Monday, 21 April 2008


I find the whole credit crunch crisis a bit of a fiasco. The banks who lent money to people they knew couldn't pay it back if there was a downturn in the economy are now standing waving their hands in the air and with a look of suprise on their faces. Lets get this straight, there was a problem in the American mortgage market, that our banks invested in, so now the British taxpayer has to fork out money so that the banks can get their house in order and not go under. The poor low income workers who have had their tax doubled from 10 to 20 pence are subsidising the six figure salaried bankers whose fault it was in the first place, not because of them making an error of judgement but because of their greed. I see there are quite a few people in Wall Street who have lost their jobs over this but I bet none of them are the top MD's or CEO's. But of course if they leave having thrust the western world into financial chaos they will get a pay off that will be more than most of us earn in a lifetime.
We are constantly being told that we now have to be competetative on the world markets, though of course that doesn't include the railways which are still being subsidised by the taxpayer, or the building of nuclear power plants paid for by the tax payer, or the arms industry; so when the bank says sorry but your small shop has to go under because you can't meet your repayments, or your business is going under because of the interest rate rises we can expect a handout from the government can we? Don't forget that a couple of years ago some of the banks were making a $1billion profit. Where's that gone and why did they want so much more they were risking the whole of the western banking system to get it. They keep saying that tnhey didn't know that it would happen this way. Really that's what they are paid to do, as well as the governments experts.
Its about time that governments stopped looking at encouraging all these millionaires from Eastern Europe to settle here, or American billionaires to buy up football teams, as those kind of people will go where the best deals are anyway, but to start looking at us, the native population. I am tired of being told that I need to pull in my belt again and again, because of the economy, I don't see Manchester United or Chelsea having a wage cut for their players, I don't see the CEO's of the power companies having their wages cut. I know that Gordon Brown said that the MP's had to have a wage rise lower than inflation, but then I wish someone would give me £10,000 for a new kitchen, £6,000 for a new bathroom, plus expenses so I can employ my family to do my office work. What I do see are rising fuel costs both domestic and travel, rising food costs, I see a rise in the cost of actually getting to work by bus, train or car. I also see the government doing nothing about it except by hitting the ordinary man in the street.
Its not just economics its everything. Education may have two ministers but they still can't get enough common sense together to see that it makes more sense to get 10 teachers for the cost of a new superheadmaster, ( oh by the way when the idea was muted the salary was going to be £100,000 now its £200,000, Hows that for inflation?)
How about making the streets safe, by employing more policemen on the beat and paying them a decent wage (If MI5 can double its staff because of the terrorist threat then I think a local police station could get a few more coppers to combat the terrorism that goes on outside my house)
Stop spending money on Trident, (Does it work? Tell me when are you going to find out? And what will happen to the old missiles that are being replaced hardly green is it?) and start spending money on the NHS.
When I was a kid I really was proud of my country being first, the first to discover so many wonderful life changing inventions, things that helped us win the war like radar, micro surgery, Concorde. Now we are first in that we work the longest hours pay the highest for petrol, pay the most for food, prison population, alcoholic abuse; so many things that we are first at, that make me unhappy, though of course there is one thing that we are not first at, literacy, we come second to bottom on that after the USA. The country that got us into the economic mess we are in now. Dont tell me this is good for me, because I remember every prime minister telling me that we are in a strong position but we need to make cuts and pull in our belts for the future. Well the future is now, so don't piss down my back and tell me its raining anymore. Get your act together because what are you going to do when China's economy starts running out of steam and their is a civil war or a revolution. Its history repeating itself, look at France, at Russia, even to the revolution in Germany in the 20's which lead to the rise of the Nazi's. No good asking for a hand out then because you invested in China, because it will be all of us sinking.
Just one thing more, the colleges and universities will be able to charge what they want, some want to charge £7000 a year. Now if the government wants toget 50% of the population in higher education each paying £7000 per year then after three years with fees and living costs they will owe about £35000 or perhaps even more which they will have to pay back,on credit, which some wont be able to do so causing a shortfall in the credit supply causing another credit crisis. Now tell me how are these students who have to pay back these loans going to find the money for a deposit on a house,save for their pension,get their children through school and actually find enough money over for food? Of course they will get jobs because they will be a graduate. So will 50% of the population so the extra money a graduate should get by the mere fact they will have a degree will be devalued in a supply and demand market. Does nobody in the government read history. I realise that it's a diary of other peoples mistakes but look at the wall street crash, where the investors were out stripping the supply. If that happens then we will have meltdown within the education system like the banking system now.
To have the opportunity for education is a good thing, but some people don't want it and those that can't get it are going to be even more alienated than they already are. For some kids an ASBO will be their only qualification. Stop charging for education and putting ridiculous restrictions on funding, the RAE policy gives plenty of researchers lots of money but they can't teach and if anybody has read the most recent figures will know that law suits against colleges and Universities has rocketed over the past year, mainly due to the lack of teaching.
The army discovered that when it stopped having conscription they started to develop a better, more aware and smarter army, actually I am proud to say the best in the world, shame about the equipment, but thats another blog. Education should be the same. Its not about numbers its about quality. Its about investing in the future and lets not treat education like the mortgage market becuase if it goes bust there won't be anybody clever enough to bail us out.