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Friday, 28 November 2014

Failure and Flannel

David Cameron has given his long-awaited, much leaked speech on EU immigration to the UK.
He admitted that he was impotent to change the situation within the present EU rules; and the tacit side admission was that he has little chance of achieving any significant change. He has refused to say whether he will advocate a 'No' vote in the event of a referendum on EU membership that offers no substantial change. He has evaded saying what would be the basis for any negotiation of Britain's possible future status within the Union. The pusillanimity of his approach, and the flannelly words in which he tries to clothe his obfuscation, make him look even more painfully inadequate.

Occasional displays of a flaring temper - whether genuine or simulated - do not mark Cameron out as a statesman. Indeed, keeping cool and clinical is the mark of a successful politician who is maturing into a statesman: such as Disraeli, Baldwin and Macmillan.

More importantly, Cameron claims success for the Tories' management of the economy since 2010. He and Gideon are constantly asserting that the British economy is growing more quickly than any other mature post-industrial economy. One set of data, cash turnover of the economy as guessed by the official statisticians, is logged as the GNP - Gross National Product - and the latest three-month results have recently been published. The recorded consumption per head of the population is increasing; on average, with most descendants of the former working class receiving less than average pay. An increasing amount of individuals' spending is on imports [up 1.4% over the quarter] while exports declined over the three-month period by 0.4%. Investment is weak [around half of one per cent]. The claims of economic success are flannel: as are pretences that the government has come even one metaphorical inch to meeting its promise eradicate the budgetary deficit by May next year.

There is a good chance that the universal failure of the coalition to meet either the participants' 2010 election promises or the terms of the Coalition Agreement will help to ensure mass abstention in the general election, mitigated by a rising cohort of UKIP voters. Chaos beckons!

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