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Labour battles back - possibility of a hung parliament or Labour majority heightens! watch

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    (Original post by RooKnight)
    What is so slimy about Cameron? He's merely carrying on the Conservative policy of trying to get into power. I say give him a chance to prove what he claims about himself. A well educated caring conservative. Nothing wrong with that.
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    Yes Thatcher cut the national debt, but at a terrible social, and moral price.
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    tbh, they are all douchebags..bring in the lib dems, give them a chance, I daresay they will be good as they would want to be voted in again and remain popular..or....bloody oliver cromwell style revolution anyone?
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    (Original post by RooKnight)
    I'm going to have to disagree with that comment about the budget. This was a crisi really caused by the American housing market. However, I think he could have been a bit better placed to deal with it.

    well yes, you've said it yourself, we could have been a lot better placed to deal with it. We had a remarkable period of sustained growth in this country over the past 20 years, you would have thought he would have spent it wisely, or at least saved a bit right for the inevitable world downturn which a blind man could have seen coming? We should have been the country that was hit the least by the world situation, not the hardest: 6 consecutive periods of serious negative growth, 0.1% interest rates, debt at 75% of GDP? Hardly good fiscal management is it?

    The problem with chancellors in general is you can't really judge them until approximately 10 years later. Brown was really popular in the 2000s because of the bouyant economy, but really that was all down to Ken Clarke keeping a tight reign on things in the 90s, allowing Brown the leeway to spend like he did when things were on the up.

    Not that I'm saying he shouldn't have spent; I'm just saying he should have spent a little wiser, rather than pouring it down the drain of the one pointless gimmick after another, and maybe used some of the surplus to pay off the debt so that we could have had some leeway for stimulus packages should things all go pear shaped.
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    (Original post by Jacky_B)
    Slimy? no. Upper Class? yes. But remember for years all the PMs were etonians.
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    (Original post by FyreFight)
    I'm genuinely stunned that people can look at the state of the economy and the national debt, and still actually believe this. If everyone in the country acted with the reckless financial abandon that the government has displayed over the recent past, Britain would collapse.
    "Reckless financial abandon"? According to the ONS, National debt as a proportion of GDP went down from 53% in 1997 to 47% in 2008 before the financial crisis hit.

    In March 2009, we had one of the lowest national debts of any developed nation, see http://www.benbradshaw.co.uk/blog/?tag=uk-debt. If you don't like something sourced from the Guardian, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...by_public_debt to compare our debt with other countries based on IMF/OECD or CIA figures.

    The figures simply do not justify the sensationalist nonsense that is spreading at the moment.

    (Original post by RooKnight)
    What is so slimy about Cameron?
    He's seen as slimy because he has flip-flopped over policy. He was against the minimum wage, now for it. He voted to keep Section 28 in 2003 (!!!!!!!), wouldn't support civil partnerships and now supports them. He wrote a leaflet saying he was with the Lib Dems on the Iraq war, and then supported it. And I'll be damned if anyone knows what half his policies are. Just look at the marriage tax example. He's put marriage firmly on the political agenda, yet doesn't have a bloody clue how it could be implemented after the idea of a transferable tax allowance has been shown up as nonsense. He's promised cuts, yet won't tell us where they will come from, and seems to oppose any Labour attempts at cuts such as Ed Balls proposed £2bn cut in the education budget. People would be a lot more comfortable about Cameron if he got a bit of backbone and started spouting real policies rather than just tough rhetoric. There's no principle there whatsoever, just talk talk and more talk. Blair version 2.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    "Reckless financial abandon"? According to the ONS, National debt as a proportion of GDP went down from 53% in 1997 to 47% in 2008 before the financial crisis hit.

    In March 2009, we had one of the lowest national debts of any developed nation, see http://www.benbradshaw.co.uk/blog/?tag=uk-debt. If you don't like something sourced from the Guardian, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...by_public_debt to compare our debt with other countries based on IMF/OECD or CIA figures.

    The figures simply do not justify the sensationalist nonsense that seems to be have been gripping people like yourself for the last year or so.
    I've helpfully highlighted this bit to show you why your post is completely redundant.

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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    He's seen as slimy because... just talk talk and more talk. Blair version 2.
    But everyone seemed to like Blair, well his election wins suggested they did. So where is Cameron going wrong? He is obviously struggling to find something the people like, he seems out of touch but in my opinion he's more in touch than Brown is. Since Alistair Campbell came back into the picture the Labour opinion polls have risen. Is it just another election of Labour spin?
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    (Original post by Turdburger)
    Increasing the national debt from 43% to 72% of GDP. C.F. Thatcher 44% decreasing to 26%?

