Politics has for a long time relied on the occurrence of unforeseen events to let blagging politicians get themselves off the hook for problems they created that would otherwise be exposed and visible for the whole world to see.
When Covid arrived on the political scene, the scramble to cover up and utilise the dubious promise of an umbrella to hide all previous sins appears to have been too good and opportunity for our political classes to miss. In fact, so much so, the chronology of events makes me wonder if Boris rubbed his hands together at the first emergency Cabinet Meeting and declared ‘ladies and gentlemen; go ahead, go and do your absolute worst’.
Ok. So, the reality might not have been quite like that. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here and say the response might not have been conscious or openly calculated at all.
The reason I say this, is because of how important it is to understand just how politics works in the minds of those who supposedly lead us. Especially when there is an entire Parliament full of MPs who should never have been elected and are incapable of really leading anyone. So, at the first sign of a crisis, they are inclined to reach out for any dead horse and flog it in the hope that it will work.
No, I realise that some of you reading this blog are convinced that there is a much more sinister plan at work that underpins everything during the Covid Pandemic that the Johnson Government has done. But we really do have a Government constructed of politicians who are so stupid, unread and inexperienced, that they will willingly embrace any philosophy or set of ideas that any overconfident SPAD or advisor confidently convinces them will work – that is, if they hadn’t found the same textbook first.
Oddly enough, the point I’m going to focus on here is not about the misuse of statistics and behavioural science to manipulate and coerce people to doing whatever or politicians so ruthlessly want. Enough has and will be said about that elsewhere.
No, the area of policy that I want to think about more clearly, is the financial remedies that our Chancellor Rishi Sunak invented. The printing of non-existent money to back the whole lockdown policy up. And the disastrous time bomb waiting to go off that has been building in size for decades but was turbocharged the moment that the Chancellor and the Johnson Government began its massive cash giveaway.
Contrary to the thoughts of many, the events of the past 18 months really are not isolated, other than there being the all-covering veil of a Viral Pandemic underway. The focus that Covid has been given created a cloud of fear and misdirection that has allowed an inept and irresponsible Government to hide or avoid many other troubling public policy issues as if they have simply been removed from the frame.
But money, the way it is created, legislated, revered and actually worshipped – like it is a god, isn’t just a problem making the rich even richer, whilst making life increasingly hard for the middle classes and poor. It is also the elixir of extended political life and longevity of power for gutless politicians with little or no wherewithal who believe there are no problems that cannot be solved if you just produce the public cheque book and don’t give a shit about the real cost.
In the decades up to the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, the recycling of this particular idea and the philosophy that underpins government economic thinking has been quite incredible. Based on flawed neoliberal thinking and the post 1971 FIAT money regime – where FIAT literally means ‘let it be done’, the bizarre approach to money and governance that ‘it will be this way because we say so’ has grown and grown in popularity with the political classes and has appeared to work effectively for 50 years. Incredibly, it even failing to be derailed when private banks that had been let loose from legislation as part of the same ‘free market’ thinking were bailed out with public money following the 2008 Financial Crisis – simply because politicians are so invested in the idea that the system cannot fail and therefore must be ‘helped’ to work.
To anyone who takes these things completely at face value – as the political classes have done – and says to themselves ‘it worked for 50 years, so it cannot possibly go wrong’, there clearly was no limit to what solutions could be conjured up in a crisis and sold publicly as beneficial to all. Whereas what politicians have really been doing with all this invented money – and particularly since the Pandemic began – is place massive bets on everything coming right if enough money is thrown at the problem for long enough. They literally believe that what they are saying, rather than what they are doing, will ultimately prove to be the truth, by faking it until they make it be so.
The money that the Government has been using to prop up non-existent jobs through a continually extended furlough scheme; the money it has used to underwritten crippling loans to businesses that will never be able to afford them, and the money it is now fire hosing at every public policy it thinks will get it out of trouble and win votes is all created – just like successive governments have been doing for decades before.
The money they are using simply doesn’t exist. Yet the politicians are so drunk from drinking at this poisoned well, all they can think of doing is printing even more.
Yes, there really is a philosophy behind all of this that the economists and academics that our politicians listen to insist really works.
You may even be thinking that if this is all true, what is the problem if it works?
The problem is that it doesn’t. It is imagination, dreamworlds and a visit to fantasy land writ large.
Whilst it is certainly true to say that neoliberalism has worked out well over 50 years for the few, it really hasn’t been working out very well for the majority of people. And if the economy were to be viewed as an engine – as it very often is, then just like keeping your foot down on a red-lining engine might see it keep going for longer than expected, the question is always when, not if the engine will blow, and when it does, it will be the whole vehicle that breaks.
Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson, this Government and the whole Parliament that has enabled them, have literally gone too far with a very dangerous approach to money and economics. One that may have been good whilst it lasted but is about to blow up and create a financial disaster of such epic proportions that not even the WEF are going to know how to pick up and rebuild the pieces so that they can press ‘restart’.
The public debt that is a real legacy of the Johnson era is simply too big for all of us to be expected to pay off this time. No amount of clever accounting and rebranding in terms of future GDP or other ways of calculating national economic output will make this ridiculous level of debt go away.
And Boris & Co. haven’t even done this on their own. Governments right the way around the world have been doing exactly the same things for all this time and have also gone into overdrive to finance an overkill response to a flu-like virus that was never necessary, could and should have been handled very differently and has now made it inevitable that we cannot go on as we have been.
We must rethink everything. And for us to get there, we are about to experience an incredible period of financially derived pain.
If you take the time and watch all the media available to you closely, the signs of what is coming are already beginning to unfold. But they are being covered by the mainstream media only in isolation – that is if they are even being covered by them at all.
The USA economy and the US Dollar’s collapse as the World’s Reserve Currency are looking increasingly likely to be the point where this dreamt up system can no longer function and the whole economic system explodes.
But that’s not to say that it couldn’t all kick off in the UK first. And stories like energy price hikes this autumn that they are that massive financial upheaval for us all is queued up and is about to start.
The biggest problem that we face today, isn’t finding a way to take a foot off the gas and calm the engine. Johnson and all of his chums have already driven the vehicle to the point of destruction and the momentum their policies have created will take this all over the point which was too far.
The problem we have is that when the engine blows, the wheels fall off and everything crashes – as we can now be almost certain that it will, we will still have the same politicians or politicians who will behave just like them left in charge.
The emperor has no clothes. You’ve seen what Boris and this whole sorry excuse for a Parliament did with their response to Covid. Just wait until the real trouble starts.