the public and shore up its crumbling support for himself and his party of ‘arrogant posh boys’.

But that wasn’t the only misleading statement. In the video, Cameron also says:



Footage then follows of numerous gullible members of the public saying variations of ‘Wow, how fantastic!‘ But this is where the ‘rated #1 against…’ nonsense is brought into play.

Here, courtesy of the Guardian website, is a graph showing the UK’s deficit for the last 30-odd years. Remember, we’re talking of the deficit here and not the debt – the deficit is the overspend in any given year, not the cumulative total debt.



The two yellow boxes, which I’ve added to the image, highlight first the deficit under the Tory government that preceded Labour’s 1997 win; and second the deficit under Labour’s government and the deficit under the coalition.

Note that, from 1997 until 2007, Labour’s deficit was lower than the peak under the preceding Tory government – and Labour even ran a surplus for 4 of those years.

Then, in 2008, because of the financial crisis and the bank bailout, Labour’s deficit rose – but even in 2008, in the midst of the crisis, it was only around half of the deficit in either of the years under the coalition so far. In 2009/10, as the global crisis continued to worsen, it rose to a high of £156 billion.

And, of course, this is the year the Tories choose as their benchmark for their ’25% reduction’ claims – one, single, exceptional year which they use to paint the entire, 13-year period of Labour government.

Factual, of course – but still completely misleading and deeply dishonest. Just like those US car ads.

That car manufacturer was hoping to find an audience of ‘suckers’, people who wouldn’t have the wit or perception to realise the scam that was being perpetrated on them.

Exactly what Cameron was hoping in his broadcast last night. Let’s make sure we don’t let him get away with it.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:48 pm

If the time has come when we are meant to believe a Party Political Broadcast, then the time has also come for the number of nice men in white coats to be increased.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by trevorw2539 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:01 pm

Skywalker. Thanks again for the article from yesterday. I am not an economist but it has been obvious for some time, even to people like me, that we are being fooled. Your article 'lightens the darkness'.
The trick is to watch DC's mouth and carefully listen to the words he chooses to use.

Wasn't it Lord Courtney who wrote 'AFTER ALL, FACTS ARE FACTS, AND THOUGH WE MAY QUOTE ONE TO ANOTHER THE WORDS OF THE WISE STATESMAN 'lies, damned lies and statistics' THERE ARE SOME EASY FIGURES THE SIMPLEST MUST UNDERSTAND, AND THE ASTUTEST CANNOT WRIGGLE OUT OF'.

Perhaps someone should remind DC of the above and send him your article to let him know he has been 'rumbled'. Wink
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:49 pm

trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker. Thanks again for the article from yesterday. I am not an economist but it has been obvious for some time, even to people like me, that we are being fooled. Your article 'lightens the darkness'.
The trick is to watch DC's mouth and carefully listen to the words he chooses to use.

Wasn't it Lord Courtney who wrote 'AFTER ALL, FACTS ARE FACTS, AND THOUGH WE MAY QUOTE ONE TO ANOTHER THE WORDS OF THE WISE STATESMAN 'lies, damned lies and statistics' THERE ARE SOME EASY FIGURES THE SIMPLEST MUST UNDERSTAND, AND THE ASTUTEST CANNOT WRIGGLE OUT OF'.

Perhaps someone should remind DC of the above and send him your article to let him know he has been 'rumbled'. Wink

Thank you for the encouragement! I did copy this one to no.10 on Twitter. Doubt he reads it - but some of his followers might! Smile
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:16 pm

A simple question:

Would you buy a Used Car from THIS man?

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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by trevorw2539 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:41 am

Probably the only thing I would buy from him! Nice car, regularly taxed and insured, service as required by manufacture, all the latest gadgets and all maintained at public - ooops - 'private' expence. Wink Or does that apply to the 'Ministry' car only? Very Happy
 
Always check that the HP from the BANK has been paid off though. It's very difficult for the Banks these days to make money.  Crying or Very sad
 
Anyway I'm off to the Bank to seek a loan. What security can I offer?
 
Hm. There's the deeds to St Peters, Rome and the summer palace at Casto Gan Dolfo. That should about cover it. Now where's my Mitre, beads, dog collar and clerical robes? Done. Wish me luck.   Wink
                                                                                         Pope Everhopeful IV
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:24 pm

" Would you buy a Used Car from THIS man?"

Possibly - but only if I had a good chance of running him over with it before he dashed off with the cash...
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:24 pm

Of course we shall all be glad to rid ourselves of this repellent Coalition Government, but regrettably most of them have cosy boardroom appointments in the City already lined-up.

