Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IMF: Britain May Go Bankrupt (UPDATE: See End of Post)

"Britain is better placed than any other country to weather the recession."
Gordon Brown

How much longer can the Prime Minister remain in denial? The IMF says that we will have a negative growth rate of 2.8% this year, worse than any other advanced economy. They also say the prospect of the UK going bankrupt cannot be ruled out. That's not David Cameron indulging in a bit of doom mongering. It's the world's pre-eminent economic institution.

Isn't it about time the Prime Minister acknowledged that his policies have made matters worse in this country than elsewhere?

But I suppose we might as well whistle in the wind.

UPDATE 2 Feb 6pm:


Last Wednesday I wrote a blogpost titled IMF: BRITAIN MAY GO BANKRUPT. It was based on a Sky News report, which I had just been listening to ...
The IMF says that we will have a negative growth rate of 2.8% this year, worse than any other advanced economy. They also say the prospect of the UK going bankrupt cannot be ruled out.

A heated debate ensued in the comments in which a commenter called Despairing Liberal maintained that the IMF report said no such thing. I retorted that I had heard Kay Burley on Sky News report that very thing. The debate went on, and on, and on. In the end I asked Sky for a clip of the report which would verify things one way or the other. I have just received the clip and regret to say that Kay Burley said the following...
The Fund's boss also warned that countries going bankrupt could not be ruled out.
So there was no specific mention of Britain. I clearly misheard her. I have a policy on this blog of holding my hands up when I have got something wrong, and I do so now. And at the same time I readily apologise to Despairing Liberal and Canvas.

I am updating the original post with this information.

89 comments:

DespairingLiberal said...

Out of interest Iain, where on the IMF website does it say Britain risks bankruptcy? I can't locate that story outside of the right-wing press.

By way of comparison, the IMF Countries & Regions magazine highlights Germany as facing an extended downturn.

Sky News are for example also covering the IMF story and they don't cite the bankruptcy line.

Could it be that this is another little Daily Mail line?

I have no remit for Brown but let's not talk Britain down beyond the point of reason.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

That could have been better timed for Gordon Brown given that he was claiming in the House of Commons only three hours ago that Britain would suffer a shorter, shallower recession than any other country thanks to his Superman antics of "saving the world...the banks."

As for your "about time" comment - had Gordon Brown designed the marketing slogans for the Titanic, he would have been standing on the stern saying "don't worry it's unsinkable" as the water lapped around his feet. He is never going to own up and say he got something wrong - he genuinely believes that being wrong is something only Tories do!

Bill Quango MP said...

Mr Dale is trying to talk down the glorious success of the bank bailout, the car manufactures rescue package, the guaranteed loans scheme, and thousand of other government soundbites that have been making a real difference in the media coverage, and to the public's perception of where the real crisis is.
He is a damned traitor.

Iain Dale said...

Despairing Liberal, I just listened to Sky News and that is exactly what they were reporting.

canvas said...

well for a start - it would help if DC told everyone what he could do as PM to stop the carnage?

projecting confidence is better than projecting blame.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

Despairing Liberal, see the table at the foot of this page:

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/update/01/index.htm

UK growth projected to be -2.5%, German projected to be -2.5.

Iain is bang on the money.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

Sorry hasn't copied properly: try this

trevorsden said...

Canvas -- (et al) --- Confidence??

We are in a recession a big one. What comes round will sadly come round. We cannot stop the carnage - the impact the impetus will have to run itself out. Brown has been pretending that he can do something and its being showed to be asinine.

We need to be in decent shape when we cone out of it. Brown is ensuring we will be in an over-borrowed mess.

DespairingLiberal said...

Strange Iain, because as I showed you, they don't say that on their website.

Could it be that the only evidence drawn in favour of the bankruptcy story is ultimately David Cameron's warning during PMQs earlier in the month?

DespairingLiberal said...

Half-blooded - I am not disputing the negative growth bit, I am querying Iain's source for the "britain is facing bankruptcy" bit.

Actually the latter was fairly exhaustively analysed on Today not long ago and they found no expert justification or source for it to support Cameron's assertion. Which Sky News are evidently just blandly repeating, but not (careful, careful!) in writing!

Iain Dale said...

It is not strange at all. Sky's web people are totally separate from the TV news journalists.

Andy said...

