British economy

Darling's Dilemma

Speak up or shut up?

Point out, speak out Point out, speak out
Our Chancellor, Alistair Darling, see right, has got himself into a spot of bother and all because of what he said in the Guardian, see HERE. Normally very generous to Nulabour heavies, the paper was rewarded with a quote or two which may in time, so we are told, come back to haunt him. But why? Was what Darling said a remark too far or is it the endorsement of what the man-in-the-street, 'our man', had known for ages? Namely that the UK economy is not in rude health now and it could get worse. If it is the latter then what we are not told, is why Darling lags behind 'our man' in terms of perception and speaking out; is Darling afraid and if so of what? If it is the former, a remark too far and so the classic gaffe, then 'our man' will wonder if Darling's honesty will cost him his job. After all 'our man' is worried about keeping his job, so why not have doubts about Darling keeping his job too? The chances are that those remarks are not one man's moment of madness and will not be forgotten. So how do other countries and their politicians square this circle, speak out or keep quiet?

Spend, spend, spend and save the environment

Never Neverland


Prisoners deprived of sleep may give in and say what their tormentors want to hear. Bali has a similar resonance; sleep deprived delegates burst into tears and agree to anything to get a result. Thus, we have the extremely large carbon footprint that was the Bali summit and the decision to have more talks. One of the louder voices regarding carbon dioxide emissions has been that of Gordon Brown yet it is interesting that carbon emissions under New Labour have actually risen by 2%. Statistics in the modern world are a little like Humpty Dumpty's words, namely that they are what someone chooses them to mean. Wheat and corn prices are rocketing because the West has targets for increased use of biofuels so that more green boxes can be ticked. 12% of global arable croplands are estimated to be taken for biofuels within 12 years according to Credit Suisse, yet we are 'making poverty history'. New Labour claims the moral highpoint for reducing carbon levels yet pushes for the third runway at Heathrow, hasn't a clue as to population projections and has allowed the amount of home food production to decline dramatically.

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