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March 30, 2010

Dave and Goliath

By Spear's

In the left-hand corner is the modern day Goliath, he of the clunking fist. In the right-hand corner is Dave, a likely contender but lightly armed with only a sling

In the left-hand corner is the modern day Goliath, he of the clunking fist, a known bully and micro-manager who has enslaved the people to his debt and spin-driven fantasy, and who intends to plunge the nation further into debt until his recovery from his own profligacy-induced recession, meaning his re-election, is assured. He loved Prudence, but now Prudence is pregnant with debt — debt she can never repay — and she is in denial.

In the right-hand corner is Dave, a likely contender but lightly armed with only a sling, the sling of outrageous hope as he seeks the biggest electoral swing in recent history. And yet history is on the side of David in this gargantuan struggle: cast your minds back to 1979, when the Old Labour-led country was on a three-day week, the rubbish went uncollected for weeks and the dead lay unburied, when even a good dead tax-inspector couldn’t jump the queue. That was the death knell of Old Labour, the tax-and-spend party.

It had to be rebranded as New Labour, but now after thirteen years of tax-and-spend by Brown of New Labour claims, he turns out to be — guess what? — another Old Labour tax-and-spend loser. He saved the banks, and for that we owe him credit; his handling of the financial crisis was masterful. But the country can no longer afford Brown, it’s as simple as that. He has to go.

Everyone knows this, but the problem for Dave is that his sling may not be big enough to kill off Goliath, the wet Liberal Democrats, and a freshly rekindled single-policy UKIP. So if Dave can’t slay the maniac Goliath with a single majority blow, what happens next? A full-scale coalition? Brown would go for it. Dave would have none of it: he would reload his sling and form a government with a minority, leaving the Liberal Democrats to exercise the balance of voting power in the House. This would not be a bad outcome, as they have the best potential Chancellor of the Exchequer: Vince Cable.

It’s a case of primary colours: Vince started off as a red socialist, is currently a yellow Lib Dem, and so only has to go blue for the set, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for anyone, except Brown. The point is that Vince knows what to do better than anyone and has actually spelt it out: the credibility of sterling is the immediate issue, closely followed by ensuring the recovery, if there is one, and then the stabilisation of the public finances over the medium term. He made it sound simple, which it basically is.

Brown wants to prolong his debt-fuelled public spending until the recovery is assured, which is a weak stance as it confirms the recovery is still in doubt. Cameron wants to cut Brown’s profligacy as it’s bankrupting the nation, but cuts proposed now could be votes for him deposed. Sixty economists wrote that Brown was right, and twenty economists wrote that Cameron was right. The point they all missed is this: in 2009 the public sector of the economy exceeded the private sector, the productive sector, for the first time in history, and it doesn’t help that the same is true in Obama’s spendthrift America.

The simple truth is that there can be no proper recovery while the public sector crowds out the private sector.
That is the big lie behind Brown’s election stance and why he has to go. It’s also why Cameron is right and must form the next government, even with a live Cable plugged into HM Treasury. 

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