From IMF web-site
For 2009:

UK: -2.8%

World: +0.5%
All advanced: -2.0%
US: -1.6%
Euro: -2.0% (of which)
..Germany: -2.5%
..France: -1.9%
..Italy: -2.1%
..Spain: -1.7%
Japan: -2.6%
Canada: -1.2%
rest of advanced: -2.4%

So, UK has the worst projection of "advanced" countries (interesting term!) for 2008.

Equivalent figures for 2010 has only Italy and Spain with worse projections than UK: but both still have better figs for the 2 years combined.

DespairingLiberal said...

On your second link Half-blooded, yes, that's the IMF global report that everyone is citing. There is nothing in there to support the Britain is facing Bankruptcy quote Iain says that Sky News quoted.

Andy said...

Sorry, should've read:

So, UK has the worst projection of "advanced" countries (interesting term!) for 2009.

not 2008....

Rohan said...

I'd say bankruptcy is odds on if they nationalise the banks fully because the taxpayer will have to pick up the liabilities of the banks. As things stand we have twenty years of higher taxes and lower spending to look forward to thanks to Miracle Brown. Grim.

Iain Dale said...

Despairing, for the last time [bangs head against wall]. Kay Burley said, and I quote "the IMF say the prospect of the UK going bankrupt cannot be ruled out". I should have put it in quotation marks in the original post.

If I had the time I would try to find the document online, but I am up against a deadline and then off to West Ham! perhaps someone else can oblige.

DespairingLiberal said...

Yes Andy, it is pretty dire. But it is not bankruptcy. British government debt is still rated triple-A and the foreign assets of Britain still hugely outweigh it's foreign debts.

My point is that Cameron's statement was nothing but spin and the Sky Newdoctors are just repeating the spin. It doesn't really surprise me, as Sky News TV journos often seem to me to possess similar critical and reasoning faculties to those on BBC News 24, eg, close to zilch.

strapworld said...

If, Ian is correct about this, and I have no doubt he is, then Brown has misled the Commons, surely by his interpretation of this report?

We have the most incompetent, lying, prime minister, in living memory. One who worries more about how cartoonists draw him rather than getting on with the job! So much so that he has to nick Tory policies as he cannot think of anything original.

(Actually, Cameron should consider that reposte when Brown next calls the Tories a do nothing party!)

A prime minister who wants us all to believe that he was an active sportsman! I ask you! The photograph this week of him 'running' was proof that such an activity was not natural to him!

But, unless someone around that Cabinet Table has the guts to tell Brown his time is up, we will end up in a depression.

Perhaps the riots that would bring is what Brown means when he talks about a new world order.

Mind you, looking at him with his four chins - he is a heart attack waiting to happen.

DespairingLiberal said...

I believe you that she said it Iain, so no need for afernoon head-banging. I am questioning that it is true. The IMF certainly did not say it - they are much too economically sophisticated to come out with that. This I suspect is another Birleyism - she has come out with quite a number in her time.

Jonathan Cook said...

Anyone noticed the fabulous BBC bias on this story!

All web front page headlines say "UK worst placed" (Guardian, Times, Independent, Telegraph)

Where as, of course the BBC has "World Growth Worst for 60 years".


....it is a global problem that started in America, that will be reported by the BBC to be just as Brown says it is.....

Old Holborn said...

I'm in Zurich at the moment and the pawnbrokers are putting out signs in English.

We're stuffed.

DespairingLiberal said...

Well, I think we've shown that (yet again) the key point in Iain's headling "IMF:Britain May Go Bankrupt" is wrong.

A. The IMF did not say that. Please provide the IMF document that contains that statement.

B. It isn't an economically literate or correct statement.

The headline should read:

"Sky News lies and says that IMF says that Britain is bankrupt".

Now why, we ask, would they do that?

I have mentioned before that Murdoch has an interest in talking down the pound...

Martin Day said...

This country is in for a very rocky few years, dodging bankruptcy will be one of the main challangers. It is a cumulative thing like the Barrowing! You can stretch the elastic only so far before it snaps. The governments fiscal policy is reckless and electorally driven!

Labour Labour Labour - Out Out Out!

DespairingLiberal said...

That may be true Martin, but the IMF didn't say it.

Richard said...

DespairingLiberal

What makes you think that British debt will remain triple-A? By the price of credit default insurance UK government debt is already more risky than some companies.I have certainly read speculation that it is about to be downgraded from AAA, making Brown's borrowing even more expensive to Brown's minions, the tax payers.

