Friday, November 21, 2008

Vorsprung Durch Budget Surplus?

I'm sure there is a great economic brain out there somewhere who can explain this to me. Why is it that that Gordon Brown thinks Britain is better placed than Germany to get through the recession? Germany, after all, is still operating with a budget surplus at a time when Britain's borrowing this year is likely to be more than £80 billion. Germany hasn't experienced a credit boom or the levels of personal debt which the British government consistently failed to address over a period of years.
So, I ask again, how is Britain better placed than Germany? Just asking ...

29 comments:

Martin said...

It's a basic rule of politics that you should never ask a question you can't answer. I think you have just identified why support for the Conservatives is falling at the moment.

The Penguin said...

They don't have the benefit of Our Glorious Leader, so they are definitely in the sticky stuff.

The Penguin

Anonymous said...

Because Britain has an economic genius in charge of her affairs.

And, of-course, boom and bust has been eliminated in Britain.

Do you not read Gordon's press releases?????

Dave said...

isnt german unemployment at 9%?

Old Holborn said...

The Germans have apprenticeships

The Germans make stuff people want to buy

The Germans have decent pensions so they don't create housing bubbles to finance their old age.

The Germans educate their children properly

The Germans don't have a class system

The Germans have proportional representation so no extreme swings in policy

The Germans invest for the long term.

Germans SAVE money, not clamber after 42" plasmas on the never never

Germans do not allow Eastern Europeans in.

Germans believe you should fit in or fuck off

They are also the most disciplined and boring people on the planet.

Victor, NW Kent said...

It must be correct since Gordon Brown has told it is.
Since he is the only economist in the whole world whose ideas are any use you should listen to him, and then write to Santa Claus.

iCowboy said...

At a guess; if Brown admitted Germany was better placed to survive the recession he'd have to admit that an economy built on a well-educated workforce employed to *manufacture* high-quality products was better than our one based on running up credit card bills.

Crash Gordon said...

Because our leader is Mr Gordon Brown - saviour of the world. Money can't buy leadership of his calibre. Investors will flock to buy into UK plc on the back of Gordon's vision. Anyone who says otherwise is talking down the pound.

No one can do what Gordon can do.

Allegedly.

Colin said...

So, I ask again, how is Britain better placed than Germany?

We're not...

Anonymous said...

Because he can.

The media NEVER really challenge him on any statement and, when they do, he NEVER gives a straight answer.

This is what happens when politicians are not held to account.

But, just as house prices NEVER go down, he will be held to account!

Blue Eyes said...

If support for Cameron's line is falling it's because too many people think there is some pain-free way back to prosperity. Brown spent the last 10-11 years telling the rest of Europe how much better the British model is. How they must be laughing at us in Berlin.

andanotherthing said...

We are extremely grateful that we have our dear leader to guide us through these difficult times. And in these difficult times we need a serious politician to get on with the job and that is what we are telling him to do,as soon as he wakes in the morning, to do everything in his power to lead us through these difficult times due to the global credit crunch.We are truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

Sorry again to have to intrude with some facts, but it might be something to do with national debt rather than budget deficit.

Germany - National debt as % GDP - 63.1%

UK - National debt as % GDP - 43%

NigelC said...

"Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
George Orwell

Anonymous said...

Brown doesn't think that Britain is better placed than Germany to weather a recession, despite giving the impression that this is his view.

Someone who was appalled at a kakky Hollywood remake of 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' asked - What was the producer thinking when he made this film?

Appropriate response - 'Why are you assuming that a Hollywood producer thinks?'

Blackacre said...

I agree with some of what Old Holborn says (although surprised you allowed the swear word through the net). However, some things I disagree on:

They allowed the whole of East Germany in (and in the process mucked up Major's shadow the D-Mark policy somewhat).

The Turkish guest workers are hardly integrated and indeed are practically forbidden from doing so. The Germans are lucky that policy has not literally exploded in their faces yet.

John Pickworth said...

Gordon is telling a slight mistruth.

Slight, because he correctly calculated that we'd be one of the last to fall into recession - and even that wasn't so difficult to calculate given that every one else was being so honest about their own economies.

The rest of it was a load of old cobblers though. It doesn't much matter what order the non-finishes drop out of the race.

What matters is how fit you are for the start of the next race... sadly, the UK competitor has failed a debt test.

Blue Eyes said...

Does Germany have a massive unfunded pension system for its state employees?

marksany said...

Because he says we are. Don't question the dear leader, or you'll be shot for talking down the pound.

OH - spot on, as ever.

WV: endani

Lola said...

"Why is it that that Gordon Brown thinks Britain is better placed than Germany to get through the recession?" - Because he's a wanker perhaps?

