6th March 2009
Now that I am in my dotage and fast approaching the age when I will probably forget my name, dribble, have hairy ear lobes and, if I am lucky enough to get my hands on some curvaceous beauty, need to take about twenty pills before I can do anything about it, it is rare that I get myself worked up enough to feel like attacking someone or something; Gordon Brown's speech on the 4th March to the US Congress caused both.
There have been umpteen analogies with the 1920s and 1930s since the world started sliding into recession about a year ago and with them have come dire warnings about a rise in fascism, violence, collapses of governments, hyper Weimar Republic style inflation, civil disorder with armageddon and the four horsemen of the apocalypse waiting in the wings. If I was then to look for a modern day Neville Chamberlain in all this I would look no further than the UK's ghastly Prime Minister Gordon Brown. For his appalling tenure as Chancellor for the last ten years saddled the UK with terrifyingly high levels of debt during a time of plenty, and whose ludicrous ego and desire to be seen as a Churchill-like figure unifying and saving the world is truly horrendous. His "peace in our time" moment can only be a matter of time now.
Brown's desperate bid to fend off economic disaster by reducing interest rates to virtually zero, bailing out the banks, authorising the Bank of England to print £175 billion and promising to spend billions more on our public services is nothing short of imbecilic and shows that Brown will sacrifice the UKs future for short term gain. Brown, like the newly elected Barrack Obama, who he was so desperate to impress this week, sees increased state spending as the means of ending this current crisis. They see pouring millions into everything from road building, the health service and welfare as a way of reviving the economy. But the public sector sucks in money and spews out waste, in effect it produces nothing and costs a fortune, yet this is where all hope is vested at the moment, that, and getting the banks to lend us money again. To, in effect, re-inflate the very credit bubble that caused this current crisis in the first place and at the same time empower a state sector that sucks the life blood out of the private sector, the sector that creates wealth.
A kind of bizarre example of this is the newly announced campaign by some UK councils to be given the power to take over empty shops in order to prevent UK city centres becoming ghost towns during the current recession. The irony here is that it is these same councils, whose relentless pursuit of money through ever increasing business rates, that have forced many of these shops to close in the first place. The campaign waxed lyrical about how these empty shops could be turned into 'community' art centres, playgroups, youth centres and as places where people could go for advise on housing, community, race and gender issues. All marvellous no doubt and all needing grants and subsidies to be paid for either by the few people left in work or by some of Gordon Brown's newly printed millions.
So in Brown's all inclusive, gender friendly and ethnocentric utopia we will be able to spend our enforced leisure time wondering from one community 'art gallery' to the next. The value of this 'art' will be the highest ever, given that a business was driven into bankruptcy in order for the gallery to exist and, secondly, huge subsidies will have been needed in order to staff them. The art will also be dire for in Brown's new egalitarian society, political correctness will deem all 'art' good, unless it offends of course and therefore, if some fat black lesbian decides to smear herself in oils and roll across a canvas it will be 'good' because she is female, black and a lesbian. Likewise if a disabled person in a wheelchair decides to get creative and try out finger painting then the local council will no doubt find an empty shop to requisition and turn it into an 'art' gallery in order to hang the work. We are in fact spending money on crap; crap art, crap ideas, crap people, crap economics and creating a crap society.
In the 1920s and 1930s, many people did turn to political extremes as a solution and maybe they will again, but whatever they do it'll be preferable to the crap ideology and faux statesmanship of Gordon Brown and his ilk whose ideas will, I believe, create the chaos that will in turn create the political extremism so many fear. For me, I hope that if an extreme political force does take over, that its modeled on Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, whose first act on seizing power was to round up the civil servants and bureaucrats, march them out to the countryside and kill them. Only then will we be saved from Gordon Brown's people's art and state subsidised craptopia.