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Sunday, April 16, 2006

 

Political cycles 1964 to 2006

Growing up in 1960’s Britain I remember our household being a place where ‘current events’ were often discussed and judgement passed. Being the second son, it was my portion to listen and soak up what was being said; not being old enough, or having thought processes developed enough to make an informed judgement. Now I am (Ahem) mature enough to have developed such a faculty, I can see parallels between now (1997-2006) and the 1960’s (1964-1970).

In 1963 the Labour Party narrowly won the Parliamentary election (See this table) after a number of scandals (Profumo etc.) rocked the incumbent and economically stabilising (but split) Conservative government. Rather like in 1997. Labour were re-elected again – does this sound familiar?

The Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, like Tony Blair, turned out to be a bullshit merchant who tried to foist the doctrine of state socialism upon the British. What happened after the 60’s? Ah yes, let me see; 1970 to 1979, economic collapse and a trip to the IMF to bail us out. (Forget the Heath government, they were neutered by Trade Union power used for political ends) Now we’re heading the same way.

Those with a little economic nous will understand that the British Isles are currently batting on a very sticky wicket indeed. The only elements propping up our whole shaky economic edifice are consumer credit and soaring house prices. The tax burden has increased (Rather like in the 1960’s), with more and more being demanded from an inefficient and increasingly overbearing State. Remember Dennis Healy’s stated objective to ‘Soak the rich’ in the 1970’s? Emigration by home grown talent, the ‘Brain Drain’? Too stoned at the time to care? Yeah, well. You missed all that then.

The 60’s set the economic trends which manifested themselves through to the late 1980’s, when the hard nosed free market policies of the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, pulled UK plc out of the nose dive the Wilson (And Heath) years had pushed it into. Now Britain is fragmented and already pitching into a new economic anticlockwise nose dive under Gordon Brown’s regime of increasing tax pressure. The only way out will be another decade of unrestrained free market forces and harsh economic truths. Full right rudder, if you catch my flying metaphor. Not a happy thought, but there you go.

Not convinced? Didn’t expect you to be, after all I’m only a 40 plus year old Parking Enforcer and this is only a tiny blog in a miniscule corner of the blogosphere, which is itself mostly ignored by the rest of the world. This is my toxic thought landfill. Don’t like it? – Tough. Now sod off or I’ll book yer.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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