Osborne is beginning to make some serious mistakes

Osborne has always had an overweening arrogance as he plots his path to the premiership before 2020.   But his calculation is beginning to desert him.   It is extraordinary that he has spent a week sucking up to China, accompanied by six ministers in his retinue, when everyone else is fleeing the country as being in deep economic trouble.   The idea that hooking up to China today puts Britain in prime economic position is absurd – what China is exporting is not the world’s manufactured products, but deflation risk – domino devaluations, layoffs and recession.   Cosying up to China in today’s conditions is not a smart idea.

Then there’s the lack of reciprocity in Osborne’s dealings with China.   He seems prepared recklessly to throw open Britain’s doors to any Chinese company for investment in almost any sector.   By contrast China closes off many industrial sectors to foreign investors and imposes limits on ownership in many others.   It leads to the farce that a foreign state is welcome to invest in British industry, but British state investment in British industry under the Tories is strictly taboo.

Then there’s the question of undermining UK national security, a charge which Cameron has been quick to throw at Labour, but which with much more substance his own chancellor is guilty of.   By pleading with the Chinese to cut the deal over Hinkley C, Osborne is making a double mistake.   He is allowing Chinese companies to operate at the heart of Britain’s nuclear industry, he is certainly putting at risk UK national security in the future.   He is also subsidising the biggest white elephant in modern politics.   Hinkley, if it is ever built, will be far and away the most expensive nuclear plant ever built.   It will be more expensive than Crossrail, the London super-sewer and the Olympics all combined.   It will be subsidised up to the hilt by the taxpayer to guarantee EDF a 10% return on capital into the indefinite future, and there will be contractual protections again underwritten by the taxpayer against any unpredictable downsides throughout the ;life of the plant.   The idea that Osborne and the Tories can be trusted for efficiency and cost-competitiveness is blown sky-high by this shibboleth alone.

Then there’s austerity.   Osborne has so far got his way over this because New Labour colluded with the government in pretending that there was no alternative.   Now that the Corbyn revolution is making clear that there is a much quicker, more efficient and better way to reduce the budget deficit, Osborne may now begin to encounter heavy resistance if he tries to force through the huge welfare and public expenditure cuts he’s promised.   He will either have to back down, which would be a huge political humiliation, or he will find deficit reduction – the centrepiece of his economic programme – in free fall.

9 thoughts on “Osborne is beginning to make some serious mistakes

  1. As always, excellent points!
    Dealing with China is a gamble, so definitely a risk to our economy and security.
    (A radio report, Global on Classic FM said John McDonnell’s ideas for our economy were a risk to our “security” – it’s time people woke up and ignored all the nonsense in the media).

    A very large , newly built building, collapsed in China recently, as it obviously had a serious design flaw or short cuts were taken in its construction – and we are trusting them with building a nuclear plant here!? Utter madness.

    The Tories seem to be against nationalisation here at home, yet are happy for other nations to own our industries, be given generous subsidies and then take the profits. A ludicrous state of affairs!

    As for your last point:
    “Osborne may now begin to encounter heavy resistance if he tries to force through the huge welfare and public expenditure cuts he’s promised.”
    I’m just wondering where this resistance will come from. Unfortunately, the Tories still have a majority in Parliament. If they’re anything like my MP they’ll blindly vote anything through regardless; career and party before what’s good for the country and its people.

    There may be a few good ones but “rebelling” seems to be a ‘heinous crime’ as far as Parliament is concerned; it shouldn’t be like this. MPs should be free to vote with their conscience and according to what their constituents want. I doubt that many Tory voters would be happy to know that their votes have resulted in increasing childhood poverty unnecessarily. They can’t all be heartless b’s, surely!?

  2. He’s got to be the worst chancellor of all times his cooking the books giving away vast amounts of monies to his mates all under austerity while cutting back welfare spending nhs the list goes on but hes caused so much damage to britains industries its unbelievable he looks to china I wonder that old yardage a bull in a china shop has you well now dealing with china well they dont give nothing away but dont worry here in swansea and cardiff Newport hes looking for them to build a massive dam yes we pay fir it to be built then get to pay once again for its product lovely jubbly if you can get it

  3. In a former post here I remember that I referred to Camorons thuggish government as “a lord of the flies” administration. In my mind as I wrote that, was the scene where the children kicked a boy to death: To me this appears a perfecr metaphor for the Tories (and, to a lesser degree new labour) with Great Britain as the victim, being kicked to death by a gang of young thugs afflicted by groupthink.

