30 March 2013

Harsh Medicine

This country has been sick. This country needs healing. This country needs medicine. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that what this country really needs, right now, is a doctor.

One thing is for certain: it is Labour, and not the Conservatives, who got us into this mess in the first place. A "global" recession had taken place, but Gordon Brown's Premiership and Alistair Darling's Chancellorship had made things worse. His "spend, spend, spend" motto bit him hard on the behind, causing a deeper and longer recession than every country in the G8 bar Spain. The UK economy had lost 6.5% of all of its money. Brown's answer was "spend, spend, spend". He spent so much money that he left us the biggest government deficit in the G8. It was even bigger than Greece. The recovery was misfiring. Gordon Brown was asked by David Cameron in April 2009 whether he agreed with his own policy or not, as the Treasury was giving presentations saying that Labour would deliver  total spending cuts from 2011/12. Gordon Brown said that he disagreed with his own policy, saying that there would be "a 0% rise". I think that answer got 0%. The worst recession since the Second World War was not off to a decent recovery. Labour messed us up more than was required.

Now, Osborne and the Conservatives have started to rescue us. By cutting the deficit by 25%, the United Kingdom has succeeded where Greece have failed - and look what happened to Greece. Along comes George Osborne in June 2010. He tells the last government to sit on the naughty step and think about what they've done, giving us the biggest deficit in the G8. Naughty, naughty, naughty. Osborne has to clear up after their mess. He now has to walk a tightrope - keep the economy moving and cut the deficit, preferably to nothing (or maybe even create a surplus, as it was in the early Blair days - he wasn't all bad!). Every three months, the government gets a little report as to how this is going. It is also crucial information. I am, of course, referring to the GDP figures. The first GDP figures were for April (Labour), May (Labour/no government/Conservatives), and June (Conservatives). The UK economy had grown by 0.7%. Now for the real test - the first full "only Tory" quarter. 0.6% growth. The Tories' plan was working.

The Conservatives have succeeded where Labour have failed. They managed to just about avoid another major disaster by recovering all the money lost in the "double-dip" within one quarter. Another global recession in 2011 and 2012 even affected the United States. The Conservatives managed to just about deliver growth for 2012 as a whole (0.2%, admittedly nothing to write home about), but was within 1% of the forecast by the IMF of 0.8% growth. At the time of writing, the UK economy did enter double-dip at one point, but the recovery of the double-dip has been completed. Leading independent economists think that the UK economy's GDP figures will be revised to show that we were never in double-dip recession. Osborne's getting there. Slowly.

Bear with us. We're all in this together. Pour your heart, mind, and soul into the economy, and the economy will pour its heart, mind, and soul into you.

I said this country needs a doctor. The medicine is harsh, but the patient requires it in order to live.

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