I love this, great isn’t! The economy is a baron wasteland with little to no growth and instead of finding confidence in the government’s Plan A, we’re bombarded with constant news of infighting. Whether it’s the coalition partners or the centre Right vs. the right Right, there’s plenty of disagreement, disenchantment, disillusionment and disruption. Yet people like you and me have to carry on, muddle through the best we can, no matter what. So much for “all in this together”.
If there’s one thing positive about the Coalition, its existance exposes political farce which keeps our vocabulary wet with words suchs as: Plebs, Swivel-eyed Loons, Eurosceptics and Nimbys. So why not join in the fun and add your own?
The challenge, should you accept, is to think of new coalition storm word worthy of media attention.
Here’s my try:
“The problem with our economy is that it is suffering from savers, people refusing to shop, happy with less refusing to spend more, and it’s these stagnant pond dwelling, ‘moribundites’ that are choking our economy.”
Know of any political party who would say a thing like that?
Much of the recent government debate has been about the “in or out” Europe question. Whilst UKIP cannot take full credit, Nigel Farage certainly brought this undercurrent to the surface. UKIP’s local success has the EU membership question firmly in the British headlines. Tory Back Benchers get more airtime than usual. Peter Bone, John Baron, & Jaboc Rees-Smogg (apologies for the typo). However Front Benchers, Philip Hammond and Michael Gove have joined in too! Their frank openness about their objections with what was absent from the Queen’s Speech and how they would vote. In my opinion I suspect the agenda behind the Tory announcement for an EU vote after 2015, as a self-serving manifesto pledge in an attempt to remain in power.
What are the drivers for an EU referendum?
UKIP has clearly demonstrated that there is a lot of ill feeling against immigration especially when people start to talk about the protection of jobs. Is this a good enough reason to leave the EU? Depends on whether you have a job or not. For our children their career choices could include something beyond geographical boundaries. We can do little to prevent the competition that globalisation brings so we do need to collaborate with other countries to realise more opportunities.
Leaving the EU membership cannot be about jobs alone! A cold fact is that the more residents the UK has, the more infrastructure is burdened. State services: hospitals, schools and social care will require more investment and more money. You cannot take out more than you put in, basic maths. Again there’s an understandable appetite to protect these services to ensure a progressive and comfortable standard of living but if we close the doors, do we stifle opportunity and progression elsewhere? Government needs to manage the demand better! A wiser approach to capacity planning and service management, people can move around but no-one can afford to support the masses for free.
What has the EU done for us?
Don’t look here for a comprehensive list, search on the internet like I did. Here’s just a few instant search results: freedom of movement, better low cost travel, more job opportunities (if the jobs exist), competitive prices in a larger market, more regulation and less pollution, smoke free public places, farer wages, more recycling and less war.
Does EU membership guarantee exports?
Depends on what you read and how the statistics are spun! The Office for National Statistics reports an increase of exports to Asia, over taking EU demand. China alone up by 226% since 2007. Back in 1998 48% of the UK’s worldwide exports went to the EU. However with the strength of the Pound against the Euro, imports from the UK are less desirable. The interesting American point of view, is that the UK is now the 6th largest supplier accounting for $45bn of sales, where China is top rank at $334bn. To swing this back to UK, China’s new middle class are demanding more from the UK. Whilst exporting to the EU is significant, the potential to bring in the cash lies elsewhere but what I don’t know is, how much EU contribution is required to deliver a product elsewhere?
Whilst some ministers continue to indulge themselves in self-serving, games, for instance, Michael Gove announcing Vince Cable’s quest for Lib Dem power at the cost of outer politics, the song “Things can only get better” comes to mind. When 2015 finally does arrive, one thing you can guarantee is that your coalition vocabulary will be much bigger than it is today.