Thursday, March 24, 2011

Socrates forced to drink political hemlock


The Greek one suffered a fate worse than the Portuguese one: the Socrates of Athens was sentenced to death on a trumped-up allegation of corrupting the nation’s youth; the Sócrates of Portugal has resigned after losing a vote in parliament on a package of austerity measures designed to avoid a humiliating IMF/ECB bail-out, after the fashion (coincidentally) of Greece.

His Grace won’t say he told you so.

But he told you so.

Portugal's national debt stands at a colossal 83 per cent of GDP. At least the leaders of Greece and Ireland remained in office long enough to negotiate a rescue package. The sudden resignation of José Sócrates means that Portugal enters a period of political limbo, which can only induce further fiscal insecurity and rumble the markets further. Their economy is now teetering on the edge: without the ability to lower interest rates, the choice was between the rock of spending cuts or the hard place of tax increases. The bizarre thing is that the deficit-cutting austerity package which has just been rejected by the Social Democrats is precisely what will now be forcibly imposed by the EU/IMF. And it will be painful. As Ireland has discovered, even with a change of government, he who pays the piper calls Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

By curious coincidence, EU leaders meets today to put together a €440bn rescue fund to halt the contagion. Sadly, the inoculation comes too late, though it is unlikely that the antidote would have been effective anyway. Portugal is steeped in maturing debt and is having to sell €20bn of bonds simply to finance its budget, at levels of interest which the markets believe to be unsustainable.

And so it came to pass that Portugal had her sovereignty removed.

And around £3bn of the savings which George Osborne preciously set out in yesterday’s budget will be extracted to the European Commission’s bailout fund, and Britain will be forced to throw good pounds after bad euros. The Chancellor giveth and Brussels taketh away.

And while the people were distracted by wars and rumours and wars in the Middle East, and by earthquake, flood and nuclear fallout in the Far East – and not forgetting David Beckham’s tattoo – the smoke and mirrors of our economic and political governance continued. And the masses were heartily entertained.

Spain is next, by the way.

But David Beckham is certain to have another tattoo by then.

30 Comments:

Blogger Maturecheese said...

And yet , still the main party voting masses cannot see what membership of the EU means.

24 March 2011 10:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo - that's "Throw," not "Through."

We all do it; but you might want to alter it.

24 March 2011 10:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again the people will pay for their vainglorious bottom feeders, they had to call [political] 'leaders'.

Just how were they allowed to join the euro in the first place?

Therein lies a tale.

24 March 2011 10:29  
Blogger James Reade said...

The usual overly simplistic analysis of the in/out of a currency area debate found all too often on this blog. Because here in the UK we've really gained from that big depreciation post 2008, haven't we?

http://jesuswasnotarightwinger.blogspot.com/2011/03/more-right-wing-nonsense.html

It disappoints me that my non-right-wing Christian blog is almost entirely taken up addressing the kind of nonsense written on this right-wing "Christian" blog.

24 March 2011 10:31  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr James Reade,

His Grace has addressed your crass caricature before, but you obviously have not been bothered to read his previous response.

Please, do not think for a minute that you are in any sense obliged to visit here or respond to anything. God forbid that you might sense some sort of vocation to spread your particular political interpretation of the gospel message.

24 March 2011 10:37  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Tiddles said...

Your Grace

It appears that you have a secret devotee, who just cannot get your attention without being nasty (Like little girls at Junior school with us lads), with Mr James Reade but who appears to be in obvious denial.

Come Out Of The Changing Cubicle, Sir.

The waters nice and warm here, you don't have to freeze in that fabianista infested swimming pool.

Just make sure you have the appropriate swimming cossie on when in this blog..Union Jack.

Now there's a good chap.

E S Blofeld

24 March 2011 10:57  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Thank you for the "told you" link (June 03, 2010) which mentioned "biblical images and allusions have become commonplace, though the symbolism and significance are often perverted." That practise matches so well the Euro project, exciting variously: Derision, disgust, delight, delusion.

