There can be no doubt that the present financial crisis we are all facing which, will inevitably harm the poorest most of all, as it always does, will almost certainly eclipse that of 2008. There can be no doubt, that this has been caused directly by the Westminster Government’s profligate and reckless folly in their response to Covid-19, together with the rolling over to environmental pressure groups and virtual signalling on climate change with the sustained push towards green energy at the expense of oil and gas. The fuel increases are most likely caused by investors being frightened away from fossil fuels, crippling future developments and inevitable allowing prices to spiral out of control. A lot of people cheer and say that must be a good thing if we can save the planet. If you take that kind of moral stance, you need to accept the inevitable acceleration of worldwide poverty, which has been in decline now for quite a long time, and the famine and deaths that will surely follow. This, unlike climate catastrophe itself, is an existential risk. You have to accept that in order to make an omelette you need to break eggs. You need, as a government, to make that assessment, make a judgement on the decisions you take, basically have a think before you act to decide whether it will result in a worse situation than the one you are trying to alleviate. Something that the UK government did not do when faced with Covid-19
The facts we now know about the eye watering sums of public money that were squandered with hardly any accounting, during the crisis, are beyond scary. You don’t need to be an economist to understand that. According to the National Audit Office, £370billion was spent by the government on Covid issues by September 2021: £154B on business support, £84B on health and social care, £67B on emergency response and other public services, £60B made directly to individuals – self-employed schemes and the like and £5B elsewhere, wherever elsewhere is. It is hard to grasp what £370billion looks like to us plain folks, but it was suggested1 that that sum could provide every family in the UK three full meals a day for 3 years, abolish income tax totally for 20 months, or fund the armed forces for 8 years. So, a lot of money.
I wrote to my Westminster MP asking what action he or his party took to oppose this irresponsible profligatory and the potential destruction of our economy. Why did they fail to hold the government to account? This, of course, is the principal reason for him being there in the first place. I think I know the answer. It will be the like the one I got from my MSP, simply ignoring the question but telling me how good the Scottish Government was in spending money on lots of really nice things. I like all the nice things like free prescription, free bus travel, child payments increased benefits and free tuition, but now and then I wonder where the money is coming from and who is paying. Now we know, it will be our children and the poor, which is a nice legacy to leave.
Her majesty’s opposition in parliament, throughout this crisis, has been hopelessly ineffective and worse than useless. Their unwillingness to even challenge the basic assumptions of lock-downs and all the other cruel measures is staggering but that aside you would have thought they would confront the cavalier expenditure of massive sums of public money. That is surely what they are supposed to do. Money is usually what they care about, but no, “just spend more” was there mantra. The main stream media were similarly ineffective and pathetically supine on this. But now the chickens have come home to roost.
So, like parties and cakes, appalling indiscretions, hypocrisies and deceit it looks like they will get away with it. Because there is no serious voice up for a challenge. After all, there is a war on “don’t you know?” It is unlikely that the much-published public enquiry will actually expose the root cause of the disaster. But the public might. We might just realise that we have been had, were taken for complete fools, strung along with words of false authority and corrupted science, frightened into acting like lemmings. It could be hard but we might just realise that they have abused our trust, overcome our inbuilt trust and respect for authority. We might think to ask questions, we might challenge our acceptance of the given narrative and glimpse something of the reality of what has been done in our name. Things would then change, but I am not holding my breath. Everything points to us taking the line of least resistance, avoiding conflict and going along with whatever the authorities dictate, for the sake of peace and a comfortable life. After all we may say “it is no big deal” Well this time it is a big deal.
Back in 1976 on a programme broadcast by the BBC, Alexandra Solzhenitsyn spoke about the riddle and contradictions in human nature.
“One of these riddles is: how is it that people who have been crushed by the sheer weight of slavery and cast to the bottom of the pit can nevertheless find the strength to rise up and free themselves, first in spirit and then in body; while those who soar unhampered over the peaks of freedom suddenly lose the taste for freedom, lose the will to defend it, and, hopelessly confused and lost, almost begin to crave slavery”2
- Ewan Stewart (economist)
- Alexandra Solzhenitsyn “warning to the west”