You scratched MY back, Old Boy. Delighted to return the favour!
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:55 pm

Old news about to become current again, as Cameron's home council continue to resist the withdrawal of Council Tax benefit from the unemployed.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/26/council-tax-benefits-revolt
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Ivan on Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:39 pm

It’s all Labour’s fault”, the big lie on which the Tories have been dining out since May 2010, is demolished here:-
 
http://www.richardgraham.me/politics/great-tory-lie-national-debt/
 
….and here:-
 
http://www.alastaircampbell.org/blog/2013/08/19/the-mess-we-inherited-some-facts-with-which-to-fight-the-tory-big-lies/
 
But might this be the best way for Labour to counter it?
 
“Gordon Brown could start the work, long overdue, of dismantling the myth. He might mention that the economy was, in fact, recovering when Labour left office, that growth stood at 1.1% in the second quarter of 2010 – rather better than the 0.8% increase announced today. He could add that that incipient recovery was choked by a coalition government that arrived telling the world Britain was the next Greece, announcing severe austerity and so shattering economic confidence.

More importantly, he could try to nail once and for all the notion that the increased deficit was due to incontinent Labour spending. Patiently, he should explain that the deficit mushroomed because of the great crash, which triggered an instant collapse in output and tax revenues: Labour had to borrow more because suddenly and unavoidably less money was coming in. That was the result of a global economic crisis that was not caused by the decision-making of Gordon Brown. To repeat the under-used Labour line of the time, the recession was made on Wall Street, not Downing Street.”

 
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/25/gordon-brown-last-gift-to-labour-party-he-loves?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by boatlady on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:03 am

Just read that - I'm not sure poor Gordon eating more humble pie is the answer.

I keep wondering why the whole shadow cabinet isn't daily chanting the message in unison at every public opportunity - the crisis was caused by the banks, the crisis was caused by unfettered greed and inadequate regulation, the ongoing crisis is caused by inequality
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by bobby on Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:57 am

boatlady said:
 I keep wondering why the whole shadow cabinet isn't daily chanting the message in unison at every public opportunity - the crisis was caused by the banks, the crisis was caused by unfettered greed and inadequate regulation, the ongoing crisis is caused by inequality
 
Hello boatlady. You are absolutely correct, like you I can't understand why Ed Miliband and his team have let the Tory led Coalition get away with it. I have for some time been advocating a fight from Labour in the lead up to the May 2015 Election. A fight that should have started well over a year ago.
Some have said, Ed is just keeping his powder dry and to a degree I can understand that viewpoint, but by simply just waiting for this evil Coalition to strangle itself doesn't in my view work, as with the opposition silence we are getting more lies and arrogance from the Government. I am certain that the general public must be thinking the Tories are right in what they say as if not why is it not vigorously refuted?
Ed Miliband doesn't need to discuss or disclose policy, there is enough ammunition with what the Tory led Coalition have said and done to keep any worthwhile opposition busy for years, The maxim "if you tell a lie big enough and long enough it becomes the truth" has certainly been working for Herr Cameron and he's had pushing 4 years of it. Why do Labour seem to think that they will be able to defeat this in just 1 year. The problem with waiting till just before an election will I'm sure lead many into believing it is nothing other than electioneering but without real substance. Ed Miliband has beaten the arse of Her Cameron on every PMQ's I have been able to watch, yet Herr Cameron is still getting away with his lies based on the same set of answers he has given to almost every question posed. If Ed Miliband doesn't have enough time with just 6 questions a week, he needs to find an alternative to get his message out to the public, but unfortunately he is still playing a waiting game and if the polls are anything to go by, waiting aint working.  
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:52 pm

People like Ed Miliband probably did not spend their formative years being taught to regard the lower orders as a permanent threat to the preferred Tory lifestyle.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by boatlady on Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:56 pm

Hi Bobby
I sort of feel the Labour Party must have a plan and must probably understand better than I how to court positive public opinion and hopefully win elections - but it has been frustrating this past three years only really hearing one version of events being aired in public, when, to say the least, there is an alternative version that people maybe need to hear about.

I'm not sure how we can run a proper democracy if the electorate are only exposed to a one-sided argument, and I guess the role of an oppostion is to OPPOSE.

However, I also think, if we don't want Labour to stay in opposition, maybe doing the opposition thing lacks a bit of dignity - you can't look statesmanlike I guess if you're always arguing - so in a way I feel Milliband has to save himself and only fight the battles he is sure of winning (the vote about Syria was a good example, and his intervention over the energy prices hasn't done him any harm - on both those occasions, he's started a national debate and has got the Tories on the back foot).

