The following is a comment I left for Will Hutton after reading his quite extraordinary Labour Party Broadcast in today’s Guardian/Observer. (The familarity isn’t based on pretension: I do actually know Will slightly, and respect him enormously)
This piece isn’t so much a hostage to fortune as an act of public credibility suicide. You know full well I’m no Tory, but it behoves all of us to read the data rather than turn two random stats into acute wishful unthinking syndrome.
However, for the other neutrals, it’d help if you or anyone else could explain to me the following:
1. How can a set of banks with balance sheets like Nottingham lace lend the money for new businesses to get going?
2. How will they repair those bs’s with interest rates at 0% all this year?
3. How can consumers saving more with every month find the confidence to buy their stuff, even assuming banks did lend to either party?
4. How can a Treasury second only to Argentina in emptiness find the money for further economic stimulation?
5. Why will overseas markets steadfastly refusing to buy UK goods despite a £ at 1.09E suddenly decide to start doing so?
6. What goods will these be exactly?
7. With the Euro (given coming EU sovereign insolvency bills) set to fall against Sterling bigtime, how will we become more competitive in the EU?
8. How far away do you think the UK retail property collapse is now – a month? Two months?
9. Where will we find the money to even insure (let alone write off) the 67% of toxic debt still unresolved in the UK banking system?
10. When was the last time you heard a currency dealer take the long-term outlook for the £ seriously?
11. How long do you imagine China will tolerate zero rates and the asset bubble it must cause?
12. See 11, plus …will tolerate us blithely devaluing our debt?
13. Can you name me three British things China might want to buy right now, apart from Miliband’s empty head on a plate…and most of our remaining soccer clubs?
14. What level of unemployment in the retail, media, postal and advertising/marketing sectors is going to be created by the continuing advance of digital and online comms and sales in the UK?
15. Given the Government’s brilliant rejection of BT’s appeal,how many of those digital co’s do you think will be UK owned?
16. Give me one good reason why after the last PBR either the ECB or the ratings agencies should continue to perceive the UK as Triple A?
17. What is the compound debt roll-up on a move from Triple AAA to Aaa in international borrowing markets?
18. Can you name any day in 2011 you think would be a good one for UK gilts issues to be taken up?
19. Name me one event or action in trading platforms, liquidity pools (or even a simple revival of belief in our expertise) that might secure us a continuing eminent position in financial services?
I’d love to get to a round twenty, but I have http://nbyslog.blogspot.com/ to write.
Will, this whole article smacks of spin, but I have a higher opinion of you than that: why in God’s name did you write it?
Best as always and looking forward to a cracking debate at the next supper