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Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire

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The former BP boss Lord Browne is being lined up to be a "super director" with the job of inserting private sector business practices into the heart of government.

Browne, whose former company is fighting for its future after the worst oil spill in US history, will head a team of other commercial leaders such as Sir Chris Gent, chairman of drugs group GlaxoSmithKline, and Sir Roy Gardner, former head of British Gas.

The appointment of Browne may raise eyebrows in Whitehall, where officials will note that he left BP early in 2007 after lying in the high court and presiding over a string of high-profile accidents in America, including the Texas City refinery fire in which 15 people died. Browne, who was dubbed the Sun King in business circles after building BP into Britain's biggest company, continues to hold an array of senior positions in the world of business, culture and academia.

Whitehall sources said Cameron and Clegg had both held meetings with Browne and felt he was the best person for the job of marrying business principles with Whitehall policies. One source said: "Everyone is aware of Browne's past and accepts that he was not personally culpable for BP's problems in the past and certainly not for the current situation in the US Gulf, which is an utter disaster. Browne left BP three years ago and has previously turned down other requests to work with government but has accepted this one.

David-Cameron-006.jpg

David Cameron will warn tomorrow that Britain's "whole way of life" will be disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation. The cuts, he will say, will have an impact on Britain's entire population.

In his most gloomy remarks since taking office, the prime minister will declare that Britain's public finances are worse than expected and are forcing him to take "momentous decisions".

Cameron will say: "How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society – indeed our whole way of life. The decisions we make will effect every single person in our country. And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades to come."

So, dave is getting very shrill and ideological having smoked the bong of power and proposes to turn over the business of government to the likes of ex-BP bigwig Browne, inserting the latter's "business best practice" into the heart of government.

I forsee a social oil spill approaching, and after that, a top kill procedure to plug the leak.

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The former BP boss Lord Browne is being lined up to be a "super director" with the job of inserting private sector business practices into the heart of government.

Browne, whose former company is fighting for its future after the worst oil spill in US history, will head a team of other commercial leaders such as Sir Chris Gent, chairman of drugs group GlaxoSmithKline, and Sir Roy Gardner, former head of British Gas.

The appointment of Browne may raise eyebrows in Whitehall, where officials will note that he left BP early in 2007 after lying in the high court and presiding over a string of high-profile accidents in America, including the Texas City refinery fire in which 15 people died. Browne, who was dubbed the Sun King in business circles after building BP into Britain's biggest company, continues to hold an array of senior positions in the world of business, culture and academia.

Whitehall sources said Cameron and Clegg had both held meetings with Browne and felt he was the best person for the job of marrying business principles with Whitehall policies. One source said: "Everyone is aware of Browne's past and accepts that he was not personally culpable for BP's problems in the past and certainly not for the current situation in the US Gulf, which is an utter disaster. Browne left BP three years ago and has previously turned down other requests to work with government but has accepted this one.

David Cameron will warn tomorrow that Britain's "whole way of life" will be disrupted for years by the most drastic public spending cuts in a generation. The cuts, he will say, will have an impact on Britain's entire population.

In his most gloomy remarks since taking office, the prime minister will declare that Britain's public finances are worse than expected and are forcing him to take "momentous decisions".

Cameron will say: "How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society – indeed our whole way of life. The decisions we make will effect every single person in our country. And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades to come."

So, dave is getting very shrill and ideological having smoked the bong of power and proposes to turn over the business of government to the likes of ex-BP bigwig Browne, inserting the latter's "business best practice" into the heart of government.

I forsee a social oil spill approaching, and after that, a top kill procedure to plug the leak.

..Clegg was saying the cuts will not be as bad as Thatchers ....I am sure I read on here Thatchers regime was not known for it's cuts....can someone clarify....?.... :rolleyes:

Edited by South Lorne

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..Clegg was saying the cuts will not be as bad as Thatchers ....I am sure I read on here Thatchers regime was not known for it's cuts....can someone clarify....?.... :rolleyes:

sure, thatcher didn't cut government spending, she just cut spending on the poor.

so if cleggs right, the squeeze will have to be somewhere else. However the sqeeling of tory grassroots about CGT illustrates the obvious difficulty with that.

dave is going to have to show that the austerity is truely shared which means the rich and the bond markets taking an equal, or possibly greater haircut than the poor.

Early indicators, and common sense suggest that itsnot going to work out for dave. He doesn't have enough police, for starters.

