Monday, January 05, 2009

Being Patriotic.

Decisions, decisions! What should we do? Should we spend, or should we save? Our Prime Minister is imploring us to throw caution to the wind, and borrow shedloads of money, and spend it. If I don't, I'll be sneered at as a heartless, 'doing-nothing', irresponsible person, not suitable for public office. He tells me that I shouldn't worry about repaying the borrowing, because we have 4 children to whom we can bequeath the debts. "Look at me", says Gordon Brown. "No Prime Minister in history has ever borrowed as much as me. I must therefore be the greatest.". And I daresay he could add that if my bank were to ask too many questions, I should fiddle - sorry adjust - my farm accounts to keep some of my larger borrowings off the balance sheet. And then I could tell my bank manager that all my neighbours borrow far more than I do, so he shouldn't worry - whether its true or not. He'll add that if I say it often enough, my bank will swallow it.

So I've just been looking at websites of treadmill and fitness equipment suppliers. I must spend, but also do my bit to justify all these Government millions that have been spent on a massive advertising campaign to combat obesity. I saw a two page spread in yesterday's Mail on Sunday, and thought it was an utterly daft and pointless waste of public money. And then I need to do something special in 2009 to help the Government meet its carbon footprint reduction target. Being a responsible citizen in Brown's Britain is very complicated. If I go ahead and order, I'll be delivering for Britain on three fronts - spending recklessly, providing justification for pointless advertising and cutting back on car use by ending our visits to fitness centres - hope it doesn't put it out of business!

I was on the point of ordering when I read this on the BBC website. David Cameron sees virtue in 'saving'. I used to agree with this myself, but have tried to avoid using this word for months, because I didn't want our Prime Minister accusing me of being 'unpatriotic'. The more I've read about what David Cameron has been saying, the more I like it. Those things which I thought important, and have tried to pass on to our children as virtuous could be coming back into fashion. Encouraging people to save rather than spend everything. Being responsible about budgeting and not always looking to Government for the answer. Letting people keep more of their own money, so that they can decide how to spend it themselves. Government spending being restrained to sustainable levels, not expanding exponentially, squeezing out the private sector. And then there's this thing called a National Loan Guarantee Scheme (and £50 billion is big money) which will enable my bank to consider whether it should lend me the money I need. Plus lots of other things to get the economy moving. In fact its made me feel so much better that I may buy myself a treadmill to celebrate.


Anonymous said...

The guys a t**t, those in their 40's will have their pensions bitten into by some Labour scheme or other to recover the money, while those who do nothing for society, they will reap the rewards

Anonymous said...

"The more I've read about what David Cameron has been saying, the more I like it."

I bet he'll be pleased.

Anonymous said...

The general idea seems to be to make saving so unattractive we all opt to spend it instead. I suppose this makes sense, but it rather ignores the fact that the savings rate is already low, with many households hopelessly overindebted. The savings that still exist aren't generally there because of lack of alternate uses for the cash. They have been put by for a purpose. If the interest rate goes much lower savers will start to get very nervous about returning inflation. The bad news however is that these days there are no havens of safety that also offer decent returns.

Anonymous said...

It would be more convincing if Cameron had taken all that money from the investment banks whose reckless behaviour got us in this mess.

Oh no, hang on, I got it wrong. It's alright. He's getting advice from the Shadow Chancellor's office... who funded the Shadow Chancellor's office?

Yes, you guessed, investment bankers. Oh, we really are in trouble now.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, David Camerons' idea will favour only the few who have saved more than the "average". Those of us with only small savings will benefit by only a few pence, certainly not enough to rush out and have a spending spree.
Brown just wants us all to borrow and spend, Cameron wants us to save and spend.
No sense to either idea!!

Glyn Davies said...

Anon 2 - I hope so.