I got disillusioned with the UK Coalition Government pretty quickly after it was elected. My vain hopes that the Liberal Democrats could actually hold some sway over the Conservatives vanished long ago, which is why I can Reckon with a high level of confidence that the calamitous budget and economic forecasts presented this week are all George Osborne’s responsibility; not the Lib Dems, not Gordon Brown, not the world economy. Gideon has apparently been in charge of the UK economy for nearly 3 years.
I Reckon he must be desperate to stay in his post, despite the brickbats and criticism from virtually every corner after this week’s lacklustre budget, because for one thing he’s never worked outside of the Conservative Party in his entire adult life, and for another thing, by all sane measures and criteria, he should never be able to get a real job in the private sector he so brazenly idolises.
Here are a few reasons why not…
Osborne seems to want doctors, teachers and all public servants be judged on their measurable results. A coruscating article by Mehdi Hasan lays George’s results out in the open. It also wins points for the best title I’ve seen in a while. Along with the rest of the neo-Con Right Wing, Osborne often likens running the economy to the same principles of running a household or a company. But it’s not just George’s results that would see him sidelined out of any halfway decent company.
Inability to forecast
Companies and markets like certainty, they like to hit targets. A key trait of many successful businesses is the ability to manage expectations. Osborne has patently failed to even get close to his forecasts.
I’m prepared to give him one year’s grace, that the world economy was even worse than expected after the Government took charge, but the ongoing performance is so weak, and so far away from his previous forecasts that in most plcs the shareholders would have taken action long ago. But in the marvellous UK system of democracy, that ability to take action seems more limited to us mere voters. Osborne is as hard to remove as the mythical ‘coasting’ teachers, school governors and other public servants he and his colleagues decry at every opportunity.
No Plan B
The US comedian Stephen Colbert assaulted George W Bush’s Presidency at the White House Press Corps Dinner in 2006 with a series of astonishingly barbed and brilliant gags, none more so than this one…
The greatest thing about this man is he’s steady…You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday.
George Osborne has convinced himself that his way is the only way, in the face of so much evidence from around the world. Any company showing the results he’s delivered would be crying out for a new approach, anything to get things moving again. But there’s nothing. The paucity of thinking, of anything that even resembles creativity, is disheartening to the point of being downright upsetting. The British economy deserves better.
Not Learning from Mistakes
One of the very few “positive” actions in the Budget this week was an announcement to try to stimulate growth through the housing market. Having failed to deliver the export-led economy he previously promised, Osborne is throwing money at house buyers. But this is the same man who last year declared
This country borrowed its way into trouble. Now we’re going to earn our way out…
Has he forgotten that the current recessions were largely caused by banks lending too much money to people who couldn’t afford to keep up the payments for over-priced properties. And yet here he is promising money to subsidise banks to lend money where they wouldn’t otherwise. In short, people who can’t afford houses will be lent additional money to be able to afford them. So now it seems even the Government is getting into sub-prime lending, but at least 7 years after it stopped being a good idea. The economicshelp blog lays out with brilliant simplicity and simple brilliance why this is a bad idea. Houses are still too expensive.
Good luck keeping this job, George. You don’t deserve it, and we don’t deserve you.