The Ides of May

As the general election is nearing its climax and the economy is showing signs of growth under measures taken by the coalition government, the electorate are nevertheless kept in the dark as to the enormity of the national debt, which could be crippling the nation if not contained.

No one seems to be talking about this important aspect which clearly shows that the deficit has become almost unsupportable, to the point where future growth would be hard to achieve if we continue on this calamitous state of debt burden.

According to Ken Clarke, a former chancellor, Britain will become stuck in a low-growth trap, unless policymakers tackle the country’s unsustainable deficit and debt and get public spending under control.

The Tory grandee did not mince his words when he clearly warned that deviating from Conservative plans to reduce public spending after May’s general election would be disastrous for Britain’s long-term growth prospects.

‘I am entirely signed up to what’s on offer after the election,’ he told the Sunday Telegraph while on a trade mission to Colombia. ‘It’s not a complete solution, but unless you have fiscal discipline, and you get rid of a problem of an unsustainable deficit and debt burden then you’re not going to get growth… If you saddle the economy with debt, then you’re wasting your time trying to deliver growth that we wish to achieve.’

Using the examples of Greece and France, where government spending accounted for 59.2% and 57.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) respectively in 2013, compared with the UK’s 45.5% (according to Eurostart), Mr Clarke said spending above forty per cent of GDP was not sustainable.

‘A properly run and organised economy should cope perfectly well with a spending between thirty-five and forty per cent of GDP. Going above that is a result of problems across the Western world including the UK… The idea that you can go around trying to win votes by hiring more public sector workers to keep up job creation out of the public purse is just repeating the folly of former Labour PM Gordon Brown.’

Ken Clarke is one of the politicians I like and admire. He has never been a man who seeks glory for the sake of it. He could have attained the highest office in the land if he had primed his words and actions to suit the established order which, as we have come to realise, is riddled with hypocrisy and unspeakable scandals.

All one has to see with great horror is how the political parties lobby the darker shades of our so-called ‘moneybags society’ in order to win power and, once there, dispense with the policies that took them there in the first place.

Let’s sincerely hope that the public will at least wake up to the shenanigans thrown at them and stop being hypnotised by third-rate politicians whose promises are mere words which even the wind would refuse to carry.

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