30 April 2010

A great deal of ruin in a nation

Looking back on my previous posts about this election, I am struck by how blown about a floating voter such as myself can be in a relatively short time.

One constant has been contemptuous rejection of the envious levelling that Labour, Old and Nu, stands for. Apart from their consistently uncompromising record on civil liberties, the Lib Dems are the exemplars of the traditional British inability/refusal to think things through. The NuTories simply do not convince me that they have the strength of character to weather the shit-storm of opposition at every level of government that the entrenched Labour activists will unleash on them. 

What does appear to be undeniable is that the vast increases in deficit spending on the state sector since 2002 has created a situation where a return to the status quo ante Brown is politically impossible.Yet it must come about, because there is not the slightest chance in hell that the economy will grow fast enough to generate the revenues to close the deficit.

The most likely outcome remains a repeat of the sordid 1970s, but it will take crisis after crisis for public opinion to reach the point where it no longer hopes for easy solutions. In 1782, on receipt of a letter in which his correspondent wrote: 'If we go on at this rate, the nation must be ruined', Adam Smith replied: 'Be assured, my young friend, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation'.

So there is, and so we shall certainly experience over the coming decades during which Britain will continue along the path towards ever-higher costs and ever-lower quality of life. 

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