Wednesday, 16 November 2016
swindle: the tribe was flimflammed out of its land
It used to be one elected party giving way to the next when those memos used to slip out about 'there's no money' and similar quips. This time it's been Osborne/Cameron giving a hospital pass to Hammond/May.
Osborne's so called budgeting was a triumph of high-viz spin and Hammond now has to pick up the pieces and announce both the effect of the prior period, plus the add-on impact of Brexit. Osborne already knew that he couldn't make the surplus that he'd been promising but has ducked away. Cameron has opted for the low-viz approach.
The swap-around of circumstances creates the ideal fog of confusion for 'bets are off' to be declared, although the one-time Remainers will now have to deal with the high bills associated with exiting from the EU.
It will be even more confusing by mid 2017, when a sizeable number of the main players in Europe get shuffled as well. The Italians could end up with an EU referendum if Mario Monti gets voted out. The French could find Marine Le Pen in play. The Germans have a late 2017 election and the Netherlands have that running undercurrent from the Geert Wilders Freedom Party. I should have said 'all bets are off.'
It will be interesting to see the next version of the OBR figures, which I assume will show slow growth and consequent poor tax revenue for a UK government faced with new bills to pay.
Hammond declaring £100 billion additional public sector debt this year isn't an auspicious start to this new reign.
We are seeing noise and flim-flam on just about every part of the situation. Legal disputes, negotiation disputes, frogman interludes, opportunist consultant memos, bottom up planning without a top, a disabled and ineffective opposition.
Hammond, May, Carney. Get a grip. There needs to be decisive leadership.