I’ve been perusing Gordon Brown's record in office, since his current electioneering campaign largely glosses over it.
Like I said before this election campaign is and will be all about personality not policy because there is no difference in policy now…consensus politics is the order of the day.
But I digress….
So back to Mr. Brown’s record in office;
I am not just talking about Britain being "best placed to face this recession" and then being last to emerge from it.
If indeed we have?.
Nor am I talking about "A Labour government pledges not to increase tax rates," before it raised income tax, firstly be removing the cap on National Insurance (and increasing it ever since) and then by increasing the top rate of income tax from 40 to 50 percent. I could go on about the plethora of stealth taxes but I don’t want to feel too depressed today.
I am not talking about the government that "abolished boom and bust" before presiding over the biggest bust in our economic history.
Nor do I refer to the self-imposed and self-regulated rules about "only borrowing to invest" before borrowing even more money to spend than previous governments have ever borrowed or spent in our history.
We can gloss over the pledge to "balance the budget over the course of a cycle" but its worth mentioning that; First he redefined the cycle to fudge the discrepancy, and then abandoned it altogether, blaming foreigners. “It’s a global problem…. harrum ….started in America” I remember hearing…...more than once!
Promising financial "prudence" for Britain, he then sold our gold reserves at the trough of the market, less than a quarter of its current market price today.
Cash for gold anyone…?
He promised to keep his predecessor's budget targets, but stole our comfort in retirement by raiding our pension funds to the tune of over £5bn a year.
And it’s still happening!
Not content with that he decided to raid our ISA and PEP investments by taxing the income from them every year as well.
£5 Billions a year is just not quite enough is it?
He pocketed a windfall £23bn in 3G (mobile phone) licence fees, using the proceeds to fund his spending.
Where’d that chump change go?
We’ve all I’m sure at some point not been able to find that £20 note we swore we had in our pockets but it takes some doing to work out where £23 Billions has gone.
Does it not?
Alas! Mr. Brown likes spending our money.
For it creates an army of dependent public sector workers and creates a class of welfare dependent beneficiaries that makes ever more swathes of the population more and more dependent on his largesse (turkeys don’t vote for Christmas now, do they?).
But spending takes money, and that means ever higher taxation and ever more borrowing. It means the wealth generating private sector shouders the ever increasing burden of crippling taxation and regulation.
But its not an infinite pot of gold....as many
Jeff Randall has a very good article in which he relates an early conversation with the (then) Chancellor Gordon Brown.
He told me; "Interest payments on the national debt are £25 billion a year. We're spending more on national debt repayment than on schools or law and order, and that is a situation I don't want as a hallmark of a Labour government... The public borrowing requirement was £23 billion last year. We plan to get it down very substantially."
Randall points out that the current deficit is £180bn, (and that’s if you view it through fiscal beer goggles) so with interest payments likely to exceed £40bn this year (that's being generous) this debt we have to service will absorb the entire proceeds from capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duty, tobacco duties, wine and spirits duties, beer and cider duties, betting and gaming duties, air passenger duty, the aggregates levy and Customs and Excise levies.
It means this government will spend more on paying the interest on the debt it created than it will spend on defence!
But Mr. Brown now tells us that it's all about character, and that he has it, being a sorta plain, straightforward kinda guy. Unfortunately for him, that is on the record, too. He has been exposed as a ranting angry workplace “bully” with no regard for the truth.
What on earth did we do to deserve him?