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Uk Economy Exposed As A Hollow Sham Drowning In Debt

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Just published this week: Fantasy Island. Written by an unusual alliance of economics journalists from the Guardian and the Mail on Sunday.

Reviewed very favourably by everybody from left/liberal journos in the Observer to right-wingers like Peter Hitchens in todays Mail on Sunday. This book blows the lid off the UK economy and gives the lie to Brown's claims to be a "prudent Chancellor".

Could this be the start of a wholesale debunking of the myth of the UK's "strong economy" and the end of Brown's reputation as "prudent"?

Synopsis

We live in a country fantasising about its ability to run up debts seemingly without end, to enjoy high-paid employment for which it is not qualified, to project military power that it does not possess and in general to assume, in defiance of the evidence, a superior economic and political position in relation to most of the rest of the world. Then there is the apparent conviction that limitless growth can co-exist with environmental protection, that the over-borrowed and abundantly staffed state machine is actually being courageously pruned even while its payroll rises and, finally, that the just-around-the-corner radiant future is one in which will work in the 'creative economy'. Welcome to Fantasy Island. He may be the most spectacular election winner in modern British political history but Blair leaves behind him a seedy dreamworld mired in debt and bankruptcy, drifting into a crisis of employment and employability, hallucinating into existence a diplomatic and military role that it cannot possibly afford. It's time to take stock of the future he and Brown have mapped out for us while there's still time to do something about it.

Fantasy Island

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From the three page review in today's Mail on Sunday:

One way of looking at Britain is as one big off-shore hedge fund churning speculators’ money while asset-strippers draw up plans for the few remaining factories to be turned into industrial theme parks.
The first daydream is the debt fantasy, in which vast amounts of consumer and mortgage debt can now be racked up either because the borrowing is secured on a home that has inflated in value, or because credit-card debt can be painlessly reduced or written off entirely through Labour’s ‘quickie’ bankruptcies.

And billions of pounds of Government borrowings can be kept off the books by claiming them as part of the private finance initiative - a sort of hugely expensive mortgage scheme for public assets.

Between January 2000 and December 2005, the total outstanding on mortgage debt rose by 94 per cent and that on consumer credit by 65.8 per cent.

So what happened to earnings during that time? They rose by just 22.4 per cent.

Perhaps it is not surprising that more and more people are declaring themselves insolvent to escape their debts.

In 2000, there were 21,550 individual bankruptcies in England and Wales, and 7,978 individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), an alternative to bankruptcy in which some of the debt is written off.

In 2006, there were 62,956 bankruptcies and 44,342 IVAs, increases of 192 per cent and 456 per cent respectively.....

....in the harder times that lie ahead, it will be tempting to look back fondly at the Blair years, a time of seemingly plentiful jobs and credit, of cheap flights to interesting places and new consumer gadgets such as wifi, iPods and flat-panel televisions.

The temptation ought to be resisted; the harder times will be the direct consequence of all the ducked decisions and economic daydreaming of the past ten years.

As his time in office draws to a close, Mr Blair is still, just, managing to stay one step ahead of a reality that is rapidly catching up with him and with all of us.........

Mail on Sunday

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Bought the book yesterday for a train journey, so far so good. The arguments are so simple even I can understand.

Saw it mentioned on here but hadn't realised it had only been published for a week. thanks HPC.

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Has the nation's psyche followed that of Blair or has Blair plugged into traits the country already has?

All manipulators and charismatics have the ability to see what the audience is seeing and then flatter the audience with a picture they want to believe. Hitler had it. Clinton had it. Blair had it.

It can be used for good, evil, or the innovative use of cigars.

Blair is deluded. As an actor he had the ability to make people believe him. The curious thing is that like all good liars he ends up believing his own lies. But it's all been spin and mirrors. In the past couple of weeks it's almost as if the country has snapped out of a dream once the reality of Blair leaving became real. Psychologically, it's very interesting to watch.

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Has the nation's psyche followed that of Blair or has Blair plugged into traits the country already has?

All manipulators and charismatics have the ability to see what the audience is seeing and then flatter the audience with a picture they want to believe. Hitler had it. Clinton had it. Blair had it.

It can be used for good, evil, or the innovative use of cigars.

Blair is deluded. As an actor he had the ability to make people believe him. The curious thing is that like all good liars he ends up believing his own lies. But it's all been spin and mirrors. In the past couple of weeks it's almost as if the country has snapped out of a dream once the reality of Blair leaving became real. Psychologically, it's very interesting to watch.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when the grand wizard leaves the future of the kingdom in the hands of his incompetent protege! Maybe everyone might wake up to the fact that the new PM is wearing no clothes and the UK miracle economy is nothing but a crappy magic trick.

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Even Zimbabwe might be a better option at present...

Only if you're Chinese:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/mugabe...0205075775.html

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe plans to seize majority stakes in all his country's foreign-owned businesses in what economists warn could be a repeat of the disastrous land-reform policy.

Under legislation approved by cabinet two weeks ago, all companies will be required to give up at least 51 per cent of their shares for allocation to economically disadvantaged, "indigenous" Zimbabweans.

There are signs that the Government intends to use the laws to attack the commercial interests of countries such as Britain, which Mr Mugabe accuses of plotting to remove him from power. Companies linked with friendly regimes, such as China and Malaysia, will be protected.

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The knives are out from Mr.Brown even before he becomes PM- how very fitting

He seems to have gone to ground in an attempt to halt the onslaught. Every utterance provokes a torrent of abuse from all quarters (other than Oona King). :lol:

How can he govern with no authority? People will be openly laughing in his face. I would imagine he is having many dark and suicidal thought-filled nights at the moment.

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Guest Winnie
He seems to have gone to ground in an attempt to halt the onslaught. Every utterance provokes a torrent of abuse from all quarters (other than Oona King). :lol:

How can he govern with no authority? People will be openly laughing in his face. I would imagine he is having many dark and suicidal thought-filled nights at the moment.

Where is the scottish mollusc? He is posturing at the Hay Festival on his book (ghosted) called Courage. Both Miliband brothers are on the agenda same wknd.

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Guest Bart of Darkness

If TB's tenure was a party, I think we're now at the 6.00 AM the next morning stage, light is just starting to filter through the curtains, your mouth is dry and gummed up, your eyes are bleary, your head is splitting, the house has been trashed and there's no alka-saltza in the cupboard.

The people responsible for all the damage? Well a couple of them are sprawled unconscious in the living room, and the rest have cleared off.

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