DespairingLiberal said...

Maybe Richard. I heard that too, from a senior professor at the LSE a couple of days ago at a lecture. Hope it isn't true because it will cost us all a lot if it is.

Richard said...

"That may be true Martin, but the IMF didn't say it."

How can you say that, DespairingLiberal? Could you provide links to everything written or said by IMF officials since the downturn began about 16 months ago, to show that they didn't?

DespairingLiberal said...

I think the onus is on those who make a statement to prove it Richard - you are asking me to prove a negative.

However, I have tried reasonable steps like Google-searching and site-searching the IMF site, to no avail.

The IMF do employ some independent experts and it's plausible that one of them made some throwaway remark in a bar to a Sky News journo, but that hardly would count as evidence that the IMF thinks so.

The most plausible reason for not believing the IMF said it however remains that it is an economically illiterate statement. David Cameron saying it simply underlines that.

This is serious and compelling evidence of Sky News incompetence and one to join a list of many others observed in the past.

Thanks Iain for exposing it.

I don't believe Sky will correct it however; past experience shows they are even less willing than the Beeb to apologise and Ofcom always seem curiously hand-wringing when it comes to correcting them.

Pogo said...

George Soros, famed for hastening our exit from the ERM and a man, whatever your feelings about him, financially sophisticated to the n'th degree is reported to have announced that he's stopped shorting Sterling...

make of that as you will.

Cato said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Boothroyd said...

I checked as well and there is nothing in the IMF report that mentions bankruptcy. "This is a typical Tory talking Britain down etc. etc.". It does show that under Labour in 2007 we had the strongest growth in the developed world.

DespairingLiberal said...

Which numpty are you referring to Cato? Are you talking about yourself?

I was of course using short hand for government borrowing measures where they sell any form of debt security, such as for example traded government debt derivatives, sale of bonds/gilts, all of which can of course be traded and rated.

canvas said...

no newspapers are reporting possible bankruptcy.

it's like the story of chicken little and the sky is falling!

don't cry wolf too often

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing

"Actually the latter was fairly exhaustively analysed on Today not long ago and they found no expert justification or source for it to support Cameron's assertion."

Stunning. So you rely on the researchers at 'Today'? Have you actually asked them if they looked - and where? If not, what's your source for this assertion? Since when have BBC 'researchers' been anywhere near competent?

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

Do you want to explain how it might be possible to appear confident without any knowledge of the detail of the financial disaster we're in? All we can say with any confidence is the Government has been completely unable (or unwilling) to indicate what its borrowing levels will be. Without that information no one in their right minds would even begin to consider plans or express confidence.

canvas said...

So, Unsworth, does that mean that Gordon Brown is doing exactly what David Cameron would do if he were PM?

Fearmongering ain't gonna help. Calm, clear thinking is required and hysterical hissy fits are unhelpful and dangerous.

Iain should know better.

Iain Dale said...

FFS Canvas, I was reporting what Sky News said the IMF had said. It's gone nothing to do with Cameron whatsoever! Get a grip!

canvas said...

Why repeat the story if you can't back it up anywhere else? That's fearmongering.

DespairingLiberal said...

I think he has a point Iain - Cameron is the only significant person to have come out with it, so it's natural to assume that since the IMF did not actually say that, Sky are inferring it and in effect either quoting or actively backing Cameron.

Really, the whole point here though Iain is that yet again, on a very significant politico-economic matter, your headline is wrong, your key fact is wrong and you did not originally say that you just heard it on Sky, you strongly implied that the IMF had said it, which is utterly false.

You really need to be better than this to qualify as "leading Tory blogger" don't you? Or is it just that the meejah types inviting you on to those platforms don't actually care a fig for your reliability or accuracy, so long as they can invite a talking Tory head and tick a balance box?

Iain Dale said...

Despairing Liberal, just go and swivel on it.

I reported accurately exactly what Sky News said. I had no reason to think they had made it up and I still don't. You and your Liberal friend Canvas are trying to whip up a mountain out of a molehill.

Lola said...

ID said "How much longer can the Prime Minister remain in denial?" - and that is true, whatever the IMF said or didn't say.

In truth I reckon the bugger should be in de-nile. And held under the surface until the bubbles stop rising. Like my mum does in the water butt with the grey squirrels she traps. Come the think of it I reckon she'd volunteer for the Brown job (!) since he has savaged her income four times and devalued her capital so thoroughly.

