Bitter Remainers wrong to blame economic crisis on Brexit, says Mark Dolan
The UK economy is utterly broken, as a result of an arrogant, misguided and diabolical overreaction to a flu-type virus.
As the flame haired pop superstar Mick Hucknall famously once sang, money's too tight to mention. And in terms of the economy, the British bank balance is now Simply Red.
We are broke, skint, brassic, on our uppers. The cupboard is bare, we haven't got a pot to piss in. The national debt is now over 100% the size of the economy and we will be running a huge budget deficit for many years to come, in which more goes out than comes in. And the cost of interest payments on our debt, before we pay back a penny is now north of £80 billion a year - that’s more than the defence budget.
Inflation is running at over 10%, which is bad news for everyone, because it simply reduces the value of money and with the main lever to control it being raised interest rates, it means the cost of our mortgages, loans and credit cards goes up as well.
Hilariously, bitter Remainers will have you believe this is all down to our decision to leave the European Union, which doesn’t explain raging inflation and recession on the Continent. I’m not sure Germany had Brexit too did they?
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not about Brexit or even the Ukraine war which has, I’ll grant you, spiked energy prices.
The UK economy is utterly broken, as a result of an arrogant, misguided and diabolical overreaction to a flu-type virus. The predominant theme of the next ten years will be managed economic pain thanks to our insane adoption of Chinese style lockdowns over the last two and a half years, which half-witted idiots calling themselves economic experts from this university and that, told me was cost neutral.
The Experts, eh?
Next time I'll listen to unqualified idiots. They’ll probably make more sense and we’d be in a better position.
In the end, how did we not think that shutting down the economy for over two years, closing once viable businesses and paying healthy people to stay at home, wasn't going to end badly?
But you know me, I'm a positive person and my glass is always half full. We are in for a rough ride in the next few years, but we'll get through this, as we've been through so much worse as a nation, particularly two devastating world wars in the last century. But also, because it gives this country an opportunity to reboot and to start again. Particular in relation to public spending and the size of the state.
The truth is that for decades we have lived beyond our means. Government after government has resisted balancing the books and achieving a level of public expenditure, that actually equates with our income, like you and I have to do at home and businesses have to do in the office.
For decades we've been living on the never-never. Well never again.
For too long, we’ve been living high on the hog, with the printing of empty billions, and the illusion of growth from cheap borrowing, but the game is up and the party is over.
Austerity isn’t even a choice now - living beyond our means is now being forced upon us and that's possibly no bad thing.
The government are looking at every tax rise you can think of and every cost-cutting measure to boot. HS2, the Hinkley point nuclear power plant, the arts budget, the police budget the schools budget you name it, it's all for the chopping board.
It didn’t have to be this way, but we thought we could stop a virus. Sorry!
The international bond markets, upon whose largesse we relied for too long, have gun to our head. Even a future Labour government in the pockets of the unions will not be able to spend with abandon as now it's international financiers who run this country, not the government.
Only with sustained economic growth are we back in charge. So it's not ideal, it is self-inflicted but it's where we are.
Which is why Rishi Sunak must get real and be honest with the British public. That the way this country has spent money over the years has been unsustainable and now, with the cupboard bare, profligacy and raised expectations about just how much the state can do in our lives, must be drastically reduced.
Welfare, created in the early 20th century to protect those unexpectedly unable to work, has become a lifestyle choice.
Don't take my word for it, why are there currently over a million job vacancies in this country. The NHS used to be there to help you if you suffered an unexpected illness or if you were unlucky enough to go under a bus. The NHS was there to put you back together again, like Humpty Dumpty. But the NHS has expanded its remit and is now the national sickness service, with countless billions going into the management of entirely preventable conditions like obesity and type two diabetes, which are almost exclusively lifestyle-related.
Why is this a problem? Because the current cost of the NHS is £13,000 per household. And they want more money? Do me a favour.
I’m not saying this is good, because I believe in the principle of the NHS, but could give households half of that thirteen grand and they could easily cover themselves with private medical insurance. That's how inflated the state provision of so-called public health has become.
So in the end, the push for growth and a smaller state, is no longer ideological, it's existential. We need to grow our economy and spend less cash. The days of the state wiping your arse are no more. Because the state is ON its arse.
For years we've been living in a fool’s paradise and the current economic shock has transported us back to reality. With a bump.
This is an unprecedented economic crisis, but it's an opportunity too. It's time for Britain to wake up and smell the coffee. We must aim over time for a low tax, small state, big economy and a handsome national income. That's how you look after everyone in our society, especially the poorest.
It helps no one to tax and spend your way to oblivion. Or to borrow to the high heavens. No one is too big to go down, and we don’t want to be another Greece. I don’t think that’s overstating it, such is the gravity of the situation.
So our new Prime Minister, who I’m certain is up to the job, needs to make some tough decisions, and the economy needs some tough love. And if you don’t like the sound of that, tough luck.