Gordon Brown - The Wizard of Oz

#1
Just as we get the pre-budget report (no debate yet here on ARRSE) there was an interesting article in today's Times on Gordon Brown, quite long but worth the read

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,17129-2489152,00.html

Gordon Brown is a fundamentally failed Wizard of Oz Chancellor, whose policies have led to escalating unemployment, record debts, increasing poverty, higher taxes, falling living standards and plumetting competitiveness, according to a ferocious attack by the Conservatives.
George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, is taking the battle to Mr Brown’s home territory by compiling a black dossier of his economic failures in an attempt to destroy the “myth” of the Iron Chancellor’s invulnerable economic prowess.

Until now, the Chancellor’s record has appeared so impregnable that the Conservatives have shied away from attacking it, fearing that the criticisms would not be credible and would rebound on them. Mr Brown, who touts his economic record as his qualification for becoming prime minister, will detail his achievements this lunchtime as he unveils what is almost certainly his last Pre-Budget Report as Chancellor.

Mr Osborne said that it was now clear that the Chancellor’s economic policies had failed. “We got slightly intimidated by Gordon Brown’s boasts about economic performance and it is only when you take a closer look at them that you realise that rather like the Wizard of Oz, it looks impressive on the outside, but you pull back the curtain and it is just a person pulling on the levers and nothing is really happening,” he said.

According to the Conservatives’ dossier on Mr Brown, Britain’s economy is failing by almost all measures. Economic growth this year is 22nd among the 25 European Union members, and lower than the average of all industrialised economies, and the world as a whole. Unemployment has risen faster than in any other developed nation, up by 300,000 in a year. Britain is one of the few advanced countries where taxes are rising, with households paying £9,000 a year more now than in 1997, but the Government has the largest structural budget deficit of any big country in the EU, including Italy.

Most damagingly for workers, their living standards are falling because prices are rising faster than earnings. Increases in taxes, energy prices and housing costs have left most people with less money to spend than a year ago. Mr Osborne said that the heated economy of Central London and the City had obscured the rest of the country, where people were being squeezed.

“Across the rest of the country, unemployment is rising and real living standards are falling,” he said. “I find this an extraordinary verdict on ten years of Gordon Brown, that inflation is rising more quickly than earnings. So out there, the country does not feel particularly well off, people feel their family budgets are tight, their disposable incomes are falling as they approach Christmas.”

The economic growth figures often cited by the Chancellor have been flattered by the rapid rise in immigration, Mr Osborne said, which had increased the number of workers, but depressed wages for many of those already here. “Perhaps it is not surprising if 600,000 people come into this country in the last 18 months, GDP itself increases, but in terms of how well people feel individually, the answer is they don’t feel particularly well off. It has put pressure on people who are low skilled, which is one of the reasons we have this twin phenomenon of rising unemployment and rising employment.”

Business investment, at 9.5 per cent of GDP, is the lowest since records began in 1965 and research and development spending has dropped to 1.1 per cent of GDP, despite repeated government campaigns to boost it. Growth in productivity, the amount of wealth created per hour worked, has nearly halved under Labour. In the last Parliament of the Conservative Government, it grew by 2.6 per cent a year on average, but since 1997 has grown at only 1.5 per cent. “Gordon Brown himself said that productivity is the fundamental yardstick of economic performance, and productivity growth under Gordon Brown has slumped. So on his own yardstick, he has fundamentally failed,” Mr Osborne said.

The Conservatives are claiming that the Government’s record is vulnerable even on poverty, which it made one of its top priorities. Although measures such as tax credits had helped many people just below the official poverty line (earning less than 60 per cent of average), there were growing numbers of people in deep poverty. Recent reports, and even Cabinet ministers, have given warning that the Chancellor’s complex tax credit system was trapping people in poverty.

“It is remarkable we have 400,000 more people on less than 40 per cent of median income,” Mr Osborne said. “To have more people in entrenched poverty is quite an indictment for a government that says that tackling poverty is its No 1 priority.”

Mr Brown has squandered the economic legacy he inherited from the last Conservative Government, Mr Osborne claimed. He was the lucky Chancellor, who presided over the economy at a time of remarkably benign global conditions, with low inflation and interest rates around the world. The Conservatives say that the Chancellor has escaped criticism for his economic failings because there has been no single moment of crisis, such as the pound plunging out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which at a stroke destroyed the Conservatives’ reputation for economic competence.

Instead, say the Tories, there has been the drip, drip of bad policies, with ever-increasing taxes and regulations slowly taking their toll. “We have accumulated a mass of regulation, bureaucracy and unproductive public services, and all of this has led to a slow furring up of the arteries,” Mr Osborne said.

The Conservatives’ attacks are starting to hit home, however, and opinion polls increasingly suggest that the public trust the Tories more on the economy now than they do Labour.

“The longer we see Gordon Brown, the more confident we are that he is not only beatable, but that his record can be subjected to some pretty fierce criticism,” Mr Osborne said. “Ten years of Gordon Brown’s policies are catching up with us.”

Whilst I know that this is the Conservative point of view, there are quite a few salient points made that don't make him look quite as good as he thinks he is.
 
#3
Osborne is a tosser. A good look at the facts shows that Brown has been a poor Chancelor ever since he stopped following Clarkes policies. Other tories have said this, perhaps Osborne was still playing with himself when they did so.
 
#4
Seen this else were goes with the wizard of Oz theme....somewere over the rainbow! :x
Green tax bollocks consider the following only Yellow to go.
Red - Road
Orange - Oil (taxed virtually moment it comes ashore)
Yellow - ??
Green - flying
Blue - buying anything
Indigo - income insurance premium or inheritance
Violet - VAT
 
#5
As I have said before.Just give any Labour Chancellor time and he'll revert to basics.
Tax and Spend.
john
Tax All and Spend on F-all.
 
#6
jonwilly said:
As I have said before.Just give any Labour Chancellor time and he'll revert to basics.
Tax and Spend.
john
Tax All and Spend on F-all.
He has generously extended child benefit to the unborn though. The man's largesse knows no bounds.
 
#7
Gordon Brown has been running bogus fiscal policies all propped up by accounting tricks for years. Every time you read about "Tax Fairness" and Anti-Tax Avoidance measures some BS projection of the "extra" tax Revenues to be gained is stuffed into the projections to justify more being spent.

But it is rubbish because that is like sticking a speed camera set at 30mph on a previously 60mph limit road and then expecting to make loads of money because people will just keep driving past at 60mph!

But what has really knackered things is that the Treasury has known that North Sea Oil Revenues are in decline in part thanks to stupid tax policies. But excessive projections kept being made. Now he has nowhere to hide.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/47515432-bba3-11da-8f51-0000779e2340.html

Tax and Spend, Tax and Spend. Every Labour Government does this and each generation of voters has to learn the hard way how bad these tossers really are.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Don't forget that Gordon Brown, like Bliar, is a master of the headline grabbing sound bite which is then followed by no action.

In 2004 He announced the expansion of the Combined cadet Force into every state secondary school as his aim.

he then gave no money.

In Feb 2006 he demanded that the private sector fund this expansion as part of their community support.

To date New labour/HMG have not provided fubding to establish any new state CCFs that i am aware of. Another lie based sound bite.
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Playing the statistics game.

There are 4230 state run secondary schools in the UK according to TES, so if each one that does not have a CCF opened one with Government/State funding then that would be an additional 4,000 plus jobs for ex military people in the CCF sector.

Now let me think, average salary + costs per post of £30K per annum plus set up costs that equals........errr....let me see.......a fraction of the money being spent on invented posts such as equality advisors, 5 a day vegetable advisors, consultants, breast feeding advisors, and all the services involved in keeping bored kids locked up because they have no role model and no idea of social responsibility.

It seems that Gordon The Financially Astute could save a lot more money by opening a few more CCFs as he promised.
 
#11
Yes, we did have a small fiscal surplus of several billions which Brown invested in the Japanese Yen' a few weeks before that currency collapsed on the international money market!

Very astute is our Gordon

We only got to hear about it on the Saturday Lecture on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme just before the 'Saturday Lecture' was 'pulled' by the BBC.

The silence surrounding this faux pas has been deafening ever since

Regards and best wishes
Iolis
 
#12
Iolis said:
Yes, we did have a small fiscal surplus of several billions which Brown invested in the Japanese Yen' a few weeks before that currency collapsed on the international money market!
Didn't he mastermind a similar cunning plan by selling off our gold reserves - shortly before the gold price went through the roof? If this guy worked in the private sector - he wouldn't be working in the private sector.

Never mind. At least we're enjoying the longest period of sustained growth since the dawn of time. Those guys who have just lost their jobs as the Burberry factory packs up and moves to China have never had it so good.
 
#13
jonwilly said:
As I have said before.Just give any Labour Chancellor time and he'll revert to basics.
Tax and Spend.
john
Tax All and Spend on F-all.

Wouldn't be so bad if was just tax and spend - but its borrow and spend too.

£40 bn a year government borowing.
£50 bn a year trade deficit.
£several bn to pay back on PFI initiatives.
£1,050 bn 'secured' consumer credit.
£200 bn unsecured consumer credit.


Rearrange the words 'bubble' and 'South Sea' into a well known phrase that sums up our current position.


D
 
#14
Iolis said:
Yes, we did have a small fiscal surplus of several billions which Brown invested in the Japanese Yen' a few weeks before that currency collapsed on the international money market!

Very astute is our Gordon

And don't forget that half our gold reserves were sold off just before the gold-price doubled. Someone is sitting on a hefty profit there, and its not HMG.

Very astute is our Gordon


D
 
#15
I am sure that it is Labour Policy to commit the next generation to pay for the 'Luxuries' of today.
I was dragged up as Labour and over the years came to detest their system.
The want the populace to be dependant on 'Hand' outs from the central government and not rely on the natural abilities of the UK people.
john
Gold an old through back if UK is your only world. Live in the Mid or Far East and Gold Rules above all.
 
#16
The fat PIG has not abolished STAMP (on my wallet for first time buyer) DUTY.
I hope he melts like on Raiders of the last Ark.



GORDON BROWN-RAIDER OF THE LAST PENNY...


AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!






ROLAND JUPITER 8 SYNTHESISER
 
#17
Spot on! Trouble is, how many voters understand what he has done over the last nine years? He is the worst Chancellor in my lifetime and who can believe he will let go of the tiller when he becomes Prime Minister? Stand by for even worse.
 
#18
Acording to the Tax man I qualify for Working tax credits.

The princley sum I'm awarded? £0.00.

Might the reason I qualify be the fact I lose between 1/3 of my pay packet in tax (NI and income combined)? I wonder how many of the awarded Tax credits get a similar sum?
 
#19
....and he knicks people's pension funds!

Oh and getting married and having children does not necessarily mean he isn't still the biggest queen to come out of Dunfermline since Mary Queeen of Scots!
 
#20
Cuddles said:
....and he knicks people's pension funds!

Oh and getting married and having children does not necessarily mean he isn't still the biggest queen to come out of Dunfermline since Mary Queeen of Scots!
A mutton- muncher?
I knew there was something about that readily dropping jaw that bothered me... :roll:
 

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