This blog sets out to be reasonable. Occasionally, I let fly at my political opponents in what I must concede is a partisan way. Because I was so stunned by what has looked to me to be shocking and irresponsible mismanagement of our economy by Gordon Brown, I've lost all faith in him as a Prime Minister. I simply cannot understand how he has been allowed to remain in office. Against this backcloth, I've been concerned that I might tend towards being over partisan - until I read Liam Halligan's Economic Agenda piece in today's Sunday Telegraph. Extracts follow, which make my comments seem toothless, with no more bite than an aggressive suck.
"We're being ruled by a clique of irresponsible innumerate charlatans. Brown and his circle of sycophants know little of economics, and even less about responsibility. Under cover of current crisis they've let rip a borrowing binge of such magnitude that it threatens not only our living standards, but the UK's credit rating and status as an 'advanced economy'."
"Next year the UK will borrow a staggering 8% of GDP. The fiscal situation now looks worse than at any time since the Second World War. Brown has managed to surpass even the havoc caused by the deeply incompetent Labour Governments of the 1970s."
"Only a few months ago, Ministers were telling us Britain was 'well placed' to deal with the global slowdown. Now we're seeing extreme measures that throw any notion of prudence, or sound financial management, to the wind."
"Brown is using this crisis as cover - and not only to indulge the high tax fantasies he's nursed his entire adult life. Having hidden extra borrowing costs for years, he sees the current chaos as a chance to get as much of it as possible out in the open."
Ministers claim UK debt is low by international standards. Only Japan and the US have higher debts than us. With its reserve currency status, America can claim to be a special case - for now. But Japan's debts plunged it into a decade long recession"
"The table above suggests that our public sector debt is relatively low - even once it reaches the 57% of national income. But that, alas, is a myth. The UK has become very good at hiding its debt off balance sheet - particularly under Brown. A new study from the respected actuary, Nick Silver, for the Institute of Economic Affairs, suggests that once liabilities relating to pensions and the private finance initiative are included, the UK's national debt is a jaw-dropping 276% of GDP."
The only consolation for the Prime Minister is that Liam Halligan is also dismissive of what he calls the 'Tories' woeful reaction'. But throughout the history of democracy, government is government, and opposition is opposition, and the two are very different.