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  1. Wealth
July 13, 2009

Words but no meaning

By Spear's

Government is applying false nomenclature to true numbers, and all in the name of “transparency” ’ don’t you see?

Gobbledygook is the new high-growth British industry which is sweeping government and all that it sponsors, from the new ministries and agencies, from Cefas, the government’s fisheries research agency whose CEO received the biggest pay-hike in 2008/9 of 22% to £137,500, to good old ’elf & Safety, to the government’s 790 to 1,162 Quangos – nobody knows how many.

There’s one called the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse but none for word abuse, to local government and its sponsorships, and now the BBC. This vogue began when the man named after the colour brown delivered a budget five or six years age which no one could understand, as it was all new-speak and techno-nonsense. Needless to say, and as we all know now to our cost, the numbers didn’t add up anyway.

In the age of unpalatable mismanagement of our economy, this new industry is creating a new portmanteau vocabulary, where key words and phrases mean more than one thing so that the politicians and practitioners can argue that the policy is not what the interviewer is asking about but something quite different, as the interviewer no longer understands the latest new-speak.

Not only has government for years plied us with manipulated and false statistics, on such vital data as inflation and unemployment and the money supply, but now it is applying false nomenclature to the numbers it does produce, and all in the name of “transparency” – don’t you see?

Take the phrase ‘Quantatitive Easing’ as a good example. A year ago this magazine explained that this was not the process whereby the ice cream vending machine managed to dispense just enough to make sure you couldn’t eat the cone quite quick enough to stop your hands getting sticky with the stuff.

No, all it meant was ‘Printing Press’, as in printing fiat money. So, a forward-looking phrase such as the Bank ‘is looking forwards to formulating its exit strategy from QE’ actually means that we ‘have seen the inevitable consequence of QE is inflation and we’re trying to assess the trade off between too little QE and more recession now and too much QE and more inflation later and therefore higher interest rates, including on QE and any excess QE, which will stifle the recovery and saddle the economy for the next decade with high interest rates, including compound interest given the inability to pay down in the short or medium term the £1.3 trillion of QE-enhanced national debt.’

By now I am sure you’re getting the point, that economic truth in peacetime, like military information in wartime, is now protected by a tissue of lies. Take the brown one’s use of the term ‘investment’, which for most of us means investing now in order to reap the cashflow benefits from that investment in the future.

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Now, for the brown one, public investing means more government spending which cannot possibly be afforded except by higher taxes or cuts in public spending, hence he calls it investment, but his ‘investments’ only have cash outflows and no inflows.

When he said more public investment was the answer, he tied to prove he hadn’t said that at all, and tried to argue that his planned level of investment, meaning spending, was only 0%, provided you were looking at the attendant rate of increase in borrowing.

Then the brown one can always resort to the PFI, the Private Finance Initiative, encouraged to make possible more public investment, on the never-never but not on the PSBR, although it is actually only more public debt by another name, but thankfully for him there’s no public balance sheet on which it would have to be disclosed.

This is just as well, as otherwise this balance sheet would have to include the massive unfunded public debts for index-linked public pensions and healthcare costs, and the PFI, which would show the Treasury to be well and truly under-water.

There is only one country in the world that maintains a public balance sheet and that is Switzerland, for the simple reason that it is the only G20 economy that has a public sector that, on proper accounting for all liabilities including future pension and healthcare costs, isn’t bust!

And the BBC? Well, you have to pay the BBC licence fee even if you don’t want to watch Auntie Beeb but want to watch all the other global channels: how about that as an enforced monopoly? The executives at Broadcasting House, however, have taken it as a licence to pay themselves and their celebrities vast salaries and bonuses, as though they were a successful independent answerable to their shareholders, as opposed to a rapidly declining public institution whose existence depends on a dedicated tax.

And the licence fee is meant to be insurance money for maintaining the language, integrity and independence, not for being at the forefront of dumbed-down Britain, with vulgar hirelings like Jonathan Ross being paid over £5.0 million. Wherever you look in Gordon Brown’s Britain, there is brown stuff everywhere: it’s time to clean up the Augean Stables and power-hose anything brown down and out of the everlasting sluices.

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