I'm going to be voting Labour, if only because I'm afraid of what another 4 or 5 years of Tory misrule will bring - I guess the people who need to be convinced are those who've bought the story about Labour being irresponsible with the economy. You won't win over those guys either by promising high spending in the public service or by constantly bleating about how it was the bankers what done it. I suspect a Labour government will need to show an ability both to play nicely with industry and the financial sector, and to provide excellent evidence in support of any public sector growth. It's not going to be easy, and I'm not entirely surprised they are approaching opposition with caution and not making too many promises. It's a different world from 1945 - in many ways, more's the pity

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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:59 pm

Quite right, boatlady. By 1945 the common man had identified the class enemy, having fought alongside Britain's self-appointed leaders and recognised their limitations.

By 2010, the masses had abdicated from responsibility, with the obvious result.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by boatlady on Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:46 am

By 2010, the masses had abdicated from responsibility, with the obvious result

Bit harsh, perhaps?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:19 pm

February 1950 General Election voter turnout 83.6% (Labour re-elected)
May 1997 voter turnout 71.3% (Labour win)
May 2010 GE voter turnout 65.1%.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by boatlady on Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:13 pm

Seems right - so when things are going OK, most people don't bother to vote ?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:23 pm

Aren't most people who vote "voting for change"?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Ivan on Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:29 pm

February 1950 General Election voter turnout 83.6% (Labour re-elected)
May 1997 voter turnout 71.3% (Labour win)
May 2010 GE voter turnout 65.1%.
 
oftenwrong. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re implying that when turnout is high Labour wins, but when it’s low the Tories sneak into power? If so, I’m not sure the theory holds water.
 
I think turnout is high when a close result is expected (for example, in February 1974 and 1992), but much lower when the result is a foregone conclusion (2001 and 2005). What can’t be denied is that turnouts are much lower in this century than in the second half of the last one:-
http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:29 am

My apologies for over-simplifying, (Statistics mean what the statistician wants them to mean). Labour's 43% of votes cast in 1997 gave Blair a 418 seat landslide. Moving on to 2010, a drop to 29% lost Gordon Brown 90 seats.

Figure-watchers may find the numbers here:
http://ukpolitical.info/2010.htm

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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by witchfinder on Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:10 pm

In May 2010 the growth rate of the UK was 0.7%, since that time the coalition took us back into negative growth ( a double dip recession ) and finally, after three and a half years, we get growth of 0.8%, and all the Tory press and their supporters think this is marvellous?
 
Are they all raving bonkers?
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Penderyn on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:18 pm

Cameron couldn't clean up a urinal or convince anything but a toad, which is why he goes down well in the Home counties.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:40 pm

witchfinder wrote:In May 2010 the growth rate of the UK was 0.7%, since that time the coalition took us back into negative growth ( a double dip recession ) and finally, after three and a half years, we get growth of 0.8%, and all the Tory press and their supporters think this is marvellous?
 
Are they all raving bonkers?
Sadly, witchfinder, I think it is the Voters who are bonkers, or brainwashed. Cameron and Osborne are like the Walrus and the Carpenter in Alice in Wonderland, weeping crocodile tears while enjoying causing devastation.

Who are they, and who do they represent? Broadly the Rich - who have no need of unemployment or sickness benefit, and when they retire will move into the Dower House on their estate which the children now continue running. How do they get a dividend from National Insurance contributions?

Check also Republicans in the USA for backup.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Bellatori on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:20 am

skwalker1964 wrote:

The two yellow boxes, which I’ve added to the image, highlight first the deficit under the Tory government that preceded Labour’s 1997 win; and second the deficit under Labour’s government and the deficit under the coalition.
Note that, from 1997 until 2007, Labour’s deficit was lower than the peak under the preceding Tory government – and Labour even ran a surplus for 4 of those years.
Then, in 2008, because of the financial crisis and the bank bailout, Labour’s deficit rose – but even in 2008, in the midst of the crisis, it was only around half of the deficit in either of the years under the coalition so far. In 2009/10, as the global crisis continued to worsen, it rose to a high of £156 billion.
The only problem as I see it is that you are being equally disingenuous with your comparison. If we accept that National Debt is not the issue but current account borrowing is then we are back with my comment elsewhere of pointing out that running a current account deficit is predicated on lenders ALWAYS being willing to lend - a question which has so far gone unanswered. A small deficit adds to the National Debt BUT this is not a problem in times of steady growth and low but steady inflation. Between the two the real value of the absolute debt becomes unimportant in the long run. The figures from 1979 to 1990 and from 1998 to 2001 represent such a period. It is a bit of a balancing act. You don't really want to run a significant current account surplus (2000) - I saw that described as paying off your 3% mortgage by borrowing at 7% - the point being that borrowed money devalues over time so a small amount of borrowing is good Smile .