DespairingLiberal said...

So Iain, the fact that no such statement appears on the IMF website (especially not in the document Sky actually quoted from in the snippet you now admit you were simply relaying) does not in any way concern you, or suggest a possible mistake/lie/conflation/gross exaggeration by Sky?

I admire your great, almost reverential trust in Sky!

Perhaps we should get an Ofcom complaint going about it though, just so that when it comes back that Sky had no foundation whatever for their statement, we can see you still blandly repeating that you trust them.

As for some getup with Canvas, I didn't even know he was a LibDem!

Iain Dale said...

Despairing Liberal, your implication is that I am supposed to factcheck every news bulletin before I report anything they say. Sky and the BBC are reputable news organisations. Surely if either of them make that kind of statement it is quite reasonable of me to take it as read. I quite admit, I haven't heard them repeat it during the course of the afternoon though.

Richard said...

Despairing Liberal

The reason that I am asking you to prove a negative is that you are asserting a negative with no evidence or reasoned argument to back up your assertion.

There is reason to believe that such a statement came from the IMF. A relatively reliable news organisation has said so. Yet you state categorically that "the IMF didn't say it". The onus is on you to support that statement. So far it appears that your only evidence is that you have not heard or seen any such statement from the IMF.

By what measure are you saying that it is "economically illiterate"? Are you suggesting that the UK could not go default on its loans? The market seems to disagree with you if so.

DespairingLiberal said...

It was a throwaway by Birley Iain. They aren't repeating it or putting it on the website because it's not in the IMF report.

The Penguin said...

Canvas,

Do you by any chance work for Dolly Dripper?

Just asking.

The Penguin

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

How's the remedial school-work coming along? What the hell is wrong with reporting a report? You expect everyone to verify everything? Where do you start with that?

Dear God!

Dorian Smith said...

DespairingLiberal said..."I have no remit for Brown but let's not talk Britain down beyond the point of reason."

"I have mentioned before that Murdoch has an interest in talking down the pound..."


I thought that was Alistair Darling and Mervyn King's job.

Grim Reaper said...

Iain said "Isn't it about time the Prime Minister acknowledged that his policies have made matters worse in this country than elsewhere?"

Yes. Although realistically, there's more chance of hell freezing over. Or of Polly Toynbee writing an article which doesn't contain massive factual mistakes.

Lola said...

I've been listening to the IMF broadcast, and they worry me. I still reckon that they confuse price level changes with inflation/deflation. Price increases don't cause inflation they are a result of it. Same the other way around for deflation. What we are now experiencing is a massive reduction in the quantity of money (aka deflation, and, I acknoledge, its velocity. This 'destruction of money' can be seen in the writing down of the values of all the crap 'investments' made by the banks.

So whether or not the IMF said that the UK could go bust is of less concern than they also get their heads right.

canvas said...

Canvas is a SHE and I'm not a member of the Tory Party, the Labour Party or the LibDems. I'm independent - but my political views are indeed 'liberal'.

Iain wrote a misleading article which can not be backed up anywhere in black and white print. Iain did that to score cheap political points.

I'm just pointing it out.

:)

Iain Dale said...

I did nothing of the sort. I reported what Sky News had reported the IMF as saying.

I never knew you were female!

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

So now it has to be 'black and white print'? How do you feel about the other media reports?

canvas said...

Yet you haven't amended your headline/title?! fearmongering?

Yes a 'she' - are you ever going to write that article on gender and blogging then?

:)

Ian said...

"How much longer can the Prime Minister remain in denial?"

Until he is forcibly removed from power either by a General Election or by some other means, the nature of which must be under serious consideration somewhere.

canvas said...

what other reports, unsworth? I've only ever heard DC mention bankruptcy.

DespairingLiberal said...

I listened carefully to the whole of Sky News when I got home last night. Also I had recorded on Freeview the morning news programmes (I always do) and I went through the Sky news hour from 8am.

I am sorry to have to report that I couldn't find a single mention of the bankruptcy claim that Iain says Kay Burley came out with.

Can you recall what time it was Iain?

thanks
Liberal Fact Checker

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

You say:
"Iain wrote a misleading article which can not be backed up anywhere in black and white print."

I say:
"So now it has to be 'black and white print'? How do you feel about the other media reports?"

