Manufacturing output stagnated once again in October, confounding economists’ expectations. Total GDP fell by 0.3 per cent between July and September, worse than in any other G20 country. Darling forecast in March that the economy would shrink by 3.5 per cent, but the total is closer to 4.75 per cent.
That figure of 4.75 per cent, now confirmed in Chancellor Darling’s Pre-Budget Report is significant: it is the worst decline in GDP since 1921 – yes, worse than in any year since the Great Depression. “No return to the 30s”? It’s even worse.
Wages are static, and the government is freezing public sector pay, encouraging the private sector (except bankers) to follow suit.
We’ve given the banks £850 billion so far, and now they threaten to leave unless we let them pay themselves the huge bonuses to which they have become accustomed. They want to carry on running banks as casinos. They refuse to do what they are supposed to do – help people invest in businesses. The government admits that investment will fall yet again this year. It also says that it will do less to stimulate recovery. How can we recover, with investment falling?
Will a future government imitate Brown’s 1997 coup of privatising the Bank of England, without ever mentioning it, and abolish the pound after the election?