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An Alternative History...if The Tories Won In 2001

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Here's the (for some dream) scenario. New Labour implodes during their first term. A resurgent Tory party under William Hague sweep back into Downing Street at the 1st attempt with an overall majority. Then what?

Well, rather than deal with hypothesis how about some real life comparisons. Across the Irish Sea and the pond in the USA their ideological bedfellows the Fianna Fall and the Republican did win inheriting sizeable budget surpluses. So what did they do with them? Well Ireland along with the nations of the Baltic’s (who kept their own currency) went to the "Flat Tax" route which gave away huge sums to the wealthy who promptly squandered it all on top class coke and hookers leaving very little in the way of actual infrastructure (save for masses of housing estates in the middle of nowhere). Across the pond George Bush also gave away massive tax cuts early in his 1st term before 9/11 (and the subsequent explosion in government spending that would generate.).

So my here's question, would things really have been that different in 2001 in the Tories had won? Would we really be faced with a much smaller deficit?

Doesn't add up to me. Firstly they voted with the then Labour government for both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which have both dragged on longer than World War II. The Tories tax cuts without any real plans for cutting spending would have see the deficit bloon all the same. Let's not forget that the culture of welfare dependency in particular incapacity benefit was started in the 1980's by the Thatcher government to stave off social unrest by essentially using North Sea oil and Gas money to bribe people (in particular the ex miners) to sit at home watching day time TV while they got everything paid for as opposed to rioting. Barring any radical Tory proposals to force such people back to work by relocating to London on minimum wage instead of the East European's I can't how they would have achieved any different. Oh and on the subject of immigration don't be fooled, the Tories may talk tough but they too are in the pay of big business who want cheap foreign workers to increase their profit margins.

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Saying the tories would have done exactly the same or it would have ended up exactly the same is irrelevant. In that this just serves to deflect blame away from Labour.

The thing is people who use this little twisted technique to debate is that it wasn't the tories who made the decisions, it was LABOUR who made them.

We can theorise all day about what could have would have and should have, but in the end it was LABOUR who did all those things. Thus it is them who should be first put up against the wall. With the tories second.

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Here's the (for some dream) scenario. New Labour implodes during their first term. A resurgent Tory party under William Hague sweep back into Downing Street at the 1st attempt with an overall majority. Then what?

Well, rather than deal with hypothesis how about some real life comparisons. Across the Irish Sea and the pond in the USA their ideological bedfellows the Fianna Fall and the Republican did win inheriting sizeable budget surpluses. So what did they do with them? Well Ireland along with the nations of the Baltic’s (who kept their own currency) went to the "Flat Tax" route which gave away huge sums to the wealthy who promptly squandered it all on top class coke and hookers leaving very little in the way of actual infrastructure (save for masses of housing estates in the middle of nowhere). Across the pond George Bush also gave away massive tax cuts early in his 1st term before 9/11 (and the subsequent explosion in government spending that would generate.).

So my here's question, would things really have been that different in 2001 in the Tories had won? Would we really be faced with a much smaller deficit?

Doesn't add up to me. Firstly they voted with the then Labour government for both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which have both dragged on longer than World War II. The Tories tax cuts without any real plans for cutting spending would have see the deficit bloon all the same. Let's not forget that the culture of welfare dependency in particular incapacity benefit was started in the 1980's by the Thatcher government to stave off social unrest by essentially using North Sea oil and Gas money to bribe people (in particular the ex miners) to sit at home watching day time TV while they got everything paid for as opposed to rioting. Barring any radical Tory proposals to force such people back to work by relocating to London on minimum wage instead of the East European's I can't how they would have achieved any different. Oh and on the subject of immigration don't be fooled, the Tories may talk tough but they too are in the pay of big business who want cheap foreign workers to increase their profit margins.