I'm pointing out that it does not have to appear 'in black and white print' to be true - or false for that matter.

Setting aside your view that Iain's report is misleading, what he actually reported was a comment on Sky News (and it is possibly verifiable that Sky News carried such a comment).

You then demand that he back his comments with other sources. Presumably you do this on the basis that multiplicity ensures veracity - well it doesn't.

Great minds think alike?

And fools seldom differ.

canvas said...

unsworth,
the internet is full of misleading false information, Proper journalism requires facts. Iain cannot back his statement that the IMF said "Britain May Go Bankrupt".
It's simply not true - it's just spin from David Cameron.

Iain can't provide one newspaper article that states this fact. Not one article. It's irresponsible of Iain to perpetuate 'the spin'. The economy might be up the creek - true - but the IMF did NOT say Britain could go bankrupt. end of.

Iain Dale said...

Oh change the bloody record. You're getting as monotonous on this as you were with your hero worship of Obama.

For the very last time. I reported what I heard on Sky News. Nothing more, nothing less.

canvas said...

I'm actually responding to Unsworth, Iain. And I don't know why you're so touchy about it anyway. You always resort to personal attacks when you don't like what you hear. So> Grow up and remove those blinkers. You wrote a misleading article.
:) kiss kiss
xx

Iain Dale said...

You think THAT was a personal attack?!!!

Unsworth said...

Canvas

Not that this is a personal attack you understand, but you debate just like a woman. Let's not get too touchy, eh?

The truth is only in newspapers - really? Iain has given his source for the report, full stop. You may dispute the original report, his acceptance of the content of that report, or that the report actually was given out. At present it appears you're doing none of these. Would you like to narrow the field down a bit?

canvas said...

Unsworth, and you my friend respond like a typical male (deaf).

Let's go through this one more time - if we must.

Title of Iain's article is "IMF: Britain May Go Bankrupt"

wrong. false information. Not true. Made Up.

Not once in Iain's article does he state that his source is Kay Birley on Sky news who read a report that nobody else heard - and it was apparently never repeated.

Not one press report anywhere says "the IMF say Britain May Go Bankrupt". Only David Cameron has said that.

So, please allow me to point out to you yet again (!) this article by Iain is complete poo.

got it? over and out. ciao. bye.
\

DespairingLiberal said...

You are right Canvas.

It is also true that Iain usually resorts to nasty little stabs, often involving the sort of sweary behaviour he affects to despise in others, when proven incorrect, as he has been in this rather unpleasantly obvious case.

If you want to cheerlead for whatever the Cameron line is right now Iain, can't you make it a bit more subtle? This one was really very obvious and not backed up by anything vaguely resembling a fact. I note that you have yet to respond to the failure to locate the comment in a recording of the Sky programme you claim to have seen it in.

I know Michael White vaguely and next time I see him, intend to question him about why he gives such a positive glow to you when you are provably simply repeating falsehoods and Tory spincycling whilst at the same time posing as some kind of "independent" Tory.

And finally - why do you always act so hurt when people point out your little difficulties with facts - yet pile on the aggression yourself when it pleases you?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - gay or not, an Essex Tory boot boy is an Essex Tory boot boy.

The quality of your "supporters" on this blog also speaks volumes about the "quality of your character" to quote Dr King.

Iain Dale said...

Despairing Liberal, I despair, and frankly that comment is so ludicrous as to be hardly worth replying to.

You seem to spend half your waking hours commenting on a blog of someone who you clearly think very little of. I find that very strange. But such is life.

For the very last time, as I explained right at the beginning of this thread, I reported what I heard Kay Burley say on Sky News. Strangely, I do not record Sky News, otherwise I would be able to prove it. In the absence of a tape I cannot. And I have better things to do that waste my time asking Sky for a tape.

It had nothing to do with any David Cameron spin line. Strangely, as you may have detected from other threads (Heathrow, for example) I do actually have a mind of my own.

I'd love to know when I act hurt. if I was worried about being hurt, I'd hardly be writing a blog, would I?

Quite happy to be called an Essex Tory Boot Boy. I have been called far worse in my time.

And as for Michael White, I suppose you think he is an independent commentator too? The thing we have in common is that we are both totally honest about our political leanings. But that does not mean either of us adhere to the party line. If you don't undertstand that from this blog then there is nothing I can do

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing

"I know Michael White vaguely"

Exactly.

And most other things, too.