For those who had not seen, or have forgotten: One of the commentators (self-described as an outsider) could not resist an attempt to divert attention from the cogency of blogmaster Cranmer's remarks by writing of "extreme Europhobia invariably displayed here and how it relates to Christian conservatism", thus revealing an indisposition to reckon with uncomfortable realities.

That commentator concluded: "Maybe it’s all bound up with identity, how you define yourselves and how that identity is under threat from a world that no longer respects your values or even your opinions", failing to notice that such a description is of practically universal application, and it is unlikely that anyone conversant with the life and work of the historic Cranmer would be inclined to claim exemption from the frailties of mortal man.

To discern the trends of events, and speak of them, may well be the opposite of "extreme phobia". None need forget that all the peoples of the several EU countries have their anxieties, consequent upon things being done which ought not, and not being done which ought.

Another commentator (4 June 2010 08:51) was more to the point: "I do not know a single eurosceptic that hates Europe, but every europhile I have heard or read maintains that the EU should control more and more of the UK".

24 March 2011 11:14  
Anonymous nicodemus said...

But David Beckham is certain to have another tattoo by then ...

and William and Katherine will be married, which is nice.

But what we need from top down, or is it bottom up, (or does it matter?) is a change of heart; a spiritual revival; for which we pray.

24 March 2011 11:17  
Anonymous Joseph of Arimathea said...

Or Katy Price another husband and lifestyle series on Sky 1.

Some things never change.

"But what we need from top down, or is it bottom up, (or does it matter?) is a change of heart; a spiritual revival; for which we pray." Indeed my old friend, indeed.

I agree with your post, Mr Blofeld. All are welcome here.

24 March 2011 11:27  
Anonymous Hospitable Scots Bachelor said...

European leaders? Surely an oxymoron!

24 March 2011 11:41  
Anonymous MrJ said...

The "told you" link (June 03, 2010) which mentioned "biblical images and allusions have become commonplace, though the symbolism and significance are often perverted." That practise matches so well the Euro project, exciting variously: Derision, disgust, delight, delusion.

One of the commentators (4 June 2010 08:51) mentioned "I do not know a single eurosceptic that hates Europe, but every europhile I have heard or read maintains that the EU should control more and more of the UK".

None need forget that all the peoples of the several EU countries have their anxieties, consequent upon things being done which ought not, and not being done which ought (tattoos and all).

24 March 2011 11:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

According to the Bruges Group:

Germany has benefitted more than any other country in the Eurozone since the launch of the Euro in 2002, according to the latest Bruges Group research.

The Euro has effectively become a German currency empire which is draining the resources of the Eurozone’s smaller economies. The harm that German policy is causing is so severe that the Mediterranean-Rim countries are caught in a debt trap where their economies are suffering, they are incurring debt and must then impose austerity measures which further weaken their economies. Yet their economies will not grow so long as the Euro helps German manufacturers dominate the Eurozone.

When the Single Currency was introduced on 1st January 1999 the 11 countries committed themselves to economic and monetary union, and irrevocably fixed the exchange rates of their currencies (Greece joined later).

This eventually resulted in the impossible task of the European Central Bank (ECB), for example, having to dictate a common exchange rate for Germany, with the second largest current account surplus in the world, and Spain, with the second largest trade deficit in the world.

Because of Germany’s influence over the ECB, it ends up requiring it to impose an inappropriate interest rate policy upon the Eurozone - an exchange rate which in essence suits the German economy but which many Eurozone economies are finding it increasingly difficult to live with.

