11 February 2010

Rip Van Winkle

The Telegraph today reports that J.P. Morgan think 'Britain's economy is now in a comparable state to the 1970s,' and that in many ways 'the UK’s fiscal position is currently worse than observed around the IMF loan in 1976.' Government debt, in proportion to the size of the economy, is higher now than it was then.

I left Britain in 1979 and missed the alleged 'Thatcher Revolution'. When I returned in 1999, I was sad to find that the basic, spiteful and cowardly nature of British political culture had not changed at all. Everything that has followed is the inevitable consequence. 'A people without virtue cannot long be free'. In ten years I have witnessed liberties that it took hundreds of years to win being frittered away by the mediocracy, while the public does not give a damn.

In the 1970s Britain was the 'sick man of Europe,' its international pretensions a source of embarrassment to those of us representing our country abroad. Plus ça change. Milliband has become the worthy heir to the last Foreign Secretary of the Callaghan regime, David Owen, accurately described as a nasenbohrer (nose-picker) by German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

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