Unsworth said...

@ Canvas

Well (for a woman) you're doing fairly well.

You say
"Title of Iain's article is "IMF: Britain May Go Bankrupt"

wrong. false information. Not true. Made Up."


Why is this not true? You think it impossible, or you think the IMF are wrong, or you think that Iain is wrong to hold that view, or you think the report Ian uses as the base for the article is wrong, or you think Iain is lying, or all of the above?

You say
"Not once in Iain's article does he state that his source is Kay Birley on Sky news who read a report that nobody else heard - and it was apparently never repeated."

He's not obliged to state his source, and I'm interested that you think nobody else heard this report - any evidence for this?

You say
"Not one press report anywhere says "the IMF say Britain May Go Bankrupt". Only David Cameron has said that."

You can vouch for that? So you've checked all of the world's press?

You say
"So, please allow me to point out to you yet again (!) this article by Iain is complete poo."

Well, that's your view.


got it? over and out. ciao. bye.

canvas said...

Hi Unsworth, you can't provoke me into a rage with sexist innuendo or sexist language. That is so 20th century! it doesn't work.

Let's deal with your questions - I know it's hard for you to take all this on board.

1) "Why is this not true?"
Because the IMF never said that. Never.

2) "He's not obliged to state his source"
No, he's technically he is not -but morally as a blogger people tend to trust he has a duty to behave in a responsible manner.

Eventually Iain did mention his 'source' in the comments section when challenged... And he only did this to try and regain some kind of credibility. Not that Kay Burley on Sky News is all that credible anyway.

* "You can vouch for that?" yep. prove me wrong and check with the IMF if you have any doubts. feel free.

Unsworth, bah bye x

canvas said...

Let's re-do point 2 since I am typing in a hurry and it went squiffy

2) "He's not obliged to state his source"
No, technically Iain is not obliged -but morally (Iain is a blogger who people tend to trust) Iain has a duty to behave in a responsible manner.

supergrass said...

yawn~~~it's a blog, not a news article. If you're appalled by the fact that Iain doesn't factcheck? just piss off and go to other blogs you think are trustworthy

Moral responsibilities for bloggers? Shit that's scary

DespairingLiberal said...

You and David Cameron are in agreement on Heathrow Iain. No thinking person can be fooled for more than a nanosecond by his enviro-vote grabbing bull, to be reversed immediately after he wins a GE on the back of it.

DespairingLiberal said...

supergrass - you and I are obviously not reading the same blog, or talking about the same person. If Iain Dale is not a purported Tory authority, how come he increasingly pops up as a talking Tory head in all sorts of media? And how come he frequently posts articles here purporting to be facts from a leading Tory blogger?

Ground-shifters anonymous would be not a cynical enough group for you folks.

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing

What's a 'a purported Tory authority'? An official of the Conservative Party?

DespairingLiberal said...

Unsworth, these days, according to most news programmes, it would appear to be Leading Tory Blogger Iain Dale.

Against that background, I think it's legitimate to raise the odd criticism when Master Dale publishes blatantly fabricated headline interpretations of IMF statements, no matter what the original source. (And I've still seen no evidence Sky actually said it - and had positive evidence, eg, by watching their normally very repetitive hourly news broadcasts, that they did not)

I find Iain Dale's attempts to squash this via emotionalism and dismissals pathetic and nauseating. Clearly, he likes to play hardball until it rebounds on him.

Wait till we get nearer the General and things warm up - this blog will not be quite the easy ride for your little untruths that it has been up to now.

Unsworth said...

@ Despairing

"your little untruths"

You're calling me a liar?

Do you want to step outside to discuss this view?


And as to 'not seeing evidence' - do you want someone to wipe your arse for you too?

Either call Iain a liar, too, or shut up.

DespairingLiberal said...

Is that some kind of threat Unsworth?

I think you would probably want to review that if we actually met up. :-)

Unsworth said...

Despairing

Don't call people liars unless you want a smack in the mouth or want someone to sue your arse off. There's always someone bigger or mjuch nastier than you - and I'm not threatening.

And speaking of your arse - why is it that you spend so much time talking out of it? If you sat down for a while it might give us all a break from your crass inanity.

wv mister. Apt.

DespairingLiberal said...

Do you work for or with Iain Dale Unsworth? I would like to know, as you seem to be his attack dog.

I am not intimidated by your threats, which actually seem bordering on the criminal. If you are associated with Iain Dale, then that is something else again.

