I agree with the government that UK gross state debt is on the high side. It makes a significant contribution to total UK debt. There is a simple way to bring it down. The Bank of England should announce that from next month it is going to reduce the stock of government debt it owns by £7bn a month.
By Steve Parkhurst, Senior Editor, USDR.
Looking at the news and opinion out of London each day.
Westminster and Whitehall should spend less time talking about Brexit and more time preparing for it
To the claim that one can’t get ready for the unknown comes the answer that government must prepare for all eventualities.
My father didn’t speak English until he went to school. At home, he had spoken nothing but Yiddish – the language with which his family came equipped when they fled to the United States from the Russian pogroms. For most of their lives his parents, and the rest of their relations who had arrived at Ellis Island at the beginning of the last century, never spoke much English at all. That did not prevent them from producing offspring who went on through higher education to become surgeons, dentists and psychiatrists. (My own father, to his lifelong regret, was one of the few cousins not put through medical school.)
Capitalism is in crisis. The public has lost confidence in the free market. The financial crisis shook the pillars, and the temple is now collapsing.
Free societies allow individuals to buy and own property. Communist and authoritarian societies claim all property for the state.
By the year 2000, democracy was in the ascendant. Starting with Portugal in 1974, then spreading across the Mediterranean, Latin America and the Far East, before crescendoing in the great liberation of Eastern Europe after 1989, nation after nation joined the ranks of liberal democracies. Yet now, as Venezuela becomes the latest country to tumble towards dictatorship, we should ask ourselves again how democracy – the most powerful guarantor of personal freedoms there is – dies.
Last year the Bank slashed its forecasts for growth for the year after the Brexit vote and then had to push them up again. Growth accelerated in the six months after the vote against their expectations of a sharp fall. Today the Bank has decided to cut its growth forecasts a little from the upward revisions it made to 2017 at the same time.
We must never forget that the Opposition would ally us with any tyrant, terrorist or thug so long as they recite the requisite ideological verses.
My Newsnight encounter with a Corbynista revealed the true hypocrisy of Labour’s dissembling on Venezuela
Let’s play a game. Imagine you’re a Jeremy Corbyn-supporting politician and you have to talk about Venezuela for 60 seconds without deviation, repetition or mentioning Salvador Allende. We’ll call it “Just a Damn Minute”.
The sound of silence can be deafening. The Labour leadership has gone quiet when it comes to praising the Chavistas of Venezuela, who they used to tell us had got it right. The Chavez model of giving more and more to the poor was popular and worked for a bit, until the state ran out of money to give. Under Mr Maduro they have resorted to the printing presses to increase benefits, with the result that they have triggered a massive inflation and a collapse of the currency.
YouGov characterises those people who think democracy is more important than money as “extremists”.
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