    Announcing he was going to sell large quantity gold at a certain date... can you get more economically stupid?

    Cash for Honours, some really terrible legislation such as religious hate crimes bill. Announcing the end of "Boom and Bust" in '97 before leading us into a recession. Being a terrible and weak leader of his party.

    There'll be much much more, but Ive got to be off to Sainsburys.
    Why do people keep using this national debt rubbish, WE NEEDED to bail out the banks, there needed to be a big fiscal stimulus thats why national debt has increased, and as countless people throughout this thread have shown is we have a lower percentage of nation debt to GDP than other countries. If the torys were in power pre recession to recession National debt would have increased quite alot too.

    Announcing the end of boom and bust was probably what handful of economic world thought, we'd seen stable everything (inflation, unemployment etc) for so long that many optimistic economists were proclaiming this hence i wouldnt say it was a ridiculous claim and also remember hes a politician hence is going to nearly always go for the more optimistic approach.

    Theres no denying though that since labour have been in power we have seen some of the best years the UK has ever seen.
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    (Original post by yoyo462001)

    Annocung the end of boom and bust was probably what most of the economic world thought, we'd seen stable everything (inflation, unemployment etc) for so long that many optimistic economists were proclaiming this.

    Theres no denying though that since labour have been in power we have seen some of the best year the UK has ever seen.
    Announcing the end of boom and bust was a huge mistake, many economists did see some kind of downturn coming, just not of such magnitude.

    Also, the Labour success was during the mid-Blair years. The Brown years have been very difficult for the Labour party, capped off by the internal silent coup from Hoon.

    I will not blame the whole situation we are in on Brown as it wasn't his fault, he was placed in this mess by his predecessor. However, is £200bn really necessary, as noted you mentioned that you are a pro-keynesian earlier on. Is £200bn of 'stimulus' really necessary, and the requirement to pay this off for many years to come. I personally think that we needn't have used so much money. The bank bailout was necessary but the constant spending, spending, spending is definately outrageous and has turned uncontrollable. The banks needed regulation and so does this government at the sound of things.
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    (Original post by RooKnight)
    Announcing the end of boom and bust was a huge mistake, many economists did see some kind of downturn coming, just not of such magnitude.

    Also, the Labour success was during the mid-Blair years. The Brown years have been very difficult for the Labour party, capped off by the internal silent coup from Hoon.

    I will not blame the whole situation we are in on Brown as it wasn't his fault, he was placed in this mess by his predecessor. However, is £200bn really necessary, as noted you mentioned that you are a pro-keynesian earlier on. Is £200bn of 'stimulus' really necessary, and the requirement to pay this off for many years to come. I personally think that we needn't have used so much money. The bank bailout was necessary but the constant spending, spending, spending is definately outrageous and has turned uncontrollable. The banks needed regulation and so does this government at the sound of things.
    This recession was probably one of the worst seen in the past 50 years however if you compare it to previous ones there are striking differences, unemployment didnt nose dive the overall moral of the economy wasnt any near as bad, inflation has been kept under control and because of this i think the chancellor and PM should be thanked, hopefully with next quarter reports wil show some growth however small. The state soften the blow of the recession so much that many probably didnt even feel, however this does come as a consequence of a larger deficit, but if the economy continues to grow for the next 5 year tax revenue and benefits will be down meaning we wont see those maddening high taxes that everyones so hysterical about.
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    (Original post by RooKnight)
    Announcing the end of boom and bust was a huge mistake, many economists did see some kind of downturn coming, just not of such magnitude.

    Also, the Labour success was during the mid-Blair years. The Brown years have been very difficult for the Labour party, capped off by the internal silent coup from Hoon.

    I will not blame the whole situation we are in on Brown as it wasn't his fault, he was placed in this mess by his predecessor. However, is £200bn really necessary, as noted you mentioned that you are a pro-keynesian earlier on. Is £200bn of 'stimulus' really necessary, and the requirement to pay this off for many years to come. I personally think that we needn't have used so much money. The bank bailout was necessary but the constant spending, spending, spending is definitely outrageous and has turned uncontrollable. The banks needed regulation and so does this government at the sound of things.
    Precisely. But unfortunately, his predecessor in running the economy was... Gordon Brown. Not much of an excuse is it?
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    I notice today that Cameron came out and sain this on 'The Politics Show' this morning.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    (Original post by http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8489966.stm)

    A Conservative government would not make "swingeing cuts" to public spending during its first year, party leader David Cameron has said.

