Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When Gordon's Sleeping at the Wheel Turned Into Hubris

FT Journalist Alex Barker has nailed Gordon Brown on boom and bust. he accuses Brown of being 'asleep at the wheel'.

It is often wrongly claimed that Gordon Brown failed to spot the housing bubble. In fact, he called the bubble as early as 2005. The trouble was he believed he had addressed it. Brown thought he had successfully managed a boom without a bust.

You can relive the hubris of the time by reading this passage from Brown’s 2005 speech to the Labour conference. No modesty here. But I think it was the one and only time he has used the word “house price bubble” as chancellor or prime minister.

We will have the strength and resolution to take the right long-term economic decisions too.
Why has it been that at every point since 1997 faced with the Asian crisis, the IT collapse, a stock exchange crash, an American recession, last year a house price bubble, this year rising world oil prices, why has it been that at every point since 1997 Britain uniquely has continued to grow?

In any other decade, a house price bubble would have pushed Britain from boom to bust. In any other decade, a doubling of oil prices would have put Britain first in last out and worst hit by a world downturn.

I tell you, it is because with Bank of England independence, cutting debt, fiscal discipline and the New Deal this Labour government has shown the strength to take the tough long-term decisions, that inflation is low, interest rates are low, growth has been sustained in every year, and we are closer than ever to the goal which drives us forward: the goal of full employment for our generation.

Labour, the natural party for economic strength in our country today.

Alex is right. Hubris took a hold on Brown very early on. He totally believes in his own infallibility.


Colin said...

"Alex is right. Hubris took a hold on Brown very early on. He totally believes in his own infallibility."

He totally believes his own bullshit, more like...

Boo said...

Perhaps the reason why Gord is so hyperactive is that he did nothing when it mattered and is now running to stand still

Chris Paul said...

Alex totally believes his own bullshit more like. This is Alex the blogger, not Alex the journalist, but even bloggers have standards. "House price bubble" is not a word, it is three words, and the achievement of uninterrupted growth for so long is not to be sniffed at.

Meanwhile Tom Watson finds Cameron changing his tune with the wind. Expecting politicians to be like holy prophets when it comes to their sayings is one thing if applied to everyone alike. But it's just bull when applied only to one's opponents. IMO.

Trend Shed said...

can watch Gordon say those words on this video:


Anonymous said...

No Mr Paul, and really you too display hubris if you really believes all this guff about 'uninterrupted growth'.

That growth was built on borrowing - excessive borrowing - city expansion (and bonuses) which we now see as fatally flawed and mass immigration.

There was nothing solid about it. Indeed it was so flawed that we enter the recession with a mass of debt and additional millions on benefits. Just where is the benefit from this alleged 'growth'?

Its all fantasy - that is the point of the article, Brown believing his own pre match publicity.

The correct phrase is paradigm. Browns paradigm is bust. His view of how the world works, of how he can make it work, how he can bend it to his preferred way of working, is bust.

It was never in contact with reality and everything Brown does is to massage the facts to fit his view.
Rational people would note the facts and adjust their inferences. Not Brown. That's why the shock we face now is so sudden.

Anonymous said...

Boo - I'd wish he'd stand still so we can run over him!

Houdini said...

cutting debt,

So cutting it helped then, but raising it to historically massive proportions helps now?

Hmmm, another example of how the Brown school of economics works.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Chris Paul said...
Alex totally believes his own bullshit more like

If anyone should be able to recognise bullshit then Chris Paul is your man. God knows he writes plenty of it.

And on that topic, where are David Boothroyd and Jimmy (assuming that "they" are not one and the same) when we want to hear the noolab fellow travellers defending the indefensible?

CROWN said...

I used this quote in my video 'Gordon Brown's house price boom and bust'


don't let him get away with it

Elby the Beserk said...


You're a twat. Growth is not pre se good. Cancers, for example. Growth and progress are not the same thing, as well. And all this wonderful growth has brought us to economic collapse and social breakdown. We ain't seen NOTHING yet.

Might I suggest you get out more. You don't appear to be in the real world,

Jimmy said...


WT is accusing the PM of not failing to spot the housing bubble. Why this is supposed to be such a devastating charge is not clear to me. He does also, it is true, boast of continuous growth. Immodest perhaps I grant you, but at the time also true.