WV 'zingable' - poetic

greg said...

"Why is it that that Gordon Brown thinks Britain is better placed than Germany to get through the recession?

Because he's a total nut job and liar?

Ian Thorpe said...

The thinking behind ordon's blase statements is simple Iain, while the German economy still has a long way to fall, when you're at the bottom you can't go any lower.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Gordon Brown cares deeply about this nation. He loves you, Iain. He wants you to have a family so that you can be a "hard working family". You've just been looking at a new Audi. I don't hold that against you, it demonstrates that the economy is in good shape, well, Germany's economy anyway.

Brown is really a caring, sharing PM, he shares your money with other people, which I think is only fair.

Think of all those grateful failed-asylum seekers (20,000) in Bristol who are benefitting from your money, and all the good will engender.You only have to see how the Somali community in London have integrated and prospered to see the obvious truth staring you in the face.

So, cut Gordon a little slack. He knows best.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anon
Germany - National debt as % GDP - 63.1%

UK - National debt as % GDP - 43%

Go out and buy an edition of The Economist. Anyone from the last 6 years, doesn't matter which. Then 'discover' how different countries calculate debt to GDP.
Then furrow your poor,taken in brow and add unfunded, index-linked, gold plated, inflation proof, final salary public sector pensions, the cost of the railways, the Olympic overspend, Al of PFI, the cost of replenishing our armed forces, who don't even have cash for ammo after years of constant war, and then add in all of THIS YEARS borrowing that you have not included like 10p tax cock up giveaway, winter fuel double payments for pensioner,oh and the trifling matter of 100 billion pounds for Northern rock and some £50 billion for the other banks, and the extra borrowing requirements to those same banks,The B&B takeover and the redundancies coming from LLoyds-Hbos, Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock.

Now lower GDP by the massive loss of Stamp duty/Vat receipts from lower fuel prices and the general slump in everything from clothing sales to car purchases, the incredible loss of tax revenue from the city that was happily funding Gordon's self styled "GOLDEN AGE".

Why not factor in the 25% fall in the value of sterling against the $ to skew us on the cost of energy and oil and food and everything we buy and finally why not consider the wholesale flight of investment capital from the UK, the massive costs of projects already announced like Trident, 3,000,000 houses,total refurbishment of every school, academies, a free laptop and internet connection for all qualifying families, lagging lofts and hundreds upon hundreds of other unfunded harebrained PR sound byte schemes, the incredible plans for spending and tax cutting TBA Monday and you may, just may , be a little nearer the truth.

Or just keep on lying about debt, cross your fingers and hope it goes away. After all that is the Labour parties plan isn't it?

norman said...

Anon 3:15 and other lbour trolls:

Don't bother to peddle Gordo's lies.

Germany's public services work, the hospitals have no queues for surgery and consultant appointments, good transport system -Berlin Ubahn costs a faction of the tube and is modern. Here unelected Lord Adonis plays politics by not giving funds to the elected Mayor to modern the tube system. High speed trains prompt and clean, manufacturing is healthy (do not blame Thatcher, the Labour had 11 years to fix this and did not), Gerrmany is the power engine of Europe whose leader is listened to from Putin to Obama, German workers productivity is high, pensioners are well looked after -too well. Today I spent a few hours in British Library, the issue and enquiry desks were overmanned-2 per desk but petty lazy to answer simple questions, the photocopiers are ancient produce poor copies but charge is 20P per page-highway robbery. Brown Britain is not working.

Paul Lockett said...

I imagine he doesn't think we are better placed, but is working on the basis that if he says it often enough, the electorate will accept it without question.

Anonymous said...

Because people like Ian buy their cars
freedom to prosper

Dave H. said...

Old Holborn

"Germans do not allow Eastern Europeans in."

Don't the Ossies count as Eastern Europeans? If not, then what about the Turks?

I agree with 'twisted and embittered' rest, especially the point about exports. Please keep on upsetting Fr. McCarthy. Someone ought to be giving these bastards hell and my namesake seems to have lost the capacity for it.

Gordon gave him such a pasting at PMQs that Iain actually called it honours even.

MfG,
D.

Iqbal_M said...

This is the first time I have commented on your blog Iain(and good job you to), I am 23 year old from Dundee and a Lib Dem (don't hold that against me).

On the issue of tax and borrowing, I am the one who thinks that paying for tax cuts by borrowing is stupid and will our children be paying for them for years to come and for a mess they are not blame for. If you are going have tax cuts in order to get economy moving again you pay for them by taxing one group of people more and taxing another group of people less, and making government lean and efficent (note, not smaller govrnment), surely the best way to have a strong economy is to balance the books not get ourselfs into even bigger debt.