    But he told the BBC it was right to "make a start" on cutting the deficit, to avoid leaving the UK with the same "scale of problems" as Greece.

    But Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned it was important not to "pull the rug" from the economy.

    The budget deficit for this year is forecast to grow to £178bn.

    Figures released last week show that the UK economy came out of recession in the final quarter of 2009, but with a weaker than expected growth of 0.1%.

    'We are serious'

    The scale of government debt is becoming one of the key issues in the lead-up to the general election.

    Labour says cutting spending now will damage the recovery, while the Tories argue that too much debt could imperil it.

    The Lib Dems say they are proposing £10bn more spending cuts than the government and Treasury spokesman Vince Cable has warned that "the consequences of failure to bring the deficit under control are serious".

    Outlining his party's plans, Mr Cameron told BBC One's Politics Show: "We're not talking about swingeing cuts. We're talking about making a start in reducing our deficit."


    we are not about to jeopardise Britain's economic future by suddenly pulling the rug from under the recovery
    Gordon Brown

    He added: "You've got to make a start. Look, if we have an election in May, your year is already under way.

    "You've got to make a start, we believe, in proving we're serious about getting this deficit down.

    "And those who say you're taking money out of the economy, I would say, if you don't do this, even more money could be taken out of the economy in two ways.

    "One, because interest rates could go up as they have done in Greece. Secondly, money gets taken out of the economy because there isn't the confidence there and it's confidence we need so badly.

    "People want to see a government that is taking decisions on a five-year horizon rather with this government taking things on a five-week or, some say, even five-minute horizon."

    'Albatross of debt'

    Mr Cameron did not give a projected figure for cuts to public spending, but promised to work with the Bank of England to "make sure we keep low those interest rates".

    He added: "What year one [of a government] has to have is a start to cutting the public spending programmes.

    "But it should be done in conjunction with the monetary policy authorities because we want to make sure that those interest rates remain low."

    Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, shadow chancellor George Osborne said "early action" was needed on the deficit to avoid a "Greek-style budget crisis".

    He insisted that it would be a "mistake" to wait until next year to begin tackling the "albatross of debt", as the government was planning to do.

    'Invest willingly'

    However, Mr Brown used his weekly podcast on the Downing Street website to warn that the economy still needed support and that cutting too soon risked tipping it back into recession.

    He said: "Return to strong, sustainable global growth is still some way off. So I can reassure you that we are not about to jeopardise Britain's economic future by suddenly pulling the rug from under the recovery.

    "We will continue with the measures we have put in place that are supporting families and businesses and we will continue to invest willingly and whole-heartedly in this country's future - and I will make no excuse for that.

    "Only with this radical approach and a plan for prosperity for all can we deliver renewed growth, jobs and opportunities for all."

    Speaking on The Politics Show, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "It is talking Britain down when David Cameron compares Britain ludicrously in everyone's eyes to Greece, and when George Osborne describes Britain as an exhausted runner at the back of a long marathon race unable to summon the strength to build our economy.

    "That is disgraceful. It is irresponsible. It's also unpatriotic."


    He needs to do something I guess.

    (Original post by py0alb)
    Precisely. But unfortunately, his predecessor in running the economy was... Gordon Brown. Not much of an excuse is it?
    I actually think that Blair saw the recession, or something of a similar force coming and jumped ship. "Unlucky Gordon" he shouts as he disappears off to his first £10,000 after dinner speech.
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    (Original post by FyreFight)
    I've helpfully highlighted this bit to show you why your post is completely redundant.

    The graph is scaled to concentrate on a particular range. I don't think a increase from 45% to 60% during a major world financial crisis is evidence of "reckless financial abandon", particularly when the figure is below a range that of a range of other countries.

    You will also note that the graph you posted shows that the pre-recession national debt was lower than the debt under the Tories, who had a full 4years after the 92/93 recession to recover.

    (Original post by RooKnight)
    But everyone seemed to like Blair, well his election wins suggested they did. So where is Cameron going wrong? He is obviously struggling to find something the people like, he seems out of touch but in my opinion he's more in touch than Brown is. Since Alistair Campbell came back into the picture the Labour opinion polls have risen. Is it just another election of Labour spin?
    People got taken for a ride with Blair: he made all the right noises, but spent most of his first term trying to work out what the hell he should do with power. I think people have become more cynical about politicians so they are more careful with Cameron than they were with Blair, but Cameron still gets a lot less scrutiny than the government does.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    The graph is scaled to concentrate on a particular range. I don't think a increase from 45% to 60% during a major world financial crisis is evidence of "reckless financial abandon", particularly when the figure is below a range that of a range of other countries.
    35% (not 45%) to 60% by April 2009. When the figures are fully reassessed this April, it's safe to say that figure will be far, far higher. It is predicted that by 2013, even if Labour scale back spending, we will be paying £60bn per year simply servicing the national debt. This is an appalling figure.

