The continent is a collection of different languages and labour-market traditions and individual approaches to deficits and inflation. … Angela Merkel is plainly facing significant unrest from a growing constituency who see no reason to pay ever more in their taxes to finance … the periphery of Europe.
I think we deserve an apology. By “we” I mean all the Euro-sceptics, Euro-pragmatists, Euro-realists and Euro-hysterics who were alarmed by some of the optimism that surrounded the birth of the single currency. Do you remember the disdain with which we were treated? We were told that we were boss-eyed Little Englanders. They used to say we were a bunch of xenophobic, garlic-hating defenders of the pint and the yard and the good old bread-filled British banger.
Whenever we protested about any detail of the plan for monetary union, we were told that we were in danger of stopping the great European train, boat, bus, bicycle or whatever it was. We were a blimpish embarrassment to our country, a bunch of idiot children who had to be shooshed while the grown-ups got on with their magnificent plans.
So it gives me a tingling pleasure to report that everywhere you look on the map of Europe we have been proved resoundingly and crushingly right.
Continue reading Snooty Europhiles should eat dirt
With record levels of debt, this Government returns to raising taxes echoing the: “….Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion; Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” (Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act II, Scene VII)
When you have to watch someone die, one of the most distressing things is the period that Shakespeare called a second childishness. As a patient enters the final stages, he may suddenly start speaking of mummy, babbling nursery rhymes or talking a foreign language that he forgot at the age of four. The patient may be suddenly rude, irrationally angry or jealous. It is as though all the decades of acquired behaviour and education are melting away, to reveal the juvenile instincts beneath. Continue reading Tax rise a Shakespearean return to childhood
I don’t want to seem indifferent to suffering, and I don’t want anyone to accuse me of minimising the likely effect of the recession, because the coming months will very probably be a lot tougher – for millions of people – than the boom times we have all recently enjoyed.
The column can be read here.
Continue reading A Deep Recession
Go on. Admit it. You don’t feel altogether sorry for those bankers, do you? When you read about the collapsing pillars of the temples of mammon, you don’t feel the tears beginning to prick the corner of your eyes.
The City is a global industry in which Britian excels: we should not exult as banks fold.
Continue reading Financial Crisis and Banking