    My view is that Neoliberalism is a Luciferian creed that should never have seen the light of day.

    My local MP is Jo Johnson, whose voting record tells one all that is necessary to know about his politics: Which is why I wanted people to organise to create voting blocs whereby a candidate might be forced by contract to actually do something completely new by representing those that elected him: Ignoring whips and “party” solidarity, in order to avoid instant recall and penalties on top of prosecution for breach of contract. Those people that believe this country has enjoyed representative Government are mistaken.

    I wish China well, as I do most nations, but my view is adamant that essential services must (and I really do mean MUST) remain in public control. Those flogging off our national assets are behaving in a criminal manner without a doubt. Is not selling someone elses property larceny? Those services that must remain nationalised are Energy-Communications (including mail)-Water supply- defence infrastructure-Ports and Airports-Aviation control-Policing-Judiciary. This is the minimum, and I believe every one of this minimum is thoroughly betrayed. Without a single Ballot a bunch of spivs have sold the farm. Of course China should not be involved in Hinckly: In point of fact following Fukushima ALL nuclear facilities should be decommissioned immediately. It remains possible that Fukushima is an ELE (extinction level event). Neither France nor Germany should be permitted into the essential services either. I don’t give a damn about the EU commission, some things are inviolable.

    Yes Jeffery Davies, here in the south east we paid for a Thames crossing at Dartford, where it was promised that a Toll would be introduced to fund the structure (what are taxes for?) but that this Toll would cease when costs were recovered. Well, it’s big business now; Charges have increased and to make even more money the booths have been removed and payment is online, with super doopa, luvvly jubbly fines if one happens to pay late or forget. British Corporate Government culture is now absurdly abusive. Can’t go on for much longer…..

  4. or it will if they sign that agreement with canada has yanky companies can get to take us to court through it yet we were worried about ttip krikey they not leaving us out ah that dartford tunnel yep travelled it well whilst working out of greyford still robbing the masses then you bet a yanky fund or other own it jeff3

  5. Osborne is in serious need of medical help, he is not in the real world. Does he really think he is next in line to No.10?

    He really needs help I’ve never heard such dribble in all my life, he is a danger to our country, a degree in modern history and acting as Chancellor for the UK.

    This raises some serious questions, my pet rabbit has more idea about economics than Osborn.

  6. I agree with almost everything you put here, although (i don’t know much about Hinkley C in particular) I am extremely pro-nuclear. In general i support the construction of more nuclear plants as a means to secure our energy source for the future. I don’t like to sound of the plant’s profits being underwritten by the taxpayer, however i do understand that nuclear plants are excessively expensive to build and so energy companies tend to shy away from nuclear power in favour of more immediate profits, hence the incentives. I’m not sure what to solution here is however.

  7. Corbyn’s election has given me something I haven’t felt in years – hope. Well done to you Mr. Meacher sir for persevering with the labour party – and helping them cast them off their austerity-lite agenda.

  8. Dear Michael, First well said and generally I agree with your views. I worked in the nuclear industry at Hinkley Point for nearly 30 years & nearly half as Head of E/C&I across both ‘A’ & ‘B’ stations. I finally came to realise that nuclearpower is not safe, (even here in the UK) & definitely is uneconomic. Nuclear power really is old technology, everything about nuclear power, design, construction & operation makes it incredibly inflexible & unable to adapt to a changing energy market. I agree with Steve Holliday CEO of National Grid, that there is no place in the future for large centralised fossil or nuclear baseload generation. Technology has moved on. Micro grids with a very responsive national grid all supplied from Renewables is the future. UK politicians & business leaders need to wake up & adapt to the rapdly changing energy situation or british industry will find itself left in the back water in a new energy age.

  9. I am a vociferous campaigner against Hinley C (& A & B…) we are currently taking a former nuclear engineer turned fim-maker from India on a tour of the UK with his films about the resisitance to the EPR reactors and nucelar industry more generally in India. There are still a few more dates – swansea in wales, cockermouth in cumbria, Hackney in london and Frome in Somerset see here for details:

    You can see the first clip from an interview between Pradeep Indulkar 9the Indian Film maker) and retired electrical engineer from Hinkley Point A & B Peter Smith here:

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