Crikey! it seems that some of the 25% of people who actually know who Iain Gray is, caused a bit of a stushie yesterday. Watch and see how this hero of Cambodia,Rwanda, Mozambique and Chile manages to fend off the aggressors by running into a sandwich shop:
I’m just a simple man but I simply don’t see how Europe in general, and Britain in particular is going to emerge from the financial black hole that they (we) are in.
Portugal Greece and Ireland are effectively bankrupt.
Spain teeters on the edge of bankruptcy.
Greece and Portugal (though not Ireland) have gone bankrupt many times before, and always recovered. The tried and tested response is to default, then reschedule debts by reducing interest payments and extending maturities, while allowing the national currency to depreciate so that the economy can once again become competitive.
Their membership of the Eurozone, however, means that none of this can happen. There has, until recently, been an absolute determination in Frankfurt and Brussels that no European country should default. The reason for this is sobering: many leading European banks have massive exposure to the sovereign debt of these troubled countries.
The EU and the eurozone is a juggernaut heading down a very steep hill, the brakes have just failed and it’s heading for the harbour.
The Ireland and Greece bailouts haven’t worked. The two countries continue to pile on debt and the rise in European interest rates just made that worse. Portugal is about to join that scenario.
In short the Euro countries are bailing Portugal out so that it can once again borrow.
From the Euro countries.
And get into debt.
To the Euro countries.
Meanwhile, Britain having contributed £7 billion to the Irish deficit and about to throw £4 billion down the drain with the Portugal bailout, have also announced £650 million in aid to Pakistan towards education.
“I’d struggle to find an example of a country that is more in our interests to see progress and succeed than Pakistan.”, said David Cameron – and there is the rub.
I wonder though what kind of monitoring will take place over how this aid is spent in a country where the Taliban bomb schools simply because girls are being taught there? In a country where education officials are at the pochle to such an extent that would make even MPs and Bankers blanche? In a country where seven times the amount of money spent on education is spent on jet fighters, rockets, guns and other ‘defence’ items? In a country which presents one of the biggest potential catastrophic war scenarios along with its Indian neighbours?
As I say, I wonder what monitoring will take place?
So there we have it. The UK PLC
£7 billion to Ireland whilst benefits are cut and taxes raised.
£4 billion to Portugal whilst unemployment rises almost as fast as inflation.
£650 million to Pakistan’s schools whilst we can’t close schools, libraries and post offices quick enough. And whilst the UK implements defence spending cuts, health service cuts and education cuts almost as quickly as Pakistan is raising their defence spending.
Bogged down in three foreign wars.
And the Spanish crisis still to come.
As I say, I’m a simple man. Can someone please explain to me where we are headed?