Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brown Admitted Economic Failure But No one Noticed

There was one bit of the Brown speech on Monday that caught my eye, but which no one seems to have remarked upon, and it was this sentence:
 
We should take pride that, under a Labour government, Britain - this small number of people on this small island - is the fifth largest economy in the world.
 
Didn't we always use to say we were the fourth largest?  This happened, of course, under Brown's watch -- in Dec 2005.  I think it's strange no one's pointed that particular line out -- seems a strange thing to boast about.  'Under this Labour government, we’ve lost our position as the fourth largest economy in the world…'.
 

32 comments:

abandon said...

Right, so as Chancellor he should have somehow ensured that China wasn't growing.

How is that failure on his part?

A pretty stupid and tenuous point, though 11 points down, I guess you start clutching at any straws you can.

simon said...

India overtook us a little while ago, more of a testament to their astonishing economic boom than a reflection of any economic failure on our part.

Anonymous said...

Heavens, this blog has gone down hill in a big way if that is all you have to say. Fawkes, Brogan and Coffee House are streets ahead of you. Stick to promoting your books.

Chris Paul said...

Sometimes Iain the things that you notice that no one else does are unnoticed by others for a reason.

The world map is no longer coloured red and when China and India with 20 times the population pass our GDP that will be a good thing. Inevitable and good.

Discuss.

Anonymous said...

He probably thinks that everybody apart from him has the memory of a goldfish. Anyway, who from our toytown MSM will take this up?

Neil Harding said...

Ian, we fell behind Italy and France to SIXTH place under the Tories, so I wouldn't brag! To fall behind China into fifth is no disgrace - they will soon overtake the US as the No.1 economy.

King Cnut said...

I do not think it is a disgrace that we have been overtaken by a rapidly-industrialising country with a population of 1.3 billion.

Perhaps we could have held them off longer, but the process of de-industrialisation here was started by Thatcher, remember?

matthew scott said...

it was always number 5. the ministry of truth told me so

Anonymous said...

I'm a loyal party man but not even G Brown can be blamed for the rise of China.

Anonymous said...

and so why the heck isn't Osbourne out there banging the drum? So many of these are the easiest targets around, so many can be encapsulated in tabloid-speak and in media-friendly ways too... and what do we hear? Defeaning silence. When will the shadow cabinet wake up and start to do something? I know it's the conference next week, but Labour having their conference can hardly come as a suprise - they should have been prepared with a barrage of criticism before Brown and co. opened their mouths, and more after it. If they can't even oppose properly, what hope have they of governing?

verity said...

Is there any chance that we could get another inert site tomorrow?

Comments stalled for 12 hours have so much more gravitas! Stupid little comments that bat through every 10 or 15 minutes or every half hour or so look so flighty - ephemeral, even - in comparison! I would suggest a 24-hour delay in putting comments up and, if successful, you might stretch it to 30 hours.

And rename the site Iain Yawn's Diary.

Anonymous said...

We resigned ourselves to that position ages ago. Him saying that just kind of made official the fact. I guess it's all about moving on to the next stage (mixed in with a bit of British false modesty). Seems to have worked, doesn't appear to have weakened the effect of the speech....

U.R.Wochuwyz said...

So india has over taken us errrr whats your point

chatterbox said...

Why am I not surprised the media did not notice this little gem?
They did not notice the whole speech was a lesson in plagiarism until today either!

Anonymous said...

This is a good point. It is probably the most significant point you have made all day, for the country that has overtaken us is The Peoples Republic of China (P.R.C.). They are the future. It would be unfair to blame Gordon Brown for this, as the P.R.C. will not stop at fourth place. It will go on and on. It may be that we are seeing the start of the decline of the U.S.A., just as the U.K's decline started when the British Empire was at its greatest extent, in 1921. I recently asked a friend of mine what she made of the P.R.C., which she had recently visited. She was brought up in an Eastern European Communist state and said it was a strange mix of the old west and old east. Adverts mixed with solemn announcements by the party.

I could joke and say that this is a wonderful description of New Labour but the situation is very serious. A descendant of Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP), which mixed capitalism and communism, is shortly to become the dominant world economic power. Stalin crushed NEP but Deng Xiapong brought back a modified version.

I do not wish to be alarmist but I think we should savour the prospect of an election, whilst we are still allowed to have them.

Andrew said...

Isn't this scraping the barrel a bit Iain? I'm a Conservative, but Britain's 60 million people economy finally being overtaken by China's 2 billion people economy is difficult to pin on Mr. Brown - however much we'd like to blame it on him!

The whole xth largest economy in the world notion is misleading anyway - it leads to trade unionists and lefties spouting off about Britain being the xth richest economy in the world and therefore we should be able to afford this that and the next tax funded scheme.

The figure that matters is the size of the economy per person - and Britain is a good way from fourth from top in that table...

Andrew said...

P.S. Not that I want to speak up for Blair or Brown, but, I have a feeling that "Didn't we always use to say we were the fourth largest?" was a Blair/Brown achievement (of a non-achievement really sort) anyway - i.e. that we overtook France to move from fifth to fourth place under their stewardship (if not their efforts).

Big Andy said...

Sorry Iain, i think you are reading too much into this.