This addresses pretty much how I feel about the current situation.I think it's unreasonable to excoriate New Labour for following the route that they took.If Labour had tried to rein in banking and lending the usual suspects would have been up in arms with cries of state intervention in the market place.Imagine the Wail and Express if they had restricted mortgage lending artificially.Hindsight is perfect and I think it unreasonable to criticise Labour for this.Although I admit they made other mistakes.I think with a Tory administration we would have been more likely to have followed the Irish model.Boy George has gone on record as an admirer of the Celtic Tiger.

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Saying the tories would have done exactly the same or it would have ended up exactly the same is irrelevant. In that this just serves to deflect blame away from Labour.

The thing is people who use this little twisted technique to debate is that it wasn't the tories who made the decisions, it was LABOUR who made them.

We can theorise all day about what could have would have and should have, but in the end it was LABOUR who did all those things. Thus it is them who should be first put up against the wall. With the tories second.

The tories would have spent the ever increasing debt required to keep the financial system afloat on something other than the labour lot did. Defense spending rather than outreach co ordinators, that sort of thing.

We'd still be here.

There was zero chance of systemic financial reform under a tory government and that's the only thing that would have made any difference to the overall outcome.

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The tories would have spent the ever increasing debt required to keep the financial system afloat on something other than the labour lot did. Defense spending rather than outreach co ordinators, that sort of thing.

We'd still be here.

There was zero chance of systemic financial reform under a tory government and that's the only thing that would have made any difference to the overall outcome.

Sure sure, you can debate what might have happened or you can debate facts. Fact is Labour did it, while tories MIGHT have done it.

Actually having done something, rather than hypoethically would have done the same is not the same!

Thus we treat the person who stabs somebody in the face much more cautiously than somebody who thinks about it but then dismisses this thought and continues on as normal.

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So my here's question, would things really have been that different in 2001 in the Tories had won? Would we really be faced with a much smaller deficit?

On that central question, no chance of quite such a deficit. Clue: the deficit isn't the debt!

Which is not to say Bad Things wouldn't have happened. They would: Hague at the time was terrifying (he's matured since). But I don't think the housing/credit bubble would've been quite so ruthlessly inflated, at least after it tried to bust in 2005. And while Iraq might still have happened, we wouldn't have had Blair's lies leading up to it. Note - it was specifically Blair telling the big porkies. Not Bush and the GOP: they wanted war, but they didn't produce the dodgy dossier and all the crap that surrounded it.

Edited by porca misèria

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The deficit would be way less - Conservatives run the economy better, always.

There would be way less state interference in peoples day to day lives.

There wouldn't have been as much deceptive and down right twisted social engineering

oh, and the BBC logo / news colour scheme would be blue.

in comparison, the conservative years were ******ing utopia compared to 13 years of those nulabour cuntbags, i really don't see what the nation was thinking, voting labour in in '97. Were they really that bad in their last term? To me, the Conservatives were passive keepers of the status quo, dare i say it, DULL? thats what we want! We want the government to shrink to the absolute minimum and stay the ****** out of our lives, taking the absolute minimum from us in taxes to pay for the absolute minimum in services. if we want/need a service, the need will be there & we can ******ing well pay for it ourselves, privately out of our minimally taxed income.

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Sure sure, you can debate what might have happened or you can debate facts. Fact is Labour did it, while tories MIGHT have done it.

Actually having done something, rather than hypoethically would have done the same is not the same!

Thus we treat the person who stabs somebody in the face much more cautiously than somebody who thinks about it but then dismisses this thought and continues on as normal.

Erm, the tories were offering to stab, they had tendered for the contract but didn't get picked.

This is a bit different than being innocent or reluctant.

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The deficit would be way less - Conservatives run the economy better, always.

There would be way less state interference in peoples day to day lives.

There wouldn't have been as much deceptive and down right twisted social engineering

oh, and the BBC logo / news colour scheme would be blue.

in comparison, the conservative years were ******ing utopia compared to 13 years of those nulabour cuntbags, i really don't see what the nation was thinking, voting labour in in '97. Were they really that bad in their last term? To me, the Conservatives were passive keepers of the status quo, dare i say it, DULL? thats what we want! We want the government to shrink to the absolute minimum and stay the ****** out of our lives, taking the absolute minimum from us in taxes to pay for the absolute minimum in services. if we want/need a service, the need will be there & we can ******ing well pay for it ourselves, privately out of our minimally taxed income.

