It was with a feeling of detached bemusement that I watched Labour catapult themselves into obscurity last week when they elected Ed Miliband as their new leader. "Another policy wonk who has spent two minutes in Parliament without doing any real work in his life," I muttered to myself. Moreover, he looks like a badly made Thunderbird puppet and talks in a voice you'd expect from a voice synthesiser made on Blue Peter with spare bits from the kitchen.
This week though, I've taken the same detached look at the Tories and have more or less come to the same conclusion. This of course, is grossly unfair on badly made puppets who at least, in every crisis appeared to have a workable plan and inspired confidence in every eight year old parked in front of the television.
Watching the Boy Osborne alienate virtually every mother in the country has been pitiful; I almost feel sorry for him. Wherever he goes, whatever he does will mean nothing now because it will be lost in a burning cauldron of resentment from the Mothers Union; even Mrs Flashbang can remember his name.
Of course, it's not the cut in itself which is causing the damage. It's the poorly thought out execution which shouts "unfair," which is causing the damage. Similarly, the £26,000 cap on benefits isn't particularly well thought out. It's the equivalent of a basic salary of over £40,000 and of course, with no travel costs and council tax to pay it's a not unattractive number.
So, with four months already wasted the government are stumbling along with no real initiatives to stimulate growth, stabilise the economy and ward off the very real threat of depression. Policy makers across the world have deployed "shock and awe," to steady the financial sector and prevent fiscal melt down. They have thrown kerosene at the problem in the form of fiscal stimulas in an attempt to stimulate demand. It hasn't worked so they're thinking about getting a bigger bucket of kerozene and trying again, all the while debasing their currencies and lighting the fuse for an inflation storm down the road. That path hasn't worked in Japan and it won't work here.
Where then is the clarity and originality of thought that will stir the country and provide incentives to get the economy moving forward; you can't just keep beating people, no matter how much the detached Vince Cable would like to. Don't strain yourself George, I'm here to help and return to an idea which I wrote about some months ago.
The virtue of this plan is it's simplicity and mutual benefit to all.
- Issue a 30 year 4.5% National Mortgage Gilt
- Issue fixed 30 year 4.75% mortgages
The benefits would include -
- Stabilising the housing market
- Allowing households to plan their house purchase and debt management over the long term
- Kick starting badly needed replenishment of our national housing stock
- Getting the building industry back to work
- Recreating the enfranchisement of all levels of society into home ownership.
- Gives entities with long term liabilities, (pension funds, insurance companies etc), a means to obtain a sovereign rated bond with a good return.
The only objections to doing this will come from vested interests. Given RBS and Lloyds are majority owned by the taxpayer they will mostly do as they're told and the rest can either get on board or ship out and face the consequences.......... ie, no future government business or support. There could be restrictions on second homes and so on, to prevent creating more bubbles, but they're not material to the central thrust at this stage.
There would also be a profound change in the perception not just of the recession amongst householders but also of the government. Everyone needs a bit of sunshine in their lives.
Go on then George, there's the ball....... run with it.