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I wonder how much of the cuts are genuinely needed cuts or ideologically driven. I don't trust the Tories not to cut for the sake of cutting. And I think the Libs will be completely ineffectual in preventing unfairness.

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sure, thatcher didn't cut government spending, she just cut spending on the poor.

so if cleggs right, the squeeze will have to be somewhere else. However the sqeeling of tory grassroots about CGT illustrates the obvious difficulty with that.

dave is going to have to show that the austerity is truely shared which means the rich and the bond markets taking an equal, or possibly greater haircut than the poor.

Early indicators, and common sense suggest that itsnot going to work out for dave. He doesn't have enough police, for starters.

....yeah agreed about the poor ....a good measure will be anyone who can afford to pay almost £6 for a packet of cigarettes is not poor .... :rolleyes:

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I wonder how much of the cuts are genuinely needed cuts or ideologically driven. I don't trust the Tories not to cut for the sake of cutting. And I think the Libs will be completely ineffectual in preventing unfairness.

Cut for the sake of cutting?

Why would anyone do that?

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Cut for the sake of cutting?

Why would anyone do that?

Why not?

It's not like indiscriminate, ill thought and unfair spending cuts have never happened before. And vice versa with spending decisions. In fact some people have suggested the previous government were spending or the sake of spending. I'm sure the current government will get blamed for the same sort of thing with some cuts they make.

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I wonder how much of the cuts are genuinely needed cuts or ideologically driven. I don't trust the Tories not to cut for the sake of cutting. And I think the Libs will be completely ineffectual in preventing unfairness.

With a debt of £1.5 trillion by the end of this parliament, how can any cut be for its own sake?

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With a debt of £1.5 trillion by the end of this parliament, how can any cut be for its own sake?

There needs to be cuts. Lots of them. But they need to be fair. Hacking and slashing at the problem isn't the way but I think it's what the Tories will do.

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..Clegg was saying the cuts will not be as bad as Thatchers ....I am sure I read on here Thatchers regime was not known for it's cuts....can someone clarify....?.... :rolleyes:

Semantics really, They talk about 'real term' cuts.

In Thatcher's early years, inflation was running at 20% and more so by not raising dept bugets, or only raising them slightly, inflation on goods, services and wages was swallowing up a lot of their budgets. So she didn't actually make any cuts, but they did, you see? :blink:

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I wonder how much of the cuts are genuinely needed cuts or ideologically driven. I don't trust the Tories not to cut for the sake of cutting. And I think the Libs will be completely ineffectual in preventing unfairness.

...you need your sleep alright ...are you not aware of our deficit created by your idols 'Gordo and the Nuliebours'.....yes we need the cuts just like you need that sleep..... :rolleyes:

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There needs to be cuts. Lots of them. But they need to be fair. Hacking and slashing at the problem isn't the way but I think it's what the Tories will do.

...not had that sleep ...'Gordo and the Nuliebours' threw money at the problem and created many useless public sector jobs ....believe me it needs a combined harvester to get rid of that waste quickly ....any left wing dogma is suicidal ....so forget it and go to sleep as you do need it..... :rolleyes:

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I wonder how much of the cuts are genuinely needed cuts or ideologically driven. I don't trust the Tories not to cut for the sake of cutting. And I think the Libs will be completely ineffectual in preventing unfairness.

We need to reduce government spending by AT LEAST 25% of spending.

If we manage to get as far as cutting for the sake of cutting then someone has pulled off a miracle.

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dave is going to have to show that the austerity is truely shared which means the rich and the bond markets taking an equal, or possibly greater haircut than the poor.

I wonder how bankster bonus culture will play against the new backdrop? A whole new lexicon will need to be developed to smuggle them past the sheeple in future- maybe they can call them 'compensation adjustments' or something- it has a nice ring of morality to it, does that.

The idea of importing business practices into government used be called 'consultants' didn't it? How did that work out? :lol:

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And old 1995 article on CNN regarding Canadian and Swedish budget card. Both counties are still there and Canada did very well since 3 years after the cut.

All countries have different circumstnaces of course, but cuts are needed NOW for a better future.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1995/10/16/206853/index.htm

THE BADDEST BUDGET CUTTERS IF THE ANSWER IS "CANADA AND SWEDEN," WHAT WAS THE QUESTION? GUESS WHICH NATIONS ARE LEADING THE WAY BACK TO FISCAL SANITY.

