Letter to America 2009

 

I have come across articles by Gerald Dorfman in the past. The fact that he is a fellow of the Hoover Institute immediately endears him to me since I am a HUGE fan of the polymath Herbert Hoover, almost certainly the most gifted US President in modern times. Hoover is probably more admired in Europe than the US since many people here consider he laid the plans for the Marshal Plan when Harry Truman sent him to reconnoiter Europe after WWII (his contribution has, sadly, been air brushed from history). He was blind-sided by the Depression, had only a couple of years to react, and was outrageously rubbished by Roosevelt though much of the “New” Deal was Hoover’s idea. I particularly loved the fact that both he and his (Stanford University) wife spoke Mandarin Chinese and used the language when they wanted to keep their conversations private. However, Dorfman tends to overestimate Brown. In particular he stated (in an earlier article) that Brown had a PhD in Economics. This is not true – Brown has a pretty poor doctorate on an obscure, failed, Red Clydeside politician called Maxton.

The jolly to the USA was hopefully one of the last of his ghastly all-singing, all-dancing exhibitions designed to distract from reality. I wondered at the time what on earth the listening American politicians made of this neo-socialist monster. Unfazed by the complete horlicks he had made of the UK economy here he was offering US legislators his global vision. All the contradictions and the ZANU Labour-speak were on view. He claimed to represent ordinary hardworking people but British savers have been ruined by the collapse of asset prices and interest rates close to zero. His period in office will be remembered as a time when bankers were paid millions while their pensioner shareholders were crushed. Congress was silent when his lecture moved on to the perils of protectionism. This was a reasonable reaction to a hypocrite who back home had preached: British jobs for British workers. It was also the same man who had devalued sterling to boost British exports and curb imports and beggar his European neighbours. His vision of 20 years of coming prosperity must have struck Americans as simply deranged. Coordinated international action may be the way to go but led by El Gordo, the failed politico from the industrial graveyard of South Fife? Ordinary people are not as stupid and ignorant as Brown would like to believe. Most are starting to realize that he is at best delusional or, more likely, a congenital liar. The dominos are falling all over Europe and the weakest nations are one by one entering austerity programmes. The UK electorate knows deep inside that our turn is rapidly approaching. All his recent grandstanding and rhetoric simply make him sound slippery, shifty and aloof. This is how all socialist governments die and I think the public is picking up the smell of death around Gordon Brown.

What he will leave behind is a dysfunctional state, stripped of sovereignty, up to its eyeballs in so much debt that not even our children’s children will be free from the burden. The misguided promotion of multiculturalism and open borders that marked the first and second phases of the Labour administration will continue to undermine social cohesion. Children in our dire state schools will be handed debased certificates of success, while falling further behind pupils in private schools. An unfunded pension system that is, in effect, an inverted pyramid of unaffordability will buckle and crack.

Yet Brown is quite shameless in blaming others for this mess and he has finally been rumbled by the British public. This is what will cost him the next election. Even senior civil servants are spilling the beans. Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, pointed to his complicity in the economic crisis. He said there had been: a prevailing mindset of Government promoting the benefits of credit and asset inflation, notably in housing. Everywhere, there has been scandalous waste, not only in the Banking system but in all departments of state. Attempts by critics to stem the flow of government profligacy are met with the predictable response from Downing Street that savings of any sort will mean job cuts, school closures and an abandonment of hospitals.

This scare tactic may have worked in the last general election campaign, but looks risible now. The nightmare for Brown is that his credibility is crumbling faster than the finances of the nation. His timing is woeful. Between now and the next election just about every indicator of wellbeing will move in the wrong direction. Rising unemployment, bankruptcies and home repossessions will remind an ungrateful electorate how little it owes him. Once again a socialist government has taxed and spent and failed. A Brown Rebound? Not even a dead brown cat bounce!

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