The document, entitled German Economic Policy and the Euro 1999-2010 reports that since the launch of the Euro currency on 1st January 2002:

The German economy has grown faster than any other country in the Eurozone

Germany has been by far the largest exporting nation within the Eurozone

In the last 3 (recorded) years alone, Germany has run up massive trade surpluses with the other Eurozone countries averaging €100 billion per year

The ECB’s exchange rate policy favours German interests

Germany entered the euro at too low a rate of exchange, cementing its historic economic advantage and to the disadvantage of countries with smaller economies such as Greece and Ireland

The siting of the ECB in Frankfurt enabled Germany to influence policy regarding the Euro in its own interests

Multi-millionaire German industrialist, Frank Asbeck, says of the Eurozone crisis:

“From a German standpoint we don’t see any crisis ….Germany is the industrial heart of Europe and as long as the Euro is weak, I think for Germany, it is a good situation.”

24 March 2011 12:11  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Frank (Crisis? What crisis?) Asbeck, quoted by Mr Singh, would be better informed if he read this Telegraph article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

❛While Germany’s public and private debt is not extreme, it is very high for a country on the cusp of an acute ageing crisis. Adjusted for demographics, Germany is already one of the most indebted nations in the world.❜

24 March 2011 14:06  
Anonymous Gordo said...

"distracted by wars and rumours and wars"

Surely "wars and rumours of wars" as in Matthew 24:6 Your Grace.

Anyway I'm looking forward to David Beckham marrying Kate Middleton or whatever it is, hooray for old Blighty, we can take it.

24 March 2011 14:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Romano Prodi, who was the President of the European Commission at the time pronounced: “The common currency is not an economic decision, it is a political decision”.

Christine Lagarde, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry of Germany’s greatest ally, France. In an interview with the Financial Times on 15th March 2010:

‘“[Could] those with surpluses [Germany] do a little something? It takes two to tango. It cannot just be about enforcing deficit principles….I’m not sure it is a sustainable model for the long term and for the whole of the group. Clearly we need better convergence.”

German economist Klaus Schweinsberg says:

“The big winner of the Eurozone is German industry…the view of the German industrialists is that … it makes us relatively more competitive within the Eurozone. [The German economy] “has boomed to such an extent that Germany can afford to pay off the debts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal and should do so to preserve its export markets in those countries.”

So the reason why the Germans are anxious to bailout Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain is this: if those economies collapse then that collapse will severely damage Germany.

And the UK?

Its taxpayers have to pay, pay, pay into the bailouts because they no longer have a veto, and voting is by majority.

24 March 2011 14:35  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Like the wry wit YG, Lady GaGa can only have tattoos done on her left hand side so I learned today from the media. Daddy says she should save the right for being normal, best bloody policy if you ask me given the situation.

24 March 2011 15:55  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Yes, Your Grace, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Greece will probably fail, and be cast from the euro-zone...thus, the euro will most probably cease to exist in its present form, as might the E.U. too; that is, with a bit of luck and a following wind!

24 March 2011 17:08  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Tiddles said..."Just make sure you have the appropriate swimming cossie on when in this blog..Union Jack."

Made in China is that Ernie, bit tight around the crotch if you ask me, those little fellas just don't understand British sizes.

Stick to skinny dipping show them what Made in Britain means!

24 March 2011 17:21  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Portugal's national debt stands at a colossal 83 per cent of GDP.

Don't look too closely at Britain's real figures. Brooks Newmark MP did some calculations before the elections: they still hold true.

The problem in Portugal is that the Govt like Britain has been MONETIZING DEBT. The Portuguese banks have been borrowing heavily from the ECB and using the money to buy Portuguese Govt Debt thus funding Portuguese public spending through the ECB which breaches the Maastricht Treaty and the basis of the ECB.

The spending cuts Portugal would require are impossible given the poverty of the country.

As for the Bruges Group saying Germany has done well out of the Euro; it is German BUSINESS that has done well, German CITIZENS have not since they have higher costs especially of food which is more expensive from France or Spain or Italy because the Euro is weaker than the D-Mark would be for German consumers.

Surprise, surprise - PROFITS have increased as a %GDP in most countries over the past 20 years at the expense of Wages. That is why credit was needed by households to keep afloat....which increases Bank Profits

24 March 2011 17:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Asbeck

24 March 2011 17:25  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager...
Money for Nothing (song), 1985, Dire Straits: prophetic?

