All that glisters is not inflation
So inflation rose by an entire percentage point in December – the largest increase on record. The annual rate of inflation now stands at 2.8%. It also stands at 3.6%. And 3.7%. On some measures it is as high as 4.5%.
Well, it’s not rocket science, is it? Even a theologian (or some of them) can grasp the basics of economics. If you print billions of pounds and pump it into the economy, you will get inflation. Even if you call the process something impressive like ‘quantitative easing’, the effects will be the same. And a one per cent increase in a single month is a little alarming, however you measure it.
But this is not Zimbabwe. And neither is it approaching anything like the scenario that existed in the 1970s when UK inflation peaked at 26.6 per cent.
And that was before the introduction of the CPI.
There is consensus that we are in for a grim few years: the Governor of the Bank of England has said the ‘Britons was likely to be “sorely tried” over the coming years, with pay stagnating and inflation threatening to rise above 3 per cent’. They will see their standard of living fall over the next two years as salary freezes and rising inflation eat into incomes.
And Gordon Brown blames the unforeseen, unprecedented global ‘credit crunch’ for our sorry plight. The one who boasted year after year about ‘prudence’ and having ‘abolished boom and bust’ lives in the world inhabited by Alice.
But it isn’t much of a wonderland for those who can see the reality.
As chancellor, he spent above his means, taxed the most vulnerable, and gave away the nation’s gold reserves (the price has quadrupled over the past decade, losing us some £14 billion). As prime minister, he has made the supply of money unlimited to pay for his imprudence and economic dysentery. And the world is ditching paper money for gold once again, because it is finite and precious: it cannot be created ex nihilo and quantitatively eased out.
“It is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1Cor4:2).
The one who is guardian of the nation’s wealth is entrusted with that which belongs to us all. And he is constrained by a centuries-old unwritten code of ethics in the administration and distribution thereof. He will be tempted to succumb to the bribes of man and the pressures of the world. But the moment he does so, the public lose confidence as he is seen to give in to corrupt, ignorant and short-range considerations of what may seem right, as against what we know to be unsound or sense not to be quite right.
It is not for the theologian to tell the surgeon the details of his business. And yet even a theologian knows when the right hand must be cut off. And the wise doctor will always listen to the intuition of the patient.
Labour are beyond surgery and incapable of listening. They do not do what is right and necessary because they no longer know what is right. They are devoid of conscience, deficient in intellect and lacking knowledge.
Even a theologian can see that.
But we are not at 26.6 per cent inflation.
And for that, we must thank God.
Not Gordon Brown.