Then we get the comparison. You don't give a reason for the conservative splurge in the 90s you just imply it was wrong. Fair enough though it is worth noting that it coincided with the start of the pension bubble (see graph below)

You do not then state that G Brown copied this mistake in 2002 to 2007 you simply comment it was smaller Very Happy That's like saying the Tories jumped a red light  and then saying it was OK for Labour to do the same. They just went across faster/slower take your pick. Very Happy I would also point out that the crash in 2008 then disguises what would have happened under Darling. The deficit rose in 2006... who is to say it would not have been higher anyway in 2007. I don't know and neither does anyone else.

Again you make the comment that the deficit was half that of the first year of the coalition. Would it have been any different under a Labour administration? Again you cannot know that so it is a pointless and invidious comment. If I understand correctly the thrust of some of the other threads where 'thrift' is considered a dirty word, would the spending and therefore the borrowing under Labour not have been higher?

The real argument should be about how we cut the deficit. Certainly the levels at which we find it at the moment are unsustainable. We need to manage a balancing act. We need growth and we need to borrow. Should the 30% of borrowing funded by sovereign wealth funds and the like get cold feet then this country is in deep do-do. They have us by the balls pale. That is what Cameron/Osborne are playing on. I think they are wrong for only one reason. In normal times they would be right but these are not normal times. The banking catastrophe has actually left the money very few places to go. Where would you put your money in Europe other than Germany? Their interest rates on bonds are so low as to be almost pointless. Would you trust Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Italy or even France? I would not and neither do these funds so they come here. Our rates remain low because of that and that makes the borrowing less painful than it might be. Could we borrow more and slow the cuts? No idea but it has to be risky. Spain and others seems to be recovering and we might end up competing for money. I have no answer but I do know that we need to get back to the periods 1979 to 1990 and from 1998 to 2001. We also need to plan for the next downturn. These cycles happen and it would be nice not to be caught by surprise every time.

In summary, I found your post rather unbalanced. You complain that the Tories picked a bad point for Labour to make a comparison but then you seem to want to do exactly the same. This whole thread slams the Tories from end to end without really taking a critical (and I use that in the analytic rather than the censorial meaning) appraisal. Whilst I would not donate bodily fluids to any conflagrating Tory we still have to do better in a real sense and not just claim the moral high ground. The latter has never fed one starving child though it does make the Pharisees feel good about themselves.




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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:03 am

Good post, Bella. As you've previously alluded to there seems little excuse for the Labour deficit in the "Boom Years".
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:11 am

Quote: "We also need to plan for the next downturn. These cycles happen and it would be nice not to be caught by surprise every time."

In that sense, the (technically) stable 5-year term of government might go some way to extending the short-termism currently practiced in Westminster and also The City, where interest-rates are fixed for a minimum time, and commodities such as gold have a daily fix. How can a business produce a credible cash-flow forecast when overdraft rates and mortgage repayments change with the wind direction?

Britain's finance industry has been through boom-an-bust no less than eight times since the end of WW2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/recession/7073667/UK-recessions-since-1945-how-they-compare.html

There is scant evidence that anything was learnt from the Bank collapse in 2008, they're already yearning for a return to the good old days of junk bonds and sub-prime lending. It's the nature of the beast.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Bellatori on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:30 am

oftenwrong wrote:...Britain's finance industry has been through boom-an-bust no less than eight times since the end of WW2. ...

There is scant evidence that anything was learnt from the Bank collapse in 2008, they're already yearning for a return to the good old days of junk bonds and sub-prime lending.  It's the nature of the beast.
I read you post as implying that the finance sector was the cause of these boom and busts. This is a little hard to see from the article which states "No two recessions are alike, and that applies to the current slowdown also. It has been caused by a shock to the availability of credit, a massive build up of debt (which needs to be unwound) – and crucially is occurring across the entire globe." I think you are right about 2008 though. scant evidence Question  I presume is a euphemism Very Happy

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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:58 am

scant evidence, you're right. I'd used bathos in a poor attempt at humour. In my opinion there is little evidence of acquired wisdom in financial circles, only cunning.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

Post by Dan Fante on Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:20 am

Unfortunately the one thing that probably stayed with those involved in the banking collapse was that even when you mess things up that much the taxpayer will still bail you out.
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Re: The myth of the 'inherited mess', and the myth of the 'clean up'

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