Fantasy politics, trouble at home and away

Desperate times call for better than this

The UK, land of fantasyThe UK, land of fantasy
Fantasy politics, it's a very popular thing right now. Both at the EU and domestic level and therein lies the problem, it does have a downside. In the end the fantasy turns to comedy and then to misery. Take the fantasy of the coalition harping on about growth. What does this mean? It's not just the cynical who might say all this will lead to more wind farms and yet more immigration. What can grow? Industrial output is hemmed in by the environmental obsession. Pro-Green means anti-industry if the promoters of the greening are ideologues rather than realists. And they are.

So the de-industrialisation of the UK has to be accepted as a fact. When did it start; who to blame? However, this won't be a fruitful line of inquiry for anyone, least of all any of the post-WW2 governments. For they all, to a greater and lesser degree, made the right noises but all just watched as industry slid down the slippery slope. Not to worry! We have other things to do, alas the other things, what we now call financial services, did not turn out to be a problem free area either. So what happens now?

Well we are at the stage of something must be done, which is always dangerous for the temptation will be to grab at straws. It's no good talking about apprenticeships, that route will take far too long to show results. So the coalition is pretending that a building boom is just the thing, 'growth' via a property bubble. Have you ever heard anything so mad? Ireland will serve as an example of what goes wrong.

Also the stage we are at now has not, for some, come as a surprise. Sensing that there could be trouble ahead some people have got stuck in and become pro-active. The Spectator can usually be relied upon to be objective in a right wing way; prior to the general election its editor Fraser Nelson did a great deal to expose Gordon Brown for the fantasist he was. As expected there was a fair amount of talking up David Cameron and leading this troupe for the Spectator was James Forsyth. On 3 Sept this year he wrote -

There'll be no u-turn on planning

The point of this article was to talk up the high risk policy of altering planning law in the UK, an aim the whole coalition has signed up to. Generally the Lib Dems appear neutral on this and it's some Tories who are ecstatic, but only some. Others can see this policy for what it is, but not Forsyth. In his article he seizes upon a remark by former Spectator editor Charles Moore -

"As Charles says, planning isn’t a conservative concept it is a socialist one. It is not planning that produces—or preserves—beauty".

Both Forsyth and Moore should be made to stand in the corner for a while, that's such a stupid thing to say. You might give such a remark some consideration if Cameron was well on his way to a period of smaller government but he's not. In fact the reverse is true, across the broad spectrum of government, from the EU to the local level it would seem all Cameron can do is offer a small but potentially catastrophic sub-prime style measure! Cameron talks about repatriating powers from the EU but that's all, just talks. The reality is very different. Then on 21 Nov Fosryth writes -

There's merit in the Coalition's housing proposals

Actually there's no such thing, it's another fantasy to say this. But to be fair to Forsyth even he sees the problems saying -

The government's announcement on housing today is an attempt to square the circle. On the one hand, a return to excessive lending and sub-prime mortgages is clearly not a good thing. Critics say, with justification, look where government backed mortgages got America.

Yes it's true that the proposals do not take us back to the era of Council Housing. But the very fact these ideas are being floated plus the over-enthusiastic support, even with the caveats of Forsyth, give the game away. Here is a government, and its supporters flailing around. and short of ideas.

But then support is required for George Osborne who as Chancellor of the Exchequer was forced to admit to the deficit being £127 billion and rising. These are the sort of numbers you would not have expected from even the most awful of Chancellors, someone like Gordon Brown. But then this reflects not only the rate of increase in the nation's money problem but the inability of the new coalition to deal with it. So fantasy politics it is. We all pretend we can carry on as we are and all will be well. No it won't. If the coalition did wish to see growth then the first thing to do would be to dump the anti-industry aspect of the green agenda.

But back to the new planning laws. The right wing blog Critical Reaction has this to say and it shows how bad things are now. If the new planning regime gets going expect things to get far worse.