Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Larry Elliott on the British economy


Its all a bit like the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot Sketch' apparently...

When he was chancellor, Brown's pitch to the electorate had been the man of prudence and probity, the equivalent of the solid shopkeeper who would never sell his customers shoddy goods.

Today the situation is somewhat different, with the voters - in the immortal words of Monty Python - registering a complaint and ministers seeking to reassure, loudly but unconvincingly, that the parrot is not quite dead but is just resting.

There is much talk from Alistair Darling about how the economy is better placed than those of other countries to withstand the global downturn ("the Norwegian Blue prefers kipping on its back"), and that there are parts of Britain - away from the financial sector and the housing market - that are still doing well (Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, beautiful plumage).

As far as the voters are concerned, the plumage don't enter into it. They seem utterly unmoved by the idea that Britain is, by all accounts, envied as a bastion of creativity when their homes are dropping in value and their real incomes are being squeezed. Rather like the angry customer in the pet shop, they have taken a closer look at the parrot and decided that the only reason it stood on the perch for so long was that the government nailed it there with both public and private debt.

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