The conservatives got voted about because they where clearly abusing power, Jonathan Aitken etc... People had got fed up with it and thought the other lot wouldn't, misguided clearly but the electorate had had enough of being taken for a ride by the Tories, they decided to let another lot take them for a ride instead.

The conservatives hadn't addressed any of the fundamentals in the UK economy, the excess of the City possible might have been even worse leaving the UK taxpayers with an even bigger banking bailout if they had been in power.

Although ultimately it's an impossible question to answer because we had liebour instead and they shafted everyone.

It doesn't matter who gets in power they'll dump all the debt they can on the taxpayer, whilst there friends trough.

You can't get fixated with dates, part of the current economic mess goes back to the Tory policy of the 80's of selling off council houses and not replacing them. This was the starting point of HPI leading us to the current precipice.

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The deficit would be way less - Conservatives run the economy better, always.

There would be way less state interference in peoples day to day lives.

There wouldn't have been as much deceptive and down right twisted social engineering

oh, and the BBC logo / news colour scheme would be blue.

in comparison, the conservative years were ******ing utopia compared to 13 years of those nulabour cuntbags, i really don't see what the nation was thinking, voting labour in in '97. Were they really that bad in their last term? To me, the Conservatives were passive keepers of the status quo, dare i say it, DULL? thats what we want! We want the government to shrink to the absolute minimum and stay the ****** out of our lives, taking the absolute minimum from us in taxes to pay for the absolute minimum in services. if we want/need a service, the need will be there & we can ******ing well pay for it ourselves, privately out of our minimally taxed income.

All completel myths, sorry buddy.

The tories have expanded the state when in power (yes, even under thatcher) and if you think being told who you can ****** and what you can talk about in public isn't an intrusion into your personal life you need your bumps felt.

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The financial disaster of recent years would have been contained, but not avoided, if

1) Investment banks and high street banks were always seperate entities, with no organisation being allowed to indulge in both activities; and

2) Financial regulators had done their job.

The disasters would still have occurred, but at least the culprits would be the ones who paid the price.

The hazard of allowing high street banks to play at investment banking needs to be halted, irrespective of the cost of separating the two functions, and even though it would be costly to state-owned banks.

Instead, the current government is 'considering' forcing such hybrid banks to put up 'chinese walls' between the two functions, which would be wholly inadequate.

Even with hindsitght, neither Labour nor the Tories are prepared to do what is really necessary. So the Tories would have presided over a disaster, and whoever is in power, there will be future disasters until someone addresses this fundamental problem.

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Of course not. People forget it seems, who it was that took the tethers off the banks in the first place, back in '87. Since then, real estate (along with most other asset classes) has done a moon-shot, hardly pausing for breath between then and now.

Only a fool, in dropping grains of sand onto a little pyramid of sand, would think that the last grain before it toppled over, was any different from the grains of sand added earlier.

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All completel myths, sorry buddy.

The tories have expanded the state when in power (yes, even under thatcher) and if you think being told who you can ****** and what you can talk about in public isn't an intrusion into your personal life you need your bumps felt.

I thought you only dealt in facts and logic?

Well, it's a pointless argument anyway. I think the rate of change and scale of damage would have been different as I can't help feeling that Labour, following their many years in the wilderness, got in and thought;

"We're in the driving seat!, we must make our time in power count"

All I want is for governments to collectively ****** off out of it and to do as little as they need to, not as much as they can. The only party remotely aligned to this & with any chance of getting into government are the tories. it's a shit situation.

Edited by Reck B

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I doubt the conservatie chancellor would have gone on a Gordon Brown style insane spending spree in order to secure his sucession to the top job.

And it was Brown who created the regulatory system that ignored the bubble for 10 years.

And I don't think the conservaties would have been quite so keen on recruiting so many diversity co-ordinators.

