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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In praise of Patrick O'Flynn

This wide-ranging article by the Daily Express' chief political commentator covers many aspects of the broad crisis that led me to start blogging. My interest is not money per se, but about the fate of our country, and here Patrick O'Flynn unrolls a map of our problems, including:
  • The rise of the East
  • The growing power of foreign authoritarian regimes
  • The purchase of British enterprises by foreign sovereign wealth funds, and the consequent export of our future dividend income
  • Increasing foreign-held UK public debt (again, more income exported)
  • Our vulnerability to energy repricing, and inadequate energy security
  • Inflation in food and fuel
  • Our unbalanced national budget, what with the cost of unemployment, and rising costs in other social benefits such as the NHS
  • Inefficiency in the public sector
  • The UK's squandering of its North Sea oil opportunity (cf. Norway's £300 billion investment fund)
  • British economic decline, and our deterioriating manufacturing base
He concludes: "...the decade ahead will be full of challenges. Britain will have to aggressively earn its living in the world once more and those with nothing to offer will be offered nothing in return."

Spot on. But it's still tucked away on page 12 in yesterday's paper edition, well after Madeleine McCann and Amy Winehouse. This stuff should be hitting the front page all the time, because long after we've forgotten the celeb victims of today, we'll be counting the cost of our government's political and economic negligence and incompetence.


Unknown said...

This is because we don't want to hear it, and anyone who dares to say it is considered guilty of precipitating a crisis. This is the, "If you stay quiet, and don't look then the bogey man can't get you" approach to life.

Until recently I've always assumed that the blinkers will fall from our eyes once decline becomes apparent, but now I know that decline at a slow enough pace is invisible. A nation which has nothing to learn from the past, and no interest in the past, can never be aware of any decline of society.

Things can and are going to get worse, but as long as our society can avoid a catastrophic collapse no one will be the least bit bothered about the predictions of boring old farts such as myself who take a longer term view.

Sackerson said...

Not at all a bof, JE; but I fear you are right. Sauve qui peut.