24 March 2011 18:53  
Anonymous Hal (GT) said...

LOL Had to laugh at the Beckham dig.

Is anyone with common sense really surprised that Portugal is falling on it's face again? Nope. Because folk with common sense understand the relation of debt to financial woes.

I think you're probably right about the next to fall too. Spain.

Time will tell, and with the US Dollar sucking in its last gasps.

24 March 2011 21:39  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Tiddles said...

Bred in the Bone 24 March 2011 17:21

Ernst isn't quite sure if you are boasting or complaining, my lad? LOL.

"Made in China is that Ernie" NEVER SIR. Only the best for Ernsty and Mrs B.. Rosa Cha for Er indoors.

Black 3G Navigator Brazilian Brief Swimwear in Megalamaniac size with sufficient room to swing Tiddles in.(For the Super Villain not down on his upper's. Generously sufficient, my dear boy).

Ernst would not be seen dead in Primark swimwear..you poor boy.
Cheap is not always cheerful..A lesson, perhaps?

"Stick to skinny dipping show them what Made in Britain means! AArrghh. You made me gag at the mere thought, you scoundrel.
You have put me off my last muffin. What a waste.

Doleful Ernsty

24 March 2011 21:45  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"Ernst would not be seen dead in Primark swimwear..you poor boy.
Cheap is not always cheerful..A lesson, perhaps?"

King Cnut was a very intelligent Man, nothing cheap about him.

How he loved to display what a clever Cnut he was.

Lesson over.

24 March 2011 23:23  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Tiddles said...

Banged in the bone concussed said 24 March 2011 23:23

My poor boy.

"King Cnut was a very intelligent Man, nothing cheap about him.
"
Just had a butchers at the line of clothing you are boasting about. Oh dear.

Lesson Over? More like Game Over..hard earned Bread in the WasteBin more like.
Poor Mrs Bone, you old skinflint!

http://www.kingcnut.com/store/

Earnestly Ernst. Best dressed supervillain since May 28th, 1908, FACT.!

ps

"How he loved to display what a clever Cnut he was." Everyone who drinks Natterjack thinks along similar lines, my lad. Alcohol increases the cleverness inherent within a drinker, does it not? Have a gander in the mirror after 2 pints and gasp in astonishment as Brad Pitt stares back at you.

25 March 2011 01:07  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

My dear Overblownfeld you need to be wary of that rich living man.

When was the last time you seen tiddles, can't be seeing much action these days in the pussy stakes.

Its a well known fact the poor are more generous than the Overblowns, If I give a penny, I give all I have, if an Overblown gives a hoot its the horn on his bath chair.

Touche ;o)

25 March 2011 06:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

£3bn? And the rest.

Not to mention the cost of yet another war which has absolutely nothing to do with us.

25 March 2011 10:47  
Blogger Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Tiddles said...

"Its a well known fact the poor are more generous than the Overblowns"
Are you saying you purchase Primark swimwear merely to put the difference towards providing Comic Relief with more 'Red Noses'? What a fine chap you are, his Bred put in the Bucket.
"if an Overblown gives a hoot its the horn on his bath chair." Disgusting behaviour and a vile abuse of bathing time.
Being just a tad discrimanatory towards the disabled during their cleaning process, my boy?"

Must you have the last word?

Have at ye, blaggard? Douche ;-)

Ernsty

25 March 2011 11:23  
Blogger Frau Farbissina said...

The Germans cannot be expected to work themselves to the bones and into their old age to support those fat lazy Greeks, thieving Turks, and all the other useless, bloodsucking, lazy scroungers from the EU whilst having to endure cuts such as their Kindergeld reduced and getting noting much else in return?
Das ist ja eine riesen frecheit!

25 March 2011 16:02  
Blogger I'm Freak'n Dr Evil said...

Warum Danke, Frau Farbissina.

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt

Sie töricht british

MWAHAHAHAHA

Leibe Dr Evil

26 March 2011 01:16  

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