(FORTUNE Magazine)

By ROB NORTON RESEARCH ASSOCIATE LIXANDRA URRESTA

October 16, 1995

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Each year at the end of summer, a hundred or so select economists, central bankers, and government officials from around the world convene at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a two-day talkfest on the economy. The subject this year was budget deficits, and the program was fat with big-name scholars and luminaries like Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. So who stole the show? A pair of finance ministers from a couple of unlikely countries--Canada and Sweden--each of whom gave a brief talk that transfixed the assembled econo-wonks. They commanded attention because Canada and Sweden are already doing what the U.S. and most other big, industrialized, indebted countries are still only talking about: making deep, painful cuts in government spending that will eliminate their budget deficits in the very near future.

A few numbers: The U.S. Congress is locked in bloody battle over a seven-year plan to eliminate America's budget deficit, which, at an estimated $161 billion this year, amounts to 2.3% of gross domestic product. Canada, in contrast, is already a third of the way through a regimen that will take its budget deficit from 6% of GDP to 3% in a mere three years. Sweden is cutting its budget deficit by 3.5% of GDP in 1995 alone. Both have credible plans to go all the way to 0% within a few years--long before the U.S. will, even under optimistic assumptions.

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Both Canada and Sweden have traditionally been bastions of the kind of openhanded social-service spending that is high minded, very expensive, and frequently leads to fiscal irresponsibility. In the Nineties good intentions collided with economic reality. The fact that both countries are fighting their way back from the budgetary brink is proof that the U.S. can too.

Canada's experience with debt and deficits is an exaggerated version of America's. Like the U.S., Canada's public finances were once rock solid. In 1975, Canada's national debt totaled less than 17% of GDP. But as deficit spending became an addiction after the 1981-82 recession, the debt load got bigger and bigger. Today it stands at almost 75% of GDP. (The U.S. equivalent: 52%.) Since the interest rates Canada must pay on its debt are much higher than the economy's growth rate, it was heading straight for national bankruptcy.

The liberal government elected in 1993 promised to stabilize Canada's finances--initially by cutting the budget deficit from 6% to 3% of GDP within three years--and is delivering on that pledge. What we would call discretionary spending (that over which legislators have direct control) will fall 10% from its 1993 level. The government's payroll will decline by 15%. Some departmental budgets have been cut in half. Business subsidies are getting sliced by 60%. By the time the full program is enacted, the government will be as small, as a percent of GDP, as it was in the Fifties.

Some aspects of this new austerity cut to the very heart of Canada's identity. Its vaunted socialized health care system, for example, will become less generous. The new budget replaces the current system of health care financing with a scheme of block grants to the provinces, designed to shrink overall health spending from 10% to 8.5% of GDP. A poignant detail: Finance Minister Paul Martin, who spoke at Jackson Hole and who is the official charged with enforcing these budget cuts, is the son of the politician who designed the Canadian health care system.

SWEDEN is an even more extreme case. No nation in the world better exemplified the concept of cradle-to-the-grave socialism in the decades after World War II. But by the Nineties, Sweden had become a land of oppressive taxes (63% of GDP, compared with 31% for the U.S.) and economic dysfunction. Swedish living standards, once the highest in Europe, had fallen behind France's and Italy's. In the early Nineties, as Finance Minister Goran Persson recounted, Sweden's public debt doubled, unemployment tripled, and the budget deficit increased tenfold to 10% in 1994--worst among all industrialized nations.

The government elected in 1994, facing this five-alarm fiscal emergency, began laying into spending programs with abandon, including welfare, pensions, health insurance, unemployment, family assistance, and child allowances. Result: The budget deficit will fall by 3.5% of GDP this year alone, with additional cuts of 4% of GDP over the next three years. That's a total of 7.5% of GDP, more than three times the size of the reduction the U.S. Congress is considering, and in practically half the time.

Here's a sampling of the lessons delivered at Jackson Hole: First, you need a simple, quantifiable goal. In Canada the 3%-of-GDP target "proved to be an essential political anchor for our budget strategy," said Martin. Also, only short-term plans are credible, so Canada is making its promises two years at a time. Goran Persson's advice included this litany: "Never play down the effects of the measures. Never try to fool anybody by using gimmicks or bookkeeping tricks. Never say that it won't hurt."

Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear a little of that kind of common sense and realism in Washington, D.C.?

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  • 191 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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