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Neat Tricks Gordo

Created on 10/1/2008

Have you noticed in all the financial mayhem that one guy is walking the walk and talking the talk, has a jaunty air, a smile on his face and a glint in his eye? I talk of the UK’s esteemed leader, step forward the Right Honorable Gordon Brown.

Our man at Number 10 Downing Street has rediscovered himself during the present crisis. This is turning into, he hopes, his Falklands War. If he can steer us through the financial and economic super storm raging all around us he will go down in history as one of the great leaders of our history. You can see him sniffing the air, scenting the battle and relishing the challenge. The man clearly believes that history has ordained it is his destiny to be here now, at this precise moment.

He is clearly picking fights that he can win, for example with the economic basket case, which goes under the name of the country of Iceland. That cursed place has imploded and is in real difficulty. All three of their main banking institutions have either gone belly up or been nationalized totally. The results are now becoming obvious to British individuals, businesses and local government areas. We stand to lose billions of pounds because the Icelandic government has frozen the pay back of any of their deposits whilst maintaining a guarantee for their own people. In anger driven revenge Gordon, now attired in his Batman suit, used the terrorism laws to freeze all Icelandic assets in the UK. He has threatened the Prime Minister of Iceland that if the British assets are not repaid then he will repay these to the British people affected using the Icelandic assets he has seized to do so.

Like the Icelandic Prime Minister I have to question the use of the anti terrorism laws to seize another country’s non-associated assets in the UK.

Brown claims that Iceland acted illegally by not honoring their bank guarantees, so how can Britain justify breaking international law by way of retribution?

These are very murky issues as is much that is happening across the world. For example, how is the British bank bail out actually going to work?

It looks like the government, on the behalf of all the citizens of the UK is supporting these banks, one way or another up to a figure of £500,000,000,000, 000 (Five hundred billion pounds or about $.85 trillion) of our money. That is one third, approximately, of our annual gross domestic product. That is a lot of money!

The neat trick is that Gordo has also announced that there will not be any reduction of public spending, and has hinted that there will also not be any tax increases. The latter supposition I am prone to believe as there will be an election some time next year and the costs of all this palaver will start to become clear after the next regime is in power. One thing is for sure; we shall all be paying for this long into our future.

Even more perverse is the fact that this money, which we, the great British public are lending to the banks, without any choice on our part, is in turn going to be lent back to us, as individuals and businesses. We will, no doubt, be charged the going rate of interest.

So, if we are lucky enough to be considered credit worthy after our money has been forcibly removed from our wallets we will be able to borrow this same money back. Is this where we are surprised as the man jumps out from behind the wall and says, “Smile you’re on candid camera!”?

No wonder Gordon Brown predicts that the country won’t lose by this transaction. It isn’t his money, or the country’s money at risk; it is my money, and your money. It will be the citizens of the country who will be losing.

Of course this is made even more tragic and unbearable in that Mr. Brown is right to do what he’s doing, and the rest of the world could do a great deal worse than emulate his actions which are likely to prove far more effective than the American and others global efforts so far. But there is a sad and underlying truth to be told; despite everyone’s efforts the market is continuing to panic, and while that holds true all bets are off and it will all continue to unravel in an increasingly fast paced crash.

Personally I think we all need a time out, perhaps one week with all the markets closed down so that everyone can catch their collective breath during which the great economic powers can construct an agreed series of actions to bring these potentially terrible economic events to an end before the human costs become unbearable.

Gordon, in the meantime forgive me for doubting that you are a magician, I thought I caught you smiling and laughing yesterday, you looked almost boyish. I’m beginning to believe you should have a new name, from here on let’s call you the master of mayhem. I’ll write anything if you can help lead the world back from the brink, you big adorable Scotsman. Here, do you want another £5; I think I still have a fiver left over.

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