    You will also note that the graph you posted shows that the pre-recession national debt was lower than the debt under the Tories, who had a full 4years after the 92/93 recession to recover.
    Yet again you hark back to almost half a decade ago, presumably because the current state of the nation under Labour leadership is so unobjectionably horrendous. The fact remains that under Tory management, the debt never reached the nausea-inducing heights that the current government have brought it to, and continue to do so even as we speak.
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    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    This recession was probably one of the worst seen in the past 50 years however if you compare it to previous ones there are striking differences, unemployment didnt nose dive the overall moral of the economy wasnt any near as bad, inflation has been kept under control and because of this i think the chancellor and PM should be thanked, hopefully with next quarter reports wil show some growth however small. The state soften the blow of the recession so much that many probably didnt even feel, however this does come as a consequence of a larger deficit, but if the economy continues to grow for the next 5 year tax revenue and benefits will be down meaning we wont see those maddening high taxes that everyones so hysterical about.
    Straight from the Office of National Statistics:

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    (Original post by FyreFight)
    Straight from the Office of National Statistics:

    comparable to previous recessions where we saw above 10%, 15% and even 20% unemployment i would say peaking at 8% is no where near a disastrous as some make it out to be.
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    (Original post by FyreFight)
    Straight from the Office of National Statistics:

    Relative to other recessions that's hardly a huge percentage fall/rise.
    Also, the speed that unemployment has fallen is very good: that's what Labour are committed to - stopping unemployment, helping youth employment, and getting things done. There was an excellent documentary section on BBC the other night, as part of the News - they visited a job centre early in 2009 and there were so many people registered unemployed. Since then, at the start of 2010 nearly all of them are employed, with one guy even setting up an employment help centre himself! The point stands that Labour has acted, they have aided the growth of the economy, and are dedicated to helping the people. Maybe the statistics aren't always firm, but I'd rather have a government that cares about the people rather than another Thatcherite administration which cares more about number-crunching than the people's welfare.

    Vote Red, vote Yellow, but please don't vote Blue.
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    (Original post by FyreFight)
    35% (not 45%) to 60% by April 2009. When the figures are fully reassessed this April, it's safe to say that figure will be far, far higher. It is predicted that by 2013, even if Labour scale back spending, we will be paying £60bn per year simply servicing the national debt. This is an appalling figure.
    The graph doesn't end in April 2009. April 2009 is the second spoke in from the right. The figures go up the end of December 2009. From the text, "Public sector net debt, expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), was 61.7 per cent at the end of December 2009".

    Yet again you hark back to almost half a decade ago, presumably because the current state of the nation under Labour leadership is so unobjectionably horrendous. The fact remains that under Tory management, the debt never reached the nausea-inducing heights that the current government have brought it to, and continue to do so even as we speak.
    I'm not harking on about the past - I'm giving the basic facts as to how the national debt has evolved under Labour.

    Debt is a problem, but I think some perspective is needed. Debt has risen, but there was a global recession that the government could not have prevented. That is what happens in a recession: tax revenues fall, and spending rises by default. Not to mention the fact that Halifax, HBOS, Lloyds, Bradford & Bingley and others would have collapsed without massive government support. At the end of the day, the U.K.'s debt figure is far healthier than that of many other countries, see last post.

    Since we are in the business of making comparisons with the Tories, I'd be interested to hear what you think the Tories would have done differently. John Major left a debt, 4years after the last recession, that was pretty much identical to what we entered this recession with, so you can't assume we would have started the recession any differently under the Tories. Are you trying to say that the Tories wouldn't have bailed out the banks? Are you advocating the kind of mid-recession fiscal tightening that led to 11.9% and 10.7% unemployment in the last two recessions?

    (Original post by FyreFight)
    Straight from the Office of National Statistics:
    Unemployment in this recession has already begun to fall and peaked at 7.9%.

    In the last two recessions, it reached 11.9% and 10.7% respectively and it took a lot longer for employment figures to react to growth. Its a pretty favourable comparison, I think. Source is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...United_Kingdom.
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    Vote Labour if you want 1984.

    Arthur.
 
 
 
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