The horrifying truth behind the coming collapse of basketcase Britain - by Allister Heath - 10.08.22
We continue our end of days season with a suitably depressing article by Allister Heath in today's Telegraph on the historic failure of successive governments to tackle entirely predictable and long-standing problems which have now landed the UK in the present mess it now finds itself.
"Politicians of both parties are to blame, but the rot started on that sunny day in May 1997 when a fresh-faced Tony Blair swept away John Major’s sleaze-addled government in a misplaced wave of optimism.
For a while, many were fooled – Blairism was the original cakeism – but it marked the beginning of the end of Britain’s renaissance, our return to the technocratic consensus that first ruined us in the 1970s.
It took a mere 10 years after Gordon Brown’s pledge to abolish “Tory boom and bust” for the economy to collapse in the financial crisis, never properly recovering, the Thatcherite legacy of Eurozone-beating GDP growth rates squandered. The intellectual, monetary and regulatory errors were global, but Brown doubled down on all of them.
The electorate noticed, kicking Labour out and voting for Brexit, but the politicians let them down. Nothing really changed, and we now face our second, great policy-induced crisis of the post-1997 era: energy bills of over £4,000, rocketing inflation and a nasty recession."
And according to Heath, the reason we are in this mess is
"because they strayed from the ideas that saved Britain in the 1980s.
The Thatcher/Major interregnum was a unique period: Britain re-embraced capitalism. Swathes of the economy were transformed by privatisation, less and better regulation, lower taxes and globalisation."
There are a whole raft of policy initiatives which ministers could introduce if only they could see it. On the privatised utilities for example
" introduce more sustainable competition; if wages are too low, incentivise investment in capital and skills; and so on. If policymakers feel obliged to tolerate a private monopoly, then make sure that its conditions of operation are to deliver an excellent service.
Any that fail – for example, to provide water in a dry summer because of an unwillingness to build functioning desalination plants – should see their licence terminated, and a better company take its place."
Instead successive governments appear to have forgotten everything that had helped turn Britain around and have succumbed instead to short-term thinking to address the latest crisis. The result is
"no reform of the NHS, no Heathrow expansion, no new roads, no faster housebuilding (despite a massive increase in population), not enough new nuclear energy, an assumption that there would never be another war in Europe, or another financial crisis, or a pandemic, or any need to ensure security of supplies. The size and reach of the state became inversely related to its ability to deliver its core functions."
The challenges facing Liz Truss should she become Prime Minister are as formidable as the challenges faced by her predecessor Margaret Thatcher forty years ago.
The full article can be read below with a link to the original here;