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calendar   Saturday - April 04, 2009

The international act of posturing was pointless; A ‘new world order’ is simply fantasy

So says Simon Heffer of The Telegraph.

Nothin’ for me to say for once.

G20: A ‘new world order’ is simply fantasy
The international act of posturing was pointless; because despite having caused the problem, the political class had none of the requisite skills to sort it out.

By Simon Heffer
Last Updated: 6:26PM BST 03 Apr 2009

image
Barack Obama and Gordon Brown: Don’t trust these guys with your trillions Photo: PA

Those who thought that Dr Goebbels came to an end on a stretch of waste ground in Berlin in 1945 have been forced to think again. The piece of theatre that concluded in London on Thursday was one of the great confidence tricks of our lifetimes.

Just getting the 20 most important heads of government on the planet together in one place and not being unpleasant about each other was, we must concede, something of an achievement. But it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the world’s economy.

Nor, I imagine, will it have any effect on the result of the next general election. In the months ahead, as thousands more people go on to the dole every week, more businesses go under and confidence continues to seep out of a system wrecked by politicians, few will link in their minds the words “Gordon Brown” and “triumph”. I have long thought that our Prime Minister was around the bend and off the deep end. His fantasy press conference at the end of the G20, with his grandiloquent (and preposterous) claim to have founded a “new world order”, confirmed it.

(wording changed at the italics to put it in American terms rather then English)

As I wrote here a few weeks ago, this international act of posturing was pointless; because despite having caused the problem, the political class had none of the requisite skills to sort it out. It also seems that some great issues have been fudged. Is the New World Order in favour of a new fiscal stimulus or not? It pains me to say so, but I have been impressed by the Germans (with the French hanging on to their coat-tails) holding out against recklessly pumping money into the economy as Mr Obama and, to a lesser extent, our own Government have done.

Perhaps it is as well for them that this summit was not held a couple of months later, for when the rioting starts on mainland Europe with the advent of warm weather, and no devaluation of the euro is possible to stop the haemorrhage of jobs, such firm principles might be harder to maintain.

And what is this nonsense about an “agreement” to curb the salaries of bankers? No one has yet satisfactorily explained to me how the salaries of bankers, other than causing justifiable offence to shareholders in failed banks, have anything to do with an economic crisis caused by a conscious decision on behalf of several big governments to expand the supply of money, and to stop proper regulation of banks. Of course, when a bunch of politicians turns up for a party, none of them is going to suggest that there is any political fault behind it, but the G20 took scapegoating indecently far.

Capitalism is not too important to be left to capitalists. It has to be left to them. Politicians simply do not understand. They are contaminated by a desire to redistribute, and to regulate, to keep large constituencies of non-productive voters happy. No politician has been more ruined by this, or caused more ruin, than Mr Brown: and this week he was still at it. In his drivelling speech on “morality” on Tuesday (the absurdity of which would have been exceeded only by Lord Rumba of Rio delivering it) he castigated people for taking risks. Capitalism is based on risk.

The reward for risk is profit. The punishment for bad risk should be bankruptcy. Mr Brown wishes to avoid all such extremes, which is why he rails against capitalists, and bails out pointless banks with our money. Let him bask in his “triumph” while he can, for he is very near the end of the plank.

Roosevelt’s New Deal failed because it hindered people from helping themselves. This welfarist event this week risks making the same mistake on an international scale, with its £1 trillion slush fund for wrecked economies. The politicians have left the stage, thank God. Now let us hope they stay off it for as long as possible, and let the people who can sort out this mess get on with doing so – whatever the risk entailed.

SIMON HEFFER

“it hindered people from helping themselves” ??

Better to confess ignorance and learn then be quiet and remain ignorant. I’m not certain I understand that last line.
Perhaps mistaken but I was under the impression that he had works projects and managed to put many to work.
While I had read criticism of his policies I thought they were simply made by political enemies who’d disagree no matter what he proposed.
Or at least that’s what I’d been led to understand.  Apparently I have it wrong.  ?


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2009 at 09:59 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsEditorialsInternational •  
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