Knifonomics (part 14): the psychopath and the psychopath

Matthew Parris has an excellent article in the recent Spectator, entitled  “Thanks to the financial crisis, we’re all economists now”, making the valid point that most of us with a passing interest can actually converse semi-knowledgeably on the economic woes of the UK and the rest of the world. It’s the main reason why people can still stomach the grim picture painted by George Osborne yesterday – it makes sense.

Here’s another telling illustration, slide 18 from the revered Institute for Fiscal Studies Powerpoint on Osborne’s statement, and the relevant background:


The pink bars represent Gordon Brown’s extraordinary public spending splurge using money he didn’t have to buy re-election. He knew what he was doing, in theory, bearing in mind he had to smash his infamous Golden Rule to do it. In fact it’s amazing just how long ago – 2003 or earlier – it was that it became evident that Brown was screwing things up, badly.

The blue bars are where we are now, inevitably trying to claw it back by reducing public spending. As an NHS employee I have commented before that there is lots of scope to save on the NHS budget without damaging patient care, but  Dave won’t do it. One of the points that the IFS makes clear is that there is no certainty that economic growth will ever  return to the hoped for levels, and that public spending will have to take the hit for a long time.

When you add in Brown’s catastrophically conceited and misjudged gold sell off, never mind the highly questionable “bailing out” of the banks, you’re looking at the biggest piece of financial madness and political self-centredness in British history. Quite a record.

However, to be fair, there is another fly in the ointment, Gordon’s gopher/ideas man/Wormtongue, the still present Ed Balls, a man who even his own side hate, for lots of good reasons.

One of the facets of psychopathy is an inability or refusal to admit error or moral wrong, thereby failing to learn from it, and consequently repeating that error, without any concept of guilt.

Happily, the public have cottoned on, for Gordon Brown passim read Ed Balls now.

Ed and Gordon...not wearing well

**Spooky! About 30 minutes after this post, along comes a virtually identical theme from Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph. Great minds… etc etc

*** And again, the day after,  on Neil O’Brien’s blog!

*** More double psychopath commentary from Alex Brummer


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