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Well, it's a pointless argument anyway. I think the rate of change and scale of damage would have been different as I can't help feeling that Labour, following their many years in the wilderness, got in and thought;

"We're in the driving seat!, we must make our time in power count"

All I want is for governments to collectively ****** off out of it and to do as little as they need to, not as much as they can. The only party remotely aligned to this & with any chance of getting into government are the tories. it's a shit situation.

The tories talk about it.

They have never done it.

To be honest you are better off with labour, they at least have the decency to be openly pro big state loons.

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The fundamentals that led to the 2007 bust were built over successive administrations so it isn't a party political issue really.

One thing that does confuse people on here is that they remember fondly 1997 house prices. However, they forget that house prices in the mid 90s were actually somewhat undervalued in comparison to long terms trends, due entirely to the 1989 bust, which was unique to this country and entirely caused by the economic policy of the government of the day.

That said, unless we totally did an Ireland or even an Iceland under a hypothetical Tory administration (and there are good arguments that we would not have) then the debt and deficit would have probably been somewhat lower as of today, simply because the Tory philosophy is to take such matters seriously, whereas Brown/Balls et al are firmly in the denial camp when it comes to such matters.

As for house prices, they would be pretty much as they are now I suspect. As I have said, these things were not party political issues. If I had one silver bullet to aim at anyone responsible for the credit bubble that fuelled house price inflation, I would probably have to fire it at Alan Greenspan.

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As for house prices, they would be pretty much as they are now I suspect. As I have said, these things were not party political issues. If I had one silver bullet to aim at anyone responsible for the credit bubble that fuelled house price inflation, I would probably have to fire it at Alan Greenspan.

Not so sure about that - I can't help but think that the conservatives might have been more mindful of repeating the mistakes made by Lawson and less willing to convince themselves that they'd abolished the economic cycle.

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> due entirely to the 1989 bust, which was unique to this country

was it? there was a bust in France, in Paris prices dropped 50%. The dual miras debacle was unique and certainly caused one last spin of the roulette wheel.

You have to remember that public spending doubled under Brown but was hidden as a %of GDP due to a house price boom.

We can only judge the Tories by what they've done in the past. They've certainly not been any strangers to booms and busts but there is nothing to show they would have gone on the same insane spending spree as Brown. Just because they agree to something in opposition doesn't mean they will do it in govt.

Edited by davidg

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My ten cents..

I think the financial melt down would have happened regardless.

But..

I would speculate that the Tories wouldn't have expanded the public sector as rapidly as Labour did, so our public sector expenditure would be lower, and so too our total public debt.

I would speculate that they would have listened more closely to Mervyn, and perhaps reigned in the financial services slightly.

I would speculate that what they would have spent, would have been better allocated.

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All completel myths, sorry buddy.

The tories have expanded the state when in power (yes, even under thatcher)

In absolute terms, yes, but as a percentage of the economy it shrunk substantially under Thatcher.

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I would speculate that they would have listened more closely to Mervyn, and perhaps reigned in the financial services slightly.

I would speculate that they wouldn't have created the MPC and FSA in the first place and would have left interest rates under the direct control of the chancellor.

Palming important political decisions off to an 'independent' bureaucrat is just a way of avoiding accountability.

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I would speculate that they wouldn't have created the MPC and FSA in the first place

I'd completely forgotten they founded the MPC.

As for the FSA :lol:

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William Hague would have worn combat fatigues whilst bombing Iraq and they'd all be working for banks and defence contractors by now.

Oh, they already are.

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I would speculate that the Tories wouldn't have expanded the public sector as rapidly as Labour did, so our public sector expenditure would be lower, and so too our total public debt.

I would speculate that they would have listened more closely to Mervyn, and perhaps reigned in the financial services slightly.

I would speculate that what they would have spent, would have been better allocated.

It was speculation that got us into this mess, allegedly.

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I don't think it would have been much different under the tories, but the scary thing about this hypothetical scenario is that the tories would have been booted out at the last election and labour would be coming into power now.

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  • 284 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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