It’s the Economy, Stupid

Wednesday 23rd January

That was I believe one of Bill Clinton’s catch phrases, during his first election battle with George Bush Senior, though it was doubtless thought up by some aide.  But when it comes down to elections everywhere that is the reality.  And doubtless in 2015 when the next election here happens that will be the message too.

And the economy is floundering.  I had to buy some euro’s yesterday to finally pay the builder for the last bit of his bill.  I could only get a rate of 1.17 euro to the pound.  When I bought the house in August of last year I got 1.26 euro to the pound.  That difference means the house would have cost me nearly 7000 pounds more if I had bought it now rather than last year.  And that I think illustrates far better the state we are in than anything else.

For so long now everyone has been talking about one euro crisis after another, although the din from the press chorus has diminished of late.  But quietly behind the scenes the Eurozone has been getting its act together.  And the markets are now looking at Britain again as the sick man of Europe.  Inflation still stubbornly high, almost negligible growth, high street stalwarts dropping like flies, and a chancellor who thinks that giving money back to the richest in society will somehow sort out the country’s economic woes.

This Government goes on and on about how it is helping business, but there is precious little evidence for this claim.  Bank lending has stalled again, and the Bank of England’s policy of pumping money into the economy by Quantative Easing has simply gone to help the banks balance sheets.

George Osborne thinks that maintaining UK’s triple A rating and keeping the price of our bonds low is his best achievement.  Well, both could be about to come under attack shortly.  For all the Austerity and changes to Benefits which will hurt the weakest in society they have done precious little about reducing the deficit, and the actual debt mountain just gets higher and higher.

After all, it is always about the economy, stupid.  Simples…compare the