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It’s depressing, no?

4 Aug

I’m sorry, but is it just me, or is our politics painfully depressing?

Okay Labour is finished. I want this tired and rudderless government out of power as much as the next man, but aren’t we just exchanging one set of aimless wasters for another?

Cameron offers us what?

The Tories don’t even pretend to have a set of radical reforms to shake up our stale and discredited political system. David Cameron believes the path to political success is to appear ever-so-slightly less shit than the current PM, and to swear on the radio in desperate move to appear the gritty everyman* — and not at all the over-privilidged Etonian square he really is.

Now before you scream class snobbery, let me say that I couldn’t care less about Cameron’s background. But I do put great stock in authenticity, and Slippery Dave has none.

Now a Tory government is far less certain than people think. The political map is so heavily stacked against the Tories, that a modest recovery by Labour could force a hung-parliament or a narrow Labour win. However, with most of the left-wing press as hungry for a Labour defeat as everyone else, it’s hardly likely that a positive story will get anything like the traction needed to change people’s perception.

So this is our future. The awful prospect of a Tory government so lacking in sparkle and adventure, that it makes a night in with a pumice stone seem electrifying.

I know this blog is poisoned by negativity. But politics is just so dispiriting at the moment that it’s hard to find the heart to write about it. The expenses scandal may have been juicy for some bloggers, but for me it drained the last trickle of faith I had in politics.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve stepped down from Liberal Conspiracy as Deputy Editor. I couldn’t give Sunny the energy I once did, but I wish him all the success in the future. And I want to take this blog in a new direction. I just haven’t decided for certain which one. I’ll get back to you soon, if you’re still around.

If you care, I can usually be found at Rational Geekery or bitching on twitter. Oh, and my new project with Zhisou is ongoing — a podcast. We hope to record the second proper episode this week.

*a move straight from the Blair play-book if ever there was one

the irregular photo of the day

27 Jul

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Schwarzhorn 011, originally uploaded by Shepherd & his Hot Dogs.

the irregular photo of the day

6 Jul

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Lovely long exposure 🙂

the irregular photo of the day

19 May

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…decisions…, originally uploaded by _Beat_???.

Not that you probably care…

1 Apr

…but expect blogging to be very light over the next 10-days or so. I say this not because I believe you can’t manage without my witty insight, but because I don’t want you to think I’m dead*.

I have plans to do a bit of travelling in the summer, and I need to raise some extra funds, so I’ve taken on some extra hours in the real world. I know, shame on me.

*of course, by the time you read this, I could very well be dead. You know, what with the combined threat of buses, crazed G20 protesters and poisoned cheeseburgers (I have this nightmare — it’s becoming a problem), it’s a miracle I’m still here.

Why do our politicians continue to mislead us about the recession?

19 Feb

I said I probably wouldn’t write anything this week. But then I saw this headline on The Guardian’s site:

Bank bail-out ‘could send national debt soaring by £1.5 trillion’


Okay, upon reading the article it’s clear that the “soaring” has much to do with the ONS (the Office for National Statistics) reclassifying banks, that have been “recapitalised” with public funds, as public institutions (i.e. taking on the bank’s liabilities*). Therefore, we learn, that debt may exceed 150% of national income.

This is frightening.

What bothers me though, is that people – politicians and the media mainly – view this recession as something that needs treating. When in fact, rather than being the disease, the financial crisis is the cure.

The recession is a market correction of a hugely over-inflated housing market (it will correct, and home values will/may return to a more realistic level of appreciation). The recession is a reaction to borrowing on a massive and wholly unsustainable scale. The recession is the global economy snapping back, as rampant growth surpassed the finite resources we have available.

We should stop thinking of the recession as something we can spend our way out of, and just swallow our medicine. Governments, rather than trying to perpetuate a bankrupt economic status quo (see the reduction in V.A.T.), should be using funds to provide basic safety nets for those who fall through the cracks.

We should stop lying to ourselves. We need to be honest. We can’t afford to continue spending money we don’t have. Continuous growth is an illusion. Markets will fluctuate. That’s the way it is.

We spent more than we had. We borrowed beyond our means (based on artificially inflated assets). And now we have to suck it up.

Sorry. But we need to grow up. And our politicians need to stop bullshitting, and tell us what we don’t want to hear.

The recession is the cure. Now let’s stop making matters worse, and deal with it.

*Assets, other than short-term bonds and cash-at-hand, are not included. This will give an inaccurate interpretation of the *real* balance sheet. In fairness, it’s hard to calculate assets when the value of property, and the ability of lenders to service borrowing, are so uncertain. Accountants should always side with caution.

Merry Christmas

24 Dec

xmas tyger

…and here’s hoping that 2009 is kinder to us all than 2008 has been.

Love and peace.