I stand by this point because despite your nonsense, Iain Dale has not come back with one convincing point - and with his influence he easily could, if the evidence was there - to rebut the obvious fact that the IMF did not, as he saus, say "Britain May Go Bankrupt".

The fact that Iain Dale has not withdrawn this headline speaks volumes and I leave the reader to determine questions of honesty.

Iain Dale said...

Despairing Liberal, I am getting tired of these almost
libellous allegations you seem happy
to throw around.
I haven't got the faintest idea who
Unsworth is.
In other threads you have been
entertaining and a joy to debate with.
In this thread you have become
Hysterical. Its almost as if someone
else has taken over your blogger
identity.

DespairingLiberal said...

Just fed up with your very cheap jibes against Liberal Democrats Iain, your personal insults to me ("have you been on the sauce again?") and your inability to see that this one is a screwup that needs correcting. Are you at all familiar with the term "apology"?

DespairingLiberal said...

Oh and the fake photos of post boxes.

DespairingLiberal said...

I have to say I also find it quite funny that you introduce the concept of libel into this. I am asking for evidence that your assertion that the IMF says a thing is actually true, given that all the evidence strongly infers that it is not. It seems very reasonable that you as a leading political commentator should come across with such evidence. Yet you do not. Instead, I am attached and pilloried. You and your supporters pour scorn and worse on me.

It seems clear why.

DespairingLiberal said...

By the way, in an effort to resolve this once and for all, I have today written to Sky TV to ask them if they included the phrase headlining this article in their broadcasts on the IMF story.

I will post copies of my letter and their reply regardless of which way it goes here - that will resolve it.

Shame I had to go to all this trouble, as you, being a regular Sky guest, presumably have contacts there that could easily resolve it with a quick phone call.

Iain Dale said...

I am typing this from the Green Room
at Sky and have just asked them if
they can provide me with a tape
from that kay burley programme.

I am fed up with your spurious and
unfounded allegations. I hope
you will have the good grace to
apologise, assuming the tape bears
me out!

That 'sauce' comment was not serious
and you know it.

And you also know the posbox photo
was not a fake. It was the original
Libdem photo which was misleading.

Yes I do criticise the Libdems, but
I have also praised nick clegg and
Lynne featherstone in recent weeks.

Your characterisation of me is misleading
and it is you who seems unable to
Take any degree of criticism!

DespairingLiberal said...

Good Iain, and I will apologise for anything I have done wrong.

Will you at least edit the headline, as the IMF did not actually say that, even if Sky did.

Unsworth said...

Despairing

Iain is right to say he doesn't have a clue as to who I am. Nor do I, most days.

If anyone introduced the concept of litigation into this asinine debate it was probably me.

If anyone introduced the concept of physical violence it was you.

As to 'attack dog' - well you do make it rather easy, don't you?

And in my view, Iain should tell you stick your demand (that he change his blog headline to suit your particular opinions) where the sun never shines - and sideways.

You've expressed a view. Don't push your luck. Were this my blog I would have banned you after your third personal attack. Iain is clearly more tolerant than many.

I look forward to seeing your letter(s) and the responses.

Oh, and do please try to develop a sense of humour - or at least learn to recognise when others are attempting to be amusing. Why do Liberals always take themselves so seriously?

Peter said...

The UK is insolvent, like most of the "advanced" economies. And print is not black and white.

Iain Dale said...

Last Wednesday I wrote a blogpost titled IMF: BRITAIN MAY GO BANKRUPT. It was based on a Sky News report, which I had just been listening to ...

The IMF says that we will have a negative growth rate of 2.8% this year, worse than any other advanced economy. They also say the prospect of the UK going bankrupt cannot be ruled out.


A heated debate ensued in the comments in which a commenter called Despairing Liberal maintained that the IMF report said no such thing. I retorted that I had heard Kay Burley on Sky News report that very thing. The debate went on, and on, and on. In the end I asked Sky for a clip of the report which would verify things one way or the other. I have just received the clip and regret to say that Kay Burley said the following...

The Fund's boss also warned that countries going bankrupt could not be ruled out.

So there was no specific mention of Britain. I clearly misheard her. I have a policy on this blog of holding my hands up when I have got something wrong, and I do so now. And at the same time I readily apologise to Despairing Liberal and Canvas.

I am updating the original post with this information.