I dont think that it is any disgrace to lose 4th spot to China.

If you look at the Goldman Sachs report into the BRIC's, Britain is actually on course to OVERTAKE Germany by 2035 (or thereabouts)

So i really think this is a bit of a dead end.

Have a go about the quality of paving in London, Tax complexity, public finances, but China growing at a phenomenal rate and being TWENTY times bigger than the UK is not much Gordon has control over.

Big Andy

Pete Murray said...

So, 'economic failure' is defined as not having a growth rate higher than 11.1% - the rate at which China's economy is growing and the reason the PRC leapfrogged the UK in the GDP league tables. That's a tough target Ian.

tapestry said...

As it's China that's knoocked us down to 5th, that doesn't seem so bad.

But our collapse in world comeptitiveness tables under Brown's watch is worth a mention. 4th to 19th from memory.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Straws
clutching
at

as a person who is belssed with vision and enjoyed great success I have to tell you this I have said it before on this blog but now it is very acute, you must heed this;

The Conservative Party has to split into two segments in order to get back into power. One will be a right of centre party and one will be a centrist party.

The current party is dead Iain, no joke and I do not enjoy saying this but sometimes you have to go back down the trail and get on the right track again.

Currently the Conservative Party is way down the wrong track a long way down and has been lead there by a leader with good intentions but the wrong map, equipment and team.

Brown will hammer you if there is an election tomorrow and that makes me cringe with emotion as I think the New Labour Party has damaged the UK inc beyond recognition.

Forget 5th Largest as a worry the UK will be around 8th or 9th in the world in as little as three years time.

Unless your party divides and gets serious the UK people will be shafted daily for the next decade and because your party is not standing up for them they will not forget.

judith said...

There's much worse to come, economically, what with the vastly increased borrowing, 50% drop in tax revenue from business, massive trade gap, public finances having deteriorated more than any other western nation.

Higher taxes, more taxes, anyone? Justification for Brown's reputation as a economics genius, anyone?

Gordon's Gofer said...

Like we would ever stay ahead of China, i suppose it will also be his fault when the 1 billion strong Indian economy overtakes us.

Lets not forgot that after Thatcher we were behind Italy!!!!

you do talk junk sometimes Dale.

Anonymous said...

I've never really understood what this means ! We are certainly not the fourth OR fifth richest people. And we are always being told that we are not as 'efficient' as the yanks who have 'much higher productivity'.

That in itself seems meaningless when their car factories are being shut down to allow Toyota global dominance - perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Maybe I have to be patient and wait for Thatcher's famous 'trickle down' effect to deliver all that wealth to me...

tapestry said...

if we got out of the eu our growth rate would be more like the 4% achieved by Canada, Australia and the US these last 10 years instead of the paltry 2.5% which is all we can do held back by eu regulation and blockages.

the constitution ref is about growth as much as power. how slow do we want to go?

Call me Dave said...

Not one of your finest moments Iain it must be said. I can only assume that the panic and confusion that seems to be gripping Tory MPs is taking hold of the rest of the party as well.

Anonymous said...

I did notice this at the time Herr Dale, but considering the growth of the Chinese econmony, it is a case of yourself pendantically clutching at straws.

Now I KNOW that the next election is lost for the Tories.

C4' said...

As Captain Mainwaring said to Pike, Herr Dale, you're a stupid boy

http://conservativemindblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/2692007-day-we-lost-next-general.html

Helen said...

Countries that start from a lower base grow faster than better developed ones. All this chatter about which economy is larger and which is growing faster is largely meaningless, particularly as the size of the economy includes the public sector, which contributes very little to the growth.

verity said...

Anonymous 4:35 a.m. Agreed. Except, I wouldn't split the party. I would shift the whole thing back on track, on the right.

Cameron is dangerously wrong-headed, inept and disconnected. No one is looking for Labour Lite. We are looking for less - much less - thought fascism; and five year (at least) moratorium on immigration into our tiny country and the repatriation of illegals and ALL "asylum seekers" (let them stay home and change their own countries from within, like everyone else has done since time immemorial, not get a free ride on someone else's hard-won liberties) and the repatriation of those who can be tempted with cash (as the French do).

Those would be popular policies with Tories. Not "green" taxes. What a fool.

And he goes around with that smug look on his empty little face, as though there is some great secret behind his strategy and at some magical point, all will be revealed.

James Barr said...

Sitting in front of my tele in Spain I noticed. But what I noticed even more was the cynical use of John Smeaton "The Glasgow Baggage Handler" as an example of being British. The ovation he quite rightly received should not have been in a political arena. But Labour have always been horribly cynical.They sing the Red Flag but unashamedly steal Tory policies which they previously rubbished. Their recent announcements on immigration and todays announcement by Jack Straw come to mind. What the hell is wrong with the Tories that they stand back and let the playground bully take away all their sweeties? At this rate the UK is heading towards a one party state run by a crew of professional politicians who couldn't run a sweetie stall. The trouble is the Tories do not represent vast swathes of the population. What's old fashioned about talking about waste, reducing taxes, giving people more power over their lives, giving the beat back to the Bobbies...etc? Looks like I'll be spoiling my ballot.

Big Andy said...

Iain,

For want of a better word, you got Raped on this one!