Wednesday 19 January 2011


Yesterday the inflation figures were released. It surprised me to find that with the price of electricity going up by 6%, gas by 9%, with petrol galloping out of control, food prices going through the roof, transport costs up by 10%+, clothing up by 6%... the inflation figure managed to stay under 4%.

Odd you might think, but who am I to argue? I'm, er, sure the Treasury knows what it is doing...

So as surprised as I was to see such a low inflation figure given the pressures on my wallet, I was even more surprised to hear that the figures came as a shock to the government. Not because they were so low, but because they were so high!

Apart from wondering how the shops where Mr Osborne’s servants shop keep their prices down when “ordinary
people’s” shops are putting prices up at a fair wallop, I was also a bit worried that the government was so unprepared for this. No one else is.

Then today I listened with amazement to a news item saying that the government was once again shocked at the rise in the unemployment figures, and I wondered if Mr Duncan-Smith had perhaps taken a longer than normal holiday in the past month. Every day I hear about companies shutting down or paying off. So why, I wonder, would it surprise the government that all these redundancies would result in more people being out of work? Am I missing something here, or don’t the two normally go hand in hand?

I do hear that manufacturing industry is soaring and I take great comfort in that. Mrs Thatcher seemed, for some reason, to despise manufacturing. Perhaps it was because that was where lay the industrial trades unions, comprising working class people who wanted their share of the pie, and whom she had pledged to obliterate.

If one didn’t have manufacturing, it followed that one wouldn’t have manufacturing trades unions. So she shut it all down so she could claim to have achieved her goal. 'Tw
as a bit tough on the rest of society, but Mrs Thatcher could be guaranteed to see only her own selfish ends.

Of course it could be that she, now mixing in circles of financial elite, had the upper working class – lower middle class snobbery about factory workers and dirty hands and decided that a country she “led” would have none of it. Or maybe a mixture.

We've seen some of the consequences of that "white collar" revolution over the years with mass unemployment, disintegration of society and the growing of a permanent underclass. Recently of course the lid blew off that side of the economy too. Given freedom to do what they wanted, it seems that financiers, people of Margaret's own circle, are every bit as irresponsible as the trades unionists from another time, just luckier in their outcomes.

Manufacturing's recovery, welcome though it may be, is based mainly on the fact that with interest rates at an
historic all time low of 0.5%, the pound is worth very little (even against the Euro with all its problems), which makes our products cheap, if nothing else.

Unfortunately, of course, that only benefits those companies which are exporting. So those manufacturing for the domestic market are not benefiting.

Additionally, with inflation taking off, it will not be long before interest rates rise, probably quite steeply and rapidly, and this benefit will be lost...along with much else.

In the meantime, it would be nice if next time there is announcement of some figure or another, the government wasn’t 'gobsmacked' to hear it. Given the momentous proposals for change they are trying to push through, it might give us a little more confidence if we thought that they had some idea of what was going on on their watch.

Pics: (1) Don’t jump... oh well OK go on. (2) I’m just popping out for a paper. (3) The nightmare from hell. A visit to the uncaring, target driven, sneering, dirty, understaffed, unpleasant, smelly Jobcentre “plus”, although plus what exactly is a mystery to most. (4) Manufacturing: what the country needs; what it has always needed and always will and what some silly old woman got rid of.


  1. Of course they don’t know what they are doing. Only Ken Clarke has any experience, all of the rest are a bunch of brainless upper class twits who think they ought to govern because that’s what their mummies and daddies did. But at the end of the day they have done more U-turns in 7 months than Mrs Thatcher ever did or Tony Blair did in 10 years. The worst of the bunch is that arch-baboon Michael Gove who I don’t think has manages to get a single thing right, followed quickly by Guideon who if he closes his eyes and thinks very, very hard he can hear crickets chirping by the sea! Then there is “call me dave” whose mummy got Buckingham Palace to get him a safe Tory seat, what can we say about him except that he knows the price of ties by the gross from Saville Row, but can’t actually tie one, just as well he has Sam to make sure he has his shoes on the right feet in the morning!

    And Cleggums the pet Toy, what’s the point....??

  2. Munguin,

    That is a tad untrue. The business secretary has rather formidable experience as a highly qualified economist ... but don't let the facts get in your way!

    As for Michael Gove, your characterisation of him is rather silly. He has for example revealed the truth behind the gerrymandering of grade growth - showing how it has been artificially maintained in government statistics over the last three decades - thought you would have welcomed that ... oh wait, you only oppose the coalition --- anti-Tory anti-Coalition.

    As for those facts Mungiun? Don't let them get between you and your 1980s bigotries!

  3. Tris,

    Your article is calling for government and economists to know exactly what will happen ... erm ... this is impossible! Economics is not a game where you know everything to expect, all the time!

    These are rather extraordinary circumstances Labour has left Scotland and the United Kingdom in!

    Is this yet another example of opposition for oppositions sakes?

  4. Cast Iron and his Eton pals have managed to give us higher inflation and less growth than Zimbabwe. Even Liebour didn't manage to be that bad !

  5. Old queenie must be feeling the pinch as the next two garbage messages at xmas time have been given to Sky.

    Gideon is as idiotic as he looks and hasn't a clue other than reading a pre-prepared speech and lives in his own privileged world.

    Help Ensure UK Families have a Warm Home this Winter!

  6. Dean: is that the Business Secretary who has gone from Mr Bean to Mr Has-Been in a few short months? Does he actually have any of his brief or civil servants left? No....he is in fact Liberal supernumerary, i.e. an also ran. One lucky question in 2004 does not make him an economic giant. I would point out that Alex Salmond was similarly a successful economist in earlier life but that does not stop you and you Onionist friends slating him does it? So only Onionst Tory propping-up economists who run off at the mouth in front of pretty girls are for you are they?

  7. Deano

    Bit of a shame the Tory(vile scum) Government use Economists(whores you pays your money you gets the opinion youse want) all the time to prove?? their policy's are the right ones'

    1980s bigotry yes we have seen plenty of that from Cameron and the Toffs who by the way hate our guts always have always will.....

    Gove or squeaky as we like to call him is one freaky looking dude and his voice what a you know old friends of his are on the record saying he never spoke like that years affectation he acquired when he started kissing Tory arses

  8. Dean - The business secretary has rather formidable experience as a highly qualified economist ...

    Dear! Dear! Economics is on a par with Astrology. It is not a science - Economists give their opinions - ask ten economists a question and you will get ten different answers. Ask the same economist the same question ten different times and you will get ten different answers. Overpaid guess-merchants!

  9. Aye Munguin, a bunch of no-hopers, almost as bad as New Labour.

  10. Och Dean, the Business Secretary is only Business Secretary for any matter that doesn't involve Mr Murdoch or pretty girls.

    He's a right disappointment.

    He's only there because he's a Liberal. Can you imagine if a Tory minister had made such an incredible ass of himself. He'd have been out on his ear.

  11. I heard from a reliable source when the Tory/Lib(vermin scum ) cabinet finish their meetings.

    At the end just as they leave the room Cable has to bend over and they all kick him up the arse as they leave.

    Cable then replies to each kick 'thank you very much sir'

    they say Cleggy after taking his one allowed shot runs around the cabinet office to get back in the queue, and gives Cable another one..Whacko!!! Cable then dips his swollen red and bruised bollocks in a Galvanised bucket full of ice.

    Oooerr!! The thing those English Toffs get up to

    Apparently it is a well known Old Etonian custom of punishing their fags

  12. Well Dean no-one expects them to be bang on the button, but they seem to ahve no idea that inflation or unemployment was going up. it was agreat schock to them. It wasn't a shock to me. It's only how small the undoubtedly fiddled numbers are that schocks me. And before tyou say anything about Tory bashing, Labour fiddled inflation and unemployemt figures too. Indeed the French minister for Employment was asked a few years ago on English radio why French unemployment was so much higher than UK unemployment. He replied "Because we coult everyone who is unemployed for our figures; you do not". And he was right.

    And anyone who lives in the country knows perfectly well that the figures for inflation are funnier than The News Quiz.

  13. Yep Monty... and interest rates will have to go up soon. Mortgages will go up, defaults will start, manufacturing will slow down... but if they don't do it inflation will take off and we'll be, as you say in a Zimbabwean situation.

  14. CH. I couldn't care less if she gives her message, approved by the government, on TV Burma. I can think of better ways of wasting 15 minutes of my life. But that's fine because my set can't pick up Sky, thank god.

    Rupert must have told her he'll put a free Sky box in all her palaces and the palaces of her HUGE and very expensive family.

    I'm surprised Andy Pandy hasn't done a deal like this before. He's been fiddling all sorts of other things.

  15. I take it you're not keen on Dr Vince then Munguin?

  16. I imagine Niko that your voice would go funny if you spent your life kissing Tory ass!!

  17. Yeah Billy... it's true economists are only ideas people... they don't know anything, they guess that it might happen in a particular wasy. That's all.

    If we had economists worth anything at all, would we be in this mess.

    After all even Alex, ex-economist, didn't see this coming.

  18. Well CH... the bankers are civil servants, don't see why the people in whitehall shouldnt get a couple of million too...

  19. Hmmm Niko. You have some very strange "reliable sources". You didn't go to Eton yourself did you?

  20. Putting the sheer bile we typically expect from Niko, let us be straight here - Tris, the coalition knew that inflation would go up! Course they did! That is why benefits were switched to rising with CPI inflation index instead of the (in my opinion more accurate) RPI index.

    So I do not accept they are guilty of being clueless, their preperation in advance in the last 6 months rather shows they knew what to expect.

  21. the coalition knew that inflation would go up! Course they did

    Aint hindsight wonderful!

    Nicole Foss: We Need Freedom of Action To Confront Peak Oil

  22. Dean: Thank you for the quite touching defence of the Lib Dems. It almost brings a tear to the eye! I’m assuming they can safely count on your second vote in the forthcoming elections then. Let’s face it they are going to need it!

  23. Dean. Niko is Niko. What can you say? His rather overblown rhetoric often carries quite a bit of thought, if you can blow the froth off it first!! As does yours... and perhaps even mine!

    I suspect Dean, that they wanted to reduce the benefits to as small an increase as possible regardless of what inflation would be.

    Yes of course they must have known that there would be inflation. A primary school kid would have known that. It was the fact that they remarked that it was more than they had expected that I thought amusing, and sloppy.

  24. I can only hope that manufacturing does become something that's 'acceptable' in mainstream society. Incrasingly we are suspicious of the physical, with communication, shopping, etc all being digitised and physical labour looked down on.

  25. Yes I agree. So many people enjoy this kind of work... as I think most of us so in some way. Maybe not 8-5, but many people have hobbies that involve hard physical labour, whether it is DIY or gardening, of a sport...

    What's wrong with earning your living that way?

  26. Tris, I do not claim to be an economic epert, but the one thing I do remember from my 'O' level economics, 40 years ago, was that if you print money like the BoE has, then you get inflation. Funny, it wasn't called 'quantitive easing', when Mugabe did it in Zimbabwe and ruined the economy.