Sunday, October 19, 2008

In America its 1997, in the UK its the 1970's - we learn so slowly the lessons must be repeated.

It looks like Mr Obama is going to win in the US by a landslide. the tipping point looks like being passed where people are now wanting to support him maybe to avoid being on the losing side ( and that includes many UK Conservatives ). Its not clear what he stands for, except change. We know he has little to no relevant experience, and yet people are having treating him like a Messiah ( especially in Europe and the UK ).

Substitute "change" for "modernisation" and Obama with Blair and we're at the end of the 1997 general election in the UK. I bet the day after the US election more people claim to have supported Obama than his votes would suggest, just as happened in the UK with Blair. No one wanting to be left out.

And just as with New Labour their is going to be a painful relearning of the lessons that we learnt from 1997 onwards. When politicians say "things can only get better" its time to worry.

Back in the UK is back to the late 60's 70's with grand government programs, ministers having big schemes, a National Economic Council and the determination to spend our way out of a recession despite our debt being the worse in the G8 and our economy being disproportionately impacted by the financial collapse. Instead our politicians clammer to tell us what we want to hear and are busy setting Keynes up as a Saint to go along side the new St Gordon Brown.

All that's missing so far is the act when Labour have to beg the IMF for a bailout that will come on humiliating terms.

This is all going to end in tears.

None of it would have been necessary if we hadn't tried so hard to forget the lessons of the recent past. But the mood music of new Labour drowns out memory, those who object are characterised as being against the 'investment' in schools, hospitals and families (hard working of course).

No one remembers "sound money TM*", so the lesson will have to be taught again.

PS To the younger generation who've been raised on left wing propaganda about the evil Thatcher years with films like "Brassed Off" and "The Full Monty" or even the history section of the BBC's lonely planet guide - you're about to find out why people elected Mrs T.

* Lady Thatcher.


wildgoose said...

The only problem being that David Cameron is no Mrs Thatcher.

It was painful last time, it'll be worse this time.

Man in a Shed said...

Wildgoose - I suspect your right. ( I only hold back final judgement as you never really know what someone is going to do until they are in office. )

The Margaret Thatcher/Keith Joseph government was born of the extreme pain of everything else having been tried and finally proven not to work. Perhaps that sort of pain is a pre-requisite in a democracy for such a radical and painful cure.

As a small boy I can still remember going to spend my pocket money at the local shop which was part of the Labour govts "Price Watch" campaign, which like every other shop had to break out of that scheme as the pressures of financial reality hit home.

What truly annoys me about this is it will be the people least able to withstand the hard times who will pay the price for all the posturing and election winning that politicians are about to engage in.

In this sense I wish the current policy of the Conservatives for a office of budget responsibility well. However its also a step on the road to serfdom, as we cede control of our economy to "the experts", so politicians can avoid the blame.

Letters From A Tory said...

I wonder whether all the cries of the end of Thatcherism might come back to bite some people in the arse. After all, it was Gordon's failure to